Infidelity as crisis or new beginning

This is a an exciting collaborative research project facilitated by the Love Research Network:

Working title: Crises or new beginnings? Adultery and (involuntary) triangular relationships in contemporary literature and films

 Joachim Harst (Bonn, Germany) & Sandra Vlasta (Vienna, Austria)

Infidelity commonly is regarded as a moment of crisis in a relationship. It might even lead to the end of a relationship, legally it can be a reason for divorce, the end of matrimony. Contrary to this view, we would like to understand adultery rather as a form of relationship, not as its end. The bond of matrimony and its modern day equivalent of long-term relationships intrinsically include moments of rupture and betrayal.

This can be readily exemplified by a number of recent books and films which deal with adultery and/or triangular relationships. Starting with the fundamental question whether these constellations are rather depicted as crises or as new beginnings, we will proceed with analyses on different levels: on the level of contents/plot and on the level of structure and medium. Finally, we will also look at the relation between fictionality and infidelity/adultery.

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