#7: ‘The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I’d hoped to give you forever’
We’ve traced Sparks and his novel’s ethos through quite a few different artistic movements, from the Medieval romance to Romantic poetry, but one thing Sparks’ novel isn’t is Modern, with a capital M.
In the same way there’s a difference between romanticism and Romanticism, there’s likewise a difference between modern and Modern, the latter, in this context, connoting a certain artistic movement that begun before World War I, but really found its prominence afterwards in exploring the shattered ideals and newfound nightmares of modernity.
Think Picasso, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, and many of the folks you see in Midnight in Paris, and you get the idea.
T.S. Eliot was notoriously anti-Romantic, and his reason why is reflected in The Notebook quotes like this. Not only are these quotes sentimental and built upon clichés, love ‘em or hate ‘em, but the style is also very particular, personal, and ultimately subjective.
The kind of praise that Sparks uses here is highly subjective. By contrast, Eliot thought word choice and art should be more objective, and that’s something that flies right in the face of the very ethos of Sparks’ novel—namely, that it’s all about you. Your wants, your needs—your desires.
And that’s what makes The Notebook and The Notebook quotes such as these so enticing and yet so tricky. Harkening back to Eliot’s attention to word choice, if there’s one word Sparks likes to use over and over again, besides love, it’s forever.
He goes so far as to use the image of fire to make strengthen his amorous metaphors. But then again, no fire burns forever, does it?
Love’s struggle against eternity is as old as love itself, really. We’re all only human, and only fleetingly so at that, before we return from whence we came—ashes to ashes, dust to dust, no matter how passionate one’s amorous flames burn for another.
Attaching yourself so strongly to another human being is bound to bring out strong feelings, and we’d like them to last forever.
Nicholas Sparks and these The Notebook quotes grant that wish…but one can only wonder how fleetingly they do so.