Essays in Love


[…] One does not get angry with a donkey for not being able to sing, for the donkey’s constitution never gave it a chance to do anything but snort.

[…] The arrogance of wanting to be loved had emerged only now it was unreciprocated —I was left alone with my desire, defenceless, beyond the low, shockingly crude in my demands: “Love me!” And for what reason?

I had only the usual paltry, insufficient excuse: “Because I love you.”

Humour lined the walls of irritation between our ideals and the reality.

Now I vaguely understand how I got through 4 semesters of philosophy in uni (+ that one on existentialism in French). This book landed on my lap last Friday. It was devoured in less than 24 hours. I’ve had a keen interest in Alain de Botton and keep promising myself to get hold of copies of The Art of Travel and The Consolations of Philosophy, though never got around to. Essays in Love was his first book, written when he was 23 —and certainly my least expected weekend read (I never knew about it until it, quite literally, landed on my lap).

The book seems to depict the thoughts, questions and dilemmas that we may often dimiss as overanalysing doubts whilst we are caught in such amorous phases (of, you know, love). And while they may indeed spin heads and possibly induce some mental diarrhea, one cannot help but recognise (some if not most of) these supposed overanalytical, overrationalising thoughts that in the end, one way or another—if one manages to disengage from the mental centripetal force, actually do help.

And though de Botton proposes that Romantic Positivism nor Stoicism may not be the healthiest or best philosophical approach to, well, getting on with life and bouncing back post-love —I am certainly curious to see what actually does work for me. (Personally, good old ‘stoic and I have been fairing quite well).


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