Oh, mon amour!
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The French On Love

The French On Love

Whether you're in it, over it, drunk on it, or about to spend the next six weeks watching everyone you know put a ring on it while you listlessly swipe left, left, left, left, left, left, left... Bref. Love is complex. Ahead, a few insights into that little thing they call l'amour from French lovers past and present. 

“Love is a magnificent catastrophe consisting of the knowledge that you're about to crash into a wall at full speed, and accelerating anyway."

Frédéric Beigbeder

"The ass on a statue at the Louvre is sublime; it may even provoke desire. But the real mystery of desire lies in the incomprehensibility of human skin, which isn't perfect. You make love, and you watch this man walking around in your room, everything's flopping around, and yet that is precisely what makes you want him. It's life, it's imperfect."

Sophie Fontanel

"All men are liars, fickle, chatterers, hypocrites, proud or cowardly, despicable, sensual; all women faithless, deceitful, vain, inquisitive and depraved... But there is in the world a thing holy and sublime—the union of two of these beings, imperfect and frightful as they are. One is often deceived in love, often wounded, often unhappy, but one loves, and on the brink of the grave one turns to look back, and says: I have suffered often, sometimes I have been mistaken, but I have loved. It is I who have lived, and not an illusion created by my pride and my sorrow."

Alfred de Musset

“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”  

Anaïs Nin

"Love is like alcohol, the more one feels powerless and drunk on it, the more one feels strong and clever, and sure of himself."

Louis-Ferdinand Céline

“I always feel this pressure of being a strong and independent icon of womanhood, and without making it like my whole life is revolving around some guy. But loving someone, and being loved means so much to me. We always make fun of it... But isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?” 

Julie Delpy

"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Looking for a longform take on love à la française? Here's your reading list: How The French Invented Love by Marilyn Yalom. Jane & Serge: A Family Album by Taschen. Holiday in a Coma & Love Lasts Three Years by Frédéric Beigbeder. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. And of course, Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.
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