The Lineage Of Love

Miriam Markowitz reviews Christina Nehring’s A Vindication of Love:

It seems there are two possible ways love has developed from the beginning of time until now: either it is a universal passed down to us from the first generations--the passion of Adam for Eve--or it is a cultural manifestation of lust, a kind of expressive outpouring that, if it roils the soul, does so only in the ways that our hearts have lately been conditioned. The question of love's universality is not only unanswerable but untranslatable, lost in the slippage between our understanding of the English word "love" and the meanings of the Greeks' eros, agape, philia and storge, the various Latinate iterations of amor, Hebrew's ahava and other near cognates of diverse languages and epochs.