This course studies five iconic nineteenth- and twentieth-century narratives which are about the experience and impact of overwhelming desire. Desire in these texts is always transgressive. But how is such transgression presented? Is it liberating or destructive? Can it be both? How does the reader relate to the protagonists and their transgressive desires? Are we invited to take sides, apportion blame or sit in judgement? These are just some of the questions which will be explored in this revealing and risqué course.