Thursday, February 14, 2008

Auden #15, Love #17

Half the literature, highbrow and popular, produced in the West during the past four hundred years has been based on the false assumption that what is an exceptional experience is or ought to be a universal one. Under its influence so many millions of persons have persuaded themselves they were "in love" when their experience could be fully and accurately described by the more brutal four-letter words, that one is sometimes tempted to doubt if the experience is ever genuine, even when, or especially when, its seems to have happened to oneself. However, it is impossible to read some of the documents, La Vita Nuova, for example, many of Shakespeare's sonnets or the Symposium and dismiss them as fakes.