Phi Fic #6 “The Beast in the Jungle” by Henry James


“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” So said dear Nietzsche, and seemingly on his heels, the sentiment was reiterated by Henry James. Our discussion of the short story The Beast in the Jungle pushes the question of madness and love to the limit. Mary and Laura exclaim over the remarkable narcissism of the character John Marcher, and his demands on May Bartram’s attention. Daniel proposes that Marcher’s demand reflects his need for her love in order to define his sense of self. Nathan and Cezary follow our two characters and their struggle to understand whether it’s love that’s shared between them, or if it is, in fact, the beast in the jungle.

Recommending, The World Beyond Your Head by Matthew B. Crawford, Logicomix on Bertrand Russell, The Inferno by Dante, and David Mamet’s Master Class Memo to the Writers of The Unit.

Thanks to Christopher Nolen for our music.

If you have thoughts, recommendations, or questions that you want to send our way, please do via phificpodcast@gmail.com.
Hear more Phi Fic discussions at PhiFicPodcast.com.

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