The Paradox of Love

By Pascal Bruckner; Steven Rendall | Go to book overview
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EPILOGUE
Don’t Be Ashamed!

The same obsession haunts the liberators of desire and the defenders of good morals: that of curing. For the former, the feeling of its taboos; for the latter, the society of hedonism. But our passions continue to rebel against the progressive vulgate that admonishes and against the backward-looking vulgate that castigates; they unfurl, heedless of whether they are moral or in conformity with the movement of history. The conquests made by feminism will not be reversed, but neither will we move beyond love at first sight, the couple, fidelity. Love is not sick, it is exactly what it should be, at every moment, with its abysses and its splendors. It is still that part of life that we do not control, that continues to resist indoctrination and ideologies. We will not save it from the wounds that affect it, the exclusions that it practices: it remains impure. Eliminate the ambiguity and you kill the enchantment. We have to keep what is best in it, its vitality, its power to weave connections, its Dionysian affirmation of life, which is simultaneously exquisite and painful. And we have to find in the interminable nonresolution of its problems the charm of a possible solution. The wisdom of love, the sacredness of the heart, the transcendence of the private sphere—the temptation is great to bring this sentiment into the realm of reason, feeling, or ethics, as was done in the eighteenth century. But there is no need to weave so many

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