Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Good Read: WE Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love by Robert A. Johnson

I haven't finished reading this book, but surprisingly, I was already engaged flipping its pages. Not that it has a cathartic appeal to me being a hopeless romantic myself, but the way this book presents its point is so lucid and entertaining that eventhough I have little knowledge about Jungian psychology, I could readily grasp what the author is trying to uncover. More so, it uses the myth of Tristan and Iseult as a reference point to explain the essence and meaning of romantic love. Literature and Psychology combined? Mind blowing!

The concepts of animus and anima,the yin and the yang have been baffling my train of thought since I reached puberty. It seems that there is no way that one's feminine side could be tied up with one's masculine side. And the hegemony of gender has been a pervasive force that lead us to question our very own person-hood. But the book presents the androgynous nature of man, which according to Jung, "is made up of both masculine and feminine components. Thus, ever man and every woman cmes equipped with a psychological nature that it its wholeness includes the richness of both sides, both natures, both sets of capacities and strengths."

Personal Insights:The myth of Tristan and Isolde is so engaging that the book even compelled me to buy a VCD (at least it's for sale at Php75) of the movie version. Unfortunately, the movie disappoints me because it deviates from the original story (most of it) and thus lost its magic and romance that the book describes. I love how the author juxtaposes the story and explains the metaphors embedded in it. He further clarifies the symbols by interspersing it with contemporary instances. So pretty much I could relate to it. Although the book poses a very psychological stance, it gives balance to the literary aspect which somehow adhered to Horace's function of literature, that is to delight and to instruct.

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