Monday, September 10, 2007

Excerpts from "Love Warps the Mind a Little"

Love Warps the Mind a Little is one of those novels that completely takes you in and holds you prisoner as its stories unfolds. It's one of those books that you're anxious to finish just so you can start to read it again.

From the chapter: A Many-Layered, Infolded Mystery

Love at first sight is irresistible and inexplicable. I want to say it's transmundane, but transmandane seems haughty, and love at first sight is not that. It arrives without warning and is earned without effort, leaving us startled and grateful. It is neither reasonable nor calculated. It is like ecstasy, like rapture, like standing outside yourself. It is apprehension not thought, gesture not word. Love at first sight elevates romance above the level of accident-the accident of geography or economics or occupation. It is, we may decide, destiny. Love at first sight is sudden, ineffable, profoundly emotional, and absolutely transfiguring. It's what we live for. It's the obliterating focus on the beloved and the eloquent shortness of breath. It is a stroke of lightning, as the French say, a blast of passion.

Love is anticipation and memory, uncertainty and longing. It's unreasonable, of course. Nothing begins with so much excitement and hope and pleasure as love, except maybe writing a story. And nothing fails as often, except writing stories. And like a story, love must be troubled to be interesting. We crave love, can't live without its intimacy, though it pains us. Judi told me that every person in therapy has a love disorder: never felt love, can't find love, trapped by love, unraveled by love, thinks love is lust or love is loss, fears love, loves too much, uses love for profit, jealous in love, lost in love, love affairs, unrequited love, love sick, doesn't love Mom, won't love Dad, can't love the kids, can't love the self, hopeless love, self-absorbed love, love as a crutch, love as a truncheon, love in ruins, crazy love, love that eats the heart, careless love, drowning in love, love that dares not speak its name, blind love, consuming love, obsessive love, conditional love, dangerous love, first love, last love, fickle love, love and marriage, love lost, secret love, love on the run, love that hates, dutiful love, borrowed love, thief of love, love in embers, love in vain, love in shackles, love maligned, love that warps the mind a little.

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