Saturday, December 26, 2009


I know you love me.

Would I dare write about love—without feeling to be on a stage of so much tired rhetoric that invisible quote marks would be on everything?

I can’t write of love without laughing, partly because happiness goes with it, but also because—well, The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology “covers” love in a few pages of a chapter with said name. Meanwhile, literary history always beckons ambivalently. And you know I parsed the presence 16 or so ways—which might be meta-grouped 6-wise: friendship, romantic, familial, artistic, intimate, intellectual. But that can look silly, since what’s romantic without intimacy? And marriage includes most—possibly all? (Derrida was married to a psychoanalyst! “No wonder, then.”) What are differences for, beyond heuristics? We have to get beyond easy senses of things to know possibilities and depths.

The Handbook’s Index entry has numerous subcategories, but they’re all referring to that one chapter. So, the subcategories “are,” listed alphabetically (but I wonder what a good genealogical sequence would be):

across cultures
attachment and
evolution of
happiness and
love triangles
measurement of
passionate love
passionate/companionate love
prototypes of
respect and
romantic, history of
self expansion and
sexuality and
social approach to
styles of
subjective well-being and
I love it.

3:20 pm

My interest in feeling as such, love, desire, etc. is not merely self-indulgent. I’ll keep it entertaining here, but postings elsewhere (to be noted here) will get more focused and analytical.

“Feeling,” you might know, is highly topical in neurosciences vis-à-vis understanding emotional intelligence, but the range of feeling typical to literary art isnt’t so much the concern of science. In the long run, I’m interested in seeing a synergy of interests.

“Love” is made central to ethics for those theorists interested in the work of Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt. But the range of meaning of love is not apparently addressed (at least, not by Frankfurt in Reasons of Love, 2004).

“Desire” is a keynote for theorizing action, value, and preference by philosophers interested in Michael Bratman, who employs a notion of “higher-order desire” to analyze conflicts of interest, preference, and value.

So, I play, I indulge myself, but also I have philosophical motives.

7:52 pm

Pedro Almodóvar’s “Broken Embraces” is a must see. I adore its fabulous storyline, stories within stories, comedy within drama.
It’s cinematic fun, every minute. The parody of René Magritte’s painting “the lovers” is hilarious.

The melancholy guitarist singing during the long closing credits (on a black background) caused me to close my eyes and stay to the very last moment (like the ending credits of “Rachel Getting Married,” which has a beautiful violin solo while the camera holds on a garden, like a still life behind the credits).