In his earlier posts on the subject, the writer describes commitment— from which monogamy, or at least an earnest go at it, is implied— as a powerful alternative to loveless, promiscuous sex.
The article linked to this post, then, is odd evidence for his case. Smith’s essay praises the wisdom of Denis de Rougemont, who asked, “Is there something fatal to marriage at the heart of human longing?” This was no errant remark. His skepticism regarding erotic fulfillment within traditional marriage was vital to his cultural queries.
Further in, the quotations of Rufi’s verse do little for Gobry’s case, either. Writing in the thirteenth century is no excuse: Rufi’s poetry is bad. It reminds me of one of Louis Ferdinand Celine’s great observations: “Love is the infinite put in the reach of poodles.”
Even if it were good, however, nothing in it prioritizes long-term commitment. Instead, it reeks of infatuation and intoxication. Love is rarely sustained by such longing. Only very young people think so, whatever the generation.
Don’t get me wrong. De Rougemont and Rufi may very well have enjoyed and been advocates of deeply felt passion and great sex. Furthermore, their writings may indeed defend high regard and profound respect— even if momentary— as conditions of love . They may very well renounce objectification. And if this happens absent forty years of marriage, so what?
But I don’t see how their examples of eros, significantly embraced by Smith’s article, constitute any evidence for Gobry’s, Dreher’s or Jacob’s criticisms of Witt’s essay.
One last thing. When Jacob’s laments the “loneliness” at the heart of Witt’s experience, the lack of self-awareness is laughable. What, after all, could be more lonely than a conservative Catholic quasi-philosopher making overwrought replies from his little study to a long, exhaustive and detailed account of edgy sex?