The Art of Love

Use a thousand means, since there are thousands of ends.
Earth brings forth varying yield: one soil is good for the olive,
One for the vine, and a third richly productive in corn.
Hearts have as many moods as the heaven has constellations:
He who is wise will know how to adapt to the mood.
      —Ovid, Ars Amatoria

 One’s own person becomes an instrument in the practice of the art, and must be kept fit, according to the specific function it has to fulfill. With regard to the act of loving, this means that anyone who aspires to become a master in this art must begin by practicing discipline, concentration and patience throughout every phase of his life.
     —Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

Seid nur nicht so faul und so verweicht
Denn Genießen ist bei Gott nicht leicht!
Starke Glieder braucht man und Erfahrung auch:
Und mitunder stört ein dicker Bauch.
     —Bertold Brecht, Choral von Manne Baal

 You ask how loving can happen—the emotion of loving. She answers: Perhaps a sudden lapse in the logic of the universe. She says: Through a mistake, for instance. She says: Never through an act of will. You ask: Could the emotion of loving come from other things too? You beg her to say. She says: It can come from anything, form the flight of a night bird, from a sleep, from a dream of sleep, form the approach of death, from a word, form a crime, of itself, often without knowing how.
     —Maguerite Duras, La maladie de la morte

They drop the book when it grows clear to them
that the two people in the book are themselves.
     —Jorge Luis Borges, Inferno V, 129


~ by severalfourmany on May 27, 2009.

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