Books: Liebestod

LOVE IN THE WESTERN WORLD —Denis de Rougemonf—Harcourf, Brace ($3).

Swiss Philosopher de Rougemont's ambitious thesis is that Europe and the Western Hemisphere owe their desperate plight to their over-susceptibility to passionate love. Ancient Greeks and Romans, says he, regarded love as a mental aberration, an unqualified misfortune; Orientals so regard it today. Only in the Western world has it taken a hold in the mores, been accorded respect. Taking Tristan and Iseult as the archetypes of passion, he hangs on their necks more weight than Freud ever hung on Oedipus.

Immediate ancestors of the Tristan myth were the troubadours of Provence. They...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!