1 The Catastrophe of the Wedding Night 1
2 Divorce, a ‘Judaic Poison’ 8
3 The Nuptial Utopia 15
4 From Forbidden Love to Obligatory Love 21
5 The Pathologies of the Ideal 28
6 Honey and Hemlock 35
7 The Round of Disappointed Lovers 40
8 Towards Separation in a State of Euphoria? 44
9 A Ministry of Broken Hearts? 50
10 An Agony Amidst Glory 57
11 The Liberating Tradition 62
12 Restoring Reason to Sentiment 68
13 Together, Separated 75
14 The Defeat of Prometheus 79
The Sweetness of Life 85
"This small, wise book takes on a very large question: why has modern marriage failed so catastrophically, so dramatically? With his usual eloquence, irony and taste for paradox, Pascal Bruckner carefully exposes the roots of the problem and argues that despite our modern 'realism' about love and sexuality, we have idealized and overburdened the institution and practice of marriage to an impossible extent. To be married today, Bruckner tells us, is nothing short of a Promethean task. For those interested in the cultural history of the institution and a meditation on our current malaise - our current crisis? - Has Marriage for Love Failed? is a must- read."
Richard J. Golsan, Texas A&M University
"For forty years, historians and sociologists have gradually been uncovering the history of private life, and especially of marriage for love. Pascal Bruckner examines their work, beginning with the key question 'Is marriage for love finished?' - on which he casts a penetrating eye."
Luc Ferry, author of On Love and Learning to Live: A User’s Manual
"Pascal Bruckner puts his finger on the social and existential question of the moment: can marriage be combined with enduring love? This is not a self-help book but rather the work of an astute writer and philosopher, written with elegance and style."
- This is a brilliant book on the state of love and marriage today by a leading philosopher and social thinker.
- Bruckner shows how, over the last couple of centuries in the West, the traditional relationship between love and marriage has changed: in the past, marriage was sacred and love, if it existed at all, was secondary, whereas today love is the most important thing and marriage is secondary.
- Now, with growing rates of divorce and declining numbers of weddings, marriage itself seems to be in trouble. So is the idea of marrying for love now finished?
- Bruckner argues that the old tension between love and marriage has not been resolved in favour of love but has simply been displaced onto other levels.
- This sharp, original and very readable book will appeal to a wide general readership interested in the changing nature of love and marriage today.