February 12, 2016
Love is an incredibly complicated idea. It is ubiquitous…in the universe, in literature, in our lives. Everyone experiences love, all ages and in all forms. We can talk about familial love, the love of brothers and sisters, our love of entertainment, platonic love, love that holds a marriage together, the love of a child, love of self, etc. The list is enormous. So, what do we celebrate, when we think of St. Valentine, Valentine’s Day or a day for love? What is this idea of love?
One of the more interesting aspects of love is the fact that we make extra allowances for it. We forgive (or at least empathize) more readily when we know that someone committed a crime out of love (not passion, love). On the flip side of this idea, however, is the fact that love gone awry also incurs the most brutal of hatred. For these reasons tales of fiction become profoundly complicated, mixing characters and emotions in any number of ways. Since the best discussions of love exist in literature itself, we offer no real definitions in today’s blog. Instead, the following quotes open the door to a discussion of the idea of love itself. Feel free to leave a comment with one of the millions of excellent quotes that we couldn’t fit into today’s post. Thanks!
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self–my good angel – I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.” – Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
“Elizabeth’s spirit’s soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. ‘How could you begin?’ said she. ‘I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?’
‘I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” – Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
“There were no embraces, because where there is great love there is often little display of it.” – Don Quixote, Miquel de Cervantes Saavedra
“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,/ My love as deep; the more I give to thee,/ The more I have, for both are infinite.” – Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
“To be wise and love, Exceeds man’s might” – Troilus and Cressida, William Shakespeare
“Love alone is literate in the world of origin; it can decipher identity and destiny.” – Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, John O’Donohue
“True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.” – Honore de Balzac
“Stronger than lover’s love is lover’s hate. Incurable, in each, the wounds they make.” – Medea, Euripides
“Could there be finer symptoms? Is not general incivility the very essence of love?” – Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
“We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love…. One is very crazy when in love.” – Sigmund Freud
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” – Romans 12:9, King James Bible
“Freely we serve/ Because we freely love, as in our will/ To love or not; in this we stand or fall.” – Paradise Lost, John Milton
“The life so short, the craft so long to learn,/ The assay so hard, so sharp the conquering,/ The fearful joy that slips away in turn,/ All this mean I by Love, that my feeling/ Astonishes with its wondrous working/ So fiercely that when I on love do think/ I know not well whether I float or sink.” – Parliament of Fowls, Geoffrey Chaucer
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis
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