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Dauphin, V.B. (2000). Tantalizing Times: An Examination of Discontent and Disconnects in Contemporary American Society. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 2(3):219-245.

(2000). Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 2(3):219-245

Tantalizing Times: An Examination of Discontent and Disconnects in Contemporary American Society

V. Barry Dauphin, Ph.D.

Using the myth of Tantalus as a point of departure and of reference, this paper examines various facets of contemporary anxieties and discontinuities. Tantalus was a mythical earthly king and a son of Zeus, king of the gods. His wishes for forbidden objects, omnipotence and immortality were the prelude for his having to endure excitements which could not be satisfied. Various changes have taken place in modern times which fill contemporary American life with the conflicts of Tantalus. The tantalizations are reflected in economics, culture & technology as well as various intellectual developments. The historical roots of this are traced. The paper attempts to weave a psychoanalytic interpretation of the myth with various anomalies of modern living to illustrate in many concrete ways how we live in Tantalizing Times.

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