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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

(p.277) 7 Conclusion: Love and Death
The Deceived Husband

Alison Sinclair

Oxford University Press

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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