Books: The Amen of the Universe the Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud; Volume Ii: the Tender Passion

Freud; Volume Ii: the Tender Passion by Peter Gay; Oxford University; 490 pages; $24.95

What is this thing called love?

Denis Diderot answered with encyclopedic cynicism: "The voluptuous rubbing of two intestines."

The German poet Novalis was more poetic: "Love is the final purpose of world history--the amen of the universe."

The philosopher Friedrich von Schlegel philosophized: "What people call a happy marriage stands to love as a correct poem stands to an improvised song."

Stendhal was, as always, Stendhalian: "The greatest happiness love can offer is the first pressure of the hand by the woman one loves."

Thus, Yale History Professor Peter Gay, the eclectically erudite author of such embracing works as The Enlightenment...

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!