John Berger: Between Two Colmars

01 December 2018

Love bestows innocence. It has nothing to forgive. The person loved is not the same as the person seen crossing the street or washing her face. Nor exactly the same as the person living his (or her) own life and experience, for he (or she) cannot remain innocent. Who then is the person loved? A mystery, whose identity is confirmed by nobody except the lover. How well Dostoevsky saw this. Love is solitary even though it joins. The person loved is the being who continues when the person’s own actions and egocentricity have been dissolved. Love recognises a person before the act and the same person after it. It invests this person with a value which is untranslatable into virtue.

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