Number 4, Fall 2004
edited by Eric Mécoulan
In some sense, desire has no history, whereas love, which mobilizes the energy of desire in order to seduce, to invent rites of civility or rituals of perversion, exists only in and through a historical dimension. It must be recognized that loving is always a matter of technique—from the meticulous erudition about the body in treatises on sexual practices (particularly those written in China or India) to the illusory staging of self-love or the virtuous enactments of charity. Medieval courtesy, classical gallantry, realist novel and contemporary cinema—each, in its own way, has evoked a medium of communication. Far from sentimentalism or pathos, the following articles focus on the mediums and mediations of love in order to detect the aesthetic, cultural and even political stakes in the act of loving. Intermediality follows the meanderings of blind love by being attuned to all its techniques.