This book explores the many mysteries of love and erotic passion by looking at the great love stories of the world across three cultures—Indian-Hindu, Perso-Islamic, and Western worlds. The stories reveal the many faces of love—from conquest and possession to surrender, sensuality and sensuousness, time held still in a poised nostalgia, and the loss of visual, distal perceptions in another mode of knowing— and also highlight the wishes and fears of lovers that hearken back to the prehistory of the individual before guilt and guilt-inducing intruders happened upon the developmental scene. The book then turns to love adulterated, to the triangles of persons and the ambivalence of each, which gradually combine guilt and passion, trespass and longing, fantasy and reality, mirroring life-history and concluding with the phenomenology and ontogeny of love, sex, and danger.
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