Nancy Armstrong and Leonard Tennenhouse (essay date 1987)
SOURCE: “The Literature of Conduct, the Conduct of Literature, and the Politics of Desire: An Introduction,” in The Ideology of Conduct: Essays on Literature and the History of Sexuality, pp. 1-24. New York: Methuen & Company, 1987.
[In the following excerpt, Armstrong and Tennenhouse outline the link between the cultural definition of desire and the impact of social conduct books in Europe, especially on the changing definition of gender.]
For, the clearer our conceptions in art and science become, the more they will assimilate themselves to the conceptions of duty in conduct, will become practically stringent like rules of conduct, and will...
(The entire section is 9574 words.)