Leo Gursky is a man who fell in love at the age of ten and has been in love ever since. These days he is just about surviving life in America, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbour know he's still alive, drawing attention to himself at the milk counter of Starbucks. But life wasn't always like this: sixty years ago in the Polish village where he was born Leo fell in love with a young girl called Alma and wrote a book in honour of his love. These days he assumes that the book, and his dreams, are irretrievably lost, until one day they return to him in the form of a brown envelope. Meanwhile, a young girl, hoping to find a cure for her mother's loneliness, stumbles across a book that changed her mother's life and she goes in search of the author. Soon these and other worlds collide in The History of Love, a captivating story of the power of love, of loneliness and of survival.
ONE OF THE MOST LOVED NOVELS OF THE DECADE. A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother's loneliness. Leo Gursky taps his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he’s still alive. But it wasn’t always like this: in the Polish village of his youth, he fell in love and wrote a book…Sixty years later and half a world away, fourteen-year-old Alma, who was named after a character in that book, undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With virtuosic skill and soaring imaginative power, Nicole Krauss gradually draws these stories together toward a climax of "extraordinary depth and beauty" (Newsday).
Sex is a thing of soul; most people think it but a mere matter of earthly form and physical structure. True, there are some unsexed souls; some no sex at all, and others still claiming one gender, and manifesting its exact opposite. But its laws, offices, utilities, and its deeper and diviner meanings are sealed books to all but about two in a million; yet they ought to have the attentive study of every rational human being, every aspirant to immortality beyond the grave. In some sense this matter has been, and is, the subject of thought, but only in its outer phases, or its grosser aspects; seldom in its higher ones, and never, until now, in any of its loftier and mystical bearings. Books by ship-loads on one or two, and always either its physiological or sentimental sides of the subject, have been put forth by ambitious M.D's, or notoriety-seeking empirics; books which mainly satisfied a prurient taste or morbid curiosity, gave but little light, and generally left their readers practically as ignorant as before. Other books, in other millions, vile, atrocious, cancerous, abounding with death in every line, fraught with ruin on every page, have been, still are being, scattered everywhere across the nations, till the flower of the world's youth has been blighted, and the morality of earth sapped dry. Oh, that literature, foul, disgusting beyond belief! terrible as the cobra's fang, keener than the dagger's edge, monstrous as a drunkard's dream, more devastating than the spotted plague! until between the two millstones—quackery, pseudo-professional literature on the one hand, and the execrable, libidinous abominations on the other—one-half of the manhood and womanhood of our nation has been ground into the very dust. No punishment can be too severe for the disseminators of the latter; no contempt too great for the authors of the former. Not one of the very many respectable people, including fifty French, a score of English, about as many Americans, and a few German authors, who have stained reams of good white paper, and spilled gallons of ink in writing anent the sublime subject of sex, have taken the trouble to go one inch below the surface; but have been content to copy each other, and repeat the same old worn-out story,—else concealed a few good ideas in barrels of words. They have taken man and woman, shown us their anatomy; explained something of physical gender; said something about function and periods, and there left us, because they knew nothing further themselves. For example, there are ten thousand treatises extant concerning what the doctors call the sin of one Onan, meaning, thereby, a certain nameless solitary vice. But the man alluded to in the Bible never was guilty of that sin at all. Albeit his crime was equally bad, equally disastrous and hateful. In these days it is politely called "conjugal fraud," and in plain terms consists of the nuptive union to the orgasmal climax, which was allowed to occur only in a manner never intended by the Infinite God. "He wasted his seed upon the ground, that he might not beget children to inherit his brother's name." (See Bible.) Millions do the accursed thing to-day that they may be childless, as indeed they deserve to be; for he who does that heinous wrong commits a quadruple crime, against his wife, himself, nature and God; to say nothing about the right of all souls to be incarnated by the act of man.
Its Wondrous Magic, Chemistry, Rules, Laws, Modes, Moods and Rationale; Being the Third Revelation of Soul and Sex. Also, Reply to "Why is Man Immortal?" The Solution of the Darwin Problem. An Entirely New Theory
1874 It's wondrous magic, chemistry, rules, laws, modes, moods and rationale. Being the third revelation of soul and sex. Also, reply to "why is man immortal?" the solution of the Darwin problem. an entirely new theory.
The one emotion that matters most to many people is the one about which social thinkers rarely speak - love. For many people, love is the thing that matters most in their lives: they are searching for love, hoping to find in love a kind of happiness that they cannot find in their work or by surrounding themselves with material goods. But where does this peculiar and powerful blending together of love and happiness come from, and why do we find it such a compelling idea today? In this short book Jean-Claude Kaufmann offers a fresh account of the history of a feeling unlike any other. The modern idea of love as passion was born in the 12th century but it was marginalized by the rise of a kind of instrumental, calculating reason that became increasingly central to modern societies. As calculating reason began to encroach on the personal domain, many individuals sought to escape from it, searching for happiness elsewhere. As our societies become dominated by calculating reason and selfish individualism, we search elsewhere for the kind of happy love that will heal all our wounds. This is why we experience so many changes of heart in our personal lives: at times we are coldly calculating and then, a few moments later, we sacrifice ourselves to love without a second thought. Written by one of France's leading sociologists, this highly readable book sheds new light on love and happiness and will resonate with many readers.
In this generously illustrated book, world-renowned Yale art historian Robert Farris Thompson gives us the definitive account of tango, "the fabulous dance of the past hundred years–and the most beautiful, in the opinion of Martha Graham.” Thompson traces tango’s evolution in the nineteenth century under European, Andalusian-Gaucho, and African influences through its representations by Hollywood and dramatizations in dance halls throughout the world. He shows us tango not only as brilliant choreography but also as text, music, art, and philosophy of life. Passionately argued and unparalleled in its research, its synthesis, and its depth of understanding, Tango: The Art History of Love is a monumental achievement. From the Trade Paperback edition.
One of the great achievements of the Middle Ages, Europe’s courtly culture gave the world the tournament, the festival, the knighting ceremony, and also courtly love. But courtly love has strangely been ignored by historians of sexuality. With Courtly Love, the Love of Courtliness, and the History of Sexuality, James Schultz corrects this oversight with careful analysis of key courtly texts of the medieval German literary tradition. Courtly love, Schultz finds, was provoked not by the biological and intrinsic factors that play such a large role in our contemporary thinking about sexuality—sex difference or desire—but by extrinsic signs of class: bodies that were visibly noble and behaviors that represented exemplary courtliness. Individuals became “subjects” of courtly love only to the extent that their love took the shape of certain courtly roles such as singer, lady, or knight. They hoped not only for physical union but also for the social distinction that comes from realizing these roles to perfection. To an extraordinary extent, courtly love represented the love of courtliness—the eroticization of noble status and the courtly culture that celebrated noble power and refinement