Mr. Anderson has written a fun blog post on titles waiting for a book. I hope all the contributors will offer their own titles. If I should ever write a book, which I plan to do at some point when the mind is ripe, the title springs from my favorite philosopher and my favorite text in his corpus: Soren Kierkegaard, Works of Love. Here is the title waiting for my book:
Eternity’s Bond: Believing in Love Through the Narrative Imagination
In temporality a person can perhaps succeed in being able to dispense with love; he perhaps can succeed in slipping through time without discovering the self-deception; he perhaps can succeed, how terrible, in becoming, in a delusion, proud of being in it––but in eternity he cannot dispense with love and cannot avoid discovering he forfeited everything . . . . What is it, namely, that connects the temporal and eternal, what else but love, which for that very reason is before everything and remains after everything is gone. But precisely because love is eternity’s bond in this way, and precisely because temporality and eternity are heterogeneous, love can seem a burden to temporality’s earthly sagacity, and therefore in temporality it may seem to the sensate person an enormous relief to cast off this bond of eternity.
Every tree is known by its own fruit, so also is love known by its own fruit, and the love that Christianity speaks of is known by its own fruit––that it has within itself eternity’s truth. All other love, whether it finishes flowering early, humanly speaking, and is changed or lovingly lasts its temporal season, is still perishable and merely blossoms. This is its frailty and its sadness; whether it blossoms for an hour or for seventy years, it merely blossoms, but Christian love is eternal. Therefore no one, if he understands himself, would think of saying of Christian love that it blossoms. No poet, if he understands himself, would think of singing its praises. What the poet sings about must have the sadness, which is the riddle of his own life, that it must blossom––and, alas, must perish. But Christian love abides, and for that very reason it is. What perishes blossoms, and what blossoms perishes, but something that is cannot be sung about––it must be believed and it must be lived.
Believe in love! If we are to know love, this is the first and the last thing to say about it.