Literary Birthday – 23 March – Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm was born 23 March 1900, and died 18 March 1980.


  1. Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. ‘Patriotism’ is its cult.
  2. Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
  3. To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.
  4. Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says: ‘I need you because I love you.’
  5. We all dream; we do not understand our dreams, yet we act as if nothing strange goes on in our sleep minds, strange at least by comparison with the logical, purposeful doings of our minds when we are awake.
  6. Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.
  7. The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have.
  8. There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
  9. The capacity to be puzzled is the premise of all creation, be it in art or in science.
  10. That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.
  11. Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.
  12. I am convinced that boredom is one of the greatest tortures. If I were to imagine Hell, it would be the place where you were continually bored.

Erich Fromm was a German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, and humanistic philosopher. His works include The Art of LovingLove, Sexuality, and Matriarchy; and Man for Himself. He was associated with what became known as the Frankfurt School of critical theory.

Source for Image: Müller-May / Rainer Funk

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 23rd March 2013