Listen here to the new podcast of the new series On Love: De Amore.
This article is a Gender Theory-informed analysis of a thirteenth-century German text entitled der borte (The Belt). Der borte (1270-1290) was written by the little known, Dietrich von der Glezze and it deals with familial transgressions, perversions of knightly virtues, as well as same-sex physical encounters. This article has been accepted for publication by the journal Neophilologus and will be available online as well as on paper very soon. Here is an audio version of it I recorded a few days ago.
This thirteenth century text, a Middle High German-English translation of which I also intend to publish, is fantastically gripping.
Here is a summary of the plot. In a little nutshell.
A married lady is gazed upon by a stranger knight. He wants her. He has a lot of great things of value. She wants the things. She negotiates with him. She allows him one act of physicality in exchange for four great things of value. They get caught. The lady's husband leaves in shame. She waits for him for two years. He does not return. She goes in search of him disguised as a man.
Her husband sees him/her and his/her things and decides he wants to have some of his/her stuff. The wife says she will only let him have the stuff, provided the two 'knights' lie together as a married couple. The husband agrees to it. It's after all only ONE TIME. And it will be done in secret.
As the husband is about to acquiesce, the wife reveals her true identity and scolds her husband for agreeing to a heretical act of sodomy.
The husband apologizes and they return to their court together.
Courtesy of the little known author Dietrich von der Glezze circa 1270-1290.
A note on music: The music for this podcast comes from my friend's Matt's band Swiss Army Mouth. They're an instrumental rock band from Ohio.