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(reminder: all quotes here are fiddled, probably.)

scenes from a marriage (toc)

  • 溯洄從之

  • == 1. Innocence and panic ==

    1.1 the interview
    1.2 love is necessary
    1.3 dinner guests
    1.4 marianne and katarina
    1.5 after-dinner confession
    1.6 questions
    1.7 a difficuit decision
    1.8 aftermath


    Johan and Marianne have been happily married for ten years. Johan is an associate professor, and Marianne is a lawyer specializing in family law. They lead a comfortable life with their two daughters.

    One day they have Peter and Katarina over for dinner. After dinner, their guests start to quarrel dramatically. Their conflict lies in emotional and material ties, and they struggle violently to break free from each other. Their loyal friends do their best to mediate between them.

    A few weeks later, Marianne discovers she's pregnant. Johan takes the news calmly, but without enthusiasm. After deliberation, they decide that Marianne will have an abortion. They try to play down the issue, but Marianne experiences unexpected qualms.


    == 2. The art of sweeping things under the rug ==

    2.1 recap
    2.2 longing for change
    2.3 winging it
    2.4 eva and johan
    2.5 a loveless marriage
    2.6 in a rut
    2.7 an intimate conversation


    Johan and Marianne have been happily married for ten years. They lead a comfortable life with their two daughters. One day Marianne declares that she wants to back out of Sunday dinner with the folks. This spark of defiance is snuffed out.

    Eva, a colleague, comes to see Johan in the lab. She has read Johan's poems, poems he has kept secret. She pans his poems as kindly as possible, but Johan is devastated.

    A woman, Mrs. Jacobi, comes to see Marianne. She wants to file for divorce after 20 years of marriage. She feels her marriage has been devoid of love
    and that this has caused her emotions to atrophy. Listening to her tale, Marianne feels inexplicably disturbed.

    Marianne and Johan meet for lunch. They try to reach out to each other but fail. That evening they begin to discuss their deteriorating sex life. However, confused and worried about the consequences, they decide to sweep matters under the rug instead.


    == 3. Paula ==

    3.1 recap
    3.2 revelation
    3.3 johan explains
    3.4 the morning after
    3.5 leaving
    3.6 betrayed by friends


    Johan and Marianne have lived together happily for ten years. They have settled conflicts on the best of terms, suppressing any hostility or menacing truths.

    One evening, Johan turns up unexpectedly at the summer cottage where Marianne and the girls are staying. He curtly tells his wife that he has fallen in love with another woman, Paula, and that they plan to leave for Paris the next morning and stay for at least eight months.

    He claims to want a clean break with the past and is brutally honest in his approach. Utterly unprepared for this, Marianne is devastated. After a night of emotional upheaval, they pack Johan's bags. When he is about to leave, Marianne starts to plead with him, but Johan leaves anyway.

    After he has left, she calls a family friend and asks him to speak to Johan.
    She finds out that several people in their circle knew all about Johan's affair with Paula. This news comes as an additional shock.


    == 4. The vale of tears ==

    4.1 recap
    4.2 reunion
    4.3 revelation and rejection
    4.4 marianne's diary
    4.5 a lover's call
    4.6 marianne's responds
    4.7 a lover's letter (from paula)


    Johan and Marianne have been happily married for ten years. They had a good life surrounded by family and friends. One day, like a bolt from the blue, Johan tells his wife he has fallen in love with Paula, that he plans to go abroad with her for eight months, and that their marriage is over.

    Since then, a year has passed and Marianne has recovered a little. One day, Johan calls her. She asks him over for dinner. They both act a bit reserved when they meet.

    After a while, Johan begins to tell Marianne about a job he's been offered in the States, an offer he feels honored to receive. It's also an excellent opportunity to get rid of Paula, who is too histrionic and demanding.

    Marianne tries to tell Johan about her baby steps towards a new outlook on life, a more honest approach. Both of them are apprehensive and vulnerable. They decide to go to bed together. However, they fail to achieve any real intimacy, and Johan leaves.

    Once more, Marianne is left all alone.



    == 5. The illiterates ==

    5.1 recap
    5.2 divorce papers
    5.3 emotional illiterates
    5.4 marianne lashes out
    5.5 conflicated feelings
    5.6 violence erupts


    Johan and Marianne have been married for ten years. Since they never quarreled, they both believed they were happy. One day, Johan tells his wife he has met another woman and that their marriage is over.

    When several years have passed, they plan to finalize their divorce. One summer evening, they meet at Johan's office to sign the papers. However, this task turns out to be easier said than done. During the preceding year,
    Marianne has succeeded in finding herself. She feels assured of herself and enjoys life once more, while the opposite applies for Johan.

    His grand plans for the future have gone down the drain, and the authorities that fund his research have humiliated him. He feels hostile, crushed and insecure. He is still involved in a demanding and draining relationship with Paula.

    Suddenly he balks at getting divorced. This triggers a brawl between Johan and Marianne. The brawl turns into an altercation that leaves them drained.
    Long-suppressed aggressions surface, and the atmosphere is hostile when they sign the papers.



    == 6. In the middle of the night in a dark house somewhere in the world ==

    6.1 recap
    6.2 a visit with mother
    6.3 at the office
    6.4 rendezvous
    6.5 johan's acceptance
    6.6 experience
    6.7 different kinds of love

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