Love and Language

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Love and Language
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"It's crucial to keep in mind that our understanding of love is in constant flux and that history is nothing but a sideboard of possibilities."--Ilan Stavans

Our understanding of love today is not the same as the one espoused by Plato in the fourth century BCE. Nor is it the same as the courtly love of the Renaissance, or love as defined by Stendhal or Proust or Freud. In this utterly original book, cultural critic Ilan Stavans engages in an exhilarating dialogue with VerĂ³nica Albin about love and its various manifestations. Roaming through millennia, across geographical boundaries, and from culture to culture, Stavans surprises us again and again with new perspectives on love--how we conceive of it, how it differs from place to place, what roles it plays in people's lives, how it appears in art and literature. An engaging and provocative thinker, Stavans draws on a rich multiheritage background to probe his topic and to call attention to the differences between languages. As Albin observes, Stavans is "at once an incisive thinker and a powerful storyteller." The scope of his erudition is dazzling--he readily quotes from history, literature, and Scripture, but ponders with equal care the content of telenovas and Walt Disney cartoons. He uses dialogue as a path to the truth about love, and readers who accompany Stavans on this path will encounter a wealth of unanticipated insights into this most ethereal of emotions.

ISBN: 
9780300118056
Author: 
Publisher: 
Binding: 
Hardcover
Publication Date: 
September 25, 1996