Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226136936 Published March 2012
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226136950 Published March 2012

Uncivil Unions

The Metaphysics of Marriage in German Idealism and Romanticism

Adrian Daub

Adrian Daub

376 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2012
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226136936 Published March 2012
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226136950 Published March 2012

“What a strange invention marriage is!” wrote Kierkegaard. “Is it the expression of that inexplicable erotic sentiment, that concordant elective affinity of souls, or is it a duty or a partnership . . . or is it a little of all that?”

Like Kierkegaard a few decades later, many of Germany’s most influential thinkers at the turn of the eighteenth century wondered about the nature of marriage but rejected the easy answers provided by biology and theology. In Uncivil Unions, Adrian Daub presents a truly interdisciplinary look at the story of a generation of philosophers, poets, and intellectuals who turned away from theology, reason, common sense, and empirical observation to provide a purely metaphysical justification of marriage.

Through close readings of philosophers like Fichte and Schlegel, and novelists like Sophie Mereau and Jean Paul, Daub charts the development of this new concept of marriage with an insightful blend of philosophy, cultural studies, and theory. The author delves deeply into the lives and work of the romantic and idealist poets and thinkers whose beliefs about marriage continue to shape ideas about gender, marriage, and sex to the present day.

Gerald Izenberg, Washington University in St. Louis
“This is an extremely intelligent and erudite work on a fascinating and significant topic.  Adrian Daub has complete conceptual and symbolic mastery of a very difficult body of philosophical thought and complex literary texts. His insights into the relationship between literary creation and sexual procreation represent a brilliant contribution to the understanding of the metaphysics of marriage.”
Richard T. Eldridge, Swarthmore College

“Is it philosophy or political theory or literary analysis? Is it history of ideas or gender studies or cultural studies? I am convinced that this is an utterly original, brilliantly insightful, and scrupulously argued contribution to all of these areas.  I cannot think of any text that treats this period (or any other period, for that matter) with this kind of richness. A powerful, sound, and insightful work.”

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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