Tuesday, October 10, 2017

My Years With Proust - Day 597

   "Oh, but she must be wonderful," he said with a naive, sincere enthusiasm as he sought to form a mental picture of the person who was capable of plunging me into such despair and agitation. "I'm angry with her for hurting you, but at the same time one can't help seeing that someone who's an artist to his finger-tips as you are, someone who loves beauty in all its forms and with so passionate a love, that you were predestined to suffer more than an ordinary person when you found it in a woman."
Marcel Proust, The Fugitive, p. 445

Robert Saint Loup, Marcel's great friend who has been missing from the novel for a while, shares some truth.  Like all good friends he's angry with her for causing pain to his own friend.  As I've often opined, the woman whose heart you've broken will eventually forgive you but her friends never will.  But at the same time Robert is, gently, laying some of the blame on to Marcel by essentially pointing out, "Dude, you're an artist, how did you not think that this would end badly?"  Robert proposes that because Marcel is "someone who loves beauty in all its forms and with so passionate a love" it was inevitable that he would love intensely and suffer even more intensely.  Once in Aesthetic Expression I joked that you should keep artists on speed dial for the requisite booty calls, but that you shouldn't marry them.  Do artists, because of their seemingly uncontrollable devotion to beauty, actually love more deeply and tragically than others?  We believe this, right?  Although if it's true, is it true because it's a self-perpetuating phenomenon caused by the fact that we believe it to be true, mainly because artists have told us this either directly in articles or indirectly through their art?  You know, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one, although it may simply be because I'm a romantic at heart.  If you're an Economist you're probably an Economist by nature, and thus your driving force in life is not the pursuit of beauty, which means that you follow that dictum in your professional and personal life.  But if your raison d'etre is beauty then it seems like your emotional thermostat is going to be set a little higher. Now, going back to my silly Aesthetic Expression joke, this doesn't mean that you're going to make the other person happier, at least not in the long run, but, you know, speed dial was created for a reason.

No comments: