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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Ben Lazare Mijuskovic has done serious research on loneliness and the role it has played in literature and in psychology and philosophy throughout the ages. In the introduction to "Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and Literature" he concludes that "man is a social, a "political", that is to say, a communal animal," and on page 1 of his first chapter, he also writes that "I believe that man has always and everywhere suffered from feelings of acute loneliness and that his entire existence is consumed by the struggle to escape his fate." Mijuskovic acknowledges further on in this opening chapter that "the drive to avoid a sense of isolation, actually constitutes the dominant psychic force underlying all human consciousness and conduct." The author quotes from Rollo May, Hegel, Plato, Sartre, and Malrau and discusses Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" and Marcel Proust's "Swann's Way". The author feels that Arthur Machen's "The Hill of Dreams" is the most frightening portrayal of loneliness and that Thomas Wolfe is the foremost novelist using the theme of loneliness. But the author states clearly that this is not the loneliness of the dreamer, the poet or the prophet, but that of every man.
"Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology and Literature" is a deep and extremely thoughtful work with excellent footnotes, references and appendices. This is not a work for the casual reader and is recommended for college and university library collections. Ben Lazare Mijuskovic is a scholar and a serious writer, and "Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology and Literature" shows his seriousness and depth of knowledge. It is a brilliant work of research and its learned presence will be welcome wherever scholars are present.