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Katherine Anne Porter: The Necessary Enemy

时间:2009-12-05 20:32:41  来源:  作者:

"She is a frank woman who married for love. She and her husband are one of those gay, good-looking pairs. They intend in all good faith to spend their lives together, to have children and do well by them at each other-to be happy, in fact, which for them is the whole point of their marriage. And all in stride, keeping their wits about them. Nothing Romantic, mind you; their feet are on the ground."
"Unless they were this sort of person, there would be not much point to what I wish to say;" "After three years of marriege this very contemporary young woman finds herself facing the oldest and ugliest dilemma of marriage.
She is dismayed, horrified, full of guilt and forebodings because she is finding out little by little that she is capable of hating her husband, whom she loves faithfully. She can hate him at times as fiercely and mysteriously, indeed in terribly much the same way, as often she hated her parents, her brothers, her sisters, whom she loves, when she was a child." "This was a thing that her parents never knew about her, never seem to suspect. For it was never given a name." "So it was her secret, a shameful one." "None of this really frightened her: the real fright came when she discovered that at times her father and mother hated each other." "And here it was again, an element in her own nature she could not control, or feared she could not. She would have to hide from her husband, if she could, the same spot in her feelings she had hidden from her parents, and for the same no doubt disreputable, selfish reason: she wants to keep his love.
Above all, she wants him to be absolutely confident that she loves him, for that is the real truth, no matter how unreasonable it sounds, and no matter how her own feelings betray them both at times. She depends recklessly on his love; yet while she is hating him, he might very well be hating her as much or even more, and it would serve her right, she wants to be loved and forgiven-that is, to be sure he would forgive her anything, if he had any notion of what she had done. But best of all she would like not to have anything in her love that should ask for forgiveness. She dosen't mean about their quarrels-they are not so bad. Her feelings are out of proportion."
"Love. We are early taught to say it. I love you." "Love is taught, always by precept, some times by example. Then hate, which no one meant to teach us, come of itself. It is true that if we say I love you, it may be received with doubt, for there are times that it is hard to believe. Say I hate you, and the one spoken to believes it instantly, once for all.
Say I love you a thousand of times to a person afterward and mean it every time, and still it does not change the fact that once we said I hate you, and meant that too, it leaves a mark on that surface love had worn so smooth with its eternal caresses. Love needs to be tought again and again. Hate needs no instruccion, but waits only to be provoked...hate the unspoken word, the unacknowlege presence in the house." "Be careful: love, perfect love, is in danger.
If it is not perfect, it is not love, and if it is not love, it is bound to be hate sooner or later." "Marriage is not the end but only the beginning of true happiness, cloudless, changeless to the end. In its most popular form, the adulterous strayings of solidly married couples who mean to stray for their own good reasons, but at the same time do nothing to upset the property settlements or the line of legitimacy; at its most trivial, the pretty trifling of shepherd and shepherdess." "The refusal to acknowledge the evils in ourselves which therefore are implicit in any human situation is an extreme and unworkable a proposition as the doctrine of total depravity; but somewhere between them, or maybe beyond them, there does exist a possibility for reconciliation between our desires for impossible satisfactions and the simple unalterable fact that we also desire to be unhappy and that we create our own sufferings; and out of these sufferings we salvage our fragments of happiness."
"Our young woman that has been taught that an important part of her human nature is not real because it makes trouble and interferes with her peace of mind and shakes her self-love, has been very badly taught; but she has arrived at a most important stage of re-education. She is afraid her marriage is going to fail because she has not love enough to face its difficulties; and this because at times she feels a painful hostility toward her husband, and cannot admit its reality because such an admission would damage in her own eyes her view of what love should be, an absurd view. Her hatred is real as her love is real but hatred has the advantage at present because it works on a blind instinctual level, it is lawless; and her love is subjected to a code of ideal conditions, impossible by their very nature of fullfilment, which prevents its free growth and deprives it of its right to recognize its human limitations and come to grips with them." "Hatred is natural in a sense that love is not natural at all. It is the very imperfect expression of the need of the human imagination to create beauty and harmony out of chaos, no matter how mistaken its notion of these things may be, nor how clumsy its methods. It has conjured love out of the air, and seeks to preserve by incarnations; when she spoke a vow to love and honor her husband until dead, she did a very reckless thing, for it is not possible by an act of will to fulfill such an engagement. But it was the necessary act of faith performed in defense of a mode of feeling, the statement of honorable intention to practice as well as she is able the noble, acquired faculty of love, that very misterious overtone to sex which is the best thing in it.
Her hatred is part of it, the necessary enemy and ally."

This is what I personally have been painfuly discovering. I thought I would keep my self in an state of eternal romatic love. But soon I faced reality.
I think, this essay describes marriage very accurately.

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