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Sur l'amour et la mort

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,788 ratings  ·  214 reviews
The author reveals the hidden source of his fiction - an obsession with the darkly erotic link between love and death.
Published November 1st 2009 by Livre de Poche (first published January 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  1,788 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Sep 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to nicole by: ben wroblewski
Shelves: nonfiction, 2009
Suskind's telling of the story of Orpheus is beautiful. His take on the love/death of Jesus was very interesting, but shrouded by too much hostility. He kept an even temper with the rest of his subjects, but took every opportunity he could find (or make) to stick it to the J-Man. It worked as a comparison to Orpheus, but seemed out of line with the rest of the text. But perhaps that's because prior to the Orpheus/Jesus comparison, he seemed to mostly be restating the opinion of others, rather th ...more
Mary Louise
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I sympathize with Süskind. Jesus is, indeed, an asshole.
Jean Tessier
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leisure
The books open with a passage by St. Augustine:

If no one asks me about it, then I know what it is; but if someone asks me about it and I try to explain it to him, then I do not know what it is.

I just love Patrick Süskind.

The opening quote is about time. Süskind co-opts it to talk about love. When I first read it, I thought it applied equally well to good programming. I think it really applies to any process of the mind that is deeply grounded in our personal experience. Each one of us has ce
Lee Klein
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pocket-sized 74-page airily formatted paperback essay about love and then about death and then about both. Worth it for the bit about the elder Mann (I presume) and the young waiter or the kids getting it on in an Opel at a stoplight or the description of Kleist’s suicide pact. Reads wonderfully thanks to the late great Anthea Bell translation. Would have liked ten or twenty more autobiographical pages about the occasion for this essay — wonder why he wrote it? It came out in 2006, around the ti ...more
Ibrahim Abdulla
For me, the book can be summed up in three quotes:

- "The price paid for love is always the lose of reason, abandonment of the self, and thus the surrender of adult responsibility. The result in harmless cases is that lovers look ridiculous, in the worst case it can be political disaster on a world scale." p.35

- " [...] the point where empathy and understanding end and interest wanes, giving way to outright repugnance, is reached when Eros [love] throws himself violently into the arms of Thanato
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pompous masturbation with interludes of elitist drivel--for which I normally I have a high tolerance, but, no, not today.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
A cold one, and a warm one, I guess. "Über Liebe und Tod" is an essay by Patrick Süskind in regards to, obviously, love and death and how the two seem linked. I loved reading it and even though it's not fiction and I rarely read non-fiction, this is one of the good ones. It was well received after reading "Die Taube".
Please read it, regardless of your opinions on his other works. It really is worth it.
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this most curious of essays, Suskind weighs the many examples of love from everyday life against Plato's musings, and wonders whether the uncontrollable frenzy one feels for another human can be termed as love only if it evokes the divine or turns the lover towards creativity. Because out of the three scenarios he studies only Thomas Mann's all-consuming infatuation for the young waiter, made famous in the powerful story "Death in Venice", comes close, and even that, Suskind doubts, can be te ...more
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short text (only 70 or so pages!) that I read in a bus going to my grandmother's house. Finished in one sitting because the Orpheus retelling was in the end, and it was riveting. I loved the way it was told, and the way it was juxtaposed against the Nazarene. I would never have thought to compare them if Suskind hadn't brought it up.

Favorite insights:
- That sometimes nurturing an unrequited love is for the better; because it is from there that you draw your passion and your inspiration (I neve
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
This was such a beautiful essay. While I wasn't really into the first half about love, as soon as death entered the stage it became so intriguing. He is just analyzing Orpheus and Jesus and comparing them in the funniest ways, and overall, I really liked it. However, the beginning was a bit weird towards women, I felt? Oh well. ...more
Jonathan Natusch
Just brilliant. A relatively short essay that I read at court in an afternoon while waiting for the registrar to call my matters. I regaled several of my colleagues with an initial pithy page regarding the horror of re-reading one's old love letters, and would have regaled them further throughout the afternoon had I not decided that I didn't actually like their company much, and they could suffer through life without the wisdom of Mr Suskind.

I particularly enjoyed the final section, where Jesus
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Patrick Suskind asks himself why love continues to be the most sublime feeling. And why is the love theme bonded with the death non-theme? Is love a disease? The passion of love opens herself towards death?
He talks about some great classics of literature and philosphy, like Platon, Goethe, Kleist, Wagner or Thomas Mann. He approaches a fundamental myth - the story of Orpheus and Euridice - and bonds it with the biblical episode of Lazarus resurrection. Everything is written in a refined style.
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great exploration of the individual's relationship with love as a concept as well as the wider perception of love as the ideal we all strive for. The author is slightly skeptical and even cynical in place which is no bother to me since it's nice to see an objective approach to love that isn't peppered with rose and dove metaphors. It's when he talks about death that his language becomes lyrical; the examples of Goethe's poetry are a brilliant piece of evidence to support his point. ...more
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely undecided about this book... It´s weird, to say something, but not actually bad... Cynic, for sure, and funny at times, though I´m not sure that was the authors goal. I enjoyed the second part better that the first, the death part, go figure… I guess I´ll re-read it someday soon and form an actual opinion on it.
Lacie Carmody
Fascinating little meditation on love and death and how they consistently show up linked in a variety of ways in literature. I can admit I'd never really given much thought to how they tend to commingle but Suskind's observations are definitely worth checking out. ...more
Kris McCracken
Perhaps I wasn't in the mood for Süskind's waxing lyrical on the inevitability of the "erotic longing for death". The section on Thomas Mann aside, I remain unconvinced... ...more
Michael Kich
This is a very short read, which makes it all the more shameful that I put off reading it and finishing it until now. I have to say, though, the essays within this are sometimes interesting, and sometimes overly meandering. I found the essay on Thomas Mann finding unexpected love in the Swiss Alps in his old age (with a young waiter) to be interesting, and I did find the story of Orpheus and Eurydice as compared with the latter part of the New Testament and Christ's crucifixion interesting as we ...more
Protein for the Brain
This small book (78 pages) about the relationship between love and death by the legend Patrick Süskind is philosophically charged and not without hostility and some humor too! his take on the Greek mythology of Orpheus was interesting, just wished if the book was longer, in Orpheus story Süskind wondered if an artist can perform his art without audience made me laugh so hard but also i thought about it seriously later on, why artists need an audience? and can they do their art without them? I kn ...more
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A fun read for sure. I was attracted to this essay just because of the title, I found it alluring and thought provoking.
Perhaps this is why I was disappointed upon finishing this essay. The content itself is entertaining, but not very insightful and certainly not profound enough to my liking, considering that the two main subjects the author discussed in his essay were love and death. I guess I expected a little something more. More exploration, more depth, more analysis.
I wouldn’t read again.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow. what is there really left to say about this book haha but I'll try my hardest to get more out than
this book was more than I expected the love portion at the beginning had me in love so to speak but it wasn't until we got to Orpheus and Jesus that my love for this book was really found. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll just stop and say
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The two sections were quite different from each other, as Love and Death can only be, but I found them both interesting. Love perhaps even more than Death, despite my love for Orpheus, because Death did not offer as much new insight as Love did. So if I had just one complaint, that would be it: the death section could have been more versatile.
Evita Boni
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the main themes of the book as well as the way the ideas were linked through the use of mythical stories. I would love it even more if the end had a conclusion to sum up everything. The lack of it is thus understandable due to this being a philoshopical based book.
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Found this book for 25 ARS at an old store and felt attracted to it. The author had an interesting way to interpret texts yet I sensed mocking remarks when writing about Jesus. Great to pass time in this quarantine though.
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short and easy to read novel.
Jamison Standridge
On Love and Death is an essay. Over sixty or so pages, Süskind reflects on the ways in which the erotic and the macabre intersect and overlap, once again dedicating a significant amount of space to the topic of suicide. When I was a young teenager I was obsessed with Greek Mythology and when I was in grad school I took a class on German Romanticism, had I not had those experiences, I’m not sure how much I would have been able to follow this writing, so be warned. Kleist, Wagner, Goethe, and Mann ...more
Strainu Andrei
Patrick Süskind possess the ability of wielding the greek mitology and some ingredients of the christian religion, with a lavish dose of effrontery, irony and a little bit of humour. In his film about love and death, his distribution is made of some main characters like: Orpheus and Eurydice, Eros, Thanatos, Jesus and Lazarus, alongside with great german writers from romantic period. On the other hand, if you're an authentic christian I recommend you, to prepare your personal panoply before read ...more
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
A very interesting essay. I preferred the first half over the second one, since it's where he exposes beautifully the nature of being in love and the sublime drunkenness of this state.

I really enjoyed reading it and actually could find many phrases worthy of being written down. The score of 3/5 is mainly because I think it could have had a more concise ending for such a good content.

Recommended for P. S. admirers and romantics.
Lauren Smith
A very short book of Suskind's musings on love and its relation to death, with some interesting insights for his famous novel Perfume (and possibly some of his others as well - I have yet to read them).

Read the full review on my blog Violin in a Void
Apr 21, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The first half is a rather depressing take on love, supported by many renowned writers quotes. The second about death compares Jesus' way of dealing with death in the ressurrection of Lazarus to the mythical figure of Orpheus and his attitude to losing Euridice. Not favourably towards Jesus, which certainly gave me something to think about! ...more
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From 1968-1974 he studied medieval and modern history in Munich and Aix-en-Provence. In the '80s he worked as a screenwriter, for Kir Royal and Monaco Franze among others.

After spending the 1970s writing what he has characterized as “short unpublished prose pieces and longer un-produced screenplays”, Patrick Süskind was catapulted to fame in the 1980s by the monodrama Der Kontrabass (The Double B

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
19 likes · 10 comments
“If we want to discuss love, which after all we believe is something very special, it is not much help for someone to explain that it represents a universal basic principle governing the tides and the digestive system alike. He might as well tell us that death is a thermodynamic phenomenon affecting both the amoeba and a black hole in the constellation of Pegasus - and he would still have told us nothing.” 10 likes
“Se pare că fiece individ în parte înțelege iubirea drept ceva care-l privește în modul cel mai personal, ca pe o chestiune de cea mai mare însemnătate pentru existența sa, astfel încât nici măcar astrofizicianului, atunci când i s-au aprins călcâiele, nu-i mai pasă câtuși de puțin de originea universului - darămite de vremea de-afară.” 7 likes
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