Primitive Passions: Men, Women, and the Quest for Ecstasy
by Marianna Torgovnick
University of Chicago Press, 1998
Paper: 978-0-226-80837-6
Library of Congress Classification GN478.T67 1998
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.3

Marianna Torgovnick's Primitive Passions investigates Westerners' profound attraction to cultures that we call "primitive." Torgovnick explores the stories of Carl Jung, Isak Dinesen, D. H. Lawrence, and Georgia O'Keefe and the ways they used the primitive as a medium for soul-searching and personal fulfillment. Brilliantly linking literature, art, psychology, and cultural studies, Primitive Passions provides insight into our very notion of the exotic.

"Primitive Passions intends to provoke thought, not to tell you what you already know and for that reason alone it's extraordinary."—Walter Kendrick, New York Times Book Review

"A powerfully argued, impassioned, and intelligent exploration of the 'primitive' in our culture and in ourselves. Like Marianna Torgovnick's previous work, it is certain to be much discussed and provocative."—Joyce Carol Oates

"An inspiring effort to bring gender to bear on matters of race, ethnic identity, and spirituality."—Susan Gubar

"A fascinating, wide-ranging and provocative tour of twentieth century Western culture."—Cynthia D. Schrager, Women's Review of Books

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