|LOCKS representing true love forever on Paris bridges|
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Monday, August 20, 2012
To Love Truly Is To Want The Other Free
At the heart of love à la française lies the idea of
freedom. To love truly is to want the other free, and this
includes the freedom to walk away. Love is not about
possession or property. Love is no prison where two
people are each other’s slaves. Love is not a commodity,
either. Love is not capitalist, it is revolutionary. If
anything, true love shows you the way to selflessness.
So please tell me where is the grey, boring, monotonous
thought of "cheating" coming from?
The French Know
Yet, instead of sharing the naïve joy of the world’s
Romeos and Juliets, some Parisians have felt
increasingly irritated. Walking on those bridges
has become almost insufferable for them. The pain
doesn’t come only from the fact that some bridges,
like Pont de l’Archevêché and Pont des Arts, now
feel as if they could collapse under the weight of
tourists’ undying love but also from the idea
that a lock could represent love. Such an
idea is abhorrent to many French people.
“The fools! They haven’t understood a thing about love, have they?”
.......Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir famously never married and
never lived together and, although a couple in the absolute sense of the term,
they had lasting and meaningful relationships with strings of brilliant minds
and pretty faces. They deemed jealousy bourgeois and
In his recent book, “In Praise of Love,” the French
reminds us that love implies
constant risk. There is no safe,
everlasting love. The idea
that you can lock two people’s
love once and for all, and toss
the key, is a puerile fantasy.
For Mr. Badiou, love is
inherently hazardous, always
on the brink of failure and
above all vulnerable. Embrace its fragility, wish your
to be free and you might just, only just, have a chance to
retain his or her undying gratitude, and love. But don’t
dream of locks and throwing keys overboard,
DeLillo's Elise in Cosmopolis:
In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison writes (and I have quoted this many times), “Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly. There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love.”
In Mourning Diary, Roland Barthes writes (he is speaking of emotional intelligence), “…intelligence is everything that permits us to live superlatively with another person.”
This is where knowing how to treat someone well and wanting to treat someone well converge.
From Masha Tupitsyn: