Tag Archives: literature about love

Love (28)

Please pardon the absence; been busy and oddly happy.

We looked closely at the Kharg root. Without admitting it to ourselves, we sensed that there was something feminine about its shape. It was, in fact, a kind of plump, dark-hued pear, with a skin like suede, slightly cracked, the underside was covered in purplish down. From top to bottom the root was divided by a groove that resembled the line of a vertebral column.

The Kharg was very pleasant to touch. Its velvety skin seemed to respond to contact with the fingers. This bulb with its sensual contours hinted at a strange life that animated its mysterious interior.

Intrigued by its secret, I made a scratch on its chubby surface with my thumbnail. A blood-red liquid poured into the scratch mark. We exchanged puzzled looks. “Let me see,” demanded Samurai, taking the Kharg from my hands.

He produced his knife and cut into the bulb of the root of love, following the groove. Then, thrusting his thumbs into the down at the base of the fleshy oval, he pulled them apart smartly.

We heard a kind of brief creak — like the sound of a door frozen fast with ice when it finally yields under pressure.

We all bent forward to get a better view. Within a pinkish fleshy lap we saw a long, pale leaf. It was cuffed up with that moving delicacy often encountered in nature. And it inspired mixed feelings in us: to destroy, to smash this useless harmony, or… We really did not know what should be done with it. And thus for several moments we gazed at the leaf; it was reminiscent of the transparency and fragility of the wings of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

Even Samurai seemed vaguely embarrassed, faced with this unexpected and disconcerting beauty.

Finally, with a brisk movement, he stuck the two halves of the Kharg together and thrust the root into a pocket of his knapsack.
Andrei Makine, Once Upon the River Love, trans. Geoffrey Strachan, Russia/France, 1994


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Love (22)

Madame de Saint-Ange: The most entire liberty, Eugenie. On my side, I did everything I wished without his raising any obstacles, but I took no lover: I was too fond of pleasure for that. Unluck woman, she who is attached; she needs but take a lover to be lost, while ten scenes of libertinage, repeated every day, if she wishes, vanish into the night of silence instantly they are consummated. I was wealthy: I had young men in my pay, they fucked me incognito, I surrounded myself with charming valets, assured of tasting the sweetest pleasures with me upon condition of discretion, certain they would be thrown out-of-doors if they so much as opened their mouths. You have no idea, dear heart, of the torrent of delights into which, in this manner, I plunged. Such is the conduct I will always urge upon every woman who would imitate me. During my twelve married years I have been fucked by over ten or twelve thousand individuals… and in the company I keep I am thought well-behaved! Another would have had lovers; by the time she exchanged the first for the second she would have been doomed.
– (predictably) the Marquis de Sade, Philosophy in the Bedroom (La Philosophie dans le Boudoir), France, 1795


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Love (18)

He pictures the evening he might have spent, snugly at home, fixing the food he has bought, then lying down on the couch beside the bookcase and reading himself slowly sleepy. At first glance this is an absolutely convincing and charming scene of domestic contentment. Only after a few instants does George notice the omission that makes it meaningless. What is left out of the picture is Jim, lying opposite him at the other end of the couch, also reading; the two of them absorbed in their books yet so completely aware of each other’s presence.
Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man, the United States, 1964

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Love (7)

It is so beautiful, so exciting, this love, that I tremble on the verge of it, and offer, quite out of my own habit, to look for a brooch on the beach; also it is the stupidest, the most barbaric of human passions, and turns a nice young man with a profile like a gem (Paul’s was exquisite) into a bully with a crowbar (he was swaggering, he was insolent) in the Mile End Road. Yet she said to herself, from the dawn of time odes have been sung to love; wreaths heaped and roses; and if you asked nine people out of ten they would say they wanted nothing but this; while the women, judging from her own experience, would all the time be feeling, This is not what we want; there is nothing more tedious, puerile, and inhumane than love; yet it is also beautiful and necessary.

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse, England (yes, again, sorry), 1927

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