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- Why We Love: Five Revelatory Books on the Psychology of the Heart – Brain Pickings
The specter of the Holocaust is an undeniable presence in The History of Love too, and we'll add that both tales are written in a literary voice that's hard to come by, yet strikingly similar between the two. Before you accuse them of copying, though, let it be known that they met and fell madly in love, obvi after they published their books their Dutch editor thought they'd hit it off.
Along with their similar writing styles, the pair shares similar fascinations.
For instance, although Krauss deals less overtly with questions of contemporary Jewish identity than her husband does, the dedication in the book—"To my grandparents, who taught me the opposite of disappearing"—illustrates a similar preoccupation with Old World ancestry and the past. Well, wherever her inspiration comes from, we'll take it. As for The History of Love , Krauss has said that it's about "people who love books, and the way in which books facilitate love.
The History of Love isn't really much of a history at all. It's really more like a meditation on love, or an exploration of love.
It's the story of a bunch of people who are—you guessed it—searching for love, but also searching for themselves and trying to find their places in the world. It's about the relationships between grief and hope, loneliness and friendship, silence and communication. Wait, sorry—does that sound too much like every sappy, heavy, melodramatic book you've ever laid eyes on? Rest assured, this book has nothing in common with whatever book you're thinking of.
Unless that book is totally awesome—in which case they're actually quite similar. How awesome is this book?
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- A NATURAL HISTORY OF LOVE by Diane Ackerman | Kirkus Reviews!
Just imagine if Disneyland had a roller coaster that celebrated the human condition in all its messiness and beauty. Now imagine that it could take you soaring high and plunging low over three continents and sixty years, all in the scope of a single ride. And instead of, you know, pirates and a certain tropical body of water, you might see a teenage girl writing in a secret notebook called How to Survive in the Wild.
Or a young man hiding from Nazis in a potato cellar. What are the similarities between these two characters? Explore the theme of authenticity throughout the narrative. Who's real and who's a fraud? Despite his preoccupation with his approaching death, Leo has a spirit that is indefatigably comic. Describe the interplay of tragedy and comedy in The History of Love.
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When Alma meets Leo, she calls him the "oldest man in the world. Uncle Julian tells Alma, "Wittgenstein once wrote that when the eye sees something beautiful, the hand wants to draw it.
Many different narrators contribute to the story of The History of Love. What makes each of their voices unique? How does Krauss seam them together to make a coherent novel?
Survival requires different tactics in different environments. Aside from Alma's wilderness guidelines, what measures do the characters in the novel adopt to carry on? Most all of the characters in the novel are writers from Isaac Moritz to Bird Singer.
Why We Love: Five Revelatory Books on the Psychology of the Heart – Brain Pickings
Alma's mother is somewhat exceptional, as she works as a translator. Yet she is not the only character to transform others' words for her creative practice.
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What are the similarities and differences between an author and a translator? What are the benefits of friendship in the novel? Why might Alma feel more comfortable remaining Misha's friend rather than becoming his girlfriend?