THE FANTASY GAME: How Male and Female Fantasies Affect Our Lives by

THE FANTASY GAME: How Male and Female Fantasies Affect Our Lives

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It would be nice to see a seriously innovative book on the vogue which has thus far produced Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden (1973) and William Slattery's The Erotic Imagination (p. 293). This isn't it. Dr. Dally, a British psychiatrist, dillies his way through a handful of cliches about childhood sexuality, plays Pin the Tail on the Masochist (Hamlet and Kim Philby were S, Macbeth and Hitler M), and offers a clumsy, bromide-filled chronology of sexual repression through the ages (after witch-burning went out, the heirs of the Christian anti-sex tradition thought up a new scapegoat--masturbation--which takes us nicely up to the 20th century). There are, of course, strings of sample fantasies, recited with the commanding insight of an audio parts catalogue. Once or twice a substantial issue floats into view--for example, the effect of pornography on people who have especially violent sadistic fantasies and a blurred perception of the line between inner and outer worlds. But it all gets sloughed off with more platitudes about the need to ""come to terms with our fantasies"" before we can ali have better marriages (stop being afraid to share your fantasies with your spouse) and build a society defused of the vicarious-gratification impulses that lie at the root of wars, power politics, and mass cults. Sloppy and superficial.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Stein & Day