The Birth Of Pleasure: A New Map of Love

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9780099459613: The Birth Of Pleasure: A New Map of Love

Love, like falling rain, can revive an arid life. But how can we find the love that brings true pleasure? How can we avoid the tragic love, with its lessons of sacrifice and loss, so deeply embedded in our culture? 'Pleasure is a sensation. It is written into our bodies; it is an experience of delight, of joy'In this inspiring book, Carol Gilligan sets out to create a radical new map of love. Although old patriarchal structures have been challenged the underlying patterns remain: the channeling of boys into 'masculinity'; the anxiety of girls in adolescence, the silences between men and women, the split between our social and our inner voice. In her work with children, adolescents and couples in crisis, Gilligan came to see how this 'double consciousness' - already present in the violence and betrayal of ancient myths, like that of Oedipus - had developed over thousands of years. Hunting for a counter myth, she discovered the story of Psyche and Cupid, a haunting tale of love and the searching soul, a model of resistance which she uses to frame her quest, showing how joy can be discovered in the heart of pain. The Birth of Pleasure rings with the voices of girls and boys, mothers and fathers, lovers and couples and echoes with telling readings of familiar writers, from Greek tragedy to Anne Frank, from Shakespeare to Proust, from Freud to Toni Morrison. All of us will find something that we recognise - and with luck, this brilliant, compassionate, flame-like book could really change our lives.

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Review:

A psychologist's fine-tuned ear and a scholar's penchant for illuminating key ideas with precise literary citations enable Carol Gilligan to trace love's path in The Birth of Pleasure. Her extensive research on children's communications and couples in crisis has revealed a rather disturbing truism: a child's inborn ability to love freely and live authentically gets thoroughly squelched by patriarchal structures. She shows how daughters' voices are systematically quieted, sons are shamed into masculinity, and those who pursue "inappropriate" knowledge or rapacious expressions are punished.

At the core of her study lies the timeless myth of Psyche and Cupid, a richly allegorical tale of passion and resistance to patriarchal norms. By meticulously interpreting this triumph, Gilligan challenges the standard "foundational stories" embraced by Western civilization (including the Book of Genesis, Oedipus Tyrannus, and The Orestia). Satisfying excerpts from dozens of authors flow easily alongside Gilligan's dialogues with couples, adolescent girls, and preschool boys. Clearly, her analysis of Anne Frank's diary--all three editions--provides Gilligan's best illustration of one's initiation into patriarchal tunnel vision. She credits many colleagues, students, and seminar and symposium attendees for fleshing out all parts of this lovingly crafted text; but her own ear for truth makes its message resonate. --Liane Thomas

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“Compelling . . . a thrilling new paradigm.” –The Times Literary Supplement

“Here is human connection thoughtfully considered by one of our finest psychological and social observers. This book tells of the ways we seek companionship and love, the ways we affirm others, thereby finding ourselves, our hopes and aspirations.” --Robert Coles

“Gilligan has woven a tapestry of memories, myths and reflections that spirals like a shell and is structured like a dream but at its heart vanishes into the mystery of love . . . no small accomplishment.” --Elle

“[Gilligan] writes lyrically as she weaves myth and literature, interview and memoir.” --The Boston Phoenix

“An elegant and powerful narrative that runs through mythology, memoir and literature.” Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe

“Why has the love story in Western culture long assumed that pleasure leads to death, that love leads to loss? Carol Gilligan, in this brilliantly written book, explores the history of these associations, then traces the roots of an alternate narrative and draws a map to send us on our way. This is a wonderful book!” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

“An original and elegant inquiry, a fine weave of vivid case studies of ‘couples in crisis’ and brilliant literary analysis.” —Booklist

“Here is human connection thoughtfully considered by one of our finest psychological and social observers. This book tells of the ways we seek companionship and love, the ways we affirm others, thereby finding ourselves, our hopes and aspirations.” —Robert Coles

“It does no less than reconfigure what it might mean to love and be loved, a revolutionary act in itself.” —Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues

“An intellectual tour de force . . . . a provocative liberal education between covers.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Carol Gilligan suggests that the acknowledgment of pleasure is a part of our authenticity and essential to truth telling. How refreshing to imagine that authenticity and honesty are as much about feeling good as the opposite.” —Anna Deavere Smith

“[Gilligan’s] mastery of literary sources and her intelligent but nonacademic writing make this an enjoyable, challenging work.” —Publishers Weekly

The Birth of Pleasure is reminiscent of Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents—but with one striking difference. Where Freud sees tragedy as inescapable (symbolized for him by the Oedipus myth), Gilligan sees a history of psychologically driven resistance, as manifested in the myth of Psyche and Cupid.” —Psychotherapy Networker

“A revolutionary book that will transform our beliefs about love, pleasure, human possibility, and ourselves. Carol Gilligan is a thinker and prophet of luminous grace, courage, and compassion.” —Catharine Stimpson, University Professor and Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University

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Carol Gilligan
Published by Vintage (2003)
ISBN 10: 0099459612 ISBN 13: 9780099459613
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Book Description Vintage, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 276 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0099459612

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