The Double Flame: Love and Eroticism

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9780151001033: The Double Flame: Love and Eroticism

In this series of essays Paz explores the intimate connection between sex, eroticism, and love in literature throughout the ages. Rich in scope, The Double Flame examines everything from taboo to repression, Carnival to Lent, Sade to Freud, original sin to artificial intelligence. “Brimming with insight, thoughtfulness, and sincerity” (Kirkus Reviews). Translated by Helen Lane.

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About the Author:

Octavio Paz was born in 1914 and died in 1998. The author of eighteen books, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.

Review:

Originally published in Spanish (La llama doble, amor y erotismo, 1993), this work by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1990) consists of reflections on the diverse manifestations of sex, eroticism, and love from ancient to contemporary times. Definitions are given: "Sex is the primordial source. Eroticism and love are forms derived from the sexual instinct: crystallizations, sublimations, perversions, and condensations which transform sexuality." From Plato and the great civilizations of antiquity to the modern period (including an examination of medieval courtly love and side excursions into Eastern approaches), the themes are studied through their literary and philosophical aspects. Paz bemoans today's commercialization of eroticism but optimistically posits that science is, after a centuries-long hiatus, returning to an examination of the ontological (and hence, moral) questions of love as part of being. This is an erudite, thought-provoking work, intended for readers acquainted with literary and philosophical traditions. Recommended for general collections serving a sophisticated clientele.
-Charles E. Perry, East Central Univ., Ada, Okla.
(Library Journal)

Nobel laureate Paz presents a humanist examination of the roles played by love and eros in modern life and society.
(Publishers Weekly)

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