The Romantic Movement

Started reading The Romantic Movement by my Alain de Botton over the weekend. It was perfect timing … I was feeling a little off/low/defeated when it came to the other sex. Here’s one of the excerpts I jotted over that spoke to me.

‘You’re having a good time, you’re laughing, but what’s bothering you is you don’t know whether or not you can trust me. You’re thinking, ‘Is this guy genuine or is he some kind of a creep? Is this all just a joke or is there something serious behind it.’ You don’t quite know how to act. If it’s all a joke, then you want nothing to do with it, but one side of you thinks it might not be and hence you should stick around.

It’s the permanent female problem, whether or not to trust a man when he’s seducing. You may like a man without trusting him, but one thing you want to avoid is getting hurt again.”

That’s kind of where I am right now. Personally. It kind of sucks.

I just dug up in my archives of my old blog at Xanga to find some quotes I jotted down in my reading journal from 2005 when I finished reading my first Botton book, On Love. Very interesting to see what excerpts got me in 2005 since that was shortly after the break up of my most serious relationship. Here are a few selected quotes from my first time reading On Love by Alain de Botton. I picked these quotes and copied them over in December 2005.

“But there is no inconsistency between a betrayal and a declaration of love when time is taken into equation. “I love you” can only be taken to mean, “I love you now.”

Hanging over every love story is the thought, as horrible as it is unknowable, of how it will end. It is as when, in full health and vigor, we try to imagine our own death, the only difference between the end of love and the end of life being that at least in the latter, we are granted the comforting thought that we will not feel anything after death. No such comfort for the lover, who knows the end of relationship will not necessarily be the end of love, and almost certainly not the end of life.

“Doubt is easy when it is not a matter of survival: We are as skeptical as we can afford to be, and it is easiest to be skeptical about things that do not fundamentally sustain us. It is easy to doubt the existence of a table; it is hell to doubt the legitimacy of one’s love. “

Medical history tells us of the case of a man living under the peculiar delusion that he was a fried egg. Quite how or when this idea had entered his head, no one knew, but he now refused to sit down anywhere for fear that he would ‘break himself’ and ‘spill the yolk.’ His doctors tried sedatives and other drugs to appease his fears, but nothing seemed to work. Finally one of them made the effort to enter the mind of the deluded patient and suggested he should carry a piece of toast with him at all times, which he could place on any chairs he wished to sit on,and hence protect himself from spillage. From then on, the deluded man was never seen without a piece of toast handy and was able to continue a more or less normal existence.

What is the point of the story? It merely shows that though one may be living under a delusion [love, the belief that one is an egg], if one finds the complementary part for it [another lover under a similar delusion, a piece of toast] then all may be well.

Please consider using the Amazon links from this blog entry if you are interested in buying either of these two books. :)