Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Proust

Many philosophical schools differ on the meaning of desire.  One line of thinking such as Platon, Sartre, Schopenhauer, Proust, and Freud… define desire as what we lack in object and subject and want to owning; this include missing past events and pleasurable memories.  For example, Proust suffers terribly when Albertine is away and then, he feels bored as Albertine returns and he talks to her.  We are excited making love and then, we feel this sensation of void after the exercise. 

Schopenhauer wrote: “Our life oscillate between suffering and boredom: Suffering for not having what we desire and boredom for having what we no longer desire.”  It is as if the object or subject of desire is superior to all other desires as long as it is out of reach.  Is it we want to live because there are a few desires we still hope to satisfy?  Woody Allen said it well: “How happy I would be if I were happy”

The other line of thinking and represented by Epicure, Spinoza and Nietzsche defines desire as being happy of what we already have such as feeling happy chewing leisurely on our food, happy of our company, happy of the foreplay, happy of letting orgasm be delayed, happy of the present moment, happy of enjoying good health, owning a home…  This is the desire of action or power desire.

The two major kinds of desires are real; desires of lacking is predominant simply because desire of action is a learning process in our civilization and requires investing efforts. 

A few people prefer the language to having vacuum in detailed meaning of words in order to generating interpretations and “enriching” our imagination; such as constructing philosophical structures based on confusion in the meaning of desire.  Suppose we research taxonomy for each word (classification of  possible meaning of a word or systematic detailed meaning of synonyms) then, could we not write long essays on each kinds of desires with the added bonus of being clear, transparent, and focused?  In the case of the verb desire we may specify mis-desire (desiring what we lack) and act-desire (desiring what we have).

Anyway, there can be no happiness as long as we keep desiring what we miss or lack in objects and subjects: We are then is constant desire mood of longing and expectancy.  Action desires, these acquired kind of desires, transform expectancy into joy that keeps giving; we can then eat with relish and pleasure and enjoy the company of the spouse and friends.


Germaine & Benjamin: Love Passion Stories; (August 26, 2009)


            Germaine de Stael or Stael was a renowned writer; she wrote “Corinne”.  Benjamin Constant wrote “Adolphe” and “Cecile”.   Mrs. de Stael was a piss off but she had generosity, kindness, talents, and plenty of spirit.  The period is during Napoleon when the French language was the rage in the whole of Europe and many talented writers abounded.  Germaine wore extravagant head turbans and constantly lauded her visitors with spiritual good words which acquired her many followers. Her female rivals called her “The talking machine”.

            The French writer Benjamin Constant was once sitting between Mrs. de Stael and the super beauty Juliette Recamier and said “Here I am between the spirit and the beauty”.  Germaine replied with vivacity “This is the first time someone tells me that I am the beauty”. Of one of her former suitors, Mrs. de Stael said “Talking is not one of his languages”.

            Benjamin Constant was 27 of age and divorced; he set his mind to meet Mrs. de Stael.  He wrote: “I rode with her in the carriage; I had supper with her, had breakfast, lunched and then dined with Mrs. de Stael. I think that I know her well and you are judging her too severely.”  A passionate love affair of 14 years began.

            While staying at Mrs. De Stael, Benjamin faked a suicide act by taking a small overdose of opium. The neighbor prince of Montmorency realized this current customs among lovers of the period and said while leaving “Throw him out the window”. The critics said of that fashion “the Coppet dose” or any non lethal dose of medicines.

            The relationship of Germaine and Benjamin was at best tenable but they could not separate for long. Benjamin writes: “I knew that Germaine affection is not exclusive.  She still could not help suffering at the idea of separating from her”

            Julie Talma fell in love with Benjamin and wrote to him: “Write to me. You know that I should not be writing first.  I am dying for the need to reply to you.  Your letter will be certainly ridiculous and I am laughing in advance. I am not divulging my replies. I am waiting.”

            A century later Proust would describe this kind of passion “I call this love reciprocal torture”.  This couple had many and varied extra-marital affairs and they both had offspring from other relationship but they managed to give birth to Albertine in 1796 who organized a famous banquet in Mai 28, 1817 while her mother Germaine was in death bed.  Benjamin was highly intelligent but of uncertain character in matters of stable tender love; he died in 1830.




August 2022

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