‘The Chemistry of Love Poetry’

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Recent advances in functional magnetic resonance imaging have revealed that individuals experiencing passionate love have distinctive patterns of brain activity that suggest that this sort of love is less an emotion than a more fundamental evolutionary drive. Drawing on this research, I explore the implications that this has for our understanding of love poetry, which - since C.S. Lewis's 'Allegory of Love' - has often been portrayed as the product of specific cultural circumstances, nurture rather than nature, but perhaps now should be recognised as a common byproduct of a universal existential experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-228
JournalCambridge Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2007


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