I was half-way through a much over-due cleaning of my desk when I found a folded sheet between the pages of an old notebook. I found a few scribbled quotes on it, which upon closer examination, I recognised to be from Diary of a Bad Year by J. M. Coetzee.
I must have wanted to put them up here, but have forgotten. Better late then never, I say. So here they are:
All love is moderate, in the end. No one will come with one.
Love: what the heart aches for.
All old folks become Cartesians (I think, therefore I am).
Is one of the consequences of growing old that one no longer needs the thing itself, that the idea of the thing suffices – as, in matters of the heart, the entertainment of a possibility, may become a substitute, a not unwelcomed substitute, for love itself?
Three of the four quotes are on love. I swear it is not Freudian on my part – you will never expect it with a title like that, but this book is really quite obsessed with the love theme.
It is a sad, melancholic love, though. An old man’s wistful longing for it when he knows he is probably never going to find it again (before he dies).
[On a related note, I wonder why it is so often said that Love Conquers All (including death). It most certainly does not. Just yet another futile attempt to reassure ourselves of our metaphysical immortality.]