The Doctor of Desire

Allen Wheelis, Author
Allen Wheelis, Author W. W. Norton & Company $14.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-393-02425-8
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
This slender volume is not so much a novel as a staged presentation designed to examine the psychodynamics of romantic love. Written by a San Francisco analyst, it suggests that romantic desire is inspired by a need to recapture through another some lost part of oneselfan idea evoked over the epochs from Plato to Prufrock. In support of this theory, the author first offers a novella in which a middle-aged psychoanalyst falls in love with a young female patient. Next, for those who are ""weary of story,'' he supplies a series of ``Meditations'' to further explicate his premise. Together, they emit some empathetic cries of regret for all those who would engage in that illusory and narcissistic exercise which rejects commonplace happiness ``to protest against the loss of Eden.'' (April 21)
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