What's in a name!
The word, ‘erothanatos,’ was first used by an American poet, Leonard Wheeler as the title of a poem. Later, he used the same for his 1882 collection of poetry. Wheeler’s poem, Erothanatos, illustrated the life of an imaginary youth, who was often swayed between joy of life and melancholy. Sometimes intellectual and emotional inertia functioned in him. Though Wheeler did not explain his title, it is clear that he used the word as an amalgamation of two Greek gods-- love-making and melancholia. In his preface to the collection, Erothanatos and Sonnets, Wheeler wrote,
“Death rends the delicate fabric of his love-consecrated dream, and the grave engulfs the object of his adoration. Thus desolated, he abandons himself to miserable grief and the fearful passion of hopeless sorrow. The poem intends to picture his feelings and thoughts from this stage of despair, through the contemplative changes of introspective analysis, through the chaos of scepticism, to the celestial hope and unalienable faith in the after life of divine love beyond the grave.”
The title, Wheeler used, was not a Freudian term. Freud defined melancholia and death-instinct, and their conflict with life-instict much later than the publication of Erothanatos and Sonnets. But, here, we have consciously used the term as a Freudian concept-- the idea that our mind works as a conflict between the life-instinct (eros) and death-instinct (thanatos). So we have borrowed the title of our journal from psychology; more specifically from Freud. Yet it is not a journal of psychology; it is a literary journal. We are only on that point that literature is born within the conflict of the two instincts. In fact, our journal is open for any literary, philosophical, historical and sociological perspective on literature.