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Life Against Death: the psychoanalystic meaning of history
Life Against Death the psychoanalystic meaning of history Author:Norman O. Brown LIFE AGAINST DEATH examines that aspect of psychoanalysis to which Freud himself turned his thoughts in his later years; that is, the relationship of psychoanalysis to history and to man's cultural situation in general. The result is, as Lionel Trilling wrote, "One of the most interesting and valuable works of our time. Dr. Brown's contributio... more »n to moral thought - and most especially where he touches on sexual behaviour - cannot be overestimated. His book is far-ranging, thoroughgoing, extreme, and shocking. It gives us the best interpretation of Freud I know." Swift's generation of the scatological vision is tightly examined.
Dr. Brown's thesis is that mankind must be view'd as largely unaware of its own desires, hostile to life and unconsciously bent on self-destruction. The Times Literary Supplement writes: "Dr. Brown develops his thesis with a courage and consistency so devastating as to shake intellectual complacency to its foundations. Broadly, he holds that repression - view'd by Freud as the sine qua non of social organization - has produced not merely individual neurosis but what can only be called social pathology.... In his remorseless pursuit of psychological reality, Dr. Brown has achieved an understanding of psychoanalysis truly remarkable.... Behind him stands not only Freud but Nietzsche." Brown revisits not only Tillich and Niebuhr's interpretation of the "Protestant era," but also Luther's epoch-making stand at the beginning of the Reformation.« less