L for Love (Excerpt)
There are only two main forms of love: physical love and sexual love. Yet both used to be originally designated with a single name: Eros. But Eros became exclusively sexual when the discovery was made that, under the word love, the courtesy of desire — ‘Madam, may I kiss thine hand?’ — in fact concealed savage impulses — ‘Oh Ma’am, you’re so hot!’ Something that a Viennese doctor a trifle mischievous, whose odd habit it was to make female patients lie down so that he could better undress their soul, approximately summed up as follows in the late XIXth century: ‘Desire is the doubtful alibi defended by a subject in order to hide his own impulses’. By a strange slip of the tongue, this doubtful alibi was to become the libido. ‘Ah, le voyou !’ — ‘What a lout!’ —, shocked puritans wanted to retort; but as they spoke too timidly, their complaint became ‘I love you’.
Yves Cusset is thirty-five years old. A philosophy teacher, he is also a comedian and the author of short philosophical texts — his ‘Solos’ —, which he has presented on numerous stages throughout France, notably in Avignon.