“It was Sappho who first called eros “bittersweet”. No one who has been in love disputes her.”
Kasemir Malevich, Head of a Peasant Girl
“The Greek word eros denotes ´want´, ´lack´, ´desire for that which is missing´. The lover wants what he does not have. It is by definition impossible for him to have what he wants if, as soon as it is had, it is no longer wanting. This is more than wordplay. There is a dilemma within eros that has been thought crucial by thinkers from Sappho to the present day. Plato turns and returns to it. Four of his dialogues explore what it means to say that desire can only be for what is lacking , not at to say that desire can only be what is lacking , not at hand, not present, not in one´s possession nor in one´s being: eros entails endeia.
Hunger is the analog chosen by Simone Weil for this conundrum:
All of our desires are contradictory, like the desire for food. I want the person I love to love me. If he is, however, totally devoted to me he does not exist any longer and I cease to love him. And as long as he is not totally devoted to me he does not love me enough. Hunger and repelion. (1977,364)”
CARSON, Anne. Eros the Bittersweet- Princeton University Press, 1986.