Love vs. Literature


Until this last year, I had this funny notion that my romantic inclinations were the inevitable result of being a literature student. Burying my head into books, indulging in one long misguided journey through a fabricated land of human experience. ‘A written text is an author’s acquiescence of his love; in whatever form that takes,’ that’s how I’ve always seen it. And there we were, the literary coterie, nourishing ourselves on these precious insights into a world we otherwise might have to encounter alone. I happily, obtusely, conceded to the fact that this was the way it would be for me; that I could take lessons from my books and find my direction based on the literature I relate to.

And then I met my rational, cynical friends in Edinburgh. (whom I adore, masochistically exposing myself to their pragmatic attitude and learning from their witty, self-deprecating, bounce-back-ability). It turns out, I was perhaps in the minority when it came to my fanciful views on love. It wasn’t an effect of literature, after all, it was apparently the result of being me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I spend all day dissecting fairy tales. Did you know, for instance, that Sleeping Beauty and her devoted prince, fighting his way through the thorns, is only really an exaltation of the perfect, passive woman they constructed in the nineteenth century? I’ve known for a long time that fairy-tale romance has no place in a progressive society. Not really, not if I want to learn to stand on my own two feet. But still, my niggling desire to experience intensely the feeling of being with somebody has contributed to some fairly fucking awful, ill-advised relationships in my short life so far.

Perhaps in my attempts to recoil from my reckless liasons in the past, I find myself fiercely in pursuit of HONESTY. Let’s get away from romanticized, unrealistic nonsense, quit trying to live up to what is expected of us. Rather than telling somebody what they want to hear, wouldn’t it be more fun to tell them everything (and I do tend to overshare) and like the proverbial spaghetti thrown against the wall, see what sticks…? Because ultimately, trying to mould ourselves to a version they might like more, well it only results in dishonesty. And so now I find myself yearning for the imperfect one, the one who is vulnerable and angry. At least they’re honest, I think. But what’s that awful cliché? Oh yeah, “the truth hurts.”


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