"Can classic literature shed any light on twenty-first century love?
What influence does reading about love in literature have on ‘real life’? Does it simply create expectations of unachievable ideals, or does is present us with useful insight? Does it hinder our emotional development or help it? Are we better lovers for delving into Lady Chatterley’s Lover, or reciting Shakespeare to one another?
Ultimately literature encourages us to question this idea of ‘love’ presented in Valentine’s cards, suggesting that it’s okay to be different. It tells us that love happens in the most unexpected ways. Shakespeare said it first: ‘reason and love keep little company nowadays’, and ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’. . Love is not logical, it isn’t biological (you can disregard this week’s Science feature), it’s improbable and unpredictable. But that’s why it’s so exciting. Love is messy and that’s what makes it so great. In life and in literature."
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