Michael Bryson; Arpi Movsesian

Published On


Page Range

pp. 1-36

Print Length

35 pages

1. Love and Authority: Love Poetry and its Critics

The introduction establishes the overall concerns of the book, arguing that love, as treated in literature, has often been cast as a resistant force, a disobedience in the face of cultural figures and forces that demand obedience. The arguments for and against obedience as the prime virtue of a human life are outlined—ranging from Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin, to Étienne de La Boétie, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Milton. Finally, the kind of literary criticism that relies on the notion of unveiling what is hidden is outlined through a discussion of Ricoeur and Heidegger, and that criticism is tied back to the cultural figures and forces that demand obedience by way of suggesting the historical relation such criticism has to love as portrayed in poetry, beginning as early as the Song of Songs.


Arpi Movsesian