Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Playing DirtySexuality and Waste in Early Modern Comedy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Will Stockton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816674596

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816674596.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Happy Endings II

Happy Endings II

The Unfortunate Traveller, the “Frenzy of the Visible,” and the Comedy of Anti-Semitism

(p.67) 4 Happy Endings II
Playing Dirty

Will Stockton

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter analyzes Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller, using Linda Williams’s study of hard-core pornography’s “frenzied” attempt to spectacularize female pleasure. Beginning more or less at the gruesome end of The Unfortunate Traveller and working backward to its beginning as a trickster tale, this chapter argues that Nashe pornographically revises the Freudian primal scene of the obscene joke in which one man verbally exposes a woman to another man to satisfy his own frustrated libido. For Nashe, this exposure amounts to a sodomitical rape that collapses the anus and vagina into an undifferentiated cloaca. And alongside this reading is an analysis of the text’s anti-Semitism in terms of its comic fashioning of a Christian male body—in which Nashe’s own philosophical skepticism might usefully orient a critical reaction to this anti-Semitism.

Keywords:   The Unfortunate Traveller, obscene joke, Thomas Nashe, anus, vagina, anti-Semitism, Freudian primal scene

Minnesota Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.