Essays in love by Alain de Botton, approaches a variety of emotions through the story of a relationship and the different paths a love connection may go through; from love at first sight, fate, destiny, idealisation, expectations, tenderness, to judgment, disloyalty and heartbreak.
The novel takes us through a 360 love story, bringing in philosophical, sociological and even political concepts, investigating and aiming to unveil what each emotion may mean, capture and understand the essence of our different thoughts, actions and reactions.
Analysing the concept of love, de Botton, navigates towards seeking how we could separate our minds from blaming others or ourselves when heartache falls upon us. Thus through universal experiences aim to understand each other a little bit more and see perspectives.
With each sentence wrapped in philosophical nuances, it encourages the reader to consider that behind every action we may have considered not to be of love, there may either be a lesson learnt, a reason or in fact there may lie some love from within. Amidst the notions of rationality and irrational action or thought, fate or destiny and coincidence, there is a fine line, which this book explores.
This philosophical novel is an interesting and intelligent read, sharing insights into what love means, could mean, has meant and might mean.
Though depicted through a love story between a man and a women, with a male narrative, the relationship reads as a metaphor for the bigger concept of the universal emotion called love, where much of de Botton’s reflections on emotions could be applied to many love relationships around the world, as the author considers a deeper understanding of love, the yearning for being accepted for who we each truly are, not what we may present to each other as an image.
Essays in love was first published in 1993, yet love spans the essence of time, an ethos ever present in our histories as projected in our futures, and surely in these times we all find ourselves in, love is what we should all look towards and spread, a love for humanity, a love as de Botton explores in the book through discussing Kant, can be thought of as moral in the sense when we don’t necessarily expect anything back.
Let’s aim to all place love in the world and see what happens. Perhaps and hopefully in 2022, love will lead the way.
Essays in Love by Alain de Botton is published by Picador