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First published June 10, 1949
...They are sent on a long journey to neighboring and distant clans, imitative of the mythological wanderings of the phallic ancestors. In this way, "within" the Great Father Snake as it were, they are introduced to an interesting new object world that compensates them for their loss of the mother; and the male phallus, instead of the female breast, is made the central point (axis mundi) of the imagination. The culminating instruction of the long series of rites is the release of the boy's own hero-penis from the protection of its foreskin, through the frightening and painful attack upon it of the circumciser: [He goes on to quote a Dr. Roheim] "What is cut off the boy is really the mother... The glans in the foreskin is the child in the mother."
Modern romance, like Greek tragedy, celebrates the mystery of dismemberment, which is life in time.