Book: On love (Alain de Botton) (continued)

[This post originally appeared in Dullicious, where I blogged as Barbie-dull for several years.]

I have finished the excellent novel “on love” by Alain de Botton. I will read the last three chapters again in a little while. Maybe then will I get the author’s philosophical message and or life advice.

Intermittences of the heart:

[[Language flatters our indecisions with its stability. It allows us to hide under an illusory permanence and fixity while the world changes minute by minute.]]

[[However happy we may be with our partner, our love for them necessarily prevents us [unless we live in a polygamous society] from starting other romantic liaisons. But why should this constrain us if we truly loved them? Why should we feel this as a loss unless our love for them has already begun to wane? The answer perhaps lies in the uncomfortable thought that in resolving our need to love, we may not always succeed in resolving our need to long.]]

[[Romantic nostalgia descends when we are faced with those who might have been our lovers, but whome chance has decreed we will never know. The possibility of an alternative love life is a reminder that the life we are leading is only one of a myria of possible lives, and it is perhaps the impossibiliity of leading them all that plunges us into sadness.]]

[[The unknown carries with it a mirror of all our deepest, most inexpressible wishes.]]

[[Longing cannot indefinitely direct itself at those we know, for their qualities are charted and therefore lack the mystery longing demands.]]

The fear of happiness:

[[Though the pursuit of happiness was an avowed central goal, it was accompanied by an implicit belief that the realization of this Aristotelianism lay somewhere in the very distant future.]]

Romantic terrorism:

[[And so at this point, desperate to woo the partner back at any cost, the lover turns to romantic terrorism, the product of irredeemable situations, a gamut of tricks [sulking, jealousy, guilt] that attempts to force the partner to return love, by blowing up [in fits of tears, rage, or otherwise] in front of the loved one. The terroristic partner knows he or she cannot realistically hope to see his or her love reciprocated, but the futility of something is not always [in love or in politics] a sufficient argument against it. Certain things are said not because they will be heard, but because it is important to speak.]]

[[The sulker is a complicated creature, giving off messages of deep ambivalence, crying out for help and attention while at the same time rejecting it should it be offered, wanting to be understood without needing to speak.]]

[[Romantic terrorism is a demand that negates itself in the process of its resolution, it brings the terrorist up against an uncomfortable reality –that love’s death cannot be arrested.]]

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