Friday, February 12, 2010

No love can survive muteness

I have only ever truly fallen in love through (good) (honest) conversation.

I have only ever become truly heartbroken through its absence.

I think that's probably enough of an introduction to today's group of writings.

Only in conversation . . . can friends find each other and develop that kind of community in which everyone remains the same for the other because both find themselves in the other and find the other in themselves.

- "The Incapacity for Conversation," Hans-Georg Gadamer (via these guys)

Simone:  My love, do answer what I say in my letters, I want to talk to you. I do so long for something solid and hard to hold on to–do speak to me.
J-P:  It has been a joy to write this letter, because it’s the first time I’ve answered.
Simone:  As for your letters, my love, how sweet you are to make them so long, and to answer me and speak to me. How close to you I feel! . . . Thank you, my love, for writing to me like that, for not leaving me.

- From letters between Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre, taken from Letters to Sartre & Witness to my Life (respectively)

When entering into a marriage one ought to ask oneself; do you believe you are going to enjoy talking with this woman up into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory, but most of the time you are together will be devoted to conversation.
Human, All Too Human, Friedrich Nietzsche

"Everything changed when I met you.   Not because my little jobs became more exciting.  but because everything that happens around me I turn into fodder for our conversations."
"We could talk about other things!"
"Two people in love, alone, isolated from the world, that’s very beautiful.  But what would they nourish their intimate talk with?  However contemptible the world may be, they still need it to be able to talk together."
"They could be silent."
"Like those two, at the next table?"  Jean Marc laughed.  "Oh, no, no love can survive muteness."
Identity, Milan Kundera

This is intimacy: the trading of stories in the dark.
Committed, Elizabeth Gilbert

I can imagine the moment
Breaking out through the silence
All the things that we both might say
And the heart it will not be denied
'Til we're both on the same damn side
All the barriers blown away
- Come Talk to Me, Peter Gabriel

Something happened when the house was dark.  They were able to talk to each other again.  The third night after supper they'd sat together on the sofa, and once it was dark he began kissing her awkwardly on her forehead and her face, and though it was dark he closed his eyes, and knew that she did, too.
- A Temporary Matter, Jhumpa Lahiri (warning:  while this story is one of the best and most brilliantly written examples I know of the import of communication in love, it is also the most heartbreaking.  read at your own risk.)


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