The Personalist Project

Comments (7)

Teresa Manidis

#1, Jan 20, 2012 6:40pm

Thanks for the text to this lecture, Katie, it was an engaging read.  Besides your sound thought and logic, I also found many parallels between our early lives - our affinity for Anne of Green Gables, for example, or our both being (quite) hopelessly Romantic (as English majors we actually took a test, in class, to see which student was the most capital-R Romantic in the entire university - I won, hands-down, with 99/100 - I lost one point for preferring Spring to Fall, the most 'hopelessly Romantic season of them all').

And I 'shook hands with you, mentally' when you broke away from the stilted covenant/courtship paradigm.  Do you know whom you reminded me of?  

Your words, describing your mindset before your 'enlightenment':

'Our relationship was completely . . . in accordance with God's plan . . . I wasn't in love with him, but I assumed that would come, eventually.'

St. John River's words:

'You would not repent marrying me . . . we must be married.  I repeat it there is no other way; and undoubtedly enough of love would follow upon marriage to render the union right even in your eyes.'

Teresa Manidis

#2, Jan 20, 2012 6:49pm

Jane Eyre's words, spoken in response to St. John's chilly pragmatism, could have been your own:

'I scorn your idea of love,' I could not help saying . . .'I scorn the counterfeit sentiment you offer: yes, St. John, and I scorn you when you offer it.'

The heart of your lecture does the same thing, Katie, 'scorning' a calculating, utilitarian, nearly bloodless form of courtship, and embracing instead

'Poetry, beauty, transcendence, sublimity, truth, tenderness, oblation, self-donation, purity, fidelity, refinement, reserve, nobility, sacrifice, devotion, communion

and (last, but not least) love.

Jules van Schaijik

#3, Jan 21, 2012 9:20pm

I love that passage in Jane Eyre. It is, as you say, such a perfect illustration of a thoroughly utilitarian approach to marriage. And it is especially illuminating because the goal, to which St. John sees marriage as the only means, is so lofty and noble.

Perhaps we should start a collection of striking marriage proposals from literature and real life. That would be a lot of fun, and we would end up with a great resource.

Katie van Schaijik

#4, Jan 21, 2012 9:23pm

I'm definitely a fall girl.

Though spring is completely irresistible in its own way.

Teresa Manidis

#5, Jan 23, 2012 5:49pm

Jules, I heartily second the motion to start a compilation!  Set it up, and I shall submit

Katie van Schaijik

#6, Jan 23, 2012 6:45pm

That one in Jane Eyre is priceless.  So is the one early on in Middlemarch.  I like the idea a lot.  

Jules van Schaijik

#7, Jan 25, 2012 8:24pm

I've been working on it Teresa. I think it will be ready soon.

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