The Course of Love

The Course of Love. This book should be compulsory reading before ANYONE gets married I adored it The last two chapters in particular were just astounding and beautiful and poignant and WISE I wasn t a huge fan of Essays although it was still a remarkable achievement for a twenty something s debut But in The Course Of Love, Alain s life experience and wisdom really shines through It s perfect The perfect antidote to what we re told Love is from the movies And yet, never cynical Truly remarkable. In Edinburgh, A Couple, Rabih And Kirsten, Fall In Love They Get Married, They Have Children But No Relationship Is As Simple As Happily Ever After The Course Of Love Is A Novel That Explores What Happens After The Birth Of Love, What It Takes To Maintain Love, And What Happens To Our Original Ideals Under The Pressures Of An Average Existence With Philosophical Insight And Psychological Acumen, Alain De Botton Shows That Our Romantic Dreams May Do Us A Grave Disservice And Explores What The Alternatives Might Be The Conclusion, As The Characters Gradually Discover, Is That Love Is Not An Enthusiasm, But Rather A Skill That Must Be Slowly And Often Painfully Learnt This Is A Romantic Novel In The True Sense, One Interested In Exploring How Love Can Survive And Thrive In The Long Term Once, early on in my marriage, my husband and I had a particularly intense fight over a ridiculously trivial matter I barely remember the topic something about where to hang some artwork but I vividly recall that frightening feeling that I had made a ghastly mistake in joining our futures together.Enter Alain De Botton I wish I could advise my younger self to have read his book De Botton employs an everyman and everywoman in this case, Rahib, a non religious budding architect from Beirut and Kirsten, a woman who had been abandoned early on in life by her father Sparks fly and we follow the two of them through the course of love infatuation, wedding, children, disillusionment, adultery, and finally, maturity.Rahib and Kirsten are just foils for the author s theme falling in love is easy but maintaining that love is the real challenge No one, after all, is perfect Rather than split up, the author writes, We may need to tell ourselves accurate stories stories that don t dwell so much on the beginning, that don t promise us complete understanding, that strive to normalize our troubles and show us a melancholy yet hopeful path through the course of love Each step of Rahib and Kirsten s relationship is met with an evaluation even an analysis of what, precisely, is going on in their heads The primal needs of this everyman and everywoman still demand attention as they reach adulthood and parenthood and much of their disillusionment stems from a desire to have the partner magically understand what those needs are without appearing too vulnerable.There is a problem with presenting the course of love through the eyes of surrogates This reading experience is bound to be intensely personal, and when it deviates too much from the reader s own experience, there is a waning interest My husband, and I, for example, never had kids together, and I found myself not all that interested in Rahib and Kirsten s parenthood experiences.Yet the conclusions that Romantic ideas of love are a recipe for disaster and that one can only be in love when one has given up on perfection is compelling Rather than notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate dissimilarity that is the true marker of the right person My husband and I are still going strong after reaching that conclusion To my mind, this book should be de rigueur reading for every couple contemplating marriage and every couple who wonders why their own marriage isn t 100% perfect all the time which is the vast majority of us so to the point . .. . I know what I think about The Course of Love, but I m not sure how I feel about it I do know that I feel like an outlier because clearly de Botton is loved by many and already many GR friends have responded very positively to this book The Course of Love focuses on the relationship between Rabih and Kristen from the time they meet to 13 years or so into their marriage There are two narrative strings The first is told from Rabih and Kristen s perspective, and takes us through a gamut of events and emotions as their relationship evolves The second strand is interspersed throughout Rabih and Kristen s story and is in the nature of an italicized commentary about love and relationships as though Rabih and Kristen are a case study I recognize that de Botton is clever and even very insightful much of what he says about romance, love, having children, and the wear and tear of daily life and lengthy relationships is bang on and very recognizable But it felt like a clever intellectual exercise that somehow left me feeling unengaged shrugging my shoulders like I had been lectured at without an opportunity to participate in the conversation so what I felt at the end But don t trust my cranky review this is definitely a very clever book and I expect will be appreciated by many I ve been married for 28 years maybe I m past the point where rationalizing or intellectualizing what makes things work feels interesting I just feel blessed to have great life partner warts and all Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy. C est tellement simple, l amour. Jacques Pr vert Profound Truths of Marriage and Human Nature Through a Scottish couple, Rabih and Kirsten, de Botton dissects love and marriage From the seeds of love planted when we are teens to dating to wedding to kids through adultery and counseling for anxious attachment and avoidant attachment arising from childhoods in which each lost a parent young, de Botton tells their story which he mixes with profound truths about human nature and the mountainous terrain each of us face in a marriage This book hit close to home probably too close on so many things I recognize The novel made me appreciate even the appreciate the sacrifices made and pains endured by those passing the 15 20 year anniversary, often after having undergone counseling and or worked through problems suffered by spouses in virtually all marriages If I shared all the quotes I highlighted while reading this book at least half the book , I d violate the fair use exceptions to copyright laws Plus, I d bore you Thus I ve pared it down to the very best of the bunch Notions of Marriage Past and Present Explosion of Divorces For most of recorded history, people stayed married because they were keen to fit in with the expectations of society, had a few assets to protect, and wanted to maintain the unity of their families Then gradually another, very different standard took hold couples were to remain together, ran the thought, only so long as certain feelings still obtained between them feelings of authentic enthusiasm, desire, and fulfillment In this new Romantic order, spouses could be justified in parting ways if the marital routine had become deadening, if the children were getting on their nerves, if sex was no longer enticing, or if either party had lately been feeling a little unhappy every now and then. We Don t Really Need to Always be Fully Understood Love begins with the experience of being understood in highly supportive and uncommon ways They grasp the lonely parts of us we don t have to explain why we find a particular joke so funny we hate the same people we both want to try that rather specialized sexual scenario It cannot continue When we run up against the reasonable limits of our lovers capacities for understanding, we mustn t blame them for dereliction They were not tragically inept They couldn t fully fathom who we were and we did likewise Which is normal No one properly gets, or can fully sympathize with, anyone else. Love Being Loved will usually Follow We speak of love as if it were a single, undifferentiated thing, but it comprises two very different modes being loved and loving We should marry when we are ready to do the latter and have become aware of our unnatural and dangerous fixation on the former We start out knowing only about being loved It comes to seem, quite wrongly, the norm To the child, it feels as if the parent were just spontaneously on hand to comfort, guide, entertain, feed, and clear up while remaining almost constantly warm and cheerful We take this idea of love with us into adulthood Grown up, we hope for a re creation of what it felt like to be ministered to and indulged In a secret corner of our mind, we picture a lover who will anticipate our needs, read our hearts, act selflessly, and make everything better It sounds romantic, yet it is a blueprint for disaster. Compatibility in Marriage is an Achievement, Not a Precondition The Romantic vision of marriage stresses the importance of finding the right person, which is taken to mean someone in sympathy with the raft of our interests and values There is no such person over the long term We are too varied and peculiar There cannot be lasting congruence The partner truly best suited to us is not the one who miraculously happens to share every taste but the one who can negotiate differences in taste with intelligence and good grace. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate dissimilarity that is the true marker of the right person Compatibility is an achievement of love it shouldn t be its precondition. Real Life Ain t a Hollywood Love Story probably the most simple truth in the book about the human condition under the strains of matrimony, one so often and easily forgotten in the day to day of life By the standards of most love stories, our own real relationships are almost all damaged and unsatisfactory No wonder separation and divorce so often appear inevitable But we should be careful not to judge our relationships by the expectations imposed on us by a frequently misleading aesthetic medium. The only people who can still strike us as normal are those we don t yet know very well The best cure for love in the movie or film sense is to get to know them better He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers It s a style of writing that has been termed a philosophy of everyday life His first book, Essays in Love titled On Love in the US , minutely analysed the process of falling in and out of love The style of the book was unusual, because it mixed elements of a novel together with reflections and analyses normally found in a piece of non fiction It s a book of which many readers are still fondest.Bibliography Essays In Love 1993 The Romantic Movement 1994 Kiss and Tell 1995 How Proust Can Change Your Life 1997 The Consolations of Philosophy 2000 The Art of Travel 2002 Status Anxiety 2004 The Architecture of Happiness 2006 The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work 2009

❮Read❯ ➱ The Course of Love ➵ Author Alain de Botton –
  • Hardcover
  • 240 pages
  • The Course of Love
  • Alain de Botton
  • 21 February 2019
  • 9781501134258

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