Modern Love: Romance, Intimacy, and the Marriage Crisis

Modern Love: Romance, Intimacy, and the Marriage Crisis

by David Shumway
Pub. Date:
New York University Press
Select a Purchase Option
  • purchase options
    $21.60 $27.00 Save 20% Current price is $21.6, Original price is $27. You Save 20%.
  • purchase options


Modern Love: Romance, Intimacy, and the Marriage Crisis

“My ideas of romance came from the movies,” said Woody Allen, and it is to the movies—as well as to novels, advice columns, and self-help books—that David Shumway turns for his history of modern love.

Modern Love argues that a crisis in the meaning and experience of marriage emerged when it lost its institutional function of controlling the distribution of property, and instead came to be seen as a locus for feelings of desire, togetherness, and loss. Over the course of the twentieth century, partly in response to this crisis, a new language of love—“intimacy”—emerged, not so much replacing but rather coexisting with the earlier language of “romance.”

Reading a wide range of texts, from early twentieth-century advice columns and their late twentieth-century antecedent, the relationship self-help book, to Hollywood screwball comedies, and from the “relationship films” of Woody Allen and his successors to contemporary realist novels about marriages, Shumway argues that the kinds of stories the culture has told itself have changed. Part layperson’s history of marriage and romance, part meditation on intimacy itself, Modern Love will be both amusing and interesting to almost anyone who thinks about relationships (and who doesn’t?).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814798317
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2003
Pages: 269
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Brief History of Love1
1Romance in the Romance and the Novel31
2Romancing Marriage: Advice Books and the Crisis63
3Marriage as Adultery: Hollywood Romance and the Screwball Comedy81
4Power Struggles: Casablanca and Gone with the Wind110
5Talking Cures: The Discourse of Intimacy133
6Relationship Stories157
7Marriage Fiction188
Conclusion: Other Media, Other Discourses: The Crisis Continues215
About the Author269

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews