quiet desperation of prosaic convenience

Is it possible to reconcile the classic/romantic divide. To purge the psychological into a product of reason? Can it be avoided that aesthetic purity depends somewhat on the decadent? Well, the concept of soulmates can be pitched out so that the power of love is not based on garbled and sometimes twisted ideologies surrounding vague notions of idealized desire. There is always a collision between the spiritual and the practical. A mutual antagonism where the challenged surpass the quest and ideals slide into infatuation and wordless ethereality and the metaphysically elusive give rise to different degrees of disavowal. Who cares about Mr. and Miss Right, they just don’t exist and the ideals of romanticism can be deconstructed to reveal the mechanism of the love industry. But, truth is, we can’t go back and engage in a sickness of pretense and sentimentality, the kitsch of the classic that spawned romantic love as a last recourse.

Read More:http://www.sheilaomalley.com/?p=9821

Of course, romanticism has been polluted by false and exaggerated emotion, and a rolling tear need for catharsis and guilty of self indulgent escapism and fevered emotionalism, but, underneath the crud is a yearning;   for a Charles Baudelaire, to be modern meant being desperately romantic and even passionate in a futile sense, and like Heine, to be passionately in love with passion and all the disordering of the senses this could convey, in overturning the “classical” rules of reason that regulated  appearance. But, what Baudelaire  most admired was the  mastery of the romantic’s passion. He said of Delacroix, that he was  “coldly determined to seek the means of expressing it in the most visible manner,” which implied a classic sensibility in a supporting role, a degree of cautionary restraint to achieve the ideal of total self-control. But did this mean love without romance or romance without love? …

Robert Crumb. Rejected New Yoker cover. Read More:http://www.theworldsbestever.com/category/magazines-2/

From Margaret Wente: But society’s obsession with romantic love – the notion that one day you will find The Perfect One and live happily ever after – is responsible for more mischief and misery than any other myth of modern life.

All grownups ought to know this. But they don’t. Our culture tells them to follow their hearts first, and not their heads. The trouble is, following their hearts makes people behave like idiots.

---Here’s one of many period portraits of Sir Francis. It's called Sir Francis Dashwood Worshipping Venus, and it shows our loose-living subject kneeling blasphemously in front of an erotic novel instead of the Bible, with his equally notorious friend Lord Sandwich peering from the halo instead of an angel....Read More:http://sisterarts.typepad.com/sister-arts-gardens-po/2011/01/gardens-are-sexy.html

I should know. That’s how I reached the age of 36, still unmarried. By that time it had dawned on me that I’d prefer not to spend the rest of my life alone – and that if I waited for lightning to strike, I might wait forever.

Most people have a “meet cute” story. My husband and I do not. We met in the most prosaic way, and it was not romantic. We met at a party. I hate parties. I’d forced myself to go to this one because I hadn’t had a date in months. It had finally dawned on me that I was going to have to get out there and market myself. I spotted a man around my age across a crowded room, and asked someone if he was single. He was (more or less). I didn’t think he was my type, but I made myself go talk to him anyway….

---Daniel Ludwig: he is a modern romantic master using classical models to give visible form to the violent passions evident in the human dramas he depicts in such masterpieces as Deer Hunt, Disfruta, Passage and Raft (all 2009). --- Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/daniel-ludwig5-17-10.asp

…We had a pleasant chat, but no sparks flew. It never occurred to either of us that we had met The One. I pretended to be lively and vivacious. He pretended to be charmed. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was newly unmarried and interested in going out with

any women as possible. He asked for my phone number. Then he didn’t call me for weeks.

The trouble with being a single woman over 30 is that the law of supply and demand has tilted irreversibly against you, and it’s only going to get worse. This is grotesquely unfair, but there’s no sense squawking about it. You’re just going to have to work harder. Because I clung to my belief in the romantic coup de foudre, it took a long time for me to come to terms with this.

James Gillray.---One Sunday in January 1769, Alderman Drybones paid a pretend virgin called Nell Blossom 20 guineas for the pleasure of deflowering her. Sir Harry Flagellum paid ten guineas to be beaten by Bet Flourish or Miss Birch from Chapel Sreet, and Colonel Tearall paid ten guineas for 'a modest woman' who would let him do what he liked with her. A clergyman paid two guineas for a girl 'with very white, soft hands' and is given the choice of Polly Nimblewrist and Jenny Speedyhand. Lady Loveit paid the huge sum of 50 guineas to be 'well mounted' by either Captain O'Thunder or Sawney Rawbones. Count Alto paid ten guineas an hour to be with 'a woman of fashion'. This was a high-class bordello, but the figures are astounding. Lady Loveit's 50 guineas represented the annual wage of a curate or minor government clerk. A 'virgin' could earn in one night for her bawd, or pimp, what a junior civil servant would make in a year. In this fascinating study, the TV presenter Dan Cruikshank, an authority on Georgian architecture, removes the bland facade to expose one of London's biggest and most lively industries - its trade in sex. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article

The truth is that if you’re looking for a husband in your 30s, romance shouldn’t be your first consideration. That can come later. Also, brutal realism is essential. Do not overestimate your charm. Do not expect men to flock to you the way they did when you were 21. Try to see yourself as they do. This may be disconcerting.

“When I met you that night, I thought you were lively and outgoing,” my husband says. “Then I found out you were really a nerdy introvert with cats.”

In fact, our relationship barely survived the first date. We went to the movies. I picked a nature movie that featured graphic footage of wild animals tearing each other apart and having sex. He couldn’t decide if I was weirdly interesting, or just weird….

Marcel Duchamp and model play chess at The Pasadena Art Museum in December 1963. Julian Wasser for Time Magazine.

…We were never nuts about each other. But we got along. The good thing about going out with men who aren’t your type is that you may be pleasantly surprised. You might even realize that the kind of men you always thought were your type are a complete disaster. I can’t tell you how many girlfriends of mine have wasted the best years of their lives on men they imagined were their type, foolishly believing that these men would eventually (a) leave their wives, (b) sober up or (c) conquer their writers’ block and sell their novel/screenplay. All these women were highly intelligent. But they were emotionally stupid. They allowed themselves to fall into the grip of some obsessive romantic fantasy that doomed them to unhappiness. If only their type had included men who were (a) available, (b) not addicted and (c) functional members of society.

Ingrid Pitt. Read More:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/3632679/Hurrah-for-Hammer.html

Not that I did much better. Before I met my husband, I had a series of relationships with broody, complicated types. Some of them lived on different continents. Some were jealous of my career. Some of them asked why I was getting fat. If you are ever involved with somebody who asks you why you’re getting fat, I’m telling you to run, not walk, away.

My future husband never seemed to mind if I happened to put on a few pounds. He liked me just the way I was. He was proud of my career. Eventually we moved in together to save money, and to see if we would get along. When the cat peed in his shoes, he didn’t get upset. He didn’t have a complicated side. For years, I thought this meant he must lack depth. But gradually, I realized it was among his finest qualities. One day, in a picturesque medieval town in France, he took me out for a fantastic meal, then fell down on one knee and proposed. I said I’d have to think about it. What an idiot!…

---Of all the emotions celebrated by the Romantics, the most popular was love. Although the great Romantic works often center on terror or rage, the motive force behind these passions is most often a relationship between a pair of lovers. In the classical world love had been more or less identical with sex, the Romans treating it in a particularly cynical manner. The Medieval troubadours had celebrated courtly adultery according to a highly artificial code that little reflected the lives of real men and women while agreeing with physicians that romantic passion was a potentially fatal disease. It was the romantics who first celebrated romantic love as the natural birthright of every human being, the most exalted of human sentiments, and the necessary foundation of a successful marriage. Whether or not one agrees that this change of attitude was a wise one, it must be admitted to have been one of the most influential in the history of the world.--- Read More:http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/hum_303/romanticism.html

…We eventually did get married – 11 years after we met. Of course, I know now that he’s just my type after all. True love isn’t lightning bolts. It isn’t something that just happens to you. It’s something that you build together, over time. True love isn’t what I used to think it was at all. It’s infinitely better. Read More:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/margaret-wente/why-romantic-love-is-overrated/


This is not the place to trace the long and complex history of how the transcendent, irrational, self-destructive passion of a Romeo and Juliet came to be considered the birthright of every European citizen; but this conviction which continues to shape much of our thinking about relationships, marriage, and the family found its mature form during the Romantic age. So thoroughly has love become identified with romance that the two are now generally taken as synonyms, disregarding the earlier associations of “romance” with adventure, terror, and mysticism. Read More:http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/hum_303/romanticism.html

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