Saturday, July 10, 2010

Contained intoxication?

Stendhal on the balancing act of intoxication and restraint in love:
The whole art of loving seems to me, in a nutshell, to consist in saying precisely what the degree of intoxication requires at any given moment.
And as Belknap interprets:
If the lover is truly in love, he will be bursting to ask, bursting to tell, bursting to know and to make known. But he must always be patient, always willing to bide his time, to keep his sweet sentiments and his ardent gestures to himself until the time for them arrives. And though the beloved may waver in her affection, the lover cannot let his faith be shaken. The love affair as a whole contains moments of distance and moments of closeness; the lover must always adapt, stay ready, and roll with the punches.
I'll excuse the exclusive use of the masculine third person...

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