Saturday, January 20, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Daniel Handler

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The world gets grimy and the love object is in stark relief from its surroundings. This is love, a pretty thing on an ugly street and why wouldn't you pick it up if it appeared in a taxi cab.

 
Daniel Handler

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Pretty woman, he thought. Pretty little black-skinned woman. Who wanted to kill for love, die for love. The pride, the conceit of these doormat women amazed him. They were always women who had been spoiled children. Whose whims had been taken seriously by adults and who grew up to be the stingiest, greediest people on earth and out of their stinginess grew their stingy little love that ate everything in sight. They could not believe or accept the fact that they were unloved; they believed that the world itself was off balance when it appeared as though they were not loved. Why did they think they were so lovable? Why did they think their brand of love was better than, or even as good as, anybody else's? But they did. And they loved their love so much they would kill anybody who got in its way.

 
Toni Morrison
 

Is it an excellence in your love that it can love only the extraordinary, the rare? If it were love’s merit to love the extraordinary, then God would be — if I dare say so — perplexed, for to Him the extraordinary does not exist at all. The merit of being able to love only the extraordinary is therefore more like an accusation, not against the extraordinary nor against love, but against the love which can love only the extraordinary. Perfection in the object is not perfection in the love. Erotic love is determined by the object; friendship is determined by the object; only love of one’s neighbor is determined by love. Therefore genuine love is recognizable by this, that its object is without any of the more definite qualifications of difference, which means that this love is recognizable only by love.

 
Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
 

If the street life, not the Whitechapel street life, but that of the common but so-called respectable part of town is in any city more gloomy, more ugly, more grimy, more cruel than in London, I certainly don't care to see it. Sometimes it occurs to one that possibly all the failures of this generation, the world over, have been suddenly swept into London, for the streets are a restless, breathing, malodorous pageant of the seedy of all nations.

 
Willa Cather
 

You know, actually we have no love — that is a terrible thing to realize. Actually we have no love; we have sentiment; we have emotionality, sensuality, sexuality; we have remembrances of something which we have thought as love. But actually, brutally, we have no love. Because to have love means no violence, no fear, no competition, no ambition. If you had love you will never say, "This is my family." You may have a family and give them the best you can; but it will not be "your family" which is opposed to the world. If you love, if there is love, there is peace. If you loved, you would educate your child not to be a nationalist, not to have only a technical job and look after his own petty little affairs; you would have no nationality. There would be no divisions of religion, if you loved. But as these things actually exist — not theoretically, but brutally — in this ugly world, it shows that you have no love. Even the love of a mother for her child is not love. If the mother really loved her child, do you think the world would be like this? She would see that he had the right food, the right education, that he was sensitive, that he appreciated beauty, that he was not ambitious, greedy, envious. So the mother, however much she may think she loves her child, does not love the child. So we have not that love.

 
Jiddu Krishnamurti
 

What thing is love?—for (well I wot) love is a thing
It is a prick, it is a sting,
It is a pretty, pretty thing;
It is a fire, it is a coal,
Whose flame creeps in at every hole!

 
George Peele
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