Friday, April 26, 2019

Primal Screamers

The Primal Scream was the perfect title for a mass market paperback. Arthur Janov had a built-in audience composed of anyone who had loved the Edvard Munch painting. It's an example of a timely book becoming an annuity. Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More has also sold quite a few copies, as has Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. That’s what happens when you turn a notion into a movement. Norman O. Brown’s Life Against Death was responsible for popularizing Freudian “polymorphous perversity," Even a pillar of the Frankfurt School, Herbert Marcuse had his day in court with “repressive desublimation,” an idea propounded in One-Dimensional Man. Not to leave out “the banality of evil,” the marquee concept framed by Hannah Arendt in Eichmann in Jerusalem. Ah for Psychobabblese and its sister tongue Esperanto. What tomes will soon top Amazon’s bestseller list? The Sex Myth currently in production will reassure millions of readers who feel left out. Good at Something affirms the talent for parallel parking possessed by those who aren’t good at anything else. Petra is a forthcoming novel based on the following million dollar premise. A couple, on a trip to Israel, seek outs a famous Jordanian marriage counselor. The Person With the Golden Toilet  deals with the psychic transformation that occurs when a reality TV contestant employs the receptacle created by Maurizio Cattelan. No Monopoly on Afflatus is likely to become the definitive handbook of hyperbolic speech.

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