BBC: “The best ways to express love?”

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Indian verses about intimacy, a quiet moment of grief and ‘the bard of the toxic relationship’: experts from around the world pick their favourite literary lines evoking lust, ardour – and obsession. It’s a long away from Hallmark.

Stewart O’Nan, author of West of Sunset, a novel about F Scott Fitzgerald’s last years in Hollywood

From its imagistic style, I believe Zelda wrote this part of the article which appeared in Esquire in 1934, the height of the Depression. By then she’d been in and out of mental hospitals for more than four years. The piece recalls their travels as a married couple, the places they stayed and how they felt. This section comes from 1931, the last time they visited France. Even as she notes the good gone times, there’s still romance here, a last fragile hope.

We went to Annecy for two weeks in summer, and said at the end that we’d never go there again because those weeks had been perfect and no other time could match them.

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