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Love's Compass: A Natural History of the Heart Hardcover – January 1, 1990

4.6 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Addison Wesley Publishing Company; 1st edition (January 1, 1990)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0201156679
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0201156676
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.58 pounds
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
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Top review from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 6, 2005
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4.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a Living Poet
By Elizabeth R A Triano on June 6, 2005
This is not a book of poems. Mr. Epstein wrote a terrific biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay, entitled _What Lips My Lips Have Kissed_, and several volumes of poetry. I got this book from the library thinking it was a book of poetry but it's not -- it's a sort of autobiography and thoughts on human nature and love and other nifty things. It is not really an autobiography or a memoir, however, for he was born in the early 1950s and at the time of writing this book he was forty years old, which he felt (and I agree) was too young to write a memoir. Like many others who write about the human condition, however, he chooses to illustrate his observations and theories with anecdotes from his own life. In this case, he starts with the analysis of a child's love for its parents, and moves on through life, observing, describing, and analyzing. Of course it's subjective, and one's experiences may differ from his, but that very personal-ness makes it all the more real, and all the more ready to be integrated into one's own paradigm, with alterations as needed.

The chapter titles are as follows (with my comments in parentheses):

Preface (do not skip)
One: Filial Love
Two: Sibling Love and Childhood Friendship
Three: Erotic Love
Four: Conjugal Love and Adult Friendship
Five: Parental Love
Six: Spiritual Love

In my subjective hierarchy of such things, this man is cut from similar cloth as singer/songwriters Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Bob Dylan, as well as the late "Pope of Soap" Dr. Bronner, and other recent eccentric geniuses. Mr. Epstein is at once larger than life and extraordinarily empathetic; the latter is often a quality of a fine poet, but the former not always. We are fortunate to have him writing in our time, and I look forward to his future works.
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