This article examines the paratexts of Edmund Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender (1579) to discuss the queer potential of textual editing in early modern literary culture. The verse of The Shepheardes Calender is framed by an elaborate set of glosses, compiled by an editor called “E. K.” As an anti-normative editorial presence, E. K. reframes the meaning of the text and exposes the impossibility of a stable, controlled, and controllable editorial voice. Although the content of The Shepheardes Calender is legibly homoerotic, this article argues that the Calender positions editing itself as queer and “preposterous,” a term suggesting spatiotemporal disorder and unruly sexuality and homoeroticism. The Shepheardes Calender ultimately provides a model for the intersection between book history and sexuality studies, as the article positions books and their making as a framework through which to explore early modern homoerotic representations, anti-normative possibilities, and imaginings of other ways of being in the world.
If your library subscribes to the SCJ click here