Tag Archives: love

World music classic #883

I sometimes jog, usually along the Antwerp quays, from the Ledeganckkaai to the D’Herbouvillekaai and back.

While running this morning “Walk On By,” a song on lovesickness by Dionne Warwick popped into my head. Do not ask me why, because I’m not particularly lovesick. Maybe running reminded me of walking.

Anyway. Lovesick. Sick of love. The first time I heard someone saying that love is a mental illness was by Thomas Szasz.

Love being a mental illness is a view on romantic love reflected in common parlance in expressions such as “I love you madly” and “I’m crazy about you.”

PS. “Walk on By” is now ‘World music classic‘ #883 and sits next to “Wake the Town” and “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.”

I took a playing card on the back of which I drew

Stendhal’s depiction of the process of falling in love, ending in crystallization from On Love[1].

What a likable drawing. And in this particular case it may even be true that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Stendhal describes or compares the “birth of love” in a new relationship as being a process similar or analogous to a trip to Rome. In the analogy the city of Bologna represents indifference and Rome represents perfect love. In the words of the narrator who writes the words of Madame Gherardi on the back of a playing card:

“While Signora Gherardi was speaking, I took a playing card on the back of which I drew Rome on one side, Bologna on the other and between Bologna and Rome, the four stages which Signora Gherardi had listed.” –tr. Isidor Schneider

Why are the towers in Bologna falling?

Mind the process of it all. The narrator (or is the narrator Stendhal himself?) hears someone speaking, takes a card and makes a drawing of what is said. Stendhal puts the words in the mouth of the narrator and reproduces the drawing. Depiction – ekphrasis – depiction.

Book illustrations are always somewhat of a pleasant surprise in works of literature. It is the only drawing in On Love, which sadly is not available in a public domain English edition.