A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears. x5p16pi
Woodrow Wyatt (b. 1918), British journalist. To the Point, "The Ears Have
It" (1981). Wyatt's reasoning, apropos of women, was that "what is
said to them and what they believe about a man's status is usually more important
than the superficiality of good looks."
A pity beyond all telling
Is hid in the heart of love.
W. B. Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet. The Pity of Love.
Oh, Jacques, we're used to each other, we're a pair of captive hawks caught
in the same cage, and so we've grown used to each other. That's what passes
for love at this dim, shadowy end of the Camino Real.
Tennessee Williams (1914-83), U.S. dramatist. Marguerite Gautier to Jacques
Casanova, in Camino Real, Block 15.
However it is debased or misinterpreted, love is a redemptive feature. To focus
on one individual so that their desires become superior to yours is a very cleansing
Jeanette Winterson (b. 1959), British author. Times (London, 26 Aug. 1992).
For love … has two faces; one white, the other black; two bodies; one
smooth, the other hairy. It has two hands, two feet, two tails, two, indeed,
of every member and each one is the exact opposite of the other. Yet, so strictly
are they joined together that you cannot separate them.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. Orlando, ch. 2 (1928).
Love is a great beautifier.
Louisa May Alcott (1832-88), U.S. author. Little Women, pt. 2, ch. 1 (1869).
The Impossible Generalized Man today is the critic who believes in loving those
unworthy of love as well as those worthy-yet believes this only insofar as no
personal risk is entailed. Meaning he loves no one, worthy or no. This is what
makes him impossible.
Nelson Algren (1909-81), U.S. author. Notes from a Sea Diary: Hemingway All
the Way, "Prefatory" (1966).
Love is made by two people, in different kinds of solitude. It can be in a crowd,
but in an oblivious crowd.
Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. Taped discussion in La Révolution
Surréaliste, no. 11, Paris, 15 March 1928; repr. in Recherches sur la
Sexualité, Jan. 1928- Aug. 1932, "Second Session, ed. by José
For a crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk
but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays,
"Of Friendship" (1597-1625).
The fate of love is that it always seems too little or too much.
Amelia Barr (1831-1919), Anglo-American novelist. The Belle of Bolling Green,
ch. 5 (1904).
Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than
its rarity that it is not only apolitical but antipolitical, perhaps the most
powerful of all antipolitical human forces.
Hannah Arendt (1906-75), German-born U.S. political philosopher. The Human Condition,
pt. 5, ch. 33 (1958).
Love is the victim's response to the rapist.
Ti-Grace Atkinson (b. 1938?), U.S. feminist writer. Quoted in: Sunday Times
Magazine (London, 14 Sept. 1969).
We are not commanded (or forbidden) to love our mates, our children, our friends,
our country because such affections come naturally to us and are good in themselves,
although we may corrupt them. We are commanded to love our neighbor because
our "natural" attitude toward the "other" is one of either
indifference or hostility.
W. H. Auden (1907-73), Anglo-American poet. A Certain World, "Neighbor,
Love of One's" (1970).
To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria
where language is both too much and too little, excessive … and impoverished.
Roland Barthes (1915-80), French semiologist. A Lover's Discourse, "Inexpressible
Love" (1977; tr. 1979).
If you say, I love you, then you have already fallen in love with language,
which is already a form of break up and infidelity.
Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929), French semiologist. Cool Memories, ch. 4 (1987;
When we understand that man is the only animal who must create meaning, who
must open a wedge into neutral nature, we already understand the essence of
love. Love is the problem of an animal who must find life, create a dialogue
with nature in order to experience his own being.
Ernest Becker (1924-74), U.S. psychologist, cultural anthropologist. The Structure
of Evil, pt. 2, ch. 9, "A Brief Ontology of Love" (1968).
Naturally, love's the most distant possibility.
Georges Bataille (1897-1962), French novelist, critic. La Somme Athéologique,
vol. 2, Guilty, "Alleluia," sct. 4 (1944).
It is unfortunately very true that, without leisure and money, love can be
no more than an orgy of the common man…. Instead of being a sudden impulse
full of ardour and reverie, it becomes a distastefully utilitarian affair.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), French poet. "The Painter of Modern Life,"
sct. 9 (published in L'Art Romantique, 1869; repr. in Selected Writings on Art
and Artists, ed. by P. E. Charvet, 1972).
To love someone is to isolate him from the world, wipe out every trace of him,
dispossess him of his shadow, drag him into a murderous future. It is to circle
around the other like a dead star and absorb him into a black light.
Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929), French semiologist. Fatal Strategies, "Ironic
Strategies" (1983; tr. 1990).
Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.
Hebrew Bible. The Song of Solomon 2:5.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath
torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Bible: New Testament. 1 John 4:18.
If I place love above everything, it is because for me it is the most desperate,
the most despairing state of affairs imaginable.
André Breton (1896-1966), French Surrealist. Taped discussions, 3 March
1928 (published in Recherches sur la Sexualité, Jan. 1928-Aug. 1932,
"Sixth Session," ed. by José Pierre, 1990).
When first we met we did not guess
That Love would prove so hard a master.
Robert Bridges (1844-1930), British poet. Triolet.
his is my commandment, that ye love one another.
Bible: New Testament. Jesus, in John 15:12.
Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another's loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven's despite.
William Blake (1757-1827), English poet, painter, engraver. Songs of Experience,
"The Clod & the Pebble" (1794), reply of the Pebble to the Clod
of Clay's declaration that "Love seeketh not itself to please,/Nor for
itself hath any care,/But for another gives its ease,/And builds a Heaven in
To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. Other Inquisitions, "The
Meeting in a Dream" (1952).
All the little emptiness of love!
Rupert Brooke (1887-1915), British poet. Peace.
Real love is a pilgrimage. It happens when there is no strategy, but it is very
rare because most people are strategists.
Anita Brookner (b. 1938), British novelist, art historian. Interview in Women
Writers Talk (ed. by Olga Kenyon, 1989).
O lyric Love, half angel and half bird
And all a wonder and a wild desire.
Robert Browning (1812-89), English poet. The Ring and the Book, bk. 1.
In love, as in gluttony, pleasure is a matter of the utmost precision.
Italo Calvino (1923-85), Italian author, critic. Charles Fourier, Theory of
the Four Movements, Introduction (1971; repr. in The Literature Machine, 1987).
Believes the impossible.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61), English poet. Aurora Leigh, bk. 5 (1857).
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say,
I love her for her smile … her look … her way
Of speaking gently … for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and, certes, brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee-and love so
May be unwrought so.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61), English poet. Sonnets from the Portuguese,
We loved, sir-used to meet:
How sad and bad and mad it was But then, how it was sweet!
Robert Browning (1812-89), English poet. Confessions, st. 9.
The desire for possession is insatiable, to such a point that it can survive
even love itself. To love, therefore, is to sterilize the person one loves.
Albert Camus (1913-60), French-Algerian philosopher, author. The Rebel, pt.
4 (1951; tr. 1953).
Love, Arthur, is a poodle's chance of attaining the infinite, and personally
I have my pride.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894-1961), French author. Ferdinand Bardamu,
in Journey to the End of the Night (1932; tr. 1934; 1966, p. 8).
If there's delight in love, 'tis when I see
That heart, which others bleed for, bleed for me.
William Congreve (1670-1729), English dramatist. Song sung by Mrs. Hodgson,
in The Way of the World, act 3, sc. 12.
Love is the extra effort we make in our dealings with those whom we do not
like and once you understand that, you understand all. This idea that love overtakes
you is nonsense. This is but a polite manifestation of sex. To love another
you have to undertake some fragment of their destiny.
Quentin Crisp (b. 1908), British author. "Love Lies Bleeding," in
New Statesman & Society (London, 9 Aug. 1991; first broadcast 6 Aug. 1991).
'Tis said of love that it sometimes goes, sometimes flies; runs with one, walks
gravely with another; turns a third into ice, and sets a fourth in a flame:
it wounds one, another it kills: like lightning it begins and ends in the same
moment: it makes that fort yield at night which it besieged but in the morning;
for there is no force able to resist it.
Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), Spanish writer. Leonela, in Don Quixote, pt.
1, bk. 4, ch. 7 (1605; tr. by P. Motteux).
Love and war are the same thing, and stratagems and policy are as allowable
in the one as in the other.
Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), Spanish writer. Don Quixote, in Don Quixote,
pt. 2, bk. 5, ch. 21 (1615; tr. by P. Motteux).
The lyf so short, the craft so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so hard, so sharp the conquerynge,
The dredful joye, alwey that slit so yerne;
Al this mene I be love.
Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), English poet. First lines of The Parlement of
Foules, in The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (ed. by Alfred W. Pollard, et al.,
Men and women are not free to love decently until they have analysed themselves
completely and swept away every mystery from sex; and this means the acquisition
of a profound philosophical theory based on wide reading of anthropology and
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), British occultist. The Confessions of Aleister
Crowley, ch. 44 (1929; rev. 1970).
Art is not necessary at all. All that is necessary to make this world a better
place to live in is to love-to love as Christ loved, as Buddha loved.
Isadora Duncan (1878-1927), U.S. dancer. From the first chapter of her memoirs,
dictated in Berlin in 1924 but never completed (published in This Quarter, Paris,
To love one child and to love all children, whether living or dead-somewhere
these two loves come together. To love a no-good but humble punk and to love
an honest man who believes himself to be an honest man-somewhere these, too,
Marguerite Duras (b. 1914), French author, filmmaker. "The Path of Joyful
Despair," interview, in Le Monde (Paris, 1977; repr. in Outside: Selected
If we seek the pleasures of love, passion should be occasional, and common
Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. "The Pleasures
of Love," in Saturday Night (Canada, 23 Dec. 1961; repr. in The Enthusiasms
of Robertson Davies, 1990).
Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone-but not the complete
structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding.
Bette Davis (1908-89), U.S. screen actor. The Lonely Life, ch. 19 (1962).
Love was as subtly catched, as a disease;
But being got it is a treasure sweet,
Which to defend is harder than to get:
And ought not be prophaned on either part,
For though 'tis got by chance,'tis kept by art.
John Donne (c. 1572-1631), English divine, metaphysical poet. Last lines of
It was the men I deceived the most that I loved the most.
Marguerite Duras (b. 1914), French author, filmmaker. Practicalities, "The
Chimneys of India Song" (1987; tr. 1990).
For what is love itself, for the one we love best?-an enfolding of immeasurable
cares which yet are better than any joys outside our love.
George Eliot (1819-80), English novelist, editor. Daniel Deronda, bk. 8, ch.
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), Anglo-American poet, critic. East Coker, pt. 5, in
It's unthinkable not to love-you'd have a severe nervous breakdown. Or you'd
have to be Philip Larkin.
Lawrence Durrell (1912-90), British author. Interview in Observer (London, 11
Romantic love, in pornography as in life, is the mythic celebration of female
negation. For a woman, love is defined as her willingness to submit to her own
annihilation…. The proof of love is that she is willing to be destroyed
by the one whom she loves, for his sake. For the woman, love is always self-sacrifice,
the sacrifice of identity, will, and bodily integrity, in order to fulfill and
redeem the masculinity of her lover.
Andrea Dworkin (b. 1946), U.S. feminist critic. "The Root Cause,"
speech, 26 Sept. 1975, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (published
in Our Blood, ch. 9, 1976).
A supreme love, a motive that gives a sublime rhythm to a woman's life, and
exalts habit into partnership with the soul's highest needs, is not to be had
where and how she wills.
George Eliot (1819-80), English novelist, editor. Felix Holt, The Radical, ch.
If only the strength of the love that people feel when it is reciprocated could
be as intense and obsessive as the love we feel when it is not; then marriages
would be truly made in heaven.
Ben Elton (b. 1959), British author, performer. Stark, "Private Investigations"
He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks
at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues
which it possesses.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Method
of Nature," oration, 11 Aug. 1841, delivered to the Society of the Adelphi,
Waterville College, Me. (published in The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1889).
Well, love is insanity. The ancient Greeks knew that. It is the taking over
of a rational and lucid mind by delusion and self-destruction. You lose yourself,
you have no power over yourself, you can't even think straight.
Marilyn French (b. 1929), U.S. author, critic. Valerie, in The Women's Room,
ch. 4, sct. 10 (1977).
Love is often nothing but a favorable exchange between two people who get the
most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market.
Erich Fromm (1900-80), U.S. psychologist. The Sane Society, ch. 5, "Alienation"
At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That's a
form of divine drunkenness that we can all try.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), U.S. author. John to Kismine, in The Diamond
as Big as the Ritz, ch. 11 (1922).
I don't want to live-I want to love first, and live incidentally.
Zelda Fitzgerald (1900-48), U.S. writer. Letter, March 1919, to F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Quoted in: Nancy Milford, Zelda, pt. 1, ch. 4 (1970).
The idea that nations should love one another, or that business concerns or
marketing boards should love one another, or that a man in Portugal should love
a man in Peru of whom he has never heard-it is absurd, unreal, dangerous….
The fact is we can only love what we know personally. And we cannot know much.
E. M. Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. Two Cheers for Democracy,
"Tolerance" (1951; first published 1941).
Immature love says: "I love you because I need you." Mature love says:
"I need you because I love you."
Erich Fromm (1900-80), U.S. psychologist. The Art of Loving, ch. 2 (1956).
Love, love, love-all the wretched cant of it, masking egotism, lust, masochism,
fantasy under a mythology of sentimental postures, a welter of self-induced
miseries and joys, blinding and masking the essential personalities in the frozen
gestures of courtship, in the kissing and the dating and the desire, the compliments
and the quarrels which vivify its barrenness.
Germaine Greer (b. 1939), Australian feminist writer. The Female Eunuch, "Obsession"
One would always want to think of oneself as being on the side of love, ready
to recognize it and wish it well-but, when confronted with it in others, one
so often resented it, questioned its true nature, secretly dismissed the particular
instance as folly or promiscuity. Was it merely jealousy, or a reluctance to
admit so noble and enviable a sentiment in anyone but oneself?
Shirley Hazzard (b. 1931), Australian-American author. The Evening of the Holiday,
ch. 9 (1965).
What then in love can woman do?
If we grow fond they shun us.
And when we fly them, they pursue:
But leave us when they've won us.
John Gay (1685-1732), English playwright. Polly and Lucy, in The Beggar's Opera,
act 3, sc. 8, Air 49.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), Lebanese poet, novelist. The Prophet (1923).
Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists…. When we
are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete
like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I
imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence.
GoncourtEdmond de (1822-96) and Jules de (1830-70), French writers. The Goncourt
Journals (1888-96; repr. in Pages from the Goncourt Journal, ed. by Robert Baldick,
1962), entry for 15 Nov. 1859.
Madame, it is an old word and each one takes it new and wears it out himself.
It is a word that fills with meaning as a bladder with air and the meaning goes
out of it as quickly. It may be punctured as a bladder is punctured and patched
and blown up again and if you have not had it it does not exist for you. All
people talk of it, but those who have had it are marked by it, and I would not
wish to speak of it further since of all things it is the most ridiculous to
talk of and only fools go through it many times.
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Death in the Afternoon, ch. 11 (1932).
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
Samuel Johnson (1709-84), English author, lexicographer. Quoted in: William
Cooke, Life of Samuel Foote, vol. 2 (repr. in Johnsonian Miscellanies, vol.
2, ed. by George Birkbeck Hill, 1897).
Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's
cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it…. It really
is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble
is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
Erica Jong (b. 1942), U.S. author. Hans, in How to Save Your Own Life, "Intuition,
extuition …" (1977).
Only the really plain people know about love-the very fascinating ones try so
hard to create an impression that they very soon exhaust their talents.
Katharine Hepburn (b. 1909), U.S. actor. Look (New York, 18 Feb. 1958).
Love's like the measles-all the worse when it comes late in life.
Douglas Jerrold (1803-57), English playwright, humorist. The Wit and Opinions
of Douglas Jerrold, "A Philanthropist" (1859). The author Jerome K.
Jerome developed the idea in his Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, "On Being
in Love" (1889): "Love is like the measles; we all have to go through
it. Also like the measles, we take it only once."
Love (understood as the desire of good for another) is in fact so unnatural
a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself, the soul being unable to become
virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the
ocean of another's soul.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. Notes to the play Exiles (written 1914-15;
'Tis very much like light, a thing that everybody knows, and yet none can tell
what to make of it: 'Tis not money, fortune, joynture, raving, stabbing, hanging,
romancing, flouncing, swearing, ramping, desiring, fighting, dying, though all
those have been, are, and still will be mistaken and miscalled for it.
The Ladies' Dictionary, "Love" (1694).
I shall always be a priest of love.
D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930), British author. Letter, 25 Dec. 1912 (published
in The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, vol. 1, ed. by James T. Boulton, 1979).
We love in another's soul
whatever of ourselves
we can deposit in it; the greater the deposit, the greater the love.
Irving Layton (b. 1912), Canadian poet. The Whole Bloody Bird, "Aphs"
True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about but few have seen.
François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-80), French writer, moralist.
Sentences et Maximes Morales, no. 76 (1678).
We are nearer loving those who hate us than those who love us more than we
François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-80), French writer, moralist.
Sentences et Maximes Morales, no. 321 (1678).
The world is wonderful and beautiful and good beyond one's wildest imagination.
Never, never, never could one conceive what love is, beforehand, never. Life
can be great-quite god-like. It can be so. God be thanked I have proved it.
D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930), British author. Letter, 2 June 1912 (published in
The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, vol. 1, ed. by James T. Boulton, 1979). Lawrence
wrote the letter after eloping to Germany with Frieda von Richthofen, wife of
his old university professor, whom he later married.
We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just
accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by
itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and
John Lennon (1940-80), British rock musician. Man of the Decade, broadcast,
30 Dec. 1969, ATV.
If there is any country on earth where the course of true love may be expected
to run smooth, it is America.
Harriet Martineau (1802-76), English writer, social critic. Society in America,
"Marriage," vol. 3 (1837).
The love boat has crashed against the everyday.
Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930), Russian poet, playwright. Untitled last poem
found after his suicide (repr. in Viktor Shklovsky, Mayakovsky and his Circle,
ch. 25, 1940; ed. and tr. by Lily Fieler, 1972).
A man has only one escape from his old self: to see a different self-in the
mirror of some woman's eyes.
Clare Boothe Luce (1903-87), U.S. diplomat, writer. Mrs. Morehead, in The Women,
act 1 (1936).
Great passions, my dear, don't exist: they're liars' fantasies. What do exist
are little loves that may last for a short or a longer while.
Anna Magnani (1918-73), Egyptian-born Italian actor. Quoted in: Oriana Fallaci,
The Egotists, "Anna Magnani" (1963).
Nowadays men cannot love seven night but they must have all their desires: that
love may not endure by reason; for where they be soon accorded and hasty, heat
soon it cooleth. Right so fareth love nowadays, soon hot soon cold: this is
no stability. But the old love was not so.
Sir Thomas Malory (c. 1430-71), English author. Le Morte d'Arthur, bk. 18, ch.
Parrots, tortoises and redwoods
Live a longer life than men do,
Men a longer life than dogs do,
Dogs a longer life than love does.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), U.S. poet. Pretty Love I Must Outlive You.
No love is entirely without worth, even when the frivolous calls to the frivolous
and the base to the base.
Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. The Nice and the Good,
ch. 39 (1968).
To love, for us men, is to clasp one woman with our arms, feeling that she
lives and breathes just as we do, suffers as we do, thinks with us, loves with
us, and, above all, sins with us.
Baroness Orczy (1865-1947), Hungarian-born British novelist, playwright. Sir
Percy Blakeney, in I Will Repay, ch. 7 (1906).
To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some
people more than others.
George Orwell (1903-50), British author. Shooting an Elephant, "Reflections
on Gandhi" (1950).
The spiritualization of sensuality is called love: it is a great triumph over
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher. Twilight of the Idols,
"Morality as Anti-Nature," aph. 3 (1889).
Love is the final end of the world's history, the Amen of the universe.
Novalis aFriedrich von Hardenbergi (1772-1801), German poet, novelist. Thoughts
on Religion, pt. 1 in Hymns and Thoughts on Religion (tr. and ed. by W. Hastie,
1888), from Fragments (1799-1800).
If love … means that one person absorbs the other, then no real relationship
exists any more. Love evaporates; there is nothing left to love. The integrity
of self is gone.
Ann Oakley (b. 1944), British sociologist, author. Taking It Like a Woman, "Love:
Love is the cheapest of religions.
Cesare Pavese (1908-50), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand:
Diaries 1935-1950 (1952; tr. 1961), entry for 21 Dec. 1939.
People who are not in love fail to understand how an intelligent man can suffer
because of a very ordinary woman. This is like being surprised that anyone should
be stricken with cholera because of a creature so insignificant as the comma
Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Remembrance of Things Past, vol.
2, "Swann's Way: Swann in Love" (1913; tr. by Scott Monkrieff, 1922).
Many people when they fall in love look for a little haven of refuge from the
world, where they can be sure of being admired when they are not admirable,
and praised when they are not praiseworthy.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician. The Conquest
of Happiness, ch. 9 (1930).
In love, there is always one who kisses and one who offers the cheek.
French Proverb. George Bernard Shaw adapted this proverb in Heartbreak House,
act 2: "One turns the cheek: the other kisses it. One provides the cash:
the other spends it."
Love is the direct opposite of hate. By definition it's something you can't
feel for more than a few minutes at a time, so what's all this bullshit about
loving somebody for the rest of your life?
Judith Rossner (b. 1935), U.S. author. Nine Months in the Life of an Old Maid,
pt. 2 (1969).
Love, the quest; marriage, the conquest; divorce, the inquest.
Helen Rowland (1875-1950), U.S. journalist. A Guide to Men, "Syncopations"
Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the
Helen Rowland (1875-1950), U.S. journalist. A Guide to Men, "Variations"
Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), French aviator, author. Wind, Sand,
and Stars, ch. 8 (1939).
I regard as a mortal sin not only the lying of the senses in matters of love,
but also the illusion which the senses seek to create where love is only partial.
I say, I believe, that one must love with all of one's being, or else live,
come what may, a life of complete chastity.
George Sand (1804-76), French novelist. The Story of My Life, vol. 4, pt. 5,
ch. 7 (1856). Men could never adhere to this principle, Sand added, but women,
"helped by shame and public opinion," can easily accept the doctrine
once convinced of its worth.
To say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English dramatist, poet. Bottom, in A Midsummer
Night's Dream, act 3, sc. 1, on hearing Titania's declaration of love.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs,
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes,
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English dramatist, poet. Romeo, in Romeo and
Juliet, act 1, sc. 1.
It is the privilege of those who fear love to murder those who do not fear it!
May Sarton (b. 1912), U.S. poet, novelist. Hilary Stevens, in Mrs. Stevens Hears
the Mermaids Singing, pt. 2 (1965).
Perhaps the old monks were right when they tried to root love out; perhaps
the poets are right when they try to water it. It is a blood-red flower, with
the colour of sin; but there is always the scent of a god about it.
Olive Schreiner (1855-1920), South African writer, feminist. The Story of an
African Farm, pt. 2, ch. 8 (1883).
Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English dramatist, poet. Rosalind, in As You
Like It, act 4, sc. 1.
Love is too young to know what conscience is.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English dramatist, poet. Sonnet 151.
True love makes the thought of death frequent, easy, without terrors; it merely
becomes the standard of comparison, the price one would pay for many things.
Stendhal (1783-1842), French author. De l'Amour, "Various Fragments,"
sct. 46 (1822).
The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy
of the women who love me.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. Charteris,
in The Philanderer, act 2.
Love is free; to promise for ever to love the same woman is not less absurd
than to promise to believe the same creed; such a vow in both cases excludes
us from all inquiry.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), English poet. Even Love Is Sold, a note from
Queen Mab (1813).
Familiar acts are beautiful through love.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), English poet. The Earth, in Prometheus Unbound,
When desire, having rejected reason and overpowered judgment which leads to
right, is set in the direction of the pleasure which beauty can inspire, and
when again under the influence of its kindred desires it is moved with violent
motion towards the beauty of corporeal forms, it acquires a surname from this
very violent motion, and is called love.
Socrates (469-399 B.C.), Greek philosopher. Quoted in: Plato, Phaedrus.
We often speak of love when we really should be speaking of the drive to dominate
or to master, so as to confirm ourselves as active agents, in control of our
own destinies and worthy of respect from others.
Thomas Szasz (b. 1920), U.S. psychiatrist. The Second Sin, "Love"
I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money.
No, I wouldn't touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him
for the love of God.
Mother Teresa (b. 1910), Albanian-born Roman Catholic missionary. A Gift for
God, "Riches" (1975).
What is the main thing in love? to know and to hide. To know about the one you
love and to hide that you love. At times the hiding (shame) overpowers the knowing
(passion). The passion for the hidden-the passion for the revealed.
Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941), Russian poet. The House at Old Pimen, ch. 2 (1934;
repr. in A Captive Spirit: Selected Prose, ed. and tr. by J. Marin King, 1980),
on her youthful love for a girl.
For it is the suffering flesh, it is suffering, it is death, that lovers perpetuate
upon the earth. Love is at once the brother, son, and father of death, which
is its sister, mother, and daughter. And thus it is that in the depth of love
there is a depth of eternal despair, out of which springs hope and consolation.
Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936), Spanish philosophical writer. The Tragic Sense
of Life, ch. 7 (1913).
Love feels no burden, regards not labors, strives toward more than it attains,
argues not of impossibility, since it believes that it may and can do all things.
Therefore it avails for all things, and fulfils and accomplishes much where
one not a lover falls and lies helpless.
Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471), German monk, mystic. The Imitation of Christ,
pt. 3, ch. 6 (1471).
Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because
I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is
united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love,
shall return to the general and eternal source.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian novelist, philosopher. Prince Andrew, in War
and Peace, bk. 12, ch. 4 (1868-69).
To love one person with a private love is poor and miserable: to love all is
Thomas Traherne (1636-74), English clergyman, poet, mystic. Centuries, "Fourth
Century," no. 69 (written c. 1672; first published 1908).
An affair wants to spill, to share its glory with the world. No act is so private
it does not seek applause.
John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. Couples, ch. 2 (1968).
A man in love is like a clipped coupon-it's time to cash in.
Mae West (1892-1980), U.S. screen actor. On Sex, Health and ESP, "That
Four-Letter Word!" (1975).
Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
Peter Ustinov (b. 1921), British actor, writer, director. Christian Science
Monitor (Boston, 9 Dec. 1958).
I've only been in love with a beer bottle and a mirror.
Sid Vicious (1957-79), British punk rocker. Sounds (London, 9 Oct. 1976).
If somebody says, "I love you," to me, I feel as though I had a pistol
pointed at my head. What can anybody reply under such conditions but that which
the pistol-holder requires? "I love you, too."
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (b. 1922), U.S. novelist. Wampeters, Foma and Granfallons,
"Address at Dedication of Wheaton College Library, 1973" (1974).
Fantasy love is much better than reality love. Never doing it is very exciting.
The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.
Andy Warhol (1928-87), U.S. pop artist. From A to B and Back Again, ch. 3 (1975).
It has ever been since time began,
And ever will be, till time lose breath,
That love is a mood-no more-to man,
And love to a woman is life or death.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1855-1919), U.S. poet, journalist. Blind, st. 1.
When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always
ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The
Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 4 (1891). The same words reappeared spoken by Lord
Illingworth in A Woman of No Importance, act 3.
In her first passion woman loves her lover,
In all the others all she loves is love.
Lord Byron (1788-1824), English poet. Don Juan, cto. 3, st. 3. The words are
from La Rochefoucauld, Maximes, no. 471 (1678).
The magic of first love is our ignorance that it can ever end.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), English statesman, author. Henrietta Temple, pt.
4, ch. 1 (1837).
We love but once, for once only are we perfectly equipped for loving.
Cyril Connolly (1903-74), British critic. The Unquiet Grave, pt. 1 (1944; rev.
First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. Broadbent,
in John Bull's Other Island, act 4.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
The advantage of love at first sight is that it delays a second sight.
Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972), U.S.-born French author. Quoted in: Adam,
no. 299, "Samples from Almost Illegible Notebooks" (London, 1962).
I do not think that what is called Love at first sight is so great an absurdity
as it is sometimes imagined to be. We generally make up our minds beforehand
to the sort of person we should like, grave or gay, black, brown, or fair; with
golden tresses or raven locks;-and when we meet with a complete example of the
qualities we admire, the bargain is soon struck.
William Hazlitt (1778-1830), English essayist. Table Talk, vol. 2, "On
the Knowledge of Character" (1822).
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight?
Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), English dramatist, poet. Hero and Leander,
Mine ear is much enamoured of thy note;
So is mine eye enthrallèd to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me
On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English dramatist, poet. Titania to Bottom,
while he is cursed with an ass's head, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 3,
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