By Joanne Brown (auth.)
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Extra info for A Psychosocial Exploration of Love and Intimacy
36 40 A Psychosocial Exploration of Love 2. Individualism Romantic love, according to Stone (1977), represented a new kind of freedom, which was narrated in novels of the eighteenth century. Stone describes a companionate marriage based on affection and equality and a change in attitude from distance deference and patriarchy to affective individualism. Stone does not share Berger and Kellner’s romantic view of pre-industrial life. He provides a gruesome list of common ailments not conducive to romantic longings.
A myth is needed, De Rougemont (p. 21) alleges, to ‘express the dark and unmentionable fact that passion is linked with death and involves 34 A Psychosocial Exploration of Love the destruction of anyone yielding himself up to it with all his strength’. De Rougemont’s is a complex thesis, but he believes that Tristan and Iseult and Romeo and Juliet exist to warn us against, in psychoanalytic terms, the inability to think through our feelings (passions). They raise up for De Rougemont the image of dying lovers, and declare that ‘love like a force dominates you’.
In Rousseau’s hero we can therefore see the need for something solid to cling to in an atmosphere of ‘turbulence and trouble’, precisely undermining the stability of his beliefs. Berman echoes Rousseau’s hero and argues that in the modern world, everything is ‘pregnant with its contrary’, adding that the modern voice ‘resonates with self-discovery and self-mockery, with self-delight and self-doubt’ (p. , p. 17). Here we find Berman describing a ‘landscape of steam engines, automated factories, railroads, vast new industrial zones, teeming cities that have grown, telephones, newspapers, nation states, multinational aggregations of capital, expanding world markets’ and so on.