The Courtesans Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives Includes CD

Paperback | September 21, 2006

EditorMartha Feldman, Bonnie Gordon

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Courtesans, hetaeras, tawaif-s, ji-s--these women have exchanged artistic graces, elevated conversation, and sexual favors with male patrons throughout history and around the world. In Ming dynasty China and early modern Italy, exchange was made through poetry, speech, and music; inpre-colonial India through magic, music, chemistry, and other arts. Yet like the art of courtesanry itself, those arts have often thrived outside present-day canons and modes of transmission, and have mostly vanished without trace. The Courtesan's Arts delves into this hidden legacy, while touching on its equivocal relationship to geisha. At once interdisciplinary, empirical, and theoretical, the book is the first to ask how arts have figured in the survival or demise of courtesan cultures by juxtaposing research fromdifferent fields. Among cases studied by writers on classics, ethnomusicology, anthropology, and various histories of art, music, literature, and political culture are Ming dynasty China, twentieth-century Korea, Edo and modern Japan, ancient Greece, early modern Italy, and India, past and present.Refusing a universal model, the authors nevertheless share a perception that courtesans hover in the crevices of space, time, and practice--between gifts and money, courts and cities, subtlety and flamboyance, feminine allure and masculine power, as wifely surrogates but keepers of culture. Whatmost binds them to their arts in our post-industrialized world of global services and commodities, they find, is courtesans' fragility, as their cultures, once vital to civilizations founded in leisure and pleasure, are now largely forgotten, transforming courtesans into national icons or historicalcuriosities, or reducing them to prostitution.

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Courtesans, hetaeras, tawaif-s, ji-s--these women have exchanged artistic graces, elevated conversation, and sexual favors with male patrons throughout history and around the world. In Ming dynasty China and early modern Italy, exchange was made through poetry, speech, and music; inpre-colonial India through magic, music, chemistry, an...

Martha Feldman is Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago. She is author of City Culture and the Madrigal at Venice (1995) and Opera and Sovereignty: Sentiment, Myth, and Modernity in Eighteenth-Century Italy (2006), and general editor of Critical and Cultural Musicology (2000-2002). Currently she is prepari...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:424 pages, 5.98 × 9.02 × 1.18 inPublished:September 21, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195170296

ISBN - 13:9780195170290

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Table of Contents

Bonnie Gordon and Martha Feldman: IntroductionPART ONE: Spectacle and Performance1. James Davidson: Making a Spectacle of Her(self): The Greek Courtesan and the Art of the Present2. Margaret F. Rosenthal: Cutting a Good Figure: The Fashions of Venetian Courtesans in the Illustrated Albums of Early Modern Travelers3. Judith T. Zeitlin : "Notes of Flesh" and the Courtesan's Song in Seventeenth-Century ChinaPART TWO: A Case Study: The Courtesan's Voice in Early Modern ItalyMartha Feldman: Introduction4. Martha Feldman: The Courtesan's Voice: Petrarchan Lovers, Pop Philosophy, and Oral Traditions5. Dawn De Rycke: On Hearing the Courtesan in a Gift of Song: The Venetian Case of Gaspara Stampa6. Justin Flosi: On Locating the Courtesan in Italian Lyric: Distance and the Madrigal Texts of Costanzo Festa7. Drew Edward Davies : On Music Fit for a Courtesan: Representations of the Courtesan and Her Music in Sixteenth-Century ItalyPART THREE: Power, Gender, and the Body8. Doris M. Srinivasan: Royalty's Courtesans and Gods' Mortal Wives: Keepers of Culture in Precolonial India9. Bonnie Gordon: The Courtesan's Singing Body as Cultural Capital in Seventeenth-Century Italy10. Courtney Quaintance: Defaming the Courtesan: Satire and Invective in Sixteenth-Century Italy11. Christopher A. Faraone : The Masculine Arts of the Ancient Greek Courtesan: Male Fantasy or Female Self-representation?PART FOUR: Excursus: Geisha Dialogues12. Lesley Downer: The City Geisha and Their Role in Modern Japan: Anomaly or Artiste?13. Miho Matsugu : In the Service of the Nation: Geisha and Kawabata Yasunari's Snow CountryPART FIVE: Fantasies of the Courtesan14. Timon Screech: Going to the Courtesans: Transit to the Pleasure District of Edo Japan15. Guido Ruggiero : Who's Afraid of Giulia Napolitana? Pleasure, Fear, and Imagining the Arts of the Renaissance CourtesanPART SIX: Courtesans in the Postcolony16. Joshua D. Pilzer: The Twentieth-Century "Disappearance" of the Gisaeng during the Rise of Korea's Modern Sex-and-Entertainment Industry17. Regula Burckhardt Qureshi: Female Agency and Patrilineal Constraints: Situating Courtesans in Twentieth-Century India18. Amelia Maciszewski : Tawa'if, Tourism, and Tales: The Problematics of Twenty-First-Century Musical Patronage for North India's CourtesansAppendix: CD Notes and TextsSelected BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"The Courtesan's Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives offers us a remarkably wide-ranging investigation into the lives of courtesans, from ancient to modern times.... It is a timely and extremely generous contribution to the mesmerizing courtesan cultures of the world."--Alexandra Coller, Womenand Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture