Sunday, February 05, 2006

On Love

Some thoughts On Love by Alain de Botton (commentary forthcoming):

"There is the old joke made by the Marx who laughed about not deigning to belong to any club that would accept him as a member, a truth as appropriate in love as it is in club membership. We laugh at the Marxist position because of its absurd contradictions: How is it possible that I should wish to belong to a club and then lose that wish as soon as it comes true? How was it that I might have wished Chloe to love me, but be irritated by her when she did so?

"Perhaps because the origins of a certain kind of love lie in an impulse to escape ourselves and our weaknesses by an alliance with the beautiful and the noble. But if the loved one loves us back, we are forced to return to ourselves, and are hence reminded of the things that had driven us into love in the first place. Perhaps it was not love we wanted after all, perhaps it was simply someone in whom to believe--but how can we continue to believe in the beloved now that they believe in us?" (45-46)

"Unrequited love may be painful, but it is safely painful, because it does not involve inflicting damage on anyone but oneself, a private pain that is as bittersweet as it is self-induced." (45)

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