The Phenomenology of Passionate Love

Sudhir Kakar and John Munder Ross

in Tales of Love, Sex, and Danger

Second edition

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780198072560
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082124 | DOI:
The Phenomenology of Passionate Love

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Passionate love lies in the intermediary space between body and mind, bounded by biological instinct on one side and imaginative impulse on the other. It was ‘discovered’ only after sexual love between man and woman had begun to emancipate itself from its biological function of reproduction alone. Passionate love has been characterized by the sharp stabs of jealous possession, burning torments of unrequited or unconsummated love, and the high pitch of ‘supreme joy’ that comes with loving. Yet passionate love also associates itself with devotion and meditation, along with religious intimacy and the ‘gravity’ of the lovers' world. This chapter discusses the phenomenology of passionate love and analyses Sigmund Freud's concept of desire and longing. It also examines aggression, arousal, and violence in relation to passionate love.

Keywords: passionate love; desire; longing; Sigmund Freud; aggression; arousal; violence

Chapter.  8389 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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