Monday, June 23, 2008

Love vs. Just Plain Destructive

I'm farther along, and I'll comment on these essays in a bit, but I reread Jennie's post about being a courtly lover - which I most definitely am - and while I wish that maybe I put notes or thoughts in books, i have to balance that with my love of a nice edition which reverences, to me, the great content. Really, if a work is a masterpiece, who am I to be throwing my lame-sauce thoughts in there? The author certainly didn't need me when he/she wrote the work.

On the other hand, I see the value in noting what that work has come to mean to me personally, as an experience.

But! The point here is that Ms. Fadiman clearly thinks carnal lovers are better than the crazily compulsive and disturbed courtly lovers she knows. But the last few lines of the essay bothered me quite a bit, in which George jotted some notes down on the flyleaf and ripped it out and gave it to her.

There's a difference between loving a book, wearing it hard/writing on it/enjoying it to pieces, and using it as a notepad for things you need to hand off to your wife. Ripping pages out in such a manner hardly shows adoration for the work; quite the contrary, to me it seems an utter disregard for the content (even if it is just a flyleaf), since you value it so little as to be using it for a post-it note. Anyway, that's all I'm saying.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Courtly and inclined to defend your beloved's virtue.

I will write in my books on a first reading, but usually faintly and in pencil so that it can be removed, if necessary. This essay also reminds me of an exchange with my mother in a really cool bookstore in Moab (it's the Back of Beyond bookstore - be sure to check it out of you're ever down there).

They have an impressive collection of rare books behind glass, and we had a fun time seeing what they were worth. My mom said she wished she had a valuable edition of something, and then wondered if she would sell it. I said I would - to me the value of a book lies in its content, not in which printing it came from or how old the paper is. She agreed.

BUT - if I had, like, a copy of Plato that Shakespeare had scribbled all over I would NEVER want to part with that. I guess because the Shakespeare scribbles would be part of the content.