The Dangerous Lover: Gothic Villains, Byronism, and the Nineteenth-Century Seduction Narrative

Overview

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 Brontes, and the tormented individualism of twentieth-century love narratives. The Dangerous Lover is the first book-length study of this pervasive literary hero; it also challenges the tendency of ...
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Overview

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 Brontes, and the tormented individualism of twentieth-century love narratives. 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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814210345
  • Publisher: Ohio State University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 117
  • Sales rank: 1,263,355
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The erotics of ontology : the mass-market erotic historical romance and Heideggerian failed presence (1921-2003) 1
2 The spectral other and erotic melancholy : the Gothic demon lover and the early seduction narrative rake (1532-1822) 29
3 Love as homesickness : longing for a transcendental home in Byron and the Brontes (1811-1847) 48
4 The absurdity of the sublime : the regency dandy and the malevolent seducer (1825-1897) 68
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2008

    A reviewer

    The figure of the dangerous lover crops up in blockbuster movies, pulp fiction, harlequin romance novels, as well as more 'literary' fiction and films. He is a staple figure of our collective imagination and his presence seems almost synonymous with romance--excepting perhaps feature films of the romantic comedy variety. Strange then, that this book by Dr. Deborah Lutz should be the first and only one I've run across to explore and dissect this figure, his character and history. An academic book of this nature could easily become just an exercise in collating footnotes and obscure material instead, Dr. Lutz opts for a more meditative, essayistic approach to her subject, something akin perhaps to Didion, Barthes, or Benjamin. The method fits the subject matter well as the dangerous lover could be considered part of our collective dreamscape and therefore benefits from a study that ambles through our cultural sensorium and recollections in a fashion largely informed and choreographed by the character of the dangerous lover himself. What is thrilling about the book is its ability to deal in Heidegger as well as harlequin romance without missing a beat or without making these different literary realms seem incongruous or affected. While at times the arguments in Dr. Lutz's prose can meander disconcertingly as they render her topic, they are nevertheless guided by a prevailing wind of deep, thoughtful, and studious reflection on her subject--a subject that, whether we like to admit it or not, has an incredibly deep hold on our inner life, whether in our romantic attachments, our sense of self, or our consumption of entertainment. I found it very well worth the read for its ability to both broaden my understanding of various literary genres, as well as helping me understand aspects of my self and self-development in new and interesting light. Buy it and enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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