Tawards the end of the twentieth century literary critics stopped falling in love. They still had amorous feelings towards one another, of course, but they became reluctant to talk about it in these terms. The chief reason for this was that in literary theory the idea of romantic love came to be regarded as subjectivist, mystifying and vague, not sufficiently materialistic. It ceased to be a viable concept. Instead, critics pursued and endured relationships of power and desire. Both of these terms seem to have something more sinewy, more alienating about them that allows the critic to get behind the vague and often subjective uses of the word ‘love’, enabling him or her to understand the history and politics of sexual relations. ‘Love is not love’, as Shakespeare anticipates in sonnet 116.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- Love, or What You Will
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number