(Notable Quotables is a meme originally brought to you by the Bewitched Bookworms. Every Monday you’re invited to share a favorite quote or two from the books you’ve been reading.)
I’m a big fan of love (my friends can attest to this). In fact, the older I get the more I am convinced that the purpose of life is to love others — love your significant other, your siblings, your parents, your friends, your enemies, and total strangers. If you make it all the way through life without knowing love of some kind, in the words of the Internet, “ur doin it wrong.”
I’ve never read Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and the synopsis sounds a bit depressing; but I like how it talks about all kinds of love, from the pure to the lustful. I really like this quote, said by Iannis:
“When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are to become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body…For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away.”
Iannis is an older gentleman, and a fictional character. But Anne Frank was a real person, and millions of people have read and cried and been enraged over her diary. Several years ago a publisher released an updated version that included many passages left out of the original book. Although several of the passages detailed more of the rough relationship between Anne and her mother, lots of the passages revolve around the sexual feelings that Anne was beginning to have. Her father, Otto, had these passages left out of the original publications because he didn’t think they were appropriate things for people to think about a 14 year-old girl thinking/writing about. But these parts are beautiful, none more so than this one from March 1944:
“Love, what is love? I don’t think you can really put it into words. Love is understanding someone, caring for him, sharing his joys and sorrows. This eventually includes physical love. You’ve shared something, given something away and received something in return, whether or not you’re married, whether or not you have a baby. Losing your virtue doesn’t matter, as long as you know that for as long as you live you’ll have someone at your side who understands you, and who doesn’t have to be shared with anyone else!”
Love is one of the few things in this world worth fighting and dying for. It’s what brings us into this world, and it’s the only thing we can take with us when we go.
What are you reading this week?