Thanks, Erich!

In 19th century Europe stalking was an accepted courtship method, not usually welcomed by the target but not shameful or illegal. (This is everywhere in the fiction: Kierkegaard, Gogol, everyone). When Alice James visited Paris she was astonished find that one of her French friends, a married woman, was reluctant ever to leave the house unaccompanied. The old word “streetwalker” was based on the assumption that all unaccompanied women were available.

The plot of James’s Daisy Miller turned on the fact that America was not like this. Why? Because Americans were sexually repressed Protestants, alienated from their bodies, and American guys didn’t feel obligated to fuck everything in sight.

And then Erich Fromm came along, and we got Norman Mailer. Thanks, Erich!

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Published in: on March 9, 2017 at 7:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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