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In literary romance love operates as a narrative point of access, suspension, and ending: every element works toward its ultimate consummation. However, in the novels of Henry James, including The Golden Bowl, love is not fulfilled because it is intrinsically flawed. Here, I examine the broken nature of Jamesian love through two key philosophers, Jean-Luc Nancy and Martha Nussbaum, who assist in providing a rich theoretical dimension to the question of love’s representation. Ultimately, I address how love’s negative dialectic is elemental to narrative, thinking, and subjectivity.