Monday, April 16, 2007

Love Conquers All

Meagan sent me this. It's amazing.

For centuries upon centuries, we have been misinterpreting this framed trio of words. The uninvormed masses breathlessly held up this dwarfish phase as a justification for snogging in public squares, abandoning wives, cuckolding husbands, for the escalating divorce rate, for swarms of bastard children begging for handouts in the Whitechapel and Aldgate tube stations--when in fact, there is nothing remotely encouraging or cheerful about this oft-quoted phrase. The Latin poet wrote "Amor vincit omnia" or "Love conquers all." He did not write, "Love frees all" or "liberates" all, and therein lies the first degree of our flagrant misunderstanding. Conquer: to defeat, subjugate, massacre, cream, make mincemeat out of. Surely, this cannot be a positive thing. And then, he wrote "conquers ALL"--not exclusively the unpleasant things, destitution, assassination, burglary, but ALL, including pleasure, peace, common sense, liberty and self-determination. And thus we may appreciate that Virgil's words are not encouragement, but rather a caveat, a cue to evade, shirk, elude the feeling at all costs, else we risk the massacre of the things we hold most dear, including our sense of self.


Anonymous said...

interesting, and fascinating take on the quote.
I, for one, am one who believes that it is all about love -- so I guess I do not see it that way, but I can certainly get with the cynicism of all of it at times. Another definition for conquer is overcome.
Interesting post.
Thank for sharing it.

Shifra said...

I love it, and it makes total sense to me. I agree.