A Brief Survey of Controversial Couples in Literature

You might know Diane Farr as agent Megan Reeves in the television series Numb3rs, but we prefer her in the FunnyOrDie skit, AssCastles. Farr recently released her “concept memoir,” titled, Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After, where she introduces her relationship with her Korean-American husband in order to explore how other couples and their families have dealt with miscegenation issues. Though the writing isn’t stellar, the fundamental premise is a good one, since we still very much live in a racist country, despite all the “post-race” discussions we all had following the 2008 presidential election.

With this in mind, we decided to run a list of 10 controversial couples in literature. We all know the forbidden romance between Romeo and Juliet and Heloise and Abelard, but what about other works of literature that feature transgressive love? The categories are as follows: Age difference, racial difference, star-crossing, class mixing, same-sex relationships, extramarital affairs, and our favorite: sibling love.

Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima – star-crossing + class tension

The star-crossed lovers, Kiyoaki Matsugae and Satoko Ayakura, are unable to marry due to class tensions and Kiyoaki’s provincial thick-headedness, which makes him both love and despise the beautiful, aristocratic Satoko. Like all good Mishima novels, it can only end in tragedy.