Thursday, October 13, 2005

On Affection

Affection has its own criteria. Its objects have to be familiar. We can sometimes point to the very day and hour when we fell in love or began a new friendship. I doubt if we ever catch Affection beginning. To become aware of it is to become aware that it has already been going on for some time. The use of "old" or vieux as a term of Affection is significant. The dog barks at strangers who have never done it any harm and wags its tail for old acquaintances even if they never did it a good turn. The child will love a crusty old gardener who has hardly ever taken any notice of it and shrink from the visitor who is making every attempt to win its regard. But it must be an old gardener, one who has "always" been there--the short but seemingly immemorial "always" of childhood.

Affection, as I have said, is the humblest love. It gives itself no airs. People can be proud of being "in love", or of friendship. Affection is modest--even furtive and shame-faced. Once when I had remarked on the affection quite often found between cat and dog, my friend replied, "Yes. But I bet no dog would ever confess it to the other dogs."
~C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, (1960)

On this day:

1961 An Experiment in Criticism is published by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. (A Year With C.S. Lewis)

2 Comment(s):

At Thu Oct 13, 01:43:00 PM EST, Blogger MrKimi said...

Cute picture! I do like 'no dog would confess it to the other dogs'.

At Thu Oct 13, 07:42:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Heh heh. Somehow I think the dog in the picture would staunchly defend his love for his kitty friend. He looks to be the sort of dog who doesn't bow to peer pressure.


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