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Marjorie Garber:
Sex and Real Estate
Marjorie Garber
  Sex and Real Estate  
Marjorie Garber    
essay

an excerpt



  In Sex and Real Estate,Marjorie Garber, William R. Kenan, Jr. Pofessor of English and Director of the Center for the Humanities at Harvard University, explores the psychosocial and -sexual elements that inform the courtship of house and buyer and the purchased commitment in the relationship of home and owner.

High and low quotes are sourced widely from Pride & Prejudice, The Money Pit, Wallpaper, Sigmund Freud, and Jacques Lacan as Garber investigates the deeply charged response we have to the homes we had, have and crave. Garber believes that our relationships to our homes are as intensely emotional as our relationships to our loved ones.

In her discussion of "The House as Mother," Garber describes the resonance of a house when it is symbolically associated with the iconic Mother as a source of unconditional love, comfort, nurturing, and protection. Note that she isn't referring to the actual reality-based mother. "The House as Beloved" is again a fiction of a love fantasy. Here charm and attractiveness are bestowed upon a homeowner when those attributes might be less apparent in a more modest setting setting or one that was not his or her own. This aphrodisiac quality extends to "The House as Trophy" as in an aesthetically traded-up trophy wife and "The Summer House," a light-hearted fling, often rented, that welcomes the householder afresh each season at the peak of the earth's fecundity.

Sex and Real Estate is part show house, part open house and as illuminating and entertaining as a tour through either. In this issue of Bold Type, you'll find an essay by Marjorie Garberabout a summer house rendezvous and an excerpt from Sex and Real Estate.

--Catherine McWeeney
 
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  Photo of Majorie Garber copyright © Beverly Hall

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