The ages of love

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There are many definitions of what love is. One of the most pessimistic is formulated by the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan: "Love is giving what you don't have to someone who doesn't want to receive it". But conversely, you can also believe in the miracle of empty hands: the moment you give what you don't have, you receive it.

The Ages of Love is about what love is for the narrator – an older poet – seen in each decade from 1940 to 2010, and at the same time contains sketches for a snapshot of these years. The novel describes the love between mother and child, between school children, as well as the Oedipal love between the narrator as quite young and a woman who is twice his age. And it describes many variations of the male-female relationship.

Is love wordless, or does it really make language meaningful? Is physical violence also a longing for loving body contact? Is love the entrance to an unknown dimension? Does love for all of humanity exclude that there will be enough love for the individual person?

The questions are easy to ask, the answers difficult to find.