Sunday, February 9, 2014

Letter from Fromm to Prufrock

12 comments:

  1. Prufrock-

    Your grim disposition on the inevitability of failure in love is nought but a fleeting emotion in spite of your failure thus far. Given adequate training and memorization of my core values of being in love, you too can have the power as well as the tools you need in order to be successful. The first step is to put pride aside, not all men are inherently disciplined within their instinctual equipment and able to overlook the fact that their endeavors are not out of love for another, but search to shed one’s debilitating loneliness. Love is an art, and art is not another passing task for which we need only partially commit ourselves. We must overlook all other selfish endeavors for fame and success in order to master the art of love. After overcoming the truth of the matter, the strife you put yourself through in order to find an end to the loneliness you are ready. You must find the object of your affection, one desirable from the standpoint of social value. From there you must learn to transcend the concern for yourself, as you are no longer seeking an end to the selfish loneliness you once let consume you. The next step is where many are stuck, but bear with me. The only way to go forth and be successful lies in two key practices, in order to master the art of love, you must master the theory and follow up your study with intensive practice of the art. You must learn the value in care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge. The four key elements of love. Once you have practiced putting these concepts into action in your life, you will undoubtedly find the love you had previously selfishly and unknowingly denied yourself through your own narcissistic dreams of omniscience. Sincerely,
    Eric Fromm

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  2. Mister J. Prufrock,

    I feel that you need my help, your opinion and ideas on love are wrong, but I can help you find the right path. You approach love with a very narcissistic attitude. I read your Love Poem, and I can see you have not gotten to know who you wrote it for at all, you mention multiple women and you focus more on yourself. You don’t truly care for them, you spend the majority of your tale speaking of yourself. How can you truly love someone if you do not know them, and respect them? I know you are a man that appreciates art, after all you wrote a love poem, so I advise you to look at love as an art. One that you can train yourself to perform and perfect. You seem very concerned with your own appearance and making mistakes, you seem afraid. You need to get over your own image, it is only superficial and following a different view on love (one that is clearly wrong as it does not agree with mine). Looks do not matter, personality doesn’t matter, being polite, being interesting, nothing of that matters. Definitely not being powerful, as you seem to be so obsessed with (I mean look at you, using your full name). You need to look past everything and see a person for who they really are. I don’t know how you can if you’re ignoring their personality and almost every other trait that makes people who they are, but you should certainly try. After learning who they are, take responsibility for them, care for them and care about them, only then will you truly know and practice love. If you keep thinking that you know everything you will surely fail, so stop and listen to everything I say, because I know what love really is. Oh wait you’re a made up character from a T.S. Elliot poem, I guess I wasted my time. How did I get a mailing address anyway?

    Yours,
    Fromm

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  3. Gentleman J Alfred Prufrock,
    Based on my observations with how your dealing with love by learning to stay isolated, I must say that what you’re doing now has to stop. Since you’re asking me how you’re failing at love, first off, with staying inside and giving in to your loneliness, its no wonder that you can’t find love. In order to obtain love, you need to go out and explore the world. Allowing yourself to go a bit out of your comfort zone will give you the chance to meet new people. Then, once you meet someone,, don’t be afraid to tell them what you are like. Women these days like men who socialize. It has to be true since you’ve been avoiding people so much, no one tries to talk to you. So stop being sad and start trying to make a difference for yourself. This path can even lead you to meet the love of your life. However, even before you are able to reach that level of loving someone, you have to understand the four things on what you need to do in order to find love. First, you need to stop thinking only about yourself and start caring about others. By being selfless, it’ll lead you to become more compassionate. Second, you need to understand how to respond to the person you love. By examining the way you react to women who you like, you’ll be able to notice why you feel a certain way to the person you like. The third thing that you need to do is to understand respect. With respect, you need to know that the person you love isn’t going to be perfect, so you shouldn’t love the person and then think that the person will change for you. You need to love the person for who she is because if you do, it’ll make the relationship more rewarding in the long run. Lastly, compile all of what I’m telling you together because my advice will then retain into knowledge. Everything I just told you are like pieces to a puzzle, except you’re the only one who knows how to fit the pieces together. I just came by to give you some instructions. Hope this helps with you finding love. Write to me again sometime once you try something new.
    - Eric Fromm

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  4. Dear J. Alfred Prufrock,
    My name is Eric Fromm, and I am the author of The Art of Loving. I am writing this letter in regards to the “Love-Song” that T.S. Eliot composed for you. In hopes of changing the direction and plot of your love story, I wish to offer some advice from my novel.
    One of the first points that I would like to mention has to deal with your reluctance to step back into love. This behavior is acceptable and almost expected from one who has experienced the havoc from World War One. However, you cannot hold the mindset that perceives all love ventures in vain. You must hold the knowledge, a major component of love, that rejection and failure are just two outcomes of love, and that success and happiness also hold equal chances. Similarly, you must understand the perspective of your partner. Your hesitation in love, if not explained, may serve as a hindrance in your love efforts. You must exhibit a maturity towards your partner, and help them understand the hardships you have endured. This opens the opportunity for your partner to lift you out of your situation, aiding in your recovery.
    Secondly, love is an art. Similar to any other art, this is a practice that must be mastered. Though you can label your past love relationships as failed trials, they are all lessons that will enable you to succeed in the future. Do not be discouraged by relationships that have not turned out for the better.
    Lastly, but also most importantly, love is not meant to be objectified. Search for an individual that you are attracted to because of their inner beauty. Societal attributes such as wealth and outward appearance can easily decay based on an individual’s personal circumstances. However, what will remain adamant and prominent in successful relationship is the personalities between the two individuals.
    With all of this said, I hope that my advice aids you in turning your love journey around. If you have any more questions, I am sure T.S. Eliot would be glad to arrange a time and location to meet.
    With best Wishes,
    Eric Fromm

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  5. Dear Mr. Prufrock,
    After our session on Tuesday, I felt inclined to write you a more formal reply, now that I have gathered my thoughts on the issue and because we will not have another session for a month. First of all I would like to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed your writing and performance. Since you came to me in search of assistance in relation to your recent breakup I have analyzed the situation based on what you expressed. I discovered a few important points I believe you should understand, reasons why I believe Ms. Amy left. Please remember that these observations reflect nothing against you, but should only serve to assist you in the future.
    From your writing I can see that you have experienced great pain and loneliness. You wrote, “Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, the muttering retreats of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels.” Although I agree that it is quite important to establish a deep and emotional connection with a lover, this type of intensity - that your only activity with her was wallowing in your “half deserted streets” and “muttering retreats” - demonstrates that you defined your relationship solely around pain and intense emotion. However, this type of relationship will not last because people tend to fall in love with the intensity of the beginning, and not the person they are with. Although some believe that this sensation is proof that their love is true, it actually represents the intensity of their previous loneliness and indicates instability in their relationship. In addition, by bringing Ms. Amy only into your dark world of “half-deserted streets” and “muttering retreats,” you established a lopsided relationship from the start, defining your love around only your past pain. To make matters worse, you wrote, “To lead you to an overwhelming question . . . Oh, do not ask, ‘What is it?’ Let us go and make our visit.” This indicates that you took full control over Ms. Amy, planning the agenda of your relationship solely on your personal desires and past pains, as that is all you informed me of. You took little to no interest in her story, in her desires, or in her opinion. You appeared to lead her blindly around your life. Hence, it appears to me that you led your responsibility for her, a healthy part of love, into a domination, which reveals a lack of respect for her. In order to be successful in love, attempt to build a stable platform where although you do share your darkest secrets, they do not serve as the entirety of the relationship - they are not the destination of your dates. Find activities that make the two of you happy, and consider her feelings too, not just your own past. Moreover, connection will require time, and just because the initial intensity of your emotion wears off into a calmer sensation, that does not signify that the relationship is ending. It merely demonstrates that the two of you are falling into each other, fitting like two puzzle pieces. Leave space open for her to fill between you, and you may be surprised what you find.

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  6. In addition, I recall you saying, “Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, would it have been worth while.” To me, I take this to signify that you ingrained a type of material “worth” into Ms. Amy and your relationship with her, which parallels how we buy objects based on our financial ability and the quality of the object in society. As it appears you may, many people see love as finding a bargain in that the object of their desire should be desirable from the standpoint of its social value. This material perspective towards love obstructs the construction of a connection between lovers as it intuitively causes them to merely perceive each others’ physical assets and worth, not who they truly are. Love requires respect, otherwise it crumbles into emotional violence and pain. And to respect someone, or to allow them to live as who they are, requires that you know them for their identity, not just as a social statistic. On this point, I believe you demonstrate that you did not know Ms. Amy very well: “And I have known the arms already, known them all - arms that are braceleted and white and bare . . . Arms that lie along a table, or wrap around a shawl.” These words, a description of Ms. Amy and what I am assuming are previous lovers, lack specificity and detail. With the plural form of “arms” you further drown Ms. Amy in a nebulous sea of other women, indicating you did not truly love her for to love someone is to recognize their uniqueness. Ironically, you claim to “know” “all” about her, and to have known all of those before, but throughout your piece provide no proof of that and only speak of yourself. Therefore, in the future I suggest spending more time considering the person you are with; build a connection not just based on your pain and her presence, but through your similarities and essence. Build your heart for the art of love, the skill required to balance knowledge, respect, care, and responsibility. These qualities allow you to understand your lover and thus see her and respect her for her identity. At this point, you can care for her because you will understand what she needs and how she needs it. This will bring you to a gentle responsibility in the sense that you are a stakeholder in her happiness, and that you will help her and ensure her well being. You may find that through this, you discover new aspects of yourself and increase your own happiness.
    Overall, my opinion is that you should attempt to find a balanced connection in love based upon identity. A relationship should not begin in order to simply end pain. It can and should be so much more powerful than that. I understand if this letter seemed harsh at points, but I think this information will ultimately assist your future. Please contact me with any questions, and I hope to see you in a month.
    Sincerely,
    Mr. Fromm

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  7. Dear J. Prufrock

    Oh where do I start. I have read you Love Poem and I am sorry to inform you that there are many things that you are doing wrong. Perhaps because of those things, you are not able to achieve to have a good relationship with people and this leads you to not being able to find love. I am writing you because I want to help you change that. First of all, you need to be more confident about yourself, all you talk about in your poem is how bad your physical appearance is, well I am here to tell you that the reason why you can’t find love isn’t because of your physical appearance and it is mostly because since you believe that you are ugly, you don’t dare approach any woman out there due to your fear of being rejected. Love isn’t all about looks, it’s more on what is in the inside then the outside. I can see that you are having difficulty finding the answer to what love is but I can assure you that I have the way that you can find your answer. You have to be patient because love isn’t just something that you will randomly find, love is like art, you have to learn new skills in order to shape your masterpiece and end up with something beautiful. You have to experience love and let yourself go, stop hiding from everyone in your own world of fantasy and go out there and experience new things. I can’t give you exact answer of what love is because you have to find it on your own, love comes to us in different ways and we all might have different answers of what love is to us but in the end they will all be right. As I said before, you have to look for your own answer and don’t be afraid to experience new things, my friend. I wish you the best in finishing your masterpiece, I hope you find the answer of what love is.

    Sincerely,
    Fromm

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  8. Dear Mr. J. Alfred Prufrock,
    It is a warm pleasure for you to send me this letter and letting me review this for you. As I read your poem, I felt that I wanted to assist you on your endeavor of why the love you tried seek for unfortunately couldn't happen. Your poem that you sent to me is a situation I truly want to help you go through. I appreciate your thoughts that you have laid on your paper, but I also I believe that what you see as love is something that hinders you from being able to grasp it. Please note that the things I say are ideas that will help you improve on what your view is on love and I want you to understand this so that you can improve on your situation on love. The first thing I would like to tell is that I want you to try to find that balance and unity that shapes up your view on love. I remember seeing in your poem when you said a repetitive group of "times" within your poem. When I first saw this, I felt that you were too convinced with finding your love that all you want is the time to think about it. But then as you put in this image of "yellow smoke," this begins to confuse me because I feel that you are segregating yourself from this particular kind of love that you want to grasp. I think that you feel self-conscious from society that you don't want to open from this hazy barrier blinding your sight from love. I also realized that you have many changes when you stated the words, "evening," "morning," and "afternoon." I think that as you kept switching on with this different time situations, I feel that you are at an imbalance with yourself and that you can't decipher the love that you want to reach for. I want you to stay at a steady pace with yourself - listen to your own voice, and especially learn to embrace yourself willingly that you won't seclude yourself of the love you couldn't obtain. I understand that this is a love that you willingly wanted to try to get, but overall, you may also need to think that love is also a type of art. Love isn't something that you think you can master easily, as you will have to keep practicing and practicing until you are able to reach that pinnacle of success. Don't be discouraged about what happened to you but use that experience to embrace yourself, let yourself go and just be you. Don't allow fear to overwhelm you as it will make you create self-doubt within yourself. Let yourself be free. Don't think about it as it will make you feel stressed in your current situation.
    Also, when your trying to find love, it is very much essential that you should find the person you love by their inner-self instead of the exterior of the woman you want to pursue. Sure, beauty is something that will attract the eye, but don't just look at that aspect. You have to learn to see into that interior of whom the person you want to talk to and just learn to see the person of who they really are. That will essentially help aid you when your trying to find that person. Don't look at the person as an object of beauty, but to also know how that object will function as you will get to know that person.
    Overall, I hope that my assistance will help aid you in love. Love is something that you need to learn through and practice and practice instead of letting it deteriorate who you are. Be sure to let go of the pain and misery that secludes you from society as being more free and opening up will benefit you greatly. I truly hope you take my advice into consideration and I wholeheartedly wish you the very best with your journey. If you have any more lingering questions, please don't feel nervous to contact me.
    Sincerely,
    Mr. Fromm

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  9. Dear Mr. Prufrock,

    IS LOVE an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort. My dear boy Alfred, you must understand this basic part of love. You talk and talk about all these allusions of love. Alfred you’re a theorist and a bit jealous of people actually in love. You don’t mention a particular women or anything specific. Everything about you seems to be fake; you like to be cute about love with your fancy Italian nonsense. Love isn’t given out on a sliver platter my friend. You must seek it. Don’t be so pessimistic about it either. Hears where the problem is “Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one's capacity to love” Alfred you would be one of these people. You’re wasting your time being jealous by watching women in love with Michelangelo. You want to be loved just like Michelangelo. In your poem you keep on repeating that point. But you cant be Michelangelo, your J. Alfred Prufrock. The difference between you two is that Michelangelo has conjured up a lot of knowledge and effort in his life, while you say, “I grow old… I grow old… I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled” you sound like a defeated man if I every saw one. I bet Michelangelo wasn’t caught up with how he appears to others or what people like of him. All he’s does is let the actions of his paintings and sculptures speak for themselves. That’s what you have to do. You just have to put yourself out there, give it some effort, and learn from your mistakes. Women probably weren’t in love with Michelangelo after his first couple of pieces, it happened with time and effort. Once you accomplished this just let your achievements speak for themselves. You have a long road ahead of you my friend. You better start soon

    Your Friend,
    Fromm

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  10. Dear Mr. Prufrock,

    I have heard your yearning for love, and I must say you are misguided. You musn’t beckon love toward you and pray for it to save you from your misery. Mr. Prufrock, in your loneliness I believe you have mistaken love for a marketplace. It is not an object you should look to acquire, and you are no consumer. These things imply a separation between you and a potential love. You must dive in and embody your deep feeling, give what you want to get. It is a risk to give yourself up to people, to become vulnerable, but at the same time how can you expect love if you don’t give it? You struggle because you only wonder what’s in it for you. Love others; respect them, care for them. Make them feel a sense of connectedness, and allow them to blossom. Only then will love creep into your life.

    I respect the time you provide for the topic of love – too many people ignore the subject. However, you are too abstract about love. It is an art that can be learned, not by lamenting one’s failure but by going out into the world unafraid of being knocked back down.

    I hope this letter finds you well, Mr. Prufrock. Remember that love is a two way game, and that you must learn how to give. Do not allow your loneliness to discourage you from exploring love; you can master it if you put in the time.

    From,
    Fromm

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  11. Dear Mr. Prufrock,
    I’m writing this letter because I have been told of your failure in dealing with a love that has escaped you. Your enclosed way of thinking has giving you the wrong impression of love and it has had you feeling all the wrong emotions. You can’t go around in hope that love will come knocking at your front door, and not to mention your lack of confidence. No human being is a bother to the universe you clown! Please dare, dare to get off your behind with the confidence and reach for love. You must remember however that love is indeed an art, it requires patience and time to master. Your age should not be a reason to slow you down; it should actually enable you because with your years comes some knowledge, be wise about your decisions. Its essential to know what you are getting yourself into, know what you want and seek. Don’t settle. Respect what you stand for and who you are but also prepare yourself to respect whoever it is you come across. Care for the person; show emotion, positive emotions don’t be so negative. Life is too short to isolate yourself from the world Prufrock, go out and explore. Be confident. You’ll be fine. Be the master of your own masterpiece.

    The Guru,
    Fromm

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  12. Dear Mr. Prufrock,

    Unfortunately, I do not agree with how you view love and how to obtain it. I have read your “love poem” and I would like to respectfully disagree with you. In the Love Poem, there is evidence that you have fallen in love with the over romanticized version of love. Instead of truly learning how to love someone yourself, you have isolated yourself and fancied yourself an expert. In this way, you have fallen into the trap of the “generic love.” A generic love is what everybody else thinks love is. The true way to love is experiencing it out yourself. Not everybody loves the same way and everybody copes and reacts differently to different situations. Not only do you lack the knowledge on how to love, but also you lack the respect required to allow the love to thrive. In respecting you’re partner, you are respecting yourself. However, in the Love Poem, it seems like women are only things to claim, an item for you to pick up and show around. You do not truly care for these women; instead you objectify them and parade them. This is shown by how little you speak of the woman you “love”. Instead the reader receives physical attributes that everyone has. Making the women seem as if she is nothing special. The key to love is respecting yourself and allowing yourself to break free from the little fantasy world you have set yourself in. Be confident in yourself and learn to love yourself before you can love anybody else.
    Sincerely,
    Fromm

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