Conversations with friends
ove is everywhere. Love is the simplest thing there is and the most complicated at the same time.
I don’t (actually) need money for love, I don’t (actually) need anything to love. I just have to give attention to love so that it can exist.
It is we ourselves who make love complicated, we want to understand love and categorise it. We connect love with expectations. Whether we like it or not. Unfortunately it is so. Love goes together with relationship and we couple that with clear ideas…
I read this book by Sally Rooney in a few days… probably precisely because they are not extraordinary lives that the four characters in the novel lead. You can only watch them from an unusual distance: May they watch as they renegotiate themes such as loyalty and freedom, as they reach emotional limits and go through their innermost.
In writing the novel, she was particularly interested in what intimacy means today, what it feels like and to what extent interpersonal relationships are influenced by external factors. Factors such as money, origin, gender or class. Conversations with friends is a love story and a social novel that shows the big questions of contemporary life in a small circle of friends
from Die Zeit online by Carolin Würfel, 17.07.2019.
Here I have chosen an excerpt from the book, in which some of my thoughts and questions are found again: I am doing something that hurts you, I apologize. Show how confused I am and yet clear in my feelings towards you. And then I ask what love is and when we talk about a relationship and if I can’t love several people at the same time, because I really love you, but maybe others as well? Am I your girlfriend (love partner) because I love you? Or because I kiss you? Or because I sleep with you? Hmm… only you can understand me when I write like this. Only you I trust.
It’s a letter from Frances (the budding writer) to Bobbi (her ex). She asks for an apology because she published a story about Bobbi without her permission…
Tonight I passed out in a church, you would have loved that. I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings with my story. I think it hurt so much because it made it clear that I could be honest with someone else while I wasn't honest with you. I hope this is the reason. I called Melissa tonight and asked her why she sent you the story. It took me a while to realise that I really wanted to ask: Why did I write the story? It was a pretty embarrassing and confusing call. Maybe she is a kind of mother to me. The truth is that I love you and have always loved you. Do I mean that platonically? I don't mind if you kiss me. The idea that we were both sleeping together again was always exciting. When you broke up with me, I felt like you beat me in a game that we both played together, and I wanted to beat you too. Now I just think that I want to sleep with you without metaphors. That doesn't mean that I don't have any other desires. Right now, for example, I'm eating chocolate cake with a teaspoon out of the box. To love someone in capitalism, you have to love everyone. Is that theory or just theology? When I read the Bible, I imagine you as Jesus, so fainting in the church is a metaphor. But I'm not trying to say anything clever now. I can't apologise for writing the story or taking the money. I can say I'm sorry that you were so shocked, I should have told you before. You are not just an idea to me. If I've ever treated you that way, I'm sorry. When you talked about monogamy that night, I loved your mind. I didn't understand what you were trying to tell me. Maybe I am much stupider than we both ever thought. When there were four of us, I always thought in pairs what I found threatening for me, because all possible pairings that I had no part in seemed so much more interesting than those with me. You and Nick, you and Melissa, even Nick and Melissa in their own way. But now I understand that nothing consists of two people or even three. My relationship with you is also shaped by your relationship with Melissa, and with Nick and with your childhood self, etc. etc. etc. I wanted something for myself alone because I thought I existed. You will write me back and explain what Lacan really meant. Or maybe you won't write back at all. I really fainted if you objected to my prose. That wasn't a lie, and I'm still trembling. Is it possible for us to develop an alternative model of how we love each other? I am not drunk. Please write back. I love you.
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