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Phallocentric Esotericism In The Tale Of The Slave Girl Who Satisfied Her Sexual Urges With Her Mistress's Donkey

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the tale of the slave girl and the donkey, one of the most vulgar tales in the Mathnawī is analyzed. The author begins with a summary of the tale and then proceeds to examine the interpretive possibilities initiated through the instability of the subject and different subjective positions of interpretation in this tale. Metonymy and metaphor are used by Rūmī to curb the negative course of an imaginary trajectory that steers the subject toward a closed narcissistic interpretation. The tale of the slave girl and the donkey may be interpreted as phallocentric, that is, the central motif of this tale is the veiled phallus as the signifier of esoteric secrets. The instability of signifiers is well illustrated in this tale. However, the author's lack of concern with the consistency of the storyline serves the purpose of redirecting the focus of interpretation away from the literal aspect.

Keywords: mathnawī; metaphor; metonymy; mistress's donkey; phallocentric esotericism; signifier; slave girl

10.1163/ej.9789004163539.i-260.20
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004163539.i-260.20
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