THE ART OF FRIENDSHIP by Ernest & Christine Leefeldt Callenbach


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If friendship is an art, interviewers Callenbach and Leefeldt haven't succeeded in distilling or conveying its creative essence; what we are left with is not the dynamics but the generalizations that make for smooth copy: ""American men are discovering that they no longer need to shortchange the emotional side of their nature."" The method of exploration may be the prime culprit here: breaking down a subject like friendship into so many units, such as ""Women's Friendships,"" ""Friendship in the Gay World,"" and ""Friendship and Power,"" yields fewer insights than it does truisms. Some conclusions, then: since friends are our ""family of choice,"" parents bear the responsibility for presenting adult friendship models to children as they grow up. Marriage should not be allowed to interfere with independent friendships; the strain on the relationship becomes too great. All friendships have sexual components which must be recognized and dealt with. And so on, ad infinitum. These limp findings are heavily padded with situational examples, which tend to further erode any lingering bite they might have. Altogether an unnecessary exercise.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Pantheon