Valeria Sobol


On her book Febris Erotica: Lovesickness in the Russian Literary Imagination

Cover Interview of September 16, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“The case history of lovesickness as a literary-medical concept.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“My analysis places the literary tradition of lovesickness into the broader context of the mind-body dilemma that plagued Western culture at least since antiquity and became particularly poignant after Descartes.”

On the second:

“By substituting shamesickness for the traditional lovesickness, Tolstoy challenges Western “romantic” culture and values by insisting that it is not romantic passion but, instead, an intense feeling of inadequacy that can and should be devastating for a human being that seeks moral perfection.”