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New Directions in Law and Literature$
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Elizabeth S. Anker and Bernadette Meyler

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456368.001.0001

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Regulatory Fictions

Regulatory Fictions

On Marriage and Countermarriage

(p.294) Chapter 17 Regulatory Fictions
New Directions in Law and Literature

Elizabeth F. Emens

Oxford University Press

Same-sex marriage debates in recent years have prompted a broader questioning of the institution of marriage. This chapter argues that we should take this opportunity to imagine the widest possible range of alternatives to our current marriage regime—or what this chapter calls countermarriage regimes. The chapter draws on an unlikely source of legal innovation to expand our thinking about marriage alternatives: literature. Literature offers an array of countermarriage regimes, including exploding marriage, three-strikes marriage, line marriage, renewable marriage, and exculpatory marriage. In addition to opening our minds to countermarriage possibilities, the chapter shows some overlooked synergies between law and literature.

Keywords:   family law, marriage, law and literature, literature as law, alternatives to marriage

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