Our favourite books can mesmerize us, move us, and teach us something new. Their messages transcend their plot, and speak to something larger than just narrative.
Many of these ideas relate to love, and our experience of it. So what can the musings of these nine classic authors teach us about love?
1) Lemony Snicket: Love is messy, but it can change you profoundly.
In his novel Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid, elusive author Lemony Snicket writes: “Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby: awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.”
2) Zelda Fitzgerald: We are capable of more love than we know.
The wife of Great Gatsby author F. Scott had an intense and tumultuous marriage. Nonetheless, she reflected in her own novel, Save Me the Waltz, that: “Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”
3) Oscar Wilde: It’s okay to give in to temptation sometimes.
In The Picture of Dorian Grey, Wilde advises: “”The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”
In other words, go ahead and give in to that chocolate cake you’re always fantasizing about.
4) Maya Angelou: Love takes courage and sacrifice, but it is the greatest gift we can give or receive.
“In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave,
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet, it is only love
which sets us free.”
– Touched by an Angel, a poem by Maya Angelou
5) Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson: Love requires a bit of luck.
Watterson said: “If you can find even one person you really like, you’re lucky. And if that person can also stand you, you’re really lucky.”
6) Toni Morrison: True love doesn’t make you vulnerable; it makes you stronger.
In her novel Jazz, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morison writes: “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.”
Love shouldn’t make you feel weak or exposed; it should strengthen and inspire you.
7) Agatha Christie: Sometimes a person’s goofy quirks become what you love most about them.
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them,” muses Agatha Christie in An Autobiography.
8) Roald Dahl: Love matters more than almost anything else.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you,” Dahl wrote in The Witches.
9) Kurt Vonnegut: Appreciate and embrace all forms of love, for that is ultimately what it means to be human.
“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.” Vonnegut explains in his novel The Sirens of Titan that life is really about the experience of love in all its various forms – platonic or romantic, lifelong or short-lived. Remember those in your life who you love, and who love you!