Romance was among the most frequent themes recorded in a recent statistical analysis of those collected in my commonplace book. From a much larger number, I have selected the following to post on this auspicious day.
Eros is everywhere. It is what binds. John Updike
Love feels more and more like the only subject. Salman Rushdie
Talking about love is like dancing about architecture. From Playing By Heart (film)
There was always an inbalance in love—the one who loved and the one who was loved. Most of her life she had denied it, desiring above all a total equality in love. But nothing in her real experience proved her theory—her wish—correct. Frederick Tuten, The Green Hour.
In the ten years since the car crash took her from him, he had cherished her more than while she was alive. Julius sometimes heaved with despair when he thought of how his lush contentment with Miriam, the true idyllic soaring moments of life, had come and gone with his fully grasping them….He knew also that no other woman would ever really matter to him. Irving Yalom, The Schopenhauer Cure.
She loved him unconditionally, and there is nothing more sustaining than that. Eliot Perlman, Seven Types of Ambiguity
Love never dies, he said. James Salter, Last Night (A short story)
Love…like food or air, is necessary but insufficient; it can’t do for us what we must do for ourselves. Certainly, it can no longer act as an organizing principle. Romantic love now seems a yearning to dive down into feeling and come up magically changed, when what is required for the making of a self is the deliberate pursuit of consciousness. Vivian Gornick The End of the Novel of Love
Everything else passes away; that which you love remains. She had to believe this, even if she wasn’t sure it was true. Brian Morton Starting Out in the Evening
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy, ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of my life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it next, because it relieves loneliness, the terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss… Bertrand Russell What I Have Lived For
…he found her again, like something he never knew was missing, like a song he had memorized in his youth and had then forgotten. Suddenly, clearly, he could see her, the way he had been able to see her at twenty, not her physical self at twenty, because in every sense she was more beautiful to him now, but he felt that old sensation, the leaving in his heart, the reckless flush of desire…Without these particular circumstances, this specific and horrible place, he might never have realized that the only true love of his life was his wife. Ann Patchett Bell Canto
Our culture, Prose asserts, has too narrowly defined the parameters of what we call love and drastically foreshortened the continuum along which each individual passionate affair or painfully repressed romance…is located… Christina Nehring Eros Unseated, The American Scholar, #71, 2002
Falling in love is the nearest most of us come to glimpsing utopia in our lifetimes. Rebecca Mead on Laura Kipnis’s, Against Love, The New Yorker, August 11, 2003
Loving is so much truer when sympathy and not desire makes the match; for it leaves no wounds. Lawrence Durrell Justine
Is it possible for a person to love without wanting love back? Is anything so pure? Or is love, by its nature, a reciprocity, like oceans and clouds, an evaporating of seawater and a replenishing by rain. Alan Lightman Reunion
It was typical of his life with Elise, when he’d had a life with Elise, that he would like her one minute and dislike her the next, that he would find her heartbreaking and lovable and then turn around moments later and find her repellent. Frederick Barthelme Two Against One
…and he looked at her for the last and final time with yes more luminous, more grief-stricken, more grateful than she had ever seen them in a half century of shared life, and he managed to say to her with his last breath: “Only God knows how much I loved you.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez Pentecost Sunday (A short story)