~ "Opposite Day!" ~
on ~The Fashioniste~
A Carefully Arranged Series of Quotations about Fashion, Art, Beauty, and Culture that are DIRECTLY OPPOSED to EVERYTHING I STAND FOR, BELIEVE IN, and which make a COMPLETE MOCKERY of those very things themselves!!! WHAAAAT?!?? Yeah! You heard me right: I am hereby launching an unremitting, unrelenting, unforgiving full-scale attack on MYSELF and on my own way of thinking and seeing... Just consider it a momentary confrontation with that thing called "cynicism," which is so FOREIGN to me and just totally antithetical to my sunny disposition, cheerful temperament, and
hearty constitution! Oh yes it is! Anyway...here we go >
I guess I would describe myself as an idealistic, optimistic, beauty-worshipping intellectual (BORRRING!!!!). You know—the kind of person who literally stops and smells the roses that are on display outside the flower shop (that is no joke)—so, it should come as no surprise that cynicism, sarcasm, and bitterness are like kryptonite to me. I see the world as nice, beautiful, and constantly inspiring place, and what I try to convey through the picture galleries on this website is some of that beauty, as condensed and arranged into what I feel are the most breath-taking galleries that it is within my power to create, consisting of all the best pictures I find when I’m scouring the internet in my spare time. A few of the pages I have posted on this coffeetable book of a site have, however, consisted not of pictures, but of quotations, and it’s like “Yeah, what’s with this whole quotation compendium thing you do sometimes?” Well, just as there has been 5,000 years of recorded art, there has been 3,000 years of recorded writing, so there’s an unimaginably mountainous amount of work to check out, let alone really study. And I said earlier, I’m someone who loves the world and sees so much beauty in it that I feel like I could just give it a giant hug—and the same feeling goes for the whole world of art and the whole world of literature. And when I say “great,” I mean history-making, in the sense that the work defined the moment and perhaps also rose above the moment in which it was created, but that, either way, it had some impact on the other works of its own time and future times, and art historians and literary critics can be found to have encircled a vast number of the same specific works, enough that any interested student would not have to look far (and certainly it doesn’t take more than a split-second on the Internet) to find such collections.
But there is an absolute distinction to be made between what is included in even the most general canons of art and what is included in the canons of literature, which is to say that, in literature, there is so much, SO much, that while it is possible, within a few months time, to take at least a single look at the tens of thousands of great works of visual art that have ever been created (including all those from the hundreds of painters from the Golden Age of painting in Netherlands), it is simply just unimaginably impossible to read through the thousands and thousands of great works of literature, even if with just a cursory understanding of what is being read. If I wanted to literally hug “the whole world,” the best I could do is get down on the ground and try to get my arms around the entire planet, though I’d probably only be able to span about 6 feet of the 24,000-or-so miles of it—and with literature, it’s basically the same, but the difference is that there is a way I can run through the history of literature and learn some of the brilliant and timeless and moment-defining sentiments, ideas, and concepts that originated from certain writers—and the way I do that? Through quotation! As Winston Churchill said:
"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more."
So here’s me, trying to throw my arms around the world of literature (thank, U2). Only with the following assortment of quotations, I have sought to do something different than the other times, namely: I here launch an attack against MYSELF, and seek to tear down, tear apart, and deconstruct everything I hold dear and believe in! As I quoted in another update: It is a popular error to talk about having the courage one's convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one's convictions! (paraphrase of Friedrich Nietzsche). I also thought it would simply just be interesting to be the devil's advocate to myself. As I am, I believe that the world is beautiful, that people are good, that art is a wonderfully happy thing created by healthy, strong, and fearless individuals, and that the world is fair to artists, and that fashion has the power to transform people into something greater than they are, and that every woman is blessed with her own unique type of beauty! Well, this week, just for the pure, unadulterated fun of it, I bash all those highfalutin, rosy-cheeked notions right to down to hell!!!
And now, Enjoy. :-D
(Note: About a third I first read on websites, another third I first read in book and was able to find on the web, and the other third I first read in book and am here “debuting” on the Internet for the first time! I’ll be compiling the list of Sources over the next two days, and it will have tons and tons of external links for all of you to check out more from any of the many writers and artists I quote.)
There has long been a connection drawn between genius and madness:
No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.
Great wits are sure to madness near allied.
Great minds are very near to madness.
But if you actually want to apply this statement to real people in the real world, what is the inevitable conclusion? Well, if someone is mad, is insane, he should be locked up, right? A madman, as the word is commonly used, is someone who’s dangerous, potentially violent, and threatening to the status quo, in all sorts of bad ways. Therefore anyone who is identified a “genius” should be removed from society and locked the hell up! >:-D
The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
And of course there is the connection between artistic creativity and madness, rejected by at lease one artist thusly—
The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
—but, again, if we are going to view a madperson as deserving to be sequestered from everybody else, then the same conclusion holds nonetheless—get them outta here!!!
The more valid point, however, and one that has been frequently made as well, is the connection between artistic creativity and not madness, but sickness! :-o
So, what the heck does this have to do with FASHION, you ask? Well, I do consider fashion a form of art, and so, let’s hear from the fashion designer who is often recognized as the greatest of the 20th century; he said
Fashion is an incurable disease.
La mode est une maladie incurable.
-Yves Saint Laurent
Yeah! Well, there you have it! I guess being a shopaholic really is a serious condition! (It is not listed in the manual of psychiatric disorders—yyyyet—but it does have a more serious-sounding name, which is oniomania, from the Greek word “onios,” meaning “for sale”).
But consider artistic creativity in general, and hear what some of most brilliant creators of it have had to say:
Art is a disease.
-Marcel Duchamp; many others
It does not seem possible to be an artist and not to be sick.
Disease was the most basic ground
Of my creative urge and stress;
Creating, I could convalesce,
Creating, I again grew sound.
Krankheit ist wohl der letzte Grund
Des ganzen Schöpferdrangs gewesen;
Erschaffend konnte ich genesen,
Erschaffend wurde ich gesund.
For as long as I can remember, I have suffered from a deep feeling of anxiety which I have tried to express in my art. Without anxiety and illness I should have been like a ship without a rudder.
-Edvard Munch (pr. "Munk"), who inscribed under his painting The Scream: “Could only have been painted by a madman.” -- but! I reiterate, a non-violent madman, eh? And so, just a sick man….
We have long observed that every neurosis has the result, and therefore probably the purpose, of forcing the patient out of real life, of alienating him from reality.
As one individual asked:
What is art but the denial of life?
Que é a arte senão a negação da vida?
An attempted denial, to be sure, as
The mind and the body are each other’s physicians—often inconveniently so!
So artists and intellectuals may maintain that,
The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.
-Thomas Edison (Now that’s an imagination and an intellect!)
But, nevertheless, they are still human like everyone else, and must face the truth that,
It is in moments of illness that we are compelled to recognize that we live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom, whole worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body.
Why exactly do artists tend to be so neurotic? Because their perception of reality is somewhat different from everyone else’s, but that little difference in perception leads to much stronger differences in their physical behavior, and how they go about the most mundane aspects of real life. And this is how they alienate themselves from normal interactions, and from healthy relationships, and from their own good!
A neurosis is the uncontrolled widening of an idle imagination, to the point at which it starts to encompass all sort of trivial things, and magnify them, and the person gives unimportant things far more consideration than they are due, and the person obsesses over them, and finds ways to elaborate upon them. The interesting point here is that what makes the artist so tormented, and difficult, and maladjusted…is what makes him such an incredibly gifted artist! But yes, Freud is right in saying that neuroses force an individual out of reality, and the painter Munch exemplifies that in his remark that he would not have become an artist if it weren’t for illness and anxiety.
The distinction is that illness is actual suffering, while anxiety is only imagined, and as one of Freud’s disciples said,
Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.
That is—always and only ever! But to the person himself, how can he tell the difference?? Who sees their own foolishness, let alone goes about changing it, let alone preventing it?? Old habits die hard, and besides, who doesn’t like to complain?
A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.
There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in anticipation than in reality.
But artists will go on being the way they are…
It does not seem possible to be an artist and not to be sick.
I am risking my life for my work, and half my reason has gone.
-Vincent Van Gogh
Art is parasitic on life, just as criticism is parasitic on art.
The frantic passion of art is a canker which devours the remainder of the man.
La passion frénétique de l'art est un chancre qui dévore le reste.
Regarding the Aesthetic Vision of France - A reflection on what I have seen, read, and studied
There is, in the French literary tradition, and therefore perhaps also in the French artistic tradition and French cultural ethos right to this day, a very strong love of intricate, elaborate, and extraordinary artistic beauty, almost to the point of what may strike some eyes as being superfluous, gratuitous, and an altogether overindulgent, overloaded, overattentiveness to artfulness, artifice, and the art of ever-transcendent refinement one’s self and all of one’s surroundings. But there is also, contraposed to this, a morbid consciousness of the human body, and its functioning, processes, and all its unpleasantries.
As the law of physics has it, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and this counter-current I have found to be the consistent logical reaction to French culture’s long-standing and deep-running admiration for—and always highly maintained cultivation of—manmade beauty, codes of etiquette, and vaunting all displays of elegance, whether in social behavior, speech, art, architecture, design, or, of course, fashion, and one of our sayings in English thus perhaps even more significance in French, that is: Dieu est dans les details, or “God is in the details.”
But this backlash of which is I speak, is, in French literature, probably the strongest in writers like Baudelaire, Lautreamont, and Rimbaud, who each produced the larger part of their work in the 1860s. But in the classic, genre-pioneering Essays of Michel de Montaigne, from the 1580s, we could already see in the the constant rehashing of dark, horrifying, and grotesque themes. Montaigne gives dispassionate recountings from both ancient Rome and from 16th-century France, of bloody battles, tragic deaths, hopeless injustice, disease, despair, agony, madness, failure, decay, and so on (That may sound very lurid and ghastly, but are these not the same things you see and read about every day in newspaper and hear about on the 5 o’clock nightly news? It’s real life!).
So, as you could imagine, the preoccupation with refinement and perfection must lead certain individuals to hypochondria, and indeed we see it in the French literary tradition, from The Imaginary Invalid (Le Malade Imaginaire, 1673) of the great comic playwright Molière—who, in a very grim twist of fate, became fatally ill while playing the part of the protagonist in that same year—all the way to Marcel Proust in the 1910s, who completely isolated himself in his cork-lined bedroom, doing nothing all day but working on his several-volume book. So, whether it was that playwright or this novelist, or the poets mentioned above, the obsession with youth, and beauty, and health, and life, has its flipside in an obsession with age, and ugliness, and disease and death…. And thus, the the concept of being “chained to the body” is given a whole new weight… (And next week, through the the use of paintings and literary excerpts from French writers and about its Revolutionary era, as well as through fashion pictures, I will show you just what I'm talking about!)
Now, as for literature in general, and what it takes to be a good writer, should you so wish to lead a life as a writer, here are some fine super-cynical pointers that ought to keep you unfocused and creatively hamstrung, if not paralyzed, for a long time to come:
First of all, if you are inspired to write, and feel that force, then allow me to quote a fine poet who changed a single letter in that word here to say that inspiration is not a force, but a farce! (Yes, the same as in English.)
Inspiration is a farce that poets have invented to give themselves importance.
L'inspiration est une farce que les poètes ont inventée pour se donner de l'importance.
And it’s great to have energy, I guess, and to be determined to face up to critics, as
Opposition always enflames the enthusiast, never converts him.
But I mean, really…REALLY?
Enthusiasm is rude.
O entusiasmo é uma grosseria.
OK? So cool it.
But another thing you’re going to want to keep in mind is that:
To be understood is to prostitute yourself.
Ser compreendido é prostituir-se.
But unfortunately, pure nonsense that still makes just enough sense to actually hold a person’s interest is hard to come by, and there was enough symbolism discernible in the works of the Dadaists (and the neo-Dadists) for us to see that,
Many a man fails to become a thinker for the sole reason that his memory is too good.
And that revelation leads to the unfortunate state of affairs in which,
A poet muddies his own waters in order to make them appear deeper.
Of course, the notion that goes into such a pretentious act is that
Only the shallow know themselves.
But you (yeah, and I’m talking directly to you) don’t even have to worry about all that, because if you’re an author, there’s really just one thing you really need to know:
If it is written, it is not read; if it is read, it is not understood; and if it is understood, then it will be used in the wrong way.
Если писан, то не читан, eсли читан, то не понят, eсли понят, то не так. -Russian proverb
That is wonderful a choice that an artist makes: be widely unknown, or widely misunderstood.
Case in point:
Would Nietzsche have approved of how his writings were interpreted and implemented by political leaders in subsequent generations? And Karl Marx, with his writings?
It’s always interesting to see what happens when people become followers of an individual, and turn that person’s last name into a “-ism,” that is, into a rigid belief system or sociopolitical vision of order, which ought to be followed, on penalty of death or imprisonment. And for the record, all I said was that this phenomenon, of deifying an individual as the flawless leader of a movement or society was interesting; I didn’t say good…but I didn’t necessarily say bad, either.
When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
So watch what you say—because if people listen to you, they might give you more attention and more credibility that you ever wanted or ever expected…
No one would talk much in society, if he knew how often he misunderstands others.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
—and how much they misunderstand him!
Power is not so enjoyable:
To know the pains of power, we must go to those who have it; to know its pleasures, we must go to those who are seeking it.
-Charles Caleb Colton
You shall have joy, or you shall have power, said God; you shall not have both.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
But if you’re still not discouraged, then just know, that:
Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.
Or as we might say today, with the leveled playing field of the Internet, this great media equalizer, that 400 hostile blogs are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets…
Sure, we as authors and thinkers would love to have fame and influence, sure, but really, if any widely popular author were to go and meet and really get to know each of those who have purchased his book, and hear each one’s interpretation, he would very likely find all of them to be quite, quite repugnant. –paraphrased from some 20th century novelist whose name I can’t remember
Even in his own time, Karl Marx once said:
All I know is I'm not a Marxist.
And he even reportedly said,
Save me from the Marxists!
But context, or more precisely, recontextualization of existing ideas and phrases, is the instrument of any successful politician, the true craft of statecraft. For, as the saying goes:
The devil can quote Scripture for his own ends.
-paraphrase of a Shakespeare quote alluding to a passage from the Bible’s Book of Matthew
The devil can quote Scripture, as we all know, so why not a politician?
-The Washington Times newspaper
So okay, now let’s move from literature to culture and the artistic originality…
Here’s a nicer point, and one that a certainly believe (and may this be one of just a few momentary departures from cynicism that I am allowing myself here…ahem):
Everything that promotes development of culture, works also against war.
Alles, was die Kulturentwicklung fördert, arbeitet auch gegen den Krieg.
And from one brazen proponent of warfare, representing the other side:
Whenever I hear the word "'culture," I reach for my revolver.
Wenn ich 'Kultur' höre…entsichere ich meinen Browning!
Lierally: Whenever I hear “culture”... I release the safety-catch of my Browning! (which is actually a semi-automatic pistol)
But because of this modern oxymoron known as “popular culture,” or “consumer culture,” the sentiment can be revised as:
When I hear the word culture, I take out my checkbook.
Art is an investment of capital, culture an excuse.
And yeah, all of this might sound quite cynical, but hey, that’s just how it is:
Creative things have to sell to get acknowledged as such.
And it is useful to look at the attempt at global Americanization, or export of American “popular culture” (there it is again), since
As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?
-Alexis de Tocqueville, French writer—writing about America…in 1835!
And as author of that very century put it:
A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.
-Mark Twain (Note: A crank, in this sense, is “an annoyingly eccentric person; also : one who is overly enthusiastic about a particular subject or activity” -Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. But I guess what "crank" becomes rich, he goes from being annoying, to being...well, not exactly interesting, but probably just boring, and bloated.)
I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken stronger hold on the affections of men, and where the profounder contempt is expressed for the theory of the permanent equality of property.
-Alexis de Tocqueville
This can’t sit well with those who have a creative inclination, but who are prevented from actualizing it, due to their regular workaday concerns…but they can take solace in this point that,
Wealth is indeed a gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.
-St. Augustine (although I have here used this reference to wealth, when the actual quotation is about beauty—and it goes for both!)
Though that point about wealth going to the wicked can certainly not sit well with those who have made money. But then again, what self-made millionaire is not automatically and irrefutably called “brilliant”? Called a “genius”? And the initial quotations I started with—about geniuses being “mad,” and geniuses being “sick”—how many investment bankers and CEOs and Wall Street stockbrokers does that apply to? And who, aside from anonymous bloggers and anonymous YouTube commenters, have the nerve to say it outright?
Anyway, here’s another one:
Love of money is the root of all evil. —
But let’s consider the “incurable disease” of fashion and the possibility that
Love of beauty is the root of all evil!
(Oh no! This is downright blasphemous!)
And now let’s move from the originality to fashion, and stylistic originality…
It is always the badly dressed people who are the most interesting.
-Jean Paul Gaultier
Hah. (That’s one of the 2 repartees I’m allowing myself here…)
Tim Gunn's Guide to Style is a new show on the Bravo network - Tim Gunn is most well-known as a fashion guru on the TV show Project Runway, and as the Chair of Fashion Design of the Parsons School of Design, the school that has produced more successful pro fashion designers than any other in the world.
But as Willem de Kooning, the painter of the second most expensive painting in world ($137,500,000) noted:
Style is a fraud.
All this wisdom of the ages, which I’ve read and reread and woven into my own personal web of ideas and truths, has provided me with a guide to style, and it goes like this:
1. be hot
2. wear anything you damn WANT, honey
Now now now...
Let me just say first that
Women dress well in countries where they undress often.
Les femmes s'habillent bien dans les pays ou elles se deshabillent souvent.
No fashion is ever a success unless it is used as a form of seduction.
But, umm, what about countries where women are undressed almost all the time…? Kinda make the whole clothing issue irrelevant, huh… But as for the places where there is clothing, what does it much matter, if you’re, like, not hot? Well, that’s your problem(? Look, I’m just a guy; I’m not a psychologist). (And I am quick to say that: To show resentment at a reproach is to acknowledge that one may have deserved it. –Tacitus)
What's that, you say? Beauty is in they eye of the beholder? eeeeeeeyeahhhhh.... You can go with your little "subjectivity" theory while everyone else goes with the standard of hotness set by society, okay? ("HEY! F U!!!!") I said this is Opposite Day, remember?? Relax...
But this is how it really is. (Pshhh...there I go again...) So, as for developing your own wardrobe, or guiding yourself through the many avenues of fashion, and navigating the Chanels of fashion, and traveling through the various buyways of fashion, (email@example.com right here baby) or even if you’re designing your own fashion collection, that is really the one big monolithic truth about looks, and really the only one you need to know:
A pretty girl is also pretty in an old dress. -Chechen proverb
So, IF you happen to be the subject that particular statement, then feel free to bring back whatever style or styles of the past you want, and mix up however you like it.
Take even just the past 50 years of mainstream fashion trends, from the 1950s to today:
-early ‘50s prep,
-late ‘50s greaser,
-early ‘60s mod,
-late ‘60s hippie,
-early ‘70s glam rocker,
-late ‘70s disco dancer,
-later ‘70s punk,
-early ‘80s new romantic,
-mid ‘80s metalhead,
-late ‘80s oversized prep,
-early ‘90s grunge rocker,
-mid ‘90s wannabe thug,
-early 2000s hipster…
-and really, whatever freakin’ combination thereof—it don’t matta!
To put it a little more bluntly:
A beauty in ugly clothes is still a beauty. -Uzbek proverb
And then a little more delicately again,
A pretty person looks pretty in every outfit.
Ładnemu we wszystkim ładnie. -Polish proverb
But perhaps most, shall we say, fittingly:
A stick dressed up does not look like a stick.
Un palo compuesto no parece palo.
-Don Quixote to Sancho Panza, Cervantes, in 1615 Spain! and now a Spanish proverb
This is how a fashion brand is marketed, in both the runway shows, the magazine publicity, the ad campaigns in those magazines and on television and the Internet: Take a set of about 3 dozen very tall, very thin 18 - 22-year-old girls with long straight hair and blue eyes, and maybe a few brown-eyed ones, too. Ok, then go ahead and dress them in the outfit of the most horrible and ridiculous-looking person you can imagine, like um…let’s see:
> a disheveled bedraggled slobbish baglady wearing piled-on coats and ill-fitting dresses all at once,
> or, like a 4-year-old child from a Victorian daguerreotype in what looks like an oversized white doily,
> or, a prudish librarian in mismatched argyle—and plaid…combinations of dark blue, olive green, and mustard yellow,
> or even like some metal-clad supposed alien-chick you’d see in a low-budget 1950’s sci-fi movie,
> or even a crackwh^re hustlin' on an inner-city corner at 2 AM—think, like, glittery hanging halter-tops and vinyl hotpants…or like, see-through blouses with 8-inch plastic heels that match...
...and no, this is NOT Halloween. This is FASHION—modern, cutting-edge high fashion, and I mean insanely expensive fashion. And it works. Ah, La— C’est magnifique. It’s not a game, it’s not a joke, it’s not a statement, it’s a demonstration—a demonstration of how a hot girl is still supremely hot in whatever she wears! And she can wear it however she wants, too!—
“She wears her clothes as if they were thrown on with a pitchfork.”
Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
-George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans)
‘Ey, a stick dressed up… Well, now you know the deal…
And who can’t get enough about beauty? Here you go:
First, the one other momentary departure from all this cynicism I’m allowing myself, and this one is from Proust (a favorite of mine, as you could probably tell by now):
Beauty is not like a ne plus ultra of what we suppose beautiful, an abstract type of beauty before our eyes; on the contrary, it is something and, until life puts it before our eyes, unimaginable. The tall girl, for instance, in her late teens, with a pert expression, and pale cheeks, and crisply curling hair. … [B]ecause every beauty is a separate type, because there is no one Beauty but many beautiful women, a beautiful woman is an invitation to a happiness which she alone can fulfill.
Wow! Okay, now that is definitely idealistic! And definitely how I think! Damn!
But, um, let’s now plummet from those lofty heights with the words of several others:
Beauty is as relative as light and dark. Thus, there exists no beautiful woman, none at all, because you are never certain that a still far more beautiful woman will not appear and completely shame the supposed beauty of the first. -Paul Klee
Talk about putting attractiveness in perspective…!! Damn, man! Take it eeeeasy!! There are GIRLS who might be reading this!
The mission statement of just about every young man in the world can be found in the Amores (or Loves) of the 1st-century Roman poet Ovid, and this Latin Motto, in its original form, goes:
Denique quas tota quisquam probet urbe puellas, noster in has omnis ambitiosus amor.
In short, there’s a vast cross-section of desirable beauties in this city—and I want 'em all!
Or in the archaic translation:
In a word, of all the beauties they rave about in Rome, there's none whose lover I am not fain to be.
I could provide an more colloquial way of phrasing it, but, being the proper young gentleman I am, my sense of propriety keeps me from doing so. But I will quote another great Roman poet to amplify the love of all various kinds of women!
The swarthy girl is tawny, the scrawny one is a gazelle, the dumb one is modest, she that is half dead with consumption is slender, and she that is bloated, with enormous dugs, is Ceres herself. -Lucretius
There are as many beauties as there are usual manners to seek happiness.
Il y a autant de beautés qu'il y a de manières habituelles de chercher le bonheur.
So really, man, don’t make the terrible mistake made by Monsieur Swann in Proust’s novel, who devoted all his energies to one woman for so long, only to at least get to know her and make the dull realization:
“To think that I wasted of years of my life, that I wanted to die, and sacrifice myself to this great love, and all for a woman whom I did not like, who was not even my type!”
“Dire que j'ai gâché des années de ma vie, que j'ai voulu mourir, que j'ai eu mon plus grand amour, pour une femme qui ne me plaisait pas, qui n'était pas mon genre!”
Take a cue from the commonsense promiscuity recommended by Lucretius, who said (and I will not modernize this translation--it's already about as delicately worded as it could be):
Though she thou lovest now be far away,
Yet idol-images of her are near
And the sweet name is floating in thy ear.
But it behooves to flee those images;
And scare afar whatever feeds thy love;
And turn elsewhere thy mind; and vent the sperm,
Within thee gathered, into sundry bodies,
Nor, with thy thoughts still busied with one love,
Keep it for one delight, and so store up
Care for thyself and pain inevitable.
For all human life is pitched hither and thither between pain and boredom.
Zwischen Schmerz und Langeweile wird jedes Menschenleben hin und her geworfen.
Also translated as: The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.
Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?
Ist das Leben nicht hundert Mal zu kurz, sich in ihm—zu langweilen?
In this world, the only choices we have are between loneliness and vulgarity.
In der Welt nur die Wahl giebt, zwischen Einsamkeit und Gemeinheit.
-Arthur Schopenhauer (and yes, that is a different quote fron the other one!)
Morality is a venereal disease. Its primary stage is called virtue; its secondary stage, boredom; its tertiary stage, syphilis. -Karl Kraus
As soon as one is unhappy one becomes moral.
On devient moral dès qu'on est malheureux.
…and monogamous. Just think of all the love songs where the singer says that only “you” can quench their thirst or satisfy their needs or whatever. But it all makes sense when we consider that most music spring from suffering (as the composer Richard Wagner said)--in other words, the expressions of longing for one particular beloved and no other are nothing more than expressions of hopelessness on the part of a guy whose morality has risen while his happiness has sunk. But that'll switch right back to the usual caddishness (meaning, uh, doggishness) once he gets a taste of that goodness that only a woman can provide.
(Damn man!!! take it easy!! You don't have to get that cynical!!) I wasn't; it's just opposite day, remember? >;-)
So. regarding the woman’s perspective in all this? Let’s consider that, and have it be the concluding point to this presentation:
So, (ahem) in conclusion:
If men knew all that women think, they would be twenty times more audacious. Men lose more conquests by their own awkwardness than by any virtue in the woman. Most women yield through weakness rather than passion, and that is why as a rule enterprising men are more successful than others although no more attractive.
Sentence 1: Alphonse Karr. 2: Ninon de Lenclos. 3: Francois de Rochefoucauld. Twenty times more audacious, indeed... vingt fois plus audacieuses. And just to note, that last word is also translated as daring—same difference. The point is to step it up!!! Or not; the less competition, the better anyway. And now... Enjoy ~