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Showing posts from August 2, 2019

Essays in Love | Excerpts

  Few things can be as antithetical to sex as thought", says Alain de Botton at one point in this book, the main point of which is to philosophize about romance. That's a formidable challenge, but de-Botton manages to carry it off. A steamy love story unfolds as the author is ruminating on various views on beauty from Kant to Proust, computations of probability that two people might meet on an aircraft, Woody Allen in  Annie Hall , and so forth. In 1822, Stendhal wrote the tract, "On Love", in which he analyzes romantic passion and particularly the process by which positive feelings about a person get accentuated - what he calls "crystallization" - a term from a visit to a salt mine. This is the model for de Botton's more modern, and more fulfilled excursions into romance (Stendahl's was an unrequited love, see below). To establish the philosophic underpinnings of the book, it is written in numbered paragraphs, though no one ever needs to refer to a