Friday, March 31, 2017

Lowercase love

The international bestseller Love in Lowercase by Spanish novelist Francesc Miralles is an intriguing, off-the-wall love story that, depending upon one's point of view, could also be seen as either full of philosophical wisdom or a collection of trite sayings.

Samuel is an introverted college literature professor who sees a woman he believes to be Gabriela, a girl he met briefly as a young boy and has never forgotten. He thinks she's the love of his life. She thinks he's nuts. While he tries to find her again and then build a relationship with her, other changes come to his life. There is the stray cat that shows up at his door and doesn't want to leave (except when a pretty vet comes to give him a shot). There's an old writer who lives upstairs and, when he goes into a hospital, asks Samuel to help him finish the book he is writing. And there is a strange man named Valdemar, who may be insane or may perhaps the sanest one of them all.

Ever so often, Love in Lowercase gives readers a line worth reading, underlining or perhaps laughing at. Among them:

"Words shape thoughts."

"Science is a shortcut to God."

"The opposite is best. Whenever you're angry with someone, apply this maxim. It means doing the exact opposite of what your body's telling you to do."

"Remember that nothing happens without a reason."

"Never reject your sensations and feelings. They're all you've got."

"Experience can never be shared. It's served in separate packets."

Perhaps the best of these is summarized in the title. This is when "some small act of kindness sets off a chain of events that comes around again in the form of multiplied love."

The gist of the novel, or at least what I like best, is the idea of taking life as it happens and following it where it leads. Plans are fine, but they rarely work out anyway. Better to practice love in lower case, then see what happens.

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