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New Dangerous Liaisons

New Dangerous Liaisons: Discourses on Europe and Love in the Twentieth Century

Luisa Passerini
Liliana Ellena
Alexander C.T. Geppert
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 332
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  • Book Info
    New Dangerous Liaisons
    Book Description:

    In Europe, love has been given a prominent place in European self-representations from the Enlightenment onwards. The category of love, stemming from private and personal spheres, was given a public function and used to distinguish European civilisation from others. Contributors to this volume trace historical links and analyse specific connections between the two discourses on love and Europe over the course of the twentieth century, exploring the distinctions made between the public and private, the political and personal. In doing so, this volume develops an innovative historiography that includes such resources as autobiographies, love letters, and cinematic representations, and takes issue with the exclusivity of Eurocentrism. Its contributors put forth hypotheses about the historical pre-eminence of emotions and consider this history as a basis for a non-Eurocentric understanding of new possible European identities.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-976-5
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)
    Luisa Passerini

    The project ‘Europe: Emotions, Identities, Politics’, held at the Kulturwis-senschaftliches Institut, Essen, was intended to study the complex connection that has existed during the last two and a half centuries between the sense of belonging to Europe, on the one hand, and the concepts of courtly and romantic love, on the other. Since the Enlightenment, the claim was put forward that the sense of belonging to Europe was characterised by a type of love considered unique to the relationships between the genders in this continent and to the type of civilisation developed in Europe in the modern era. The sentiment,...

  5. Part I. Historicising Love:: Points de Repère/Points of Reference

    • CHAPTER 1 Love and Religion: Comparative Comments
      (pp. 21-32)
      Jack Goody

      The topic of love is not the domain of one discipline alone, but of a more general debate, by sociologists, historians and psychologists as well as by anthropologists. The anthropological perspective is essential, even for the past, because it deals with other cultures, especially so called pre-industrial ones. Nobody can judge the singularity of the institutions of one culture or one ‘stage’ without looking at others. That is most important in dealing with love, as, in my view, Europeans, scholars and citizens alike have been guilty of a ‘theft of history’ in appropriating love, particularly romantic love, for their own...

    • CHAPTER 2 The Rule of Love: The History of Western Romantic Love in Comparative Perspective
      (pp. 33-57)
      William M. Reddy

      Sociologists have paid close attention to the remarkable post-war ‘triumph’ of love in the Western industrialised countries.¹ But love has received relatively little explicit attention in other fields – and this at a time when scholarly work on ‘genders’, ‘sexualities’ and ‘desire’ has gained unquestioned academic legitimacy. In critical theory, in literary and historical research, in theoretical formulations concerning culture, discourse, agency and performance, love has come up, but usually only tangentially. Even when love is a central issue of their work, authors in these fields prefer to highlight their concern with sexuality or desire.²

      This selective focus on genders,...

    • CHAPTER 3 Love of State – Affection for Authority: Politics of Mass Participation in Twentieth Century European Contexts
      (pp. 58-74)
      Alf Lüdtke

      What feelings drive people to long for or, at least, to welcome domination and those who dominate?¹ How might we re-configure notions of mass politics so as to make them more sensitive for the expression of the political practices of the many? In other words, what would a notion of the political look like that conceives of mass groups who act as agents – to produce, not just rule, acts of domination including such awesome manifestations as Nazism and the Second World War?

      Analyses of modernity take a strong focus on those designs and efforts that ‘order’ things and people...

    • CHAPTER 4 Overseas Europeans: Whiteness and the Impossible Colonial Romance in Interwar Italy
      (pp. 75-94)
      Liliana Ellena

      The set of discourses connecting love with modernity has intersected the positioning of Europe over other cultures in various ways. Scholars in the field of cultural history and anthropology have underscored the connection between the canonisation of courtly love and the Eurocentric presuppositions that fulfilled the age of imperialism, criticising the assumption that romantic love was unique to European civilisation.¹ Other connections may be found in the nineteenth century shift from discourses onars amatoriatoscientia sexualisin the field of social sciences. Caroline Arni has remarked, for example, how, at the end of the century, part of the...

    • CHAPTER 5 ‘Window to Europe’: The Social and Cinematic Phantasms of the Post-Soviet Subject
      (pp. 95-114)
      Almira Ousmanova

      The following article analyses cinematic representations of post-Soviet subjects marked by the collapse of the Socialist economic and political system, the loss of former ideological reference points and the introduction of a market economy and consumer values. It focuses on the filmWindow to Paris(Yurij Mamin, 1993), which explores projections and anxieties related to the problem of access to Europe. The film narrates a phantasmagorical story of a direct transfer to Paris through a window, leading to a love relationship between a Russian man and a French woman. The cinematic narrative encodes various strategic modes of relationship with Europe,...

  6. Part II. Public and Private Loves

    • CHAPTER 6 Love in the Time of Revolution: The Polish Poets of Café Ziemiańska
      (pp. 117-136)
      Marci Shore

      For Polish poets born at thefin-de-siècle, life was unbearably heavy. They were a particular generation, the last to be educated under the partitioning empires and the first to come of age in the universities of independent Poland. Now the patriotic burden of poets had been mercifully lifted, and the young poet Jan Lechoń captured a certain temporal ethos when he wrote: ‘And in the spring let me see spring, not Poland.’¹ These poets were Poles and Europeans; many were ‘non-Jewish Jews’, in their sometimes-friend Isaac Deutscher’s words, who very much felt themselves to be Poles. They spoke Russian and...

    • CHAPTER 7 Love, Marriage and Divorce: American and European Reactions to the Abdication of Edward VIII
      (pp. 137-157)
      Alexis Schwarzenbach

      The abdication of Edward VIII in order to marry Wallis Simpson in December 1936 was one of the most publicised love stories of the twentieth century.¹ As it involved a European and an American protagonist and made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic, it is an ideal case to study attitudes toward love in America and Europe. The first part of this article analyses and compares the representation of this Anglo-American love story by the American, British and European media. This section is not only based on newspaper archives, but also on previously unexplored British Foreign Office reports summarising...

    • CHAPTER 8 ‘Dear Adolf!’: Locating Love in Nazi Germany
      (pp. 158-177)
      Alexander C.T. Geppert

      Starting with Heinrich Mann in 1933, both contemporaneous observers and contemporary historians have struggled with the problem of Adolf Hitler’s physical attractiveness, his ‘dreadful sex appeal’ and the considerable emotional effect he had on so many of his followers.¹ Traudl Junge (1920–2002), his long-time private secretary, sketched a number of episodes that illustrate Hitler’s apparently irresistible erotic power and sexual fascination in her bestselling 1947 autobiographyBis zur letzten Stunde. According to Junge, neither women nor men could resist him. ‘Before the war, the gates were opened once a day when Hitler began his daily walk, and then people...

    • CHAPTER 9 Love, Again: Crisis and the Search for Consolation in the Revista de Occidente, 1926–1936
      (pp. 178-196)
      Alison Sinclair

      In the relationship of Spain to Europe in the early twentieth century, and up to the outbreak of Civil War in 1936, theRevista de Occidente(RO) occupies a special position.¹ Founded in 1923, under the direction of Ortega y Gasset,RO’spurpose was to be a major conduit for ideas from abroad to reach Spain. It aimed at a well-educated and cultured elite, and was deliberately and explicitly non-political.ROwas, however, only part of a complex structure of cultural exchanges between Spain and Europe in this period, a complexity to be seen in the wide spectrum of Ortega’s...

    • CHAPTER 10 Political Readings of Don Juan and Romantic Love in Spain from the 1920s to the 1940s
      (pp. 197-212)
      Jo Labanyi

      Walter Mignolo has argued that the 1898 Spanish-American War in the Caribbean and the Philippines marked an epochal shift in the world system, ending the period of Western European hegemony instituted in 1492, as the United States entered the world stage as an imperial power.¹ Spanish intellectuals were quick to recognise this shift since Spain had been the direct victim of US aggression. In fact, in the seventeenth century, Spain had already lost its place as the centre of Western European hegemony as Amsterdam took over from Seville as the centre of Atlantic trade.² The early twentieth century saw a...

  7. Part III. European Borders and Cultural Differences in Love Relations

    • CHAPTER 11 Between Europe and the Atlantic: The Melancholy Paths of Lusotropicalism
      (pp. 215-232)
      Margarida Calafate Ribeiro

      An overview of the history of Portuguese expansion and imperialism shows that Portugal tended to define itself simultaneously as the centre of a colonial empire and a periphery of Europe: in the words of Boaventura Sousa Santos, as a semi-periphery.¹ Portugal’s ambiguous position was, early in its history, inscribed in frequent references to the country’s geographical location. In his first chronicle of the expansion (1449–1450), Gomes Eanes de Zurara states: ‘here on one side the sea hems us in and on the other we face the wall of the Kingdom of Castile’.² The notion of a siege implied by...

    • CHAPTER 12 The ‘Volkskörper’ in Fear: Gender, Race and Sexuality in the Weimar Republic
      (pp. 233-250)
      Sandra Mass

      In the aftermath of the First World War, the concept ofRaum(space) gained new importance in both German literature and political debates. Although it had already been present in the geopolitical and colonial planning for the ‘imperial infrastructure’, as the historian Dirk van Laak has recently shown, the synthesis ofRaumandVolk(people) only became widely recognized publicly in the Weimar Republic.¹ The geographic position of Germany, the handing over of territories in the wake of the Versailles Treaty and the loss of the German colonies were all lamented in post-war discourses on the ‘national narrowness’ by almost...

    • CHAPTER 13 Anica Savić Rebac, Olga Freidenberg, Edith Stein: Love in the Time of War
      (pp. 251-268)
      Svetlana Slapšak

      I do not want to theorise on love as a counterpart of war, and thus to diminish the immeasurable dimensions of war, compared to any other human and social activity – or worse, to fall into the trap of naive and blurring stereotypes on love preventing war, or stopping it. Anyone remembering the 1960s and 1970s could ponder on how love was merely an often unsuccessful rhetoric gimmick appealing to underlying cultural layers of the discourse of Christianity, while hard political and public work was necessary in organising the anti-war movements in many countries, which were aimed at stopping the...

    • CHAPTER 14 Secular Couplings: An Intergenerational Affair with Islam
      (pp. 269-288)
      Ruth Mas

      In 1995, Alain Ruscio launched a study of French colonial discrimination in the Maghreb in which, discussing mixed marriages, he provocatively asks, ‘Are the two communities at least able to encounter each other, to come to know each other better through the most natural of relations, love?’¹ Some of the most salient questioning of the acceptance of Franco-Maghrebi Muslims into France has centred on the physical and emotional coupling of members of the two communities. Since at least France’s colonial project of assimilation, its claims for the ‘liberation’ of the Maghreb have gone hand in hand with mixed marriages in...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 289-293)
  9. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 294-300)
  10. Index
    (pp. 301-323)