The dangerous lover has haunted our culture for over two hundred years; English, American, and European literature is permeated with his erotic presence. The Dangerous Lover takes seriously the ubiquity of the brooding romantic hero—his dark past, his remorseful and rebellious exile from comfortable everyday living. Deborah Lutz traces the recent history of this figure, through the melancholy iconoclasm of the Romantics, the lost soul redeemed by love of the Brontës, and the tormented individualism of twentieth-century love narratives. Arguing for this character’s central influence not only in literature but also in the history of ideas, this book places the dangerous lover firmly within the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, the Modernism of Georg Lukács, and Roland Barthes’s theories on love and longing. Working with canonical authors such as Ann Radcliffe, Charles Maturin, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Oscar Wilde, and also with non-canonical texts such as contemporary romance, The Dangerous Lover combines a lyrical, essayistic style with a depth of inquiry that raises questions about the mysteries of desire, death, and eroticism.
The Dangerous Lover is the first book-length study of this pervasive literary hero; it also challenges the tendency of sophisticated philosophical readings of popular narratives and culture to focus on male-coded genres. In its conjunction of high and low literary forms, this volume explores new historical and cultural framings for female-coded popular narratives.
Out of the Girls' Room and into the Night is a spirited, offbeat collection of stories, elongated riffs on that thing we call …love. All manner of love stories: thwarted love stories, imaginary love stories, love stories offhand and obsessive, philosophical love stories, erudite and amusing love stories.
“People don't meet because they both like Burmese food,” says one character, “or because someone's sister has a friend who's single and new in town, or because Billy's nose happened to crook just slightly to the left at an angle that made me want to weep…People don't fall in love with each other …they just fall into love.”
Everyone does it: women of fierce independence, men of thin character, rambling Deadheads, gay teenage girls, despondent Peace Corps volunteers, anorexic Broadway theatre dancers, the eager, the grieving, the uncommunicative. Even the confused do it. And they don't just fall in love with each other—they fall in love with certain moments and familiar places, with things as ephemeral as gestures and as evanescent as sunlight.
Quirky, real, idealistic, deluded, bohemian, and true, these are people who can—and often do—fall in love with a pair of ears, August afternoons, saucers of vitamins, New Age carpenters, and dead bumblebees. And if there's something they can teach us, it's how to conceive of alternative worlds and the terror and the exhilaration of venturing outside the confines of the lives we know and making our way into a dark, glittering unknown.
This study of the rescue motif in popular American novels before World War I focuses on the rescue convention as part of the romantic plot of the novels. The rescue as a structured convention that controls the movement of the romantic plot appears in all types of domestic novels, gothics, dime novels, historical romances, and westerns.
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