Romantic love as perversion

A funny sidenote to my recent review of Bitterfittan: Recently, I read Michael Moorcock’s “Behold the Man“, which contained the following exchange, which offers a rather different perspective on relationships:

“Your trouble, Karl,” said Gerard as they walked along the High towards the Mitre where Gerard had decided to buy Karl lunch, “is that you’re hung up on romantic love. Look at me, I’ve got all kinds of kinks … as you’re so fond of pointing out in that hectoring voice of yours. I get terribly randy watching black masses and all that. But I don’t go around butchering virgins – partly because it’s against the law. But you romantic-love perverts – there’s no law to stop you. I can’t do it unless she’s wearing a black veil or something, but you can’t do it unless you’ve sworn undying love and she’s sworn you undying love back and everything’s horribly mixed up. The damage you do! To yourself and the poor girls you use” It’s disgusting…”

“You’re being more cynical than usual, Gerard.”

“No! Not a bit of it. I speak with absolute sincerity – I’ve never felt so passionate about anything in my life! Romantic love! There really ought to be some law against it. Disgusting. Disastrous. Look what happened to Romeo and Juliet. There’s a warning for all of us.”

“Oh, Gerard…”

“Why can’t you just fuck and enjoy it? Leave it at that? Take it for granted? Don’t pervert some poor girl, too.”

“They’re usually the ones who want it that way.”

“You do have a point, dear boy.”

“Don’t you believe in love at all, Gerard?”

“My dear Karl, if I didn’t believe in some kind of love, would I be bothering to give you this warning?”

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