Our Southern editor John Jeremiah Sullivan on his favorite love themed essays, via the Barnstorm Literary Journal.
“I was going to say Emerson’s essay on Love, which has a lot of good passages in it, including, ‘The passion rebuilds the world for the youth’ and ‘In the noon and the afternoon of life we still throb at the recollection of days when happiness was not happy enough, but must be drugged with the relish of pain and fear; for he touched the secret of the matter, who said of love, ‘All other pleasures are not worth its pains.’’
“But I think most of Bacon’s essay ‘Of Love,’ a disturbing piece because of how its prose seems to shudder with fear. Bacon genuinely feared love, its destructive tendencies, its power to undo otherwise sane-seeming people, ‘for in life it doth much mischief; sometimes like a siren, sometimes like a fury.’ Don’t quote him in any love letters. But that rebound relationship your friends are telling you is really bad for you? Read this before you marry that person. ‘This passion hath his floods, in very times of weakness; which are great prosperity, and great adversity; though this latter hath been less observed: both which times kindle love, and make it more fervent, and therefore show it to be the child of folly.’”
Photography Credit Jack Radcliffe