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Greek Words for Love: Background information when reading Somehow

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Thoughts on Love

by Anne Lamott

Somehow by Anne Lamott X
Somehow by Anne Lamott
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  • Published:
    Apr 2024, 208 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Christine Runyon
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About this Book

Greek Words for Love

This article relates to Somehow

Painting of winged Eros holding Psyche, both nude Love is a universal and history-spanning feeling. What would we be without the Romantic movement or the Renaissance, fairy tales or the chivalry of the Middle Ages? Even further back, ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle took note of the many variations of this ubiquitous emotion, creating and describing different words for love.

In Anne Lamott's essay collection Somehow: Thoughts on Love, she expounds upon various conceptions of love and adds to the definitions laid out by the Greeks: "...from Eros, passionate love, to agape, selfless divine love; or my own addition, mascotas, the love of our animals. It's this feeling, this energy exchange of affection, compassion, kindness, warmth, hope."

There's academic debate about the exact number of Greek words for love, but at least four are generally agreed upon.

Eros is probably the most easily recognizable of the words — synonymous with the modern iteration of romantic love. In addition, as explained by ...

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