Oh, how the French love love!
For hundreds of years they have championed themselves as guides to the art de l'amour through their literature, paintings, songs, and cinema. A French man or woman without amorous desire is considered defective, like someone missing the sense of smell or taste.
Celebrate Valentine's Day with scholar Marilyn Yalom as she intimately examines the tenets of this culture's enduring gospel of romance in How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance on Thursday, February 14, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10thSt.
Through her extensive readings of French literature as well as memories of her personal experiences in France, Yalom explores the many nuances of love as it has evolved over the centuries.
Her romance-tinged literary detective hunt ranges from Moliere's comic love to the tragic love of Racine, from the existential love of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre to the romanticism of George Sand and Alfred de Musset.
Yalom reveals how the French invented love, how they have kept it vibrant for more than nine centuries, what is unique in the French love experience, and what is universal.
Yalom has been a professor of French and comparative literature and is senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. Among her many books are A History of the Breast, A History of the Wife, Birth of the Chess Queen, and The American Resting Place.
Major funding for programs at the Kansas City Public Library is provided by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.