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AN AMBITIOUS BOOK THAT EXPLORES THE PHILOSOPHICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND SOCIAL DYNAMICS THAT GOVERN HUMAN DESIRE AND SHAPE OUR EVERYDAY REALITY
A great deal has been written, by psychoanalysts and many others, about the pleasures that are forbidden to us. But what of the pleasures that are unforbidden and freely available to all?
Using Oscar Wilde as a springboard, Phillips takes a deep dive into the function of taboo in society, beginning with the fall of our “first parents,” Adam and Eve, and progressing through the work of the great psychoanalytic thinkers. Forbidden pleasures, he argues, are the ones we tend to think about, yet when we look into it, we may get as much gratification, if not more, from unforbidden pleasures—those things that are easy to attain and socially sanctioned. And we may have underestimated just how restricted our restiveness, in thrall to the forbidden and its rules, makes us.