A noble sentiment, and one that I share. I know many women, and even a number of men, who believe that something is missing from their experience of love. It is easy to dismiss their sense of loss as a manufactured fantasy or nostalgia for a golden age that never existed; this reasoning takes as its starting point stasis, assuming perpetual continuity instead of investigating the possibility of real rupture. Nehring, too, ignores the possibility of rupture, which allows her to address many important questions about the state of love in our time--why we still stigmatize women who choose romantic exhilaration over conjugal security; why love's long and spectacular association with the heroic seems to have disintegrated--without ever asking those most crucial to her investigation. If love and art are so intimately linked--if love begets art and art documents love--who is to say that one can survive without the other? And if, then, love has disappeared, how can we be sure it is ever coming back?
Marry a man you love"; "You're smart, make something of yourself, but always remember, love is the most important thing in a woman's life."
For Nehring, whose defense of love is at bottom an argument that love is essential to the creative endeavor, the question of the expression and survival of art and literature in the era of non-love is one that should matter.