Dangerous Extremes of Pleasure in the Frame Story to 1,001 Nights
The sexual instinct, which Freud said is so hard to “educate,” can be carried to such extremes that pleasure becomes destructive, even self-destructive. From the point of view of self-preservation, Freud writes, the pleasure principle is “from the very outset inefficient and even highly dangerous” (Freud, “Beyond” 597). The prologue, which establishes the frame story of King Shahrayar and Shahrazad, is dripping with destructive sexuality.
Marc Chagall’s “Shehrezed’s Night”
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