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"Why is the measure of love loss?"
on January 4, 2014
In Written on the Body Jeanette Winterson takes on some fundamental questions: What is love? What is marriage? What do fidelity and responsibility really mean? It is often in examining the extremes that we can find answers. The narrator lives in the extreme - profound restless, intense eagerness, unequivocal passion, turbulent relationships. What can a soul want more than passion - the intense consuming passion that elevates love and life to the umpteenth degree? Passion is the fire of life. Whereas many of us might long for that level of passion and intensity, Winterson not only describes it, but also takes up the question of its sustainability. How can it be sustainable? Can it? Then there are other questions: What does it really mean to truly love another? Should one let the loved one go if it saves their life? If so, can one decide for another? If so, what is life without love? In her brilliant narration, astute observations, sensual descriptions and philosophical musings, Written on the Body celebrates the sensual body and feeds the philosophical mind. Whether it provides answers or not, that is a more complicated question. After all, as Susan Sontag said, "The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions."