Remy de Gourmont: The Natural Philosophy of Love (1904)

February 24, 2015 § 1 Comment

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French essayist, novelist, poet, playwright and philosopher, a prominent figure of the French Symbolist movement. Gourmont’s some 50 published volumes are mainly collections of essays. During his lifetime Gourmount enjoyed considerable fame both in France and in English-speaking countries. His views on literature affected such writers as Ezra Pound, John Middleton Murray, and T.S. Eliot, who praised him as “the perfect critic.” In 1921 Aldous Huxley published Gourmont’s A Virgin Heart, his translation of Un cœur virginal (1907).

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In The Natural Philosophy of Love (1904) Gourmont claimed that “love” is no more than a primitive instinct. “There is no abyss between man and animal; the two domains are separated by a tiny rivulet which a baby could step over. We are animals, we live on animals, and animals live on us. We both have and are parasites. We are predatory, and we are the living prey of the predatory. And when we follow the love act, it is truly, in the idiom of theologians, more bestiarum. Love is profoundly animal; therein is its beauty.”

Source: Books and Writers

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Product Details:

  • Author: Remy de Gourmont (1858–1915)
    Translated with a Postcript by Ezra Pound (1885–1972)
  • Publisher: Collier Books, New York, 1972
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 10.6 x 1 cm (vertical)
  • Language: English
  • Softcover
  • 158 pages

Condition:

Used, very good, collector’s item.

Price:

Rp. 118.000,-

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§ One Response to Remy de Gourmont: The Natural Philosophy of Love (1904)

  • […] “Demons are like obedient dogs; they come when they are called.” ― Remy de Gourmont “Autumn is as joyful and sweet as an untimely end.” ― Remy de Gourmont “The pleasure of being a scoundrel can be adequately savored in silence.” ― Remy de Gourmont, The Angels of Perversity “Art is the accomplice of love.” ― Remy de Gourmont “The terrible thing about the quest for truth is that you find it.” ― Remy de Gourmont “Each man must grant himself the emotions that he needs and the morality that suits him. ” ― Remy de Gourmont “Extraordinarily excessive sensuality it may be .. but it all comes down to the same thing in the end, and one means is surely as good as another, since the end obtained is always the same. In any case the exceptional, endlessly repeated, is no different than the banal; and unceasing recapitulation can add nothing, in the end, to the sum of experience. I am weary and hopeless three times the dupe. Why have you trained me in the shame of abominable sins?” ― Remy de Gourmont, The Angels of Perversity “Chastity is the most unnatural of the sexual perversions.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “A definition is a sack of flour compressed into a thimble” ― Remy de Gourmont “To be a member of such a crowd … is not much to be far removed from solitude; the freedom of everyone is assured by the freedom to which everyone else lays claim. ” ― Remy de Gourmont “She lit the candelabras which stood on the mantelpiece. Placed at the head of the bead, on a side-table, they looked like two burning bushes, their flames solemn and inextinguishable. But beneath that avalanche of light the dead man became hideous: the pale head displayed a whiteness more livid than the bedsheet, ghastly against the cambric of the pillow; pits of shadow were hollowed out under the eyes and his nose was villainously elongated, and even the mouth seemed wicked – his mouth, which was so very gentle! ” ― Remy de Gourmont, The Angels of Perversity “The little girl expects no declaration of tenderness from her doll. She loves it, & that’s all. It is thus that we should love.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “Мъжете, които се изказват лошо за жените, обикновен имат предвид само една жена.” Реми дьо Гурмон” ― Remy de Gourmont “The man of genius may dwell unknown, but one always may recognize the path he has followed into the forest. It was a giant who passed that way. The branches are broken at a height that other men cannot reach.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “As a matter of fact, when it comes to seeing, men display two tendencies: they see what they wish to see, what is useful to them, what is agreeable. The second is the tendency toward inhibition; they do not see what they do not wish to see, what is useless to them, or disagreeable.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “An imbecile is never bored: he contemplates himself.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “The vainglory of wishing to understand is dangerous, immoral and, above all, old-fashioned. The modern way – perhaps the final way – is to say: Go forward, without knowing why, as quickly as possible, towards an unknown goal! To act and think are opposites which identify one only in the Absolute. To accomplish all one’s movements – of the head, the arms, the legs – without ever quite attaining the status of a puppet, but with a certainty that gives one a feeling of rightness: that is what is nowadays held up as the ideal. Be citizens of Universal activity! Forget to be conscious of ourselves! The blind horse gallops without hesitation, not knowing where it is going, not caring where it has been: so let up put out our eyes!” ― Remy de Gourmont “Deprived of the infinite, man has become what he always was: a supernumerary. He hardly counts; he forms part of the troupe called Humanity; if he misses a cue, he is hissed; and if he drops through the trapdoor another puppet is in readiness to take his place.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “It was an accident that has endowed man with intelligence. He has made use of it: he invented stupidity.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “Tears flow and smiles fade to the same rhythm of life, to disappear together in the bottomless abyss.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “Abstractions do us much harm by impelling us to the quest of the absolute in all things. Joy does not exist, but there are joys: and these joys may not be folly felt unless they are detached from neutral or even painful conditions. The idea of continuity is almost self-negating. Nature makes no leaps; but life makes only bounds. It is measured by our heartbeats & these may be counted. That there should be, amid the number of deep pulsations that scan the line of our existence, some grievous ones, does not permit the affirmation that life is therefore evil. Moreover, neither a continuous joy would be perceived by consciousness.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “Ah! I wish I had the courage to work for the debasement of my contemporaries. What good work it would be to defile their daughters: to insinuate something obscene into the infantile hands which caress each paternal beard and cheek; to poison them, even at the risk of perishing ourselves; to do as those Spanish monks did, who drank death in order that they might persuade the French rabble which had violated their monastery to do likewise.” ― Remy de Gourmont, The Angels of Perversity “The snow kept on falling, and penetrated so deeply into her prone body that she had no other feeling than that of wanting to die, buried under these adorable snow kisses, to be embalmed in the snow – and then to be swept off, in a final gust, to the land of eternal snow, to the fabled infinite mountains where the darling little adultresses lie in a perpetual swoon, ceaselessly and firmly caressed by all the perverse angels.” ― Remy de Gourmont, The Angels of Perversity “It appears, from all this, that our eyes are uncertain. Two persons look at the same clock and there is a difference of two or three minutes in their reading of the time. One has a tendency to put back the hands, the other to advance them. Let us not too confidently try to play the part of the third person who wishes to set the first two aright; it may well happen that we are mistaken in turn. Besides, in our daily life, we have less need of certainty than of a certain approximation to certainty. Let us learn how to see, but without looking too closely at things and men: they look better from a distance.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “Well, suppose we remain upon earth, after all? Suppose we bravely accept the death of our dreams at the same time as the death of our bodies? This beyond is decidedly uncertain, quite vague and mobile. I do not believe that it exists everywhere; I believe that it is nowhere except in our infantile imaginations. Born with us, it will end at the same moment that we do, to be born anew in our posterity. The beyond is the earthly tomorrow, as we bequeath it to our heirs and as they modify it by their efforts and in accordance with their tastes.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “The only excuse a man has for writing is that he express himself, that he reveal to others the kind of world reflected in the mirror of his soul; his only excuse is that he be original.” ― Remy de Gourmont, The Book of Masks “It is undefinable; and moreover, if it were defined it would lose all its value. God is not all that exists; God is all that does not exist. Therein resides the power & the charm of that mysterious word. God is tradition, God is legend, God is folklore, God is a fairy-tale, God is romance, God is a lie, God is a bell, God is a church window, God is religion, God is all that is absurd, useless, invisible, intangible, all that is nothingness & that symbolizes nothingness. God is the nihil in tenebris-(nothing in the darkness) -men have made of him light, life & love.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “Everything, indeed, in a work of art should be unedited,–and even the words, by the manner of grouping them, of shaping them to new meanings,–and one often regrets having an alphabet familiar to too many half-lettered persons.” ― Remy de Gourmont, The Book of Masks “Nothing is better for “spiritual advancement” & the detachment of the flesh than a close reading of the “Erotic Dictionary.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques “The greater part of a men who speak ill of women are speaking of a certain woman.” ― Remy de Gourmont, Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques — Remy de Gourmont on IvyU: Remy de Gourmont: The Natural Philosophy of Love (1904) […]

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