John's Reviews > The Art of Loving
The Art of Loving
by Erich Fromm
by Erich Fromm
May 19, 12
Read from May 19 to 20, 2012
The Art of Loving kicks off with some very valuable insights regarding love in modern Western culture. Fromm points out that we have altogether stopped viewing love as an act of will, but instead now see it as something that just effortlessly happens once we stumble upon the right person. He also ruminates on why relationships now tend to resemble business arrangements, rather than reflecting the traditional, self-sacrificing notion of marriage. When it comes to demonstrating the folly of such "forward thinking," Fromm seems right on the money; however, the book ultimately bogs itself down in dull prose that often uses psychobabble to disguise common sense as deep psychoanalytic insight. It's a book that is old-fashioned enough to frequently trot out the Bible to illustrate an effective point, but modern enough to regard such holy texts as being useful in a poetic sense only. Fromm happily paves over the pseudo-intellectual nonsense of Freud, but I don't particularly enjoy seeing him prop up Marx in Freud's place. Like most famous psychologists, Fromm too eagerly tries to force complex ideas into tiny little boxes in order to make them seem a lot less messy than they really are. Not a bad book per se, but one with a lot less practical application than is indicated by its title.
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