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"I think of the postmodern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows he cannot say to her, "I love you madly,: because he knows that she knows (and that she knows that he knows" that these words have already been written by Barbara Cartland. Still, there is a solution. He can say "As Barbara Cartland would put it, I love you madly."

-Eco, Postscript to Name of the Rose

Date: 2006-12-13 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasonlizard.livejournal.com
Why is that depressing? I find it really amusing.

Date: 2006-12-13 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wsmith.livejournal.com
It is amusing. I think it may just be the context of it. I saw it in a study on the demystification of romance. The implication was that so much had been done to death that everything now seems terribly unoriginal. :)

Date: 2006-12-13 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] robdamnit.livejournal.com
It is depressing because it would have us believe people are too jaded, blasé and caught up in appearing clever to actually risk the vulnerability inherent in expressing a true heart-felt sentiment. It is depressing because it is the catalog blurb for one of the many nails in the coffin of romance.

Date: 2006-12-13 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wsmith.livejournal.com
For more nails, refer to:

The End of Romance: The Demystification of Love in the Postmodern Age
James J. Dowd, Nicole R. Pallotta
Sociological Perspectives, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Winter, 2000), pp. 549-580

Date: 2006-12-13 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dianec42.livejournal.com
I'm With Stupid also does a decent job of striking a stake through the heart of romance. It even has a chapter explaining the insanity that is modern romance, and how it all got started. I found it hilarious.

Date: 2006-12-13 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] richenza.livejournal.com
I find the notion of a copyright on "I love you" pretty funny.

I think people often look at their romatic relationships as being so wonderful that they must be unique, and thus merit a unique expression.

Some like shrieking "SQUEEZE!" Some like making alarming zoological noises. Cory used to make a particular whistle when he was feeling expectionally fond of me. I asked him once why he did it, and he told me that his dad had a hard time saying "I love you", so his dad would whistle that particular whistle instead. Cory grew up knowing that the whistle meant "I love you". I always thought it was kind of sweet.

Romance is all a matter of perspective. I expect that if Eco's cultivated lady prefers her "I love you"s to be accompanied by footnotes - well that is their business. It can't be weirder than the monkey noises.

Date: 2006-12-13 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasonlizard.livejournal.com
Sounds like a jaded (bitter perhaps?) author. I've never seen a couple who was hot for each other pause and say, "Ah, but it's all been done before! Screw it! Let's go home and watch HBO."

Date: 2006-12-13 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wsmith.livejournal.com
An excellent point. :) Still, the point of the study was well taken. It didn't say that people had stopped being passionate. I think it was saying that courting behaviors had changed. Love is not dead, nor is sex, or passion, but romance. That was my reading of it anyway. Damn JSTOR and their "you have to pay for that research paper" behavior.

Date: 2006-12-14 02:23 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Romance is only dead for smart people. Ignorant people still do it. ;)

Date: 2006-12-13 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] benndragon.livejournal.com
There is absolutely nothing original or unique about love. Why that isn't itself a source of wonder is beyond me, though.

Date: 2006-12-13 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] richenza.livejournal.com
not remotely related but are you interested in doing dinner tonight? We haven't seen you in a couple of weeks, and we've gotten out of the habit of being social. :)

Date: 2006-12-13 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wsmith.livejournal.com
Sure. Give me a call this evening and we'll figure things out. :)

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