Saturday, June 24, 2023

Seven top obsessive love affairs in literature

Bronwyn Fischer is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s MFA program in creative writing. She also holds a BA from the University of Toronto. She now lives in Toronto with her wife, Emma.

Fischer's debut novel is The Adult.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven books that
encase the intensity of obsessive love. They are at times, devotions to a beloved, they are relics of love’s overwhelm, they are attempts by lovers to stop loving, to remember a different answer to the always-there question— how should life be?
One title on the list:
Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson’s nameless and genderless narrator asks, “You want love to be like this every day don’t you? 92 degrees even in the shade.”The book depicts an affair between the narrator and the beloved, Louise, a married woman.

Winterson depicts a love affair based on particularities: in Written on the Body, love is specific. It has a subject, a beloved. Winterson describes parts of her beloved’s body against the anatomical definitions of these parts, for example, drawing into focus the separation between a general understanding of a clavicle, and Louise’s collarbone in particular. This particularity is what makes losing love so painful—as Winterson’s narrator states, “[t]his hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no one else can fit it.”
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue