LOVE DECLARED by Denis de Rougemont


Email this review


Allowing for a few fancy flourishes of rhetoric, generally known as double talk, de Rougemont's latest examination of the relation between religion and the erotic is a work of sizeable substance and significance. He further eleborates the subtleties of his justly famous Love in the Western World, bringing the disciplines of philosophy, theology and literature, at times, marvelously to light, and presenting in-depth discussions of the Western psyche and its problems. For the Frenchman, attempting then a mythanalysis of culture, Christian existentialism reasserts the dialectic of love and of the person, an order of realities exemplified in the mind-body-soul phenomenon, and illustrated through the works of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche in particular, and novelists such as Gide, Nabokov, Pasternak and Musil in general. When dealing with the representational characters of Tristan and Don Juan, both celebrants of a doomed passion, the latter through sensuality and the former through supersensuousness, de Rougemont's thesis takes on an almost frightening profundity. Clearly a compelling clarification of the continuing conflict in the modern world between Eros and Agape. A must for scholars.

Pub Date: May 7th, 1963
Publisher: antheon