This is a photo series in tribute to Alain Badiou, France's greatest living philosopher. He has just completed a book about Love called 'In Praise of Love". The following are quotes or comments from the book. There are also some ideas from Jacques Lacan. This was also inspired by an article by Stuart Jefferies in The Guardian. Please click on the highlighted words or names for further information and click on this if you want to hear Alain Badiou speak in a video about this theme: Alain Badiou, What is love, sexuality and desire? I am still trying to work all this out myself, but I do agree with his following quotes completely! I have enclosed some of the most appropriate quotes that go with these photos, but I want the photos to speak for themselves.
"A new century, new threats to love . . . Love without risks is like war without deaths - but, today, love is threatened by an alliance of liberalism and hedonism. Caught between consumerism and casual sexual encounters devoid of passion, love - without the key ingredient of chance - is in danger of withering on the vine."
"Love is not a contract between two narcissists. It's more than that. It's a construction that compels the participants to go beyond narcissism. In order that love lasts one has to reinvent oneself."
"In Paris now half of couples don't stay together more than five years. I think it's sad because I don't think many of these people know the joy of love. They know sexual pleasure – but we all know what Lacan said about sexual pleasure."
"Jacques Lacan argued that sexual relationships don't exist. What is real is narcissistic, Lacan suggested, what binds imaginary. "To an extent, I agree with him. If you limit yourself to sexual pleasure it's narcissistic. You don't connect with the other, you take what pleasure you want from them."
"Everybody says love is about finding the person who is right for me and then everything will be fine. But it's not like that. It involves work."
"Solving the existential problems of love is life's great joy. There is a kind of serenity in love which is almost a paradise."
"Love is a construction, a life that is being made, no longer from the perspective of One but from the perspective of Two."
"In love, fidelity signifies this extended victory: the randomness of an encounter defeated day after day through the invention of what will endure."