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The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvellous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life. -- Sir Hugh Walpole

amour fou - altruism - cult - desire - eros - erotica - emotion - feeling - human - free love - lust - narcissism - need - -philia - preference - romantic love - sexuality - Venus

Venus, c. 1485 - Botticelli


Love is a special affection for someone or something, a feeling or emotion. Various different types of love exist, which are more or less related:

Some languages, such as ancient Greek, are better than the English at distinguishing between the different senses in which the word love is used. For example, ancient Greek has the words philia, eros, agape, and storge, meaning love between friends, romantic/sexual love, unconditional (possibly sacrificial, unreciprocated) love, and affection/familial love respectively. However, with Greek as with many other languages, it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words totally, and so we can find examples of agape being used with much the same meaning as eros. At the same time the ancient Greek text of the Bible has examples of the verb agapo being used with the same meaning as phileo. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love, Mar 2004

Is (romantic) love a form of mental illness?

“The language of Valentine's Day cards and love songs-‘crazy for you,’ ‘madly in love,’ et cetera-may reveal an important truth. Sometimes, love looks like a mental disorder, says British clinical psychologist Frank Tallis. . . . The author of ‘Love Sick: Love as a Mental Illness,’ Mr. Tallis has a private practice in London, where he says he often has patients who are suffering mentally because of love. ‘Some people are referred to me because of an admission to depression or anxiety disorder, but in fact, once we'd explored issues around their problems, it was clear they were just in love.’ . . . -- via http://theszaszblog.blogspot.com/2005/02/is-love-form-of-mental-illness.html [Feb 2005]

Songs with love in the title or lyrics

The Symposium (360 B.C.E) - Plato

  1. The Symposium (360 B.C.E) - Plato [Amazon.com]
    In his celebrated masterpiece, Symposium, Plato imagines a high-society dinner-party in Athens in 416 BC. The guests--including the comic poet Aristophanes and Plato's mentor Socrates--each deliver a short speech in praise of love. The sequence of dazzling speeches culminates in Socrates' famous account of the views of Diotima, a prophetess who taught him that love is our means of trying to attain goodness, and a brilliant sketch of Socrates himself by a drunken Alcibiades, the most popular and notorious Athenian of the time. Engaging the reader on every page, this new translation conveys the power, humor, and pathos of Plato's creation and is complemented by full explanatory notes and an illuminating introduction.

    Falling in Love (1979) - Francesco Alberoni

  2. Falling in Love (1979) - Francesco Alberoni [Amazon.com]
    Francesco Alberoni (Born December 31, 1939 in Piacenza, Italy) an Italian Sociologist and Journalist. Is a Professor in Sociology. Francesco Alberoni was a Board Member and Senior Board Member (Chairman) of Rai , the national Italian Television, from 2002-2005. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_Alberoni [Jan 2006]

    On Love (1993) - Alain de Botton

  3. On Love (1993) - Alain de Botton [Amazon.com]
    A tour-de-force pleasure of a first novel that takes a conventional love story and textures it with philosophical ruminations, ironic subtitles, and various sorts of playfulness, including pencil drawings. The narrator, on a flight from Paris to London, meets Chloe in the first chapter, ``Romantic Fatalism'': ``The longing for a destiny is nowhere stronger than in our romantic life.'' In each ironically titled chapter to follow (``Marxism,'' ``Beauty,'' Skepticism and Faith,'' etc.), the paragraphs are numbered, as de Botton develops his disquisition upon love and its limitations. Apothegms abound: ``If the fall into love happens so rapidly, it is perhaps because the wish to love has preceded the beloved....'' The narrator falls for Chloe, but even at the beginning, dishonesty enters the picture: ``What sides of myself should I release?'' The narrator, in fact, is a prevaricator, leaving the relationship to speculate upon various matters: ``Few things can be as antithetical to sex as thought.'' Soon enough, disillusionment sets in: Chloe, trying to read Cosmo, tells the narrator to turn down the ``yodeling.'' It's Bach. ``Understanding Chloe, I was like a doctor, passing hands over a body, trying to intuit the interior.'' Understandably, Chloe tires of such a creep, and the two practice ``romantic terrorism.'' (``Is there anything wrong?'' ``No, why, should there be?'') Chloe, unfaithful, leaves him to contemplate suicide--and ``The Jesus Complex''--before he finds Rachel and the whole thing starts again.... A dissertation/novel on romantic narcissism that's both intellectually stimulating and emotionally touching. A very promising debut. (First printing of 25,000) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates

    Alain de Botton, born in Zurich, Switzerland on December 20, 1969, is a London-based writer. He is the son of the Swiss financier and Art collector, Gilbert de Botton. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_de_Botton [Jan 2006]

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