A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a powerful book.
Of all the philosophical graffiti written on the backs of bathroom doors when I was in college, my favorite was a simple survey: Are you in love or in love with the idea of love? Most people chose the latter.
Barthes tackles the depth and breadth of the idea of love, in all its agony and ecstasy. There are meditations on waiting, on jealousy, on how love at first sight is like rape. Barthes tackles the ideas of Werther, Nietzsche, Freud, and sprinkles the etymology of various Greek, French and Italian words for good measure.
Just read this:
This is how it happens sometimes, misery or joy engulfs me, without any particular tumult ensuing: nor any pathos: I am dissolved, not dismembered, I fall, I flow, I melt. Such thoughts grazed, touched, tested (the way you test the water with your foot) can recur.
Nothing solemn about them.
This is exactly what gentleness is.
I was bowled over by this book. It is something to read again and again, and to ponder.
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