Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tolstoy: The Three Kinds Of Love

This is a paraphrase of some remarks made in Tolstoy's work, Youth, which is one of his first works.
1.  The first kind is the love between males and females, which he doesn't see necessary to expound on much.  He simply notes that in desiring to gain their own fulfillment, people convince themselves that they care for another.

2. The second kind is the heroic, suffering lover.  This person will deny themselves sleep for a week while sitting at the side of someone who is sick.  It is almost as if they need sick people, so that they can sleeplessly sit by their side and prove how heroic they are, yet they generally are oblivious to the real concerns of people otherwise.

3. The third kind of love considers the needs and wants of others in minute detail and performs actions accordingly.  The complication being that such lovers expect reciprocity.

Tolstoy's three works, Childhood, Boyhood and Youth, are some of his earliest works.  I am wondering if he discovered any additional types of love as he got older.  There are parts of this trilogy that are of interest to me, given the upper class lifestyle and transition to universities that occurred during this era.  It seems that the university was exclusively for men.  What annoys me in these works is the constant need to psycho-analyze every gesture, movement of the eyes, utterance, or tone of utterance.  Only the dogs and horses are spared.  Perhaps this is just my dull nature, yet I am not convinced that so much information is conveyed, and if it were conveyed and I were to analyze everything, I would undoubtedly come to the wrong conclusion in every case, so that I would still be better off in not having attempted this kind of analysis.

1 comment:

Rummuser said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love