Thursday, February 20, 2014

Commonplace book: "Love and Freindship"

Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop.

Love and Freindship
—Jane Austen, title of a juvenile draft of what would become Pride and Prejudice

Is not there a something wanted, Miss Price, in our language—a something between compliments and—and love—to suit the sort of friendly acquaintance we have had together?
—the conniving Mary Crawford, in Mansfield Park 2.11 (Norton edition, page 197)

... they talked there, Maisie noted, as if they were only rather superficial friends; a special effect that she had often wondered at before in the midst of what she supposed to be intimacies.
—Henry James, What Maisie Knew, chapter 20

Or perhaps her concept of love was simply different: why do we always assume it’s the same for everyone else? Perhaps for Ellen love was only a Mulberry harbour, a landing place in a heaving sea. You can’t possibly live there: scramble ashore, push on. And old love? Old love is a rusty tank standing guard over a slabby monument: here, once, something was liberated. Old love is a row of beach huts in November.
—Geoffrey Braithwaite on his divorce in Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot, chapter 13

It’s always when you’re with someone that you’re not with someone, and vice versa.
—Angela, in Une femme est une femme, Jean-Luc Godard

… Farewell then,
Until, under a better sky
We may meet expended, for just doing it
Is only an excuse. We need the tether
Of entering each other’s lives, eyes wide apart, crying.
—John Ashbery, “Parergon,” in The Double Dream of Spring

But to speak, as I'm doing, at a time when one is unsure of oneself and searching for the truth, is a frightening and insecure thing to do. I'm not afraid of being laughed at—that would be childish indeed. But I am afraid that, if I slip from the truth, just when it's most important not to, I'll not only fall myself but drag my friends down as well.
—Socrates in Plato (trans. G.M.A. Grube), Republic 451e-452a

It is doubtless in this sense that we should understand too the passages from Scripture in which we are commanded to love our neighbor and even our enemy. For love out of inclination cannot be commanded; but kindness done from duty—although no inclination impels us, and even although natural and unconquerable disinclination stands in our way—is practical, and not pathological, love, residing in the will and not in the propensions of feeling, in principles of action and not of melting compassion; and it is this practical love alone which can be an object of command.
—Immanuel Kant, Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, chapter 1 (page 13 in the Routledge edition, trans. H.J. Paton)

To be forgot by thee
Surpasses Memory
Of other minds
—Emily Dickinson (1560)

It is the mark of a good man to hold that in friendship nothing should be made up or pretended.
—Cicero, De amicitia 65

Friendship between young people seems to be because of pleasure, since the young live by emotion, and more than anything pursue what is pleasant for them and what is there in front of them; but as their age changes, the things they find pleasant also become different. This is why they are quick to become friends and to stop being friends; for the friendship changes along with what is pleasant for them, and the shift in that sort of pleasure is quick. The young are also erotically inclined, for erotic friendship is for the larger part a matter of emotion, and because of pleasure; hence they love and quickly stop loving, often changing in the course of the same day. But the young do wish to spend their days together, and to live together, since that is how they gain the object that accords with their kind of friendship. However, it is the friendship between good people, those resembling each other in excellence, that is complete; for each alike of these wishes good things for the other in so far as he is good, and he is good in himself. And those who wish good things for their friends, for their friends’ sake, are friends most of all; for they do so because of the friends themselves, and not incidentally. So friendship between these lasts so long as they are good, and excellence is something lasting.
—Aristotle (trans. Christopher Rowe), Nicomachean Ethics 8.2 (1156a31-1156b13) 

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