A window inside life at Augustana College

Learning about Love

Yes, college is a time for romantic entanglements. I haven’t had any however, and though I have a few friends who are/were in the middle of romantic upheavals, I’ll respect their privacy.

So what is this post going to be about, then, you might ask. My answer: the ridiculous variety of definitions of love you find in literature. Hey, I’m a Creative Writing major and I’m almost positive that I’m going to declare a French minor soon. So, this term I’m in American Lit and 18th Century French Lit (I’m doing quite a lot of reading). And I was just thinking last night while doing my homework that the number of works about love (in any language) is quite staggering. Almost every book you read has some sort of romantic angle, whether it’s the primary plot or not. I believe that the whole realm of fanfiction was born out of “shipping” (for the non-nerds out there, that means romantically pairing up characters in a series ).

And it’s quite amazing that every book or play or essay I’ve read in French so far (and I’m reading my third novel in addition to a play and excerpts from a few more books) has been about love in some way or another. Half the excerpts and short stories we’ve read in American Lit have been about love too. And the definitions of love vary from our modern-day definition (mutual love, caring, respect) to this hurricane of emotion that’s basically destructive in it’s power to a man taking care of and directing his wife’s life (this is from way back in the early days of American Lit, my feminist friends, so calm down).

Last night, as I started reading Histoire d’Ernestine (The Story of Ernestine) for French, I sighed when I saw it was about love… again. I’ve been reading about love for more than a month! But then I found that this book has several different types of love and courting: stereotypical love-at-first-sight, love born out of freindship, platonic love between friends and the jaded distrust of a man’s love as wanting to tke advantage of a woman’s innocence.

So come to college, dear readers, and learn about the language of love (literally)!

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