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Loew, C. (2011). Introduction to Private Lives. Psychoanal. Perspect., 8(1):121-122.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 8(1):121-122

Private Lives

Introduction to Private Lives

Clemens Loew, Ph.D.

IN IVAN TURGENEV'S NOVEL FATHERS AND SONS, THE FAMILY ORDER is threatened by nihilistic opposition from the younger generations. Young people, like the protagonist, Bazarov, with his self-destructive ideology, forge conflicts through their adventures, which may be thoughtful and philosophical or simply instinctual. The ensuing struggle between the old community and its children creates an unpredictable but natural divide. Hence, the challenge to all people involved is to be mindful of these pressures and to maintain the bond between father and child in the context of these strong forces. Turgenev's fathers have affection for their sons in spite of the intense conflicts.

Love between father and son, and the desire for intergenerational continuity, is fundamentally valued in Todd Stansfield's “The Man Named Henry.” The father screams in fright at the thought of losing his son. Yet the bond between parent and child is vulnerable and precariously threatened by life's unexpected occurrences, such as careless behavior, that may tear at the continuity and cause grave pain. Stansfield explores the suspense that hovers over the parent-child bond and illustrates the struggles to protect its continuity.

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