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Other titles in the Sexual Cultures series:

Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled (Sexual Cultures)

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Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled (Sexual Cultures) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What single person hasn't suffered? Everyone, it seems, must be (or must want to be) in a couple. To exist outside of the couple is to assume an antisocial position that is ruthlessly discouraged because being in a couple is the way most people bind themselves to the social. Singles might just be the single most reviled sexual minorities today. 
 
Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled offers a polemic account of this supremacy of the couple form, and how that supremacy blocks our understanding of the single. Michael Cobb reads the figurative language surrounding singleness as it traverses an eclectic set of literary, cultural, philosophical, psychoanalytical, and popular culture objects from Plato, Freud, Ralph Ellison, Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf, Barack Obama, Emily Dickinson, Morrissey, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Hannah Arendt to the Bible, Sex and the City, Bridget Jones' Diary, Beyoncé's “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It),” and HBO's Big Love. Within these flights of fancy, poetry, fiction, strange moments in film and video, paintings made in the desert, bits of song, and memoirs of hiking in national parks, Cobb offers an inspired, eloquent rumination on the single, which is guaranteed to spark conversation and consideration. 

Review:

"In this sortie against the tyranny of couples, University of Toronto English professor Cobb (God Hates Fags: The Rhetorics of Religious Violence) musters theoretical perspectives and close readings of literary and cultural texts to probe the psychic 'wound' at the base of the romantic relationship. Meditating on the single's role in a world made for two, he argues that the single's supposed loneliness is actually a projection of the couple's 'moribund desperation' over its own fragility. The book, perhaps ironically, uses a halved structure, with its first two chapters exploring the problems of the couple, and the final two plotting models of singleness and their strengths. Some of Cobb's various sources include HBO's Big Love, Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red, the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe and Agnes Martin, the film Love Story, Beyoncé's 'Single Ladies,' the political theories of Hannah Arendt, and his own trek through the Utah desert. Although the book is deliberately provocative, with its evocations of the couple's 'steely, enduring logic' and 'toxic emotional restraints,' it's most helpful to see Cobb's radical critique not as an ode to unattached monasticism but as suggestions for how the single perspective's solitude, privacy, and freedom can open up vistas — even in the lives of the happily coupled. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Michael Cobb is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Product Details

ISBN:
9780814772553
Author:
Cobb, Michael
Publisher:
New York University Press
Author:
Reid, Malcolm
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
World History-Canada
Subject:
anthropology;cultural anthropology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
239

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Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
» History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
» History and Social Science » Sociology » General
» History and Social Science » World History » Canada

Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled (Sexual Cultures) New Trade Paper
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Product details 239 pages New York University Press - English 9780814772553 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this sortie against the tyranny of couples, University of Toronto English professor Cobb (God Hates Fags: The Rhetorics of Religious Violence) musters theoretical perspectives and close readings of literary and cultural texts to probe the psychic 'wound' at the base of the romantic relationship. Meditating on the single's role in a world made for two, he argues that the single's supposed loneliness is actually a projection of the couple's 'moribund desperation' over its own fragility. The book, perhaps ironically, uses a halved structure, with its first two chapters exploring the problems of the couple, and the final two plotting models of singleness and their strengths. Some of Cobb's various sources include HBO's Big Love, Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red, the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe and Agnes Martin, the film Love Story, Beyoncé's 'Single Ladies,' the political theories of Hannah Arendt, and his own trek through the Utah desert. Although the book is deliberately provocative, with its evocations of the couple's 'steely, enduring logic' and 'toxic emotional restraints,' it's most helpful to see Cobb's radical critique not as an ode to unattached monasticism but as suggestions for how the single perspective's solitude, privacy, and freedom can open up vistas — even in the lives of the happily coupled. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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