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The Deceived HusbandA Kleinian Approach to the Literature of Infidelity$
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Alison Sinclair

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151906

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151906.001.0001

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The Adulteress’s Husband

The Adulteress’s Husband

Chapter:
(p.173) 5 The Adulteress’s Husband
Source:
The Deceived Husband
Author(s):

Alison Sinclair

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151906.003.0005

Adulteresses' husbands represented in the nineteenth-century adultery novels discussed in this chapter range through the entire spectrum from cuckold to man of honour, with the majority moving between the two. The chapter takes examples of texts where the husband can most closely be aligned with one or other of the models discussed so far: Madame Bovary, He Knew He Was Right, and Effi Briest. It then takes La Regenta as an example of a text where the treatment of the husband is more complex, but the central theme is still the husband's relation to infidelity. Dombey and Son and The Kreutzer Sonata are then taken as examples of narratives containing powerful subtexts of denial and splitting in the face of emotion and sexuality. Finally, Anna Karenina provides a text where the complexity of the husband's reaction to infidelity is set in a web of meditation upon marriage and society.

Keywords:   adultery novels, cuckold, honour, husband, Effi Briest, La Regenta, infidelity, Dombey and Son, Kreutzer Sonata, Anna Karenina

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