Mothers & sons

Turgenev didn't write this, so somebody has to. Actually somebody did, Sophocles for one. And Freud, of course. And Tennessee Williams and quite a few others. But the legend of the purity of maternal love (cf. the Virgin Mary) is so pervasive in our culture that most fear to state the obvious: Tensions between mothers and sons are terribly intense and become moreso as the son approaches maturity; unless they are carefully managed -- or unless the son succumbs -- they become unbearable, and the son must break out or do other damage. Maybe by signing on to a tramp steamer, or going to war. Or running off to a foreign continent.

Just a little reminder on Mother's Day. For much more on the subject, see the list of books here. Some day I may add another work to this list, but it will have to be fiction so that I can tell the truth.

Photo: Monica Peters in the role of Iocasta. Click to enlarge.

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