Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Heart to Heart: In Praise of Love

A few years ago "snark vs. smarm" became a hot topic on Twitter, Gawker and blogs. Some real heavyweights  offered opinions, including Tom Scocca and Malcolm Gladwell. I'd been amused at the time, and particularly had admired Grammarphobia's discussion of where the two words originated...probably because it concluded with a quotation from Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll.

Now, as Valentine's Day approaches, I've been shuffling through cards in local shops, shaking my head in dismay. The ones labeled "funny" nearly uniformly are snarky. The ones meant to be romantic indeed are smarmy. Nonetheless, when I saw Chicken Soup for the Soul's choice of an illustration in a recent newsletter,  mittened hands framing a lovely and loving quote from Vincent Van Gogh, I cheered up a little. Does "love" really need a defense? If so, here's a book I hope to be reading on Valentine's Day...I've put a hold request on it with my local library.

Who is Alain Badiou? Here's the note from the publisher: "Alain Badiou is the Rene Descartes Chair at the European Graduate School. A leading French philosopher and lifelong communist, he is a co-author (with Nicolas Truong) of In Praise of Love (The New Press) and the author of The Meaning of Sarkozy, Being and Event, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, and The Communist Hypothesis. He lives in Paris."

Here's the blurb that caused me to scuttle to my library account:

In a world rife with consumerism, where online dating promises risk-free romance and love is all too often seen only as a variant of desire and hedonism, Alain Badiou believes that love is under threat. Taking to heart Rimbaud’s famous line “love needs reinventing,” In Praise of Love is the celebrated French philosopher’s passionate treatise in defense of love.
For Badiou, love is an existential project, a constantly unfolding quest for truth. This quest begins with the chance encounter, an event that forever changes the two individuals, challenging them “to see the world from the point of view of two rather than one.” This, Badiou believes, is love’s most essential transfiguration.

When it comes to love, I'd trust the French.

What are you reading on Valentine's Day?

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