Love and Friendship

Love and Friendship Written with the erudition and wit that made The Closing of the American Mind a best seller Love and Friendship is a searching examination of the basic human connections at the center of the greate

  • Title: Love and Friendship
  • Author: Allan Bloom
  • ISBN: 9780671673369
  • Page: 261
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Written with the erudition and wit that made The Closing of the American Mind a 1 best seller, Love and Friendship is a searching examination of the basic human connections at the center of the greatest works of literature and philosophy throughout the ages In a spirited polemic directed at our contemporary culture, Allan Bloom argues that we live in a world where love aWritten with the erudition and wit that made The Closing of the American Mind a 1 best seller, Love and Friendship is a searching examination of the basic human connections at the center of the greatest works of literature and philosophy throughout the ages In a spirited polemic directed at our contemporary culture, Allan Bloom argues that we live in a world where love and friendship are withering away Science and moralism have reduced eros to sex Individualism and egalitarianism have turned romantic relationships into contractual matters to be litigated Survey research has made every variety of sexual behavior seem normal, and thus boring In sex education classes, children learn how to use condoms, but not how to deal with the hopes and risks of intimacy We no longer know how to talk and think about the peril and promise of attraction and fidelity What has been lost is what separates human beings from beasts the power of the imagination, which can transform sex into eros Our impoverished feelings are rooted in our impoverished language of love To recover the danger, the strength, and the beauty of eros, we must study the great literature of love, in the hope of rekindling the imagination of beauty and virtue that fuels eros We must love to learn, in order to learn to love again Like The Closing of the American Mind, this is an exhilarating journey of ideas in search of the truths that great writers and philosophers have offered about our most precious and perilous longings Love and Friendship dissects Rousseau s invention of Romantic love, meant to provide a new basis for human connection, amid the atomism of bourgeois society, and exposes the reasons for its ultimate failure Bloom tells of the Romantics idea of the sublime and Freud s theory of sublimation He takes us into the universe of Shakespeare s plays, where love is a natural phenomenon that gives rise to both the brightest hopes and the bitterest conflicts and disappointments Finall

    One thought on “Love and Friendship”

    1. Based on the lives and writings of the ancient authors who influenced our modern times. You can get it as a used book from half.Page 30: Bloom sums up his greater need to write on such a theme:"But nowhere is this a more urgent task than in matters of eros, the first and best hope of human connectedness in a world where all connectedness has become problematic." Page 29"I suggest that we need a generation or two not of theory but of an attempt to discover the real phenomena of eros."Page 33"I ha [...]

    2. Allan Bloom, with his characteristic combination of brilliance and bombast, laments the death of Eros in the modern world. The culprits are the familiar Straussian bugaboos: a reductionist and materialistic modern science, a relativistic moral climate, and a repulsive consumer culture combine to narrow contemporary man's erotic horizons, and leave him unable to come to grips with the hopes and fears of true intimacy.Bloom seeks to restore his reader to erotic health by returning to philosophy an [...]

    3. A series of essays on the meaning of Love and (to a lesser degree) Friendship, with Bloom arguing in favour of an Eros that leads lovers and friends to aspire to things higher than themselves and outside themselves. The bridging between individual essays doesn't always work, and the essay on Shakespeare could probably have been left out altogether. Nonetheless Bloom's writing is elegant and gently provocative, and the essays on Austen and Plato's "Symposium" are wonderfully done. Bloom reminds u [...]

    4. Bloom sure read a lot, and he sure put a lot of thought into what he read. This book is extremely dense, not with theory but with observation, context, cross-reference, personal interpretation, and projection. He has strong opinions and, maybe a little bit forced, finds support in the great books. I don't mark up my books much anymore, but this one is full of notes, underlines, paraphrase notes and questions, as well as points of reference to my own life and ideas. The long chapters on Rousseau [...]

    5. A fascinating look at the idea of Eros in the classic writings of Renee Descartes, William Shalespeare, and others. Beautiful book.

    6. Confession/note: This ended up being another one of those books that I didn't read all the way; in fact, I ended up not reading much of it at all, other than the Introduction ("The Fall of Eros"), which just as fittingly could've been titled "A Reason for Books." Those parts elaborating on the good reasons to read literature I found quite compelling - enough so to send me back to the actual story books themselves, and to leave this hefty tome to other readers more scholarly and ambitious than my [...]

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