Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Princeton University Press. Today, we’ve selected some of our favorite PUP books on love. Choose a title you love and get reading!
The Paradox of Love
By Pascal Bruckner, Translated by Steven Rendall, With an afterword by Richard Golsan
Mixing irony and optimism, Bruckner argues that, when it comes to love, we should side neither with the revolutionaries nor the reactionaries. Rather, taking love and ourselves as we are, we should realize that love makes no progress and that its messiness, surprises, and paradoxes are not merely the sources of its pain–but also of its pleasure and glory. Read the Introduction.
The Reasons of Love
By Harry G. Frankfurt
The most important form of caring, Frankfurt writes, is love, a nonvoluntary, disinterested concern for the flourishing of what is loved. Love is so important because meaningful practical reasoning must be grounded in ends that we do not seek only to attain other ends, and because it is in loving that we become bound to final ends desired for their own sakes. Check out Chapter 1.
By Troy Jollimore
Love often seems uncontrollable and irrational, but we just as frequently appear to have reasons for loving the people we do. In Love’s Vision, Troy Jollimore offers a new way of understanding love that accommodates both of these facts, arguing that love is guided by reason even as it resists and sometimes eludes rationality. Read Chapter 1.
The Seducer’s Diary
By Søren Kierkegaard, Edited and translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, With a foreword by John Updike
“In the vast literature of love, The Seducer’s Diary is an intricate curiosity–a feverishly intellectual attempt to reconstruct an erotic failure as a pedagogic success, a wound masked as a boast,” observes John Updike in his foreword to Søren Kierkegaard’s narrative. This work, a chapter from Kierkegaard’s first major volume, Either/Or, springs from his relationship with his fiancée, Regine Olsen.
By Sylvia Lavin
Kissing Architecture explores the mutual attraction between architecture and other forms of contemporary art. In this fresh, insightful, and beautifully illustrated book, renowned architectural critic and scholar Sylvia Lavin develops the concept of “kissing” to describe the growing intimacy between architecture and new types of art–particularly multimedia installations that take place in and on the surfaces of buildings–and to capture the sensual charge that is being designed and built into architectural surfaces and interior spaces today. Check out Chapter 1.
Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini
Translated by Susan Stewart
Whether she is working in the briefest, most incisive lyric mode or the complex time schemes of longer meditations, Merini’s deep knowledge of classical and Christian myth gives her work a universal, philosophical resonance, revealing what is at heart her tragic sense of life. At the same time, her ironic wit, delight in nature, and affection for her native Milan underlie even her most harrowing poems of suffering. In Stewart’s skillful translations readers will discover a true sibyl of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Read the Introduction.