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Eros and the Arabesque (Part VII)

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Eros and the Arabesque (Part VI)

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Eros and the Arabesque (Part V)

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Eros and the Arabesque (Part IV)

The Death Drive and King Shahrayar Confronted with mounting evidence of a compulsion to reenact traumatic events, which the pleasure principle could not explain — victims of railway disasters, soldiers returning from World War I, and even children were obsessively reliving unpleasurable events in dreams, behavior, speech, therapy and games — Freud developed a theory […] Continue reading …

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Eros and the Arabesque (Part III)

Dangerous Extremes of Pleasure in the Prologue The sexual instinct, which Freud said is so hard to “educate,” can be carried to such extremes that pleasure becomes destructive, even self-destructive. From the point of view of self-preservation, Freud writes, the pleasure principle is “from the very outset inefficient and even highly dangerous” (Freud, “Beyond” 597). […] Continue reading …

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Eros and the Arabesque (Part II)

Pleasure Frames the Story What gives The Arabian Nights its ageless appeal? Pleasure! The pleasure principle draws in readers (as the promise of pleasure entices the king into Shahrazad’s narrative). Ample evidence of the pleasure principle can be found even before the story begins.

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Eros and the Arabesque: The Serial Proliferation of Life in The Arabian Nights (Part I)

Introduction I have heard, O wise and happy Professor, that the end of the story is death, its continuation, life. For Shahrazad this is literally true. While the story continues, she lives. If the story ends, she dies. Full of jealousy and rage, the king has sworn to take a new wife every night, satisfy […] Continue reading …

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