Samara O'Shea

The Art of Loving

Yesterday, I began reading The Art of Loving by Eric Fromm. I’ve come across the name of this book in other books on love, so I decided to go straight to the source. Published in 1956, it is one of the first (if not the first) books to approach love from a psychological perspective.

The first thing that surprised me was the size. It’s small—only 123 pages. I would think a manifesto on love would be much longer. Not that I’m complaining, I find many books are both profound and compact. Plus it means I can get through it quickly.

I’ve read the forward and introduction, and here are the quotes I like so far:

~ “The reading of this book will be a disappointing experience for anyone who expects an easy instruction in the art of loving.”

~ “It [this book] wants to convince the reader that all of his attempts for love are bound to fail, unless he tries most actively to develop his total personality, so as to achieve a productive orientation; that satisfaction in individual love cannot be attained without the capacity to love one’s neighbor, without true humility, courage, faith, and discipline.”

~ “The miracle of sudden intimacy is often facilitated if it is combined with, or initiated by, sexual attraction and consummation. However, this type of love is by its very nature not lasting. The two persons become well acquainted, their intimacy loses more and more its miraculous character, until their antagonism, their disappointments, their mutual boredom kill whatever is left of the initial excitement.”

~ “There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love.”

~ “The first step to take is to become aware that love is an art, just as living is an art; if we want to learn how to love we must proceed in the same way we have to proceed if we want to learn any other art, say music, painting, carpentry, or the art of medicine or engineering.”

I won’t be blogging the next two days. Be back on Monday. Stay warm!