Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters: The Power of Romantic Passion

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9780140120554: Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters: The Power of Romantic Passion

Well-known psychoanalyst Dr. Ethel S. Person draws on examples from Auden and Shakespeare, from the movies of Humphrey Bogart and the novels of Judith Krantz, and from her own high school experiences in Kentucky to describe the nature of love and its fitful occurrence.

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From the Back Cover:

"Encompassing the subtle blending of infinite shades and hues from the palates of emotion and cognition, romantic love is a seminal force that shapes the human condition. Behavioral scholars have, nonetheless, eschewed intensive study of romantic love--largely because of its inherent complexity and innate elusiveness. Encountering this breach with the passion, creativity, and transcendence that mirrors romantic love, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Ethel Person has crafted a pioneering work that provides luminous and illuminating insights and conceptual coherence to the subject. I whole-heartedly recommend Dreams of Romantic Love and Fateful Encounters as a unique and indispensable resource for mental health practitioners of all stripes (including my fellow neuropsychiatrists) and for the patients and families whom we serve."--Stuart C. Yudofsky, M.D., D.C. and Irene Ellwood Professor and Chair, The Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

"Infused by the perceptive brilliance of Ethel Person, a truly extraordinary psychiatrist, this volume provides profound insights into that most mysterious and powerful force, romantic passion, using a naturalist's eye to trace the myriad possibilities in its course and actualization. The study of passion's transformational role and importance--whether we dream of it, have it, do not have it, keep it, change it, are changed by it, or lose it--is informed by wisdom, keen observation, rare intelligence, and scholarship from disciplines as varied as the sciences, the arts, and history. A volume of wonderful value for therapists and, indeed, for all of us, it is beautifully written by an open and inquiring mind, and is a great read. Ethel Person has made a magisterial contribution!"--Jack D. Barchas, M.D., Barklie McKee Henry Professor and Chair, Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Psychiatrist-in-Chief, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, New York, New York

"Ethel Person brings her keen intelligence, rich life experience, and all that she has learned in the course of a distinguished career as a clinical psychoanalyst to bear upon a set of crucial, age-old questions: What is love? How do we find love? How do we maintain love? How does love change us? She has written a fascinating book, filled with wisdom--one that is a pleasure to read, reread, and share."--Owen Renick, M.D., Training Analyst, San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute; Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco; former Editor-in-Chief, Psychoanalytic Quarterly

"In setting out to rescue love from its devaluation in an age of science and celebrate its transformative power, Person doesn't sidestep the destructive powers of love, but rather makes you sit up over and over again at love's sheer inventiveness, complexity, and variety. She brings a psychoanalyst's insight to bear on the roots of love in childhood feelings, bridging the gap between specialist and general reader, and further enriches her argument with well-chosen case studies, examples form popular culture and the luminous testimony of poets and lovers. You'll find yourself reexamining your own experiences and understanding more about love, not just as an occasional passionate interlude, but as a powerful and abiding fantasy that drives so much of our dreaming and waking lives."--Molly Haskell, film critic and author of Love and Other Infectious Diseases: A Memoir and Holding My Own in No Man's Land: Women and Men in Film and Feminists

From the Inside Flap:

This groundbreaking study has been widely hailed for its focus on an emotion generally considered impervious to rational analysis: romantic love. Ethel Person views romantic, passionate love as a powerful agent of change, arguing that it is as central to human culture as it is to human existence. This new edition of Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters emphasizes the relevance of passion not only to lovers but also to mental health professionals whose patients often enter treatment because of love-related issues -- from the inability to love or make a commitment to the perils of extramarital love or the loss of love.

Dr. Person breaks with contemporary intellectual and philosophical dismissive attitudes toward romantic love by acknowledging its vital importance and power. She addresses not only the power of love to unlock the soul but also its inherent paradoxes and conflicts and its propensity to disintegrate and cause harm. Her provocative work boldly takes on issues of love pertinent to lovers, to professionals who encounter patients for whom key conflicts revolve around romantic love, and to anyone who has struggled to understand the importance of romantic love in his or her own life.

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