Erotic Faith

Being in Love from Jane Austen to D. H. Lawrence

Robert M. Polhemus

Erotic Faith
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Robert M. Polhemus

371 pages | 8 color plates, 10 halftones | 6-5/8 x 9-1/4 | © 1990
Cloth $52.50 ISBN: 9780226673226 Published August 1990
In this profoundly original and far-reaching study, Robert M. Polhemus shows how novels have helped to make erotic love a matter of faith in modern life. Erotic faith, Polhemus argues, is an emotional conviction—ultimately religious in nature—that meaning, value, hope, and even the possibility of transcendence can be found in love.

Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, Polhemus shows the reciprocity of love as subject, the novel as form, and faith as motive in important works by Jane Austen, Walter Scott, the Brontës, Dickens, George Eliot, Trollope, Thomas Hardy, Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Beckett. Throughout, Polhemus relates the novelists' representation of love to that of such artists as Botticelli, Vermeer, Claude Lorrain, Redon, and Klimt. Juxtaposing their paintings with nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts both reveals the ways in which novels develop and individualize common erotic and religious themes and illustrates how the novel has influenced our perception of all art.
Contents
Preface
1: Faith, Love, and the Art of the Novel: "The Feather Plucked from Cupid's Wing"
2: The Fortunate Fall: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813)
3: Fatal Love and Eroticizing History: Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor (1819)
4: The Passionate Calling: Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights (1847)
5: Faithful Repression and Erotic Enchantment: Charlotte Bronte's Villette (1853)
6: The Fixation of Love: Charles Dickens's Great Expectations (1860-61)
7: In Love with Moistness: George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss (1860)
8: The Mirror of Desire: Anthony Trollope's Phineas Finn/Phineas Redux (1869-74)
9: Pastoral Erotics: Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)
10: Tristan Is Sold: The Joyce of Love and the Language of Flow(er)s (1904-39)
11: The Prophet of Love and the Resurrection of the Body: D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928)
Epilogue: The Art of Love and Love among the Ruins
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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