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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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Conclusion: Love and Death

Conclusion: Love and Death

Chapter:
(p.277) 7 Conclusion: Love and Death
Source:
The Deceived Husband
Author(s):

Alison Sinclair

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151906.003.0007

In Western literature, love and death appear regularly in conjunction with one another: death posited as the extreme, or perhaps the only possible expression, of true love; love, the only human experience one has that appears sufficient to stand in counterpoise to our inevitable and ever approaching mortality. This book argues that the representation of cuckoldry in literature provides an artistic containment for anxieties about physical waning, which will lead inexorably towards death. Here, comedy sweetens the pill, as does distance, relieving the reader of the pain of identification with a male character whose fate he would presumably rather not share. Honour literature moves to a different point on the scale, dealing with human emotional vulnerability by defence, by the splitting-off and projecting-out of unwanted weakness, including the susceptibility to love and passion.

Keywords:   Western literature, love, death, mortality, cuckoldry, honour, passion, weakness

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