Oh, Lord, I once had a daddy, he said he'd give me everything in sight once had a daddy said he'd give me everything in sight (yes, he did). So I said, "Honey, I want the sunshine, and take the stars out of the night" (c'mon and give'em to me, babe, 'cause I want 'em right now). Janis Joplin, "Turtle Blues" When a pretentious lady asks Mme. Leroi what she thinks about love, in Proust's Le Cote de Guermantes, she replies with all the assur- ance of conventional wisdom, L'amour? je le fais souvent mais je n'en parle jamais ("I often make love but I never talk about it").) The ear- liest literary products of Western culture, when pressed to disclose something of the quality of erotic life in ancient times, exhibit a sim- ilar combination of frankness and evasiveness. They readily attest to the frequent and widely distributed experience of erotic desire, in its various forms, and describe (sometimes in graphic terms) the physical and psychological sensations associated with its sexual manifestation. But they seldom take it up as a topic for independent discussion—and then, only briefly; much less do they subject it to critical scrutiny or
Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1989
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