The Art of Loving by Eric Fromm: Comprehensive review by Sanober

 The Art of Loving by Eric Fromm-Book review

The Art of Loving by Eric Fromm-Book review

by Sanober

      Is love a crucial question in this contemporary world? Is it required to have a mastery of it? Eric Fromm, who was a psychoanalyst and social philosopher, presented the best work on the Art of Loving in 1956. By observing the capitalistic, imperialistic, and hegemonic life, the masses think that love is enough to understand if you watch movies, listen to stories, and read novels, further, it does not require to have a mastery in it. Obviously, love is not just a sentiment that everyone can easily indulge, however, it inculcates its efflorescence through the level of maturity.

Introduction to Author 

       Eric Fromm (1900-1980) was a German-American psychoanalyst with the Frankfurt School, further, he endorsed psychoanalysis as an instrument for curing humanistic psychological problems and attempted to raise awareness towards mental illness. In addition, he was born in Frankfurt and educated in Heidelberg and Munich before starting a private psychotherapy practice in 1925. His existence began as a disciple of Sigmund Freud, moreover, he combined his theories with Karl Marx to present social principles. As Fuchs (2020) stated if you need to understand the social principle, must understand communicative capitalism.                          

Book Review

Is Love an Art?

       Fromm (1965) has raised a crucial query on human’s one vital relations i.e., Love. Does it require to have a mastery in it? By doing psychoanalysis on the perceptions, attitudes, and behavior, people think that love is enough to understand through social media, though they do not try to excuse themselves to understand what the existence of love is. Sayers (1985) prescribed two methods of getting information, for instance, primary and secondary learning, that have been raised through the ideological perspective of Lock and Berkeley. Lock condemned that whatever you watch in the movie, do not believe in it, reality is something else, on the other hand, Berkeley stated that whatever you are experiencing, is the actual world. Likewise, for the context of love, people believe that it is not crucial to learn from the world authors who have continuously worked on human feelings and human psychology. It is hard to wear the glasses of psychoanalysis that are there to ruin pseudo relationship, especially in the matter of true love (Zizek, 2006). Fromm (1965) has elaborated the sense of love through the following themes:

Being Loved

• Attraction (dressing, style)

• Pleasant (developing a constructive conversation) 

Attraction: Masses are attracted through fashion, such gazing objects are condemned to have a loveable feeling. 

Pleasant Feelings: Love is not window shopping, but it is an approach to touching someone’s neural network. However, through scientific manner, we cannot touch someone because our atoms cannot meet each other, but being linguists, I believe, we can touch someone through language, through lexical items, through emotions, if a person has the capacity to understand and value the charm of the language. 

Market and Love: As people chase the best product in the market, likewise abstract, valuable relations and feelings are badly influenced by the marketization. In the market, attraction is high, but the sense of ‘pleasant’ is too low, oh! Sorry, it is not welcomed here even, relations give tough time to those who provide the linguistic neural medicines to inculcate rationalism. Further, the market is the place to exchange commodities, same pattern has been followed for human relations which generates the sense of falling in love rather than standing in love. Choice of language/lexicography really impacts what you sow and what will you get. 

        We are habitual in using the term ‘falling’ in poetry, rhythms, and narratives, then we confidently say, ‘I am badly ditched by my beloved, Step back, and observe the scenario, If you have used an incorrect term then how you can expect something natural in this post-modernist era?’ It is hard to keep safe your feelings from the micro-markets pitch. 

         In this era, especially the place where I am composing my draft, Love is not an essential question for an irrational mind, however, it is compulsory to talk, understand, and implement it, it has intimacy with our lives, and it is there to make you sane to think and work about your people, your identity, your dignity, and your literature by developing the sense of theory and practice. 

If you are aware of your prison,

Try to escape it,

If you do not try even,

You don’t have the right to complain,

Because you have chosen an unhealthy vocabulary for  


And abstractly admitted ‘No to Reason’

Understand which animalistic mask you wear.

Orgiastic States

       Historically people have participated in rituals in which they forget themselves, dissolving their self-consciousness in the crowd. In this book, Fromm describes an orgiastic state as an ‘auto-induced trance, often supplemented with drugs”. Then, what do such states accomplish? The orgiastic state is there to overcome loneliness, which is the solution to the greatest problem of existence. 

Dictatorial System

       As Kent (1985) stated ‘man must be the means for the ends for another man’, This predicts to have the loss of human actual feelings as well, where things are judged based on equality rather than equity. As Magee (2001), talked about the terms equality and equality, I would like to give preferences on equity rather than equality, we have to figure out who needs how much to have insight into the Western renaissances. 

       In this capitalistic society, the meaning of equality and equity have been changed as well. It means ‘sameness’ rather than ‘oneness’. Further, one must be ‘skeptical’ of the same achievements which are usually praised as signs of our progress, such as the quality of women.  The term ‘equality’ is bought at a very low price. Women are equal because they are different anymore to have a proposition of Western philosophy. So, what does a person give to another person?

The Sense of Giving

        “He gives himself, of the most precious he has, he gives his life. This does not necessarily mean that he sacrifices his life for the other”. Don’t readers think that we must understand the sense of ‘giving’, we have misunderstood the term ‘giving’, in the feeling of ‘falling in’ we believe that giving means to give wealth, provide more fundamental window-shopping opportunities with the sense of beauty, losing everything is insulting to the existence of love. In the market value, we always get the value of love as well, which results in the pinching of life. As per Fromm, giving means to give all joys of the life, and happiness, which are the major components of survival. 

         As Marx assumes ‘man as man, and his relations to the world a human one and you can exchange love only for love, confidence for confidence, etc. If you want to enjoy art, you must be an artistically trained person who has a stimulating and furthering influence on other people. 

A question arises, Do we really exchange love for love? In marketisation, we do not get the actual sense of love, in the French song ‘Love is the child of freedom, never that of domination’. It is not for domination, it is let to the birds fly, which rejects the concept of private property and ownership, the human being is not there to control, his/her actual feelings are there, it is the bird to have beauty and fly.

Physiological Materialism:-

        Freud goes much deeper on sexual instinct the result of chemically produced tension in the bodily which is painful and sought for relief. Freud ignores the psychological aspect of sexuality. This curious error was probably facilitated by Freud’s extreme patriarchalism, which led him to the assumption that sexuality perse is masculine and thus made him ignore the specific female sexuality. Ultimately mature love says I need you because I love you, immature love says I love you because I need you. It is important to understand. Strongly recommended to all readers.

Previous Post Next Post