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Apocalypse And/Or Metamorphosis


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Table of Contents


I. Apocalypse:
The Place of Mystery in the Life of the Mind
2. Daphne, or Metamorphosis
3* My Georgics:
A Palinode in Praise of Work
4* Metamorphoses II:
5* The Prophetic Tradition
6. The Apocalypse of Islam
7* Philosophy and Prophecy:
Spinoza's Hermeneutics
8. The Turn to Spinoza
9* Metamorphoses III:
The Divine Narcissus
IO. Revisioning Historical Identities
II. Dionysus in I990

About the Author

Norman O. Brown (1913-2002) was Professor of Humanities, Emeritus, at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His Love's Body (1966) is available from University of California Press in paperback.


Like H.G. Wells, Brown finds ``mind . . . at the end of its tether.'' We are all more or less mad, but there are better and worse insanities, and the best is a kind of Dionysian ecstasy that will lead us to give ourselves to others and the world. Written over 30 years, these essays chronicle Brown's path from Marx to Freud to Dionysius. His ideas of freedom and ecstasy recall the playfulness of Derrida, but he is closest to George Bataille (see Visions of Excess , Univ. of Minnesota Pr., 1986), and he admits that hard work and suffering are needed. Brown links the creativity he wants to prophetic knowledge that ought to embrace Islamic as well as Judeo-Christian elements. Scientific knowledge won't do: ``So called science is the attempt to democratise knowledge, . . . to substitute method for insight, mediocrity for genius.'' He is still looking for the naturally good human being, but perhaps it takes cool reason to keep even good ecstatic Dionysians from colliding. Ordinary readers looking for fun and insight into trendy ideas will, however, find their reward here if they can survive Brown's rush of words and ideas.-- Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa

"The long-awaited sequel to "Love's Body, "Apocalypse is a biography of the art of thinking. . . Brown employs ideas in such a volatile manner that every reading and re-reading is an act of creation. A book for the ages."--James Duncan, "Washington International Arts Letter

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