Wednesday 10 September 2008

What is this love stuff? Or, jealousy makes for better sex.

It is official, Howard Jacobson says so. He says:

"People will tell you: "We've been together now for 40 years, never had a cross word, she's never looked at another man, I've never looked at another woman." And there's enough of Felix Quinn [the lead character in his new novel] in me to think: "well, that would be a bit dull".... Jealousy quickens. And to miss the quickening of jealousy, is to miss a big part of erotic life. I'm sure you can settle down and have a nice domestic life without jealousy.' A pause. A wicked smile. 'But - why would you want to?'"
He says that jealousy is the 'quickening' of love. The glue, the proton, the enzymes, the baking powder, the bit that makes the heart beat faster. I kind of have a soft spot for a species that needs things to kick its arse in gear and couple up. Here's Jacobson on desire:

"Intense desire is living in constant fear of loss. Can you love someone properly, without fearing that you'll lose them? I doubt it. I doubt it. With love grows this real sense of danger. The world will take it from you! And one way to lose someone you love, is to death, or an accident, or any kind of mishap. And the other, is to infidelity, which is another kind of mishap."
But what is the stuff that is getting quickened? What is this love stuff? So there's a moment when we recognise that we feel 'love' for somebody, the romantic version also, that really only occurs in moments. A minute after the fuzzy wuzzies and we're having a blazing row with that person, the flame of passion flickers with the wind. That's a different kind of love to the the love that finds the lover in a myriad of forms, whatever happens to be around.

Is the addict in love with his dealer? Is that love? Maybe it is... It's perceived need, it's a craving that flows through the body, and the perceived one who can soothe and supply what is craved. That's often how romantic love at least, is perceived, experienced. A feverish surge of drythroated desire. Most people would probably not think of it as love. Who is to say?

No comments:

Post a Comment