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Love and Happiness is a profound meditation on the meaning of eros, the creative and disturbing power usually thought of as romantic love. Four of the greatest artists of the Western world lead a pilgrimage through the erotic cosmos, exploring real-world dilemmas that they knew well and that still bedevil us. First we follow in Dante’s footsteps from Inferno to Paradiso, then Shakespeare is our guide to Hell, Jane Austen to Purgatory, and Al Green to Paradise. Some of their stories are horrifying, showing the devastation that warped love can wreak. Some are inspiring, helping us imagine what a gift love can be in our own lives. Reading these stories together, Love and Happiness offers a vision of love that’s complex, sobering, and ultimately deeply comforting.
Craig Werner teaches literature, music and cultural history at the University of Wisconsin. He is member of the Nominating Committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the author of A Change Is Gonna Come Music: Race and the Soul of America. He lives in Madison, WI. Rhonda Mawhood Lee is a priest, independent scholar, and spiritual director. She is the author of Through with Kings and Armies and currently serves as associate rector of St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Durham, NC.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents Chapter One: Love Is the Seed, or, Dante’s Garden of Demons and Delight Chapter Two: Shakespeare’s Blues, or, How Did I End Up in Hell, and Why Is It So Hard To Get Out? Chapter Three: Jane Austen’s Guide to the Feminist Purgatory, or, He (or sometimes She) Seemed Just Fine Until . Chapter Four: It’s You I Want, but It’s Him that I Need, or, Imagining Paradise with the Reverend Al Green