Love's Body, Reissue of 1966 edition

Love's Body, Reissue of 1966 edition

Norman O. Brown
Copyright Date: 1996
Pages: 285
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pn8rx
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  • Book Info
    Love's Body, Reissue of 1966 edition
    Book Description:

    Originally published in 1966 and now recognized as a classic, Norman O. Brown's meditation on the condition of humanity and its long fall from the grace of a natural, instinctual innocence is available once more for a new generation of readers.Love's Bodyis a continuation of the explorations begun in Brown's famousLife Against Death. Rounding out the trilogy is Brown's brilliantApocalypse and/or Metamorphosis.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-91040-9
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
    N. O. Brown
  4. I Liberty
    (pp. 3-31)

    Freud’s myth of the rebellion of the sons against the father in the primal, prehistoric horde is not a historical explanation of origins, but a supra-historical archetype; eternally recurrent; a myth; an old, old story.

    Freud seems to project into prehistoric times the constitutional crisis of seventeenth-century England. The primal father isabsolute monarchof the horde; the females are hisproperty. The sons form aconspiracytooverthrowthe despot, and in the end substitute asocial contractwithequal rightsfor all. This anachronistic history directs us to look for the recurrence of the archetype in the seventeenth...

  5. II Nature
    (pp. 32-55)

    Fraternity comes into being after the sons are expelled from the family; when they form their own club, in the wilderness, away from home, away from women. The brotherhood is a substitute family, a substitute woman—alma mater.

    In puberty rites the boys are detached from their mothers, and given a new mother by initiation. In one of the Chinese secret societies in Singapore the oath was, “I swear that I shall know neither father nor mother, nor brother nor sister, nor wife nor child, but the brotherhood alone.” “And one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren...

  6. III Trinity
    (pp. 56-79)

    Turning and turning in the animal belly, the mineral belly, the belly of time. To find the way out: the poem.

    Paz, “Hacia el poema,”Aguila o Sol, 93.

    “The sleeper turns into himself and falls back into the womb.” “Sleep is a combination of regression and introversion. The dream space is both the mother’s womb and the dreamer’s body.” In the dream, in magic, in schizophrenia we return to the dual unity, mother and child, as one body. “The representation of the dual unity as one body and the libidinization of the separation situation is just the essence of...

  7. IV Unity
    (pp. 80-89)

    Is there a way out; an end to analysis; a cure; is there such a thing as health?

    To heal is to make whole, as in wholesome; to make one again; to unify or reunify: this is Eros in action. Eros is the instinct that makes for union, or unification, and Thanatos, the death instinct, is the instinct that makes for separation, or division.

    Crazy Jane in William Butler Yeats—Crazy Jane who is both the student and the teacher—says,

    Nothing can be sole or whole

    That has not been rent.

    We have been rent; there is no health...

  8. V Person
    (pp. 90-108)

    Personality ispersona, a mask. The world is a stage, the self a theatrical creation: “The self, then, as a performed character, is not an organic thing that has a specific location, whose fundamental fate is to be born, to mature, to die: it is a dramatic effect arising diffusely from a scene that is presented.” The self does not belong to its possessor. “He and his body merely provide the peg on which something of a collaborative manufacture will be hung for a time. The means for producing and maintaining selves do not reside inside the peg. . ....

  9. VI Representative
    (pp. 109-125)

    When the problem in psychoanalysis becomes not repression, but symbolism; when we discover that even if there were no dream-censor we should still have symbolism; then personality (soul, ego) becomes not substance, but fiction, representation; and the primal form of politics becomes not domination (repression), but representation.

    Cf. Freud,General Introduction, 156.

    Representation, or personality: for these two notions are one; for the Essence of the Commonwealth is (to define it) “One Person, of whose Acts a great Multitude, by Mutuall Covenants one with another, have made themselves every one the Author.” And “a Multitude of men are madeOne...

  10. VII Head
    (pp. 126-140)

    “The real apocalypse comes, not with the vision of a city or kingdom, which would still be external, but with the identification of the city and kingdom with one’s own body.” The apocalypse lays bare the mystery of kingship; stripping off the Emperor’s New Clothes, to reveal the harlot. Kingship is fornication—the identity of politics and sex. In the apocalypse the walls do fall; the walls separating inside and outside; public and private; body physical and metaphysical. The identification of sex and politics; as in psychoanalysis.

    Frye,Fearful Symmetry, 431.

    Psychoanalysis shows the sexual organization of the body physical...

  11. VIII Boundary
    (pp. 141-161)

    Originally everything was body, ONE BODY (Novalis); or Freud: “Originally the ego includes everything, later it detaches from itself the external world. The ego-feeling we are aware of now is thus only a shrunken vestige of a far more extensive feeling—a feeling which embraced the universe and expressed an inseparable connection of the ego with the external world.” The possibilities adumbrated in infancy are to be taken as normative: as in Wordsworth’s “Ode”: before shades of the prison house close in; before we shrink up into the fallen condition which is normal adulthood.

    Novalis,Hymne, “Wenige wissen das Geheimniss...

  12. IX Food
    (pp. 162-175)

    There is only one psyche, in relation to which all conflict is endopsychic, all war intestine. The external enemy is (part of) ourselves, projected; our own badness, banished. The only defense against an internal danger is to make it an external danger: then we can fight it; and are ready to fight it, since we have succeeded in deceiving ourselves into thinking it is no longer us.

    Murder is misdirected suicide, to destroy part of oneself; murder is suicide with mistaken identity. And suicide is also a case of mistaken identity, an attack on the (introjected) other.

    A case of...

  13. X Fire
    (pp. 176-183)

    The choice is between partial incorporation and total incorporation (integration). Participation (playing a part) or fusion. Total incorporation, or fusion, is combustion in fire. “The way he behaved could also be described by saying that he kept me inside of him. . . . Yet I did not feel that these ways of talking about what happened were entirely adequate; for all of them take for granted the idea of a clear boundary; if I am felt to be inside him then he has a boundary, and the same if a bit of him is felt to be projected into...

  14. XI Fraction
    (pp. 184-190)

    To eat and to be eaten. The grain must be ground, the wine pressed; the bread must be broken. The true body is a body broken.

    Nothing can be sole or whole

    That has not been rent.

    Yeats, “Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop.”

    Cf. Dylan Thomas, “This bread I break.” Frye,Fearful Symmetry, 290.

    To be is to be vulnerable. The defense mechanisms, the character-armor, is to protect from life. Frailty alone is human; a broken, a ground-up (contrite) heart.

    Cf. Weil,La Pesanteur et la grâce, 125.

    In the upper sector, the realm of the gods, “whose carefree...

  15. XII Resurrection
    (pp. 191-214)

    II Corinthians III, 6: The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. Literal meanings as against spiritual or symbolical interpretations, a matter of Life against Death. The return to symbolism, the rediscovery that everything is symbolic—alles Vergängliche nur ein Gleichniss—a penis in every convex object and a vagina in every concave one—is psychoanalysis. A return or turning point, the beginning of a new age; the Third Kingdom, the age of the spirit prophesied by Joachim of Fiore; or the second coming, the resurrection of the body. It is raised a spiritual or symbolical body; the awakening to...

  16. XIII Fulfillment
    (pp. 215-231)

    Fulfillment; from shadows to reality. Now for the first time fully real: the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the real likeness of the things. From shadows to reality, from symbols to reality; from type to truth. The axis on which world history turns is symbolism. Fromfiguratoveritas.

    Cf. Hebrews X, 1. Auerbach, “Figura.”

    The axis of world history is making conscious the unconscious. The Jews have an earthly circumcision, and earthly ceremonies, which earthly operations have a hidden virtue revealed in Christ. Jews have a mental veil in their reading of the...

  17. XIV Judgment
    (pp. 232-242)

    To bring this world to an end: the consummation devoutly to be wished, the final judgment.

    The revolution, the revelation, the apocalypse, is vision; which pronounces a last judgment; and brings about the end. Aphorism is the form of last judgments; sentences.

    Cf. Blake,A Vision of the Last Judgement, 604, 617. Auerbach, “Figura,” 71, 67.

    A fiery consummation. Truth is a blaze. Error, or Creation, will be Burned up. It is Burnt up the Moment Men cease to behold it.

    Blake,A Vision of the Last Judgement, 617.

    Truth is error burned up; a light shining in darkness; darkness...

  18. XV Freedom
    (pp. 243-255)

    Then cometh the end, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

    I Corinthians XV, 24.

    The break is a break in nature; water from the rock. The natural order broken; the natural order is our construction, our constriction.

    Freedom. Freud the great emancipator, from the reality-principle. Free speech; free associations, random thoughts; spontaneous movements.

    We stumble on the truth. The truth is always scandalous, a stumbling block; truth is where we stumble or fall down; in the rough ground, the anomalies; not in the explanations. Search the...

  19. XVI Nothing
    (pp. 256-266)

    The rest is silence; after the last judgment, the silence.

    Cf. Dempf,Sacrum Imperium, 242.

    How to be silent. In a dialectical view: silence and speech, these two, are one. Apollonius of Tyana said silence also is alogos. And words do not spoil the silence for those who have ears to hear what is left unsaid. That is, there is the possibility of speaking with tongues. Apollonius said, do not wonder that I know all languages since I know what men do not say. And Freud says, “He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince...

  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 267-276)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 277-277)