The Pick Up
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Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice? Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? Build a city of skyscrapers—one synonym at a time. Login or Register. Save Word.
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Log In. Keep scrolling for more. Examples of pickup in a Sentence Noun The fee pays for garbage pickup. Verb he has a knack for picking up a language in a few weeks pick up all of your things because we have to be off this beach before dark. Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Trash, recycling No collections; pickups slide one day through the week. First Known Use of pickup Noun , in the meaning defined at sense 1 Adjective , in the meaning defined above Verb 14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a.
Learn More about pickup. Resources for pickup Time Traveler! Explore the year a word first appeared.
Phrases Related to pickup pickup line. Time Traveler for pickup The first known use of pickup was in the 14th century See more words from the same century. More Definitions for pickup. Kids Definition of pickup. Comments on pickup What made you want to look up pickup? Get Word of the Day daily email! Test Your Vocabulary.
Love words? Need even more definitions? The awkward case of 'his or her'. Take the quiz Spell It Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? Secure in his conviction that passionate love is the only worthwhile activity for man, he is nevertheless deeply versed in the theories and convictions of the other side; it would seem, then, that he has chosen his allegiances for good reason. As the story opens, he leaves his family to join Napoleon in the republican cause; he bumbles his way through Waterloo, wandering among the fields, buying horses and having them stolen, and eventually convalescing in an inn, partly from wounds suffered in a fight with fellow soldiers.
This is hardly an auspicious beginning for a romantic lead, and it is never quite clear and not in a particularly interesting way whether Stendhal is parodying Fabrizio or not—this just one of the many infelicities the novel is so often criticized for, criticism made easier by the knowledge that it was written—dictated—by an infirm Stendhal in less than two months. But Fabrizio does redeem himself, and in a deeply Stendhalian way.
He now cares only about seeing her again, and soon enough is given the opportunity. Arriving in his new home, Fabrizio discovers that he can see very clearly all the way to the Alps, almost a hundred miles away. Later he writes letters on his palm with a piece of charcoal. Details are laid upon details—the inner lives of the two characters are artfully wrapped around their physical circumstances. Through it all, Stendhal convinces us that this love is of the utmost seriousness for both of its participants.
Love in the Age of the Pickup Artist
Part fiction, part philosophy, part memoir, part collection of aphorisms, it is a book impossible to categorize. To go along with the eccentricity of its structure, the status of its authorship is ludicrously difficult to figure out: Stendhal treats the book as his own work in his many prefaces, then disowns it in a footnote to the very first section, attributing it to the recently deceased Italian Lisio Visconti—who is later, inexplicably, referred to in the third person in the text itself.
But even if the book can seem a bit of a free-for-all, it is packed with gems. Just as the naked branch of a tree will gather diamond-like crystals if it is dropped into a salt mine, a lover will gather perfections about the crooked timber of his beloved. And Stendhal knows the pickup artist already, in But Stendhal not only knows the pickup artist, he also keeps him close, even defining himself in relation to him. He admits that Don Juan possesses genuine virtues: fearlessness, resourcefulness, poise, wit—all of which allow him to avoid the many embarrassments his counterpart will inevitably endure.
Don Juan, it turns out, has spent his life in a special kind of ignorance. The lover knows something of the experiences of Don Juan, but the opposite cannot be said:. From the point of view of the Don Juan passionate love may be compared to a strange road, steep and difficult, which at first, it is true, leads through delightful groves, but soon loses itself among jagged rocks not the least attractive to ordinary eyes.
Gradually the road climbs among high mountains and through a dark forest whose huge trees shut out the light with their thick towering foliage, bringing terror to the hearts of those unaccustomed to danger. The great mistake of the pickup artists, of Don Juans, of seducers in general, is to think that the lover is a failed version of themselves. Nor, for that matter, does her love, if the lover does not love her also.
And the reward in the valley is not sexual satisfaction; it is a proof of love. It is the sight of the woman he loves, shaking before his eyes. For Stendhal, love ennobles because it makes all else beautiful; both nature and art take on a new glow when one is in love, in part because one sees the beloved in every sunset, every painting. Because she has been made perfect in the process of crystallization, all that is beautiful in the world becomes part of her, a larger her, spread out over the world—naturally, then, anything beautiful will remind one of her.
And akin to the artistic product as well: if music were always perfect, Stendhal tells us, we would never need to fall in love.
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Then again, he admitted almost in the same breath, perfect music only ever deepened his intoxication with his beloved. And yet in all of this there is a note of desperation. Or more than a note—a theme of sadness in love that at times overwhelms its exaltation, and always at least threatens to do so.
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The book is filled with discussions of jealousy and attempts to get over despair which show the dark side of love, the brutal suffering that we necessarily risk when we make a real go of it. Is Stendhal just being true to his phenomenon, or is there something more going on? Restoration France was not so hospitable to Bonapartists, Stendhal correctly surmised. At the outset of this period of cultural tourism Stendhal took up again with the woman who was something like the Rosaline to his Juliet, Angela Pietragrua, who had previously been happy enough to entertain him on his visits to Italy, but now began to chafe under his new semi-permanent residence.
He was initially amused, apparently, then deeply depressed. Small potatoes, however; the deepest depression was yet to come.
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Stendhal met Matilde Viscontini Dembowski, the wife of a Polish general, in early , and promptly fell in love with her. He once followed her from Milan to Volterra—a journey of about miles—where she was visiting her children. Mostly she took pains not to allow any rumors to be generated.
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His letters tell the real story, however, and it is mostly a story of wounds. That especially human faculty was for him the source of all that is valuable in love: he thought that without it we would be mere animals, or mere savages, and—in his more extreme but also perhaps more lucid moments—he also thought amorous possession could itself be an evil, since it did away with the unique pleasures of the imagination.
The lover, even the perversely Stendhalian lover, would have to admit this. In a sense, both Fabrizio del Dongo and Stendhal did as much as they could. Fabrizio is successful and Stendhal is unsuccessful, probably because Fabrizio is a handsome nobleman and Stendhal is not. Is subjection then the only option?
Can we not somehow change our behavior, even our being—but stop short of full-blown seduction? Or, put another way: Can we become better at love without becoming pickup artists?
Stendhal has one more story to tell us. One of the great characters in the history of Western literature, Sorel is full of complex and varied motivations, capable of crippling timidity, but also lofty and incomprehensible deeds. There Sorel accepts a position as secretary to the influential Marquis de la Mole, a man who seems to have dedicated his life to changing his title from Marquis to Duke, but who is nevertheless an exemplar of the oldest, most established nobility of France, the legitimate cream of the crop.
In his house in the Faubourg Saint-Germain there will play out a love affair described by Stendhal with such force that a reader cannot but wince in recognition. Mathilde wants a man of action, a man who recalls the times of Richard III, and finds him, oddly, in Julien. One does in fact occur, and then another, but eventually, sure of being loved, Mathilde loses interest, and Julien is cast into a misery he had not previously known to be possible. In a passage uncomfortably chilling to anyone who has even once experienced the rejection of a fickle lover, Stendhal describes a decisive moment in their affair:.
After this terrible blow, frantic with love and misery, Julien attempted to argue himself back into favor. Nothing could have been more absurd. Argue yourself out of being disliked? But reason no longer had any control over his actions. Blind instinct compelled him to delay this final determination of his fate. He felt that, while he was still talking, it would not be all over. Mathilde did not listen to him; the sound of his words irritated her. Mercifully, Julien is distracted from his suffering by a top-secret diplomatic mission in the service of the Marquis, which after some adventures carries him to Strasbourg.
There he runs into an acquaintance of his, a Russian, Prince Korasoff—and not a moment too soon. Julien thirsts to share his story with someone, and he could not have found a better interlocutor. Julien is to copy the letters out and send them to the new target—an assault on propriety beginning with highfalutin trivialities but gradually incorporating riskier intimacies. The experiment, then, is set to go. It is clear on the one hand that Julien is not a pickup artist, or not merely one: he is deeply in love, wracked with one-itis, with his aim firmly in sight.
Can we not excuse him because he loves her? Is this not the solution we have been seeking all along?