Essays in Love will appeal to anyone who has ever been in a relationship or confused about love. The book charts the progress of a love affair from the first kiss to argument and reconciliation, from intimacy and tenderness to the onset of anxiety and heartbreak. The work's genius lies in the way it minutely analyses emotions we've all felt before but have perhaps never understood so well: it includes a chapter on the anxieties of when and how to say ' I love you' and another on the challenges of disagreeing with someone else's taste in shoes. While gripping the reader with the talent of a great novelist, de Botton brings a philosopher's sensibility to his analyses of the emotions of love, resulting in a genre-breaking book that is at once touching and thought-provoking. ' The book's success has much to do with its beautifully modelled sentences, its wry humour and its unwavering deadpan respect for its reader's intelligence ..of keen observation and flashes of genuine lyricism, acuity and depth.' Francine Prose, New Republic ' Witty, funny, sophisticated, neatly tied up, and full of wise and illuminating insights.' P.
A few weeks back, I thought I should open some old boxes and check what books were there inside. One should never do this, because one is never sure what is going to come out of an old box. If I take all the books out of the box and put them out, they will crowd my already bookishly crowded room. One can get lost in a different world for a long, long time. If I put them back in the box and banish the box to the place where it came from, I will always be thinking about the books in it. But unfortunately I didn’t follow my own advice and I took the first box and opened it. So, I thought I will take some of the books out of the box and keep them out. I thought that maybe I will read a little bit of each of them and then read one or more of them fully.
“Every fall into love involves the triumph of hope over self-knowledge. We fall in love hoping we won't find in another what we know is in ourselves, all the cowardice, weakness, laziness, dishonesty, compromise, and stupidity. We throw a cordon of love around the chosen one and decide that everything within it will somehow be free of our faults. We locate inside another a perfection that eludes us within ourselves, and through our union with the beloved hope to maintain (against the evidence of all self-knowledge) a precarious faith in our species.” ― Alain de Botton, “Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved.” ― Alain de Botton, “We fall in love because we long to escape from ourselves with someone as beautiful, intelligent, and witty as we are ugly, stupid, and dull. But what if such a perfect being should one day turn around and decide they will love us back?
"The longing for a destiny is nowhere stronger than in our romantic life" we are told at the outset of Alain de Botton's On Love, a hip, charming, and devastatingly witty rumination on the thrills and pitfalls of romantic love. The narrator is smitten by Chloe on a Paris-London flight, and by the time they've reached the luggage carousel, he knows he is in love. He loves h"The longing for a destiny is nowhere stronger than in our romantic life" we are told at the outset of Alain de Botton's On Love, a hip, charming, and devastatingly witty rumination on the thrills and pitfalls of romantic love. The narrator is smitten by Chloe on a Paris-London flight, and by the time they've reached the luggage carousel, he knows he is in love. He loves her chestnut hair and pale nape and watery green eyes, the way she drives a car and eats Chinese food, the gap that makes her teeth Kantian and not Platonic, her views on Heidegger's Being and Time - although he hates her taste in shoes.
is a novel about two young people, who meet on an airplane between London and Paris and rapidly fall in love. The structure of the story isn’t unusual, but what lends the book its interest is the extraordinary depth with which the emotions involved in the relationship are analysed. An entire chapter is devoted to the nuances and subtexts of an initial date. Another chapter mulls over the question of how and when to say ‘I love you’. There’s an essay on how uncomfortable it can be to disagree with a lover’s taste in shoes and a lengthy discussion about the role of guilt in love. The book is an intriguing blend of novel and non-fiction.
The bestselling author of The Architecture of Happiness and How Proust Can Change Your Life revisits his utterly charming debut book, Essays in Love. The narrator is smitten by Chloe on a Paris-to-London flight, and by the time they’ve reached the luggage carousel he knows he is in love. He loves her chestnut hair, watery green eyes, the gap that makes her teeth Kantian and not Platonic, and her views on Heidegger’s Being and Time — but he hates her taste in shoes. What makes this book extraordinary is the depth with which the emotions involved in the relationship are analysed. Plotting the course of their affair from the initial delirium of infatuation to the depths of suicidal despair, through a fit of anhedonia — defined in medical texts as a disease resulting from the terror brought on by the threat of utter happiness — and finally through the terrorist tactics employed when the beloved begins, inexplicably, to drift away, Essays in Love is filled with profound and witty observations on the pain and exhilaration of love. An entire chapter is devoted to the nuances and subtexts of an initial date, while another chapter mulls over the question of how and when to say “I love you.” With allusions to Aristotle, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Groucho Marx, de Botton has plotted an imaginative and microscopically detailed romance.
This is partly a novel, and partly a collection of essay-like analyses of love. The story follows the relationship between a man and a woman, from the moment they meet on a plane. Of course, the book charts their relationship, so the end is inevitable, even if we hope it won’t be (much like the lovers themselves, I suppose). The psychological ‘essays’ that are woven in with the story are intriguing and sometimes enlightening, but of course de Botton’s mission is practically impossible. He is trying to find general truths about something that is necessarily always unique, which is why the ‘part-story’ element works so well.