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Why Valentine?


Valentine embodies the state of loving-in-the-world: namely the relation of the prisoner to the outside. In the lover, Valentine sees both the promise of escape and an immanent utopia. Love is paradoxically an attempt to flee the world and inhabit it fully. The lover makes any prison sufferable because love destroys the bars between this world and others. What is revolutionary in the story of Valentine is not the he performs marriages illegally, but that rather in so doing, he extracts men from having to die in wars that were never their own. He obliterates the lie: Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori. He replaces one lie with a dream: love has free reign of the heavens.

Thus, the state of the lover is a constant burning , a ceaseless agitation, a madness. The woman is setting the bedroom on fire. Love wrecks the hours, overturns the prison-house of language, labor, and meaning. Valentine's holiday must continue to be our holiday, until the world of love is delivered from its captivity. It is a reminder that one day love will annihilate the snow on even the most distant mountain peaks.