The experiences of desire

Desire is a force inherent in all matter and all being, manifested through attraction —eros, love— and repulsion —misos, hate—. In turn, the love and hate, sons of desire and not the opposite, are split each into two: the love of self and love the other, hate yourself and hate the other. Four basic movements, two of attraction and two of repulsion, from where arise all the passions, here simply called ‘experiences of desire’.

The experiences derived from attachment oneself as narcissism or selfishness; derived from attachment to other as sex or the love of things or knowledge; derived from self-hatred as masochism, anorexia, anxiety or desperation; derived from hate to another as revenge, sadism, murder or war are perceived here as daughters of the forces of attraction and repulsion of desire, and among all form a nuanced and contradictory fluid, which encourage beings and also things.

‘Magnetic field’, Berenice Abbott, 1982

Through a speech avoiding moral judgments and the depths that constitute human nature, ‘The experiences of desire’, the work of Jesús Ferrero winner of the Anagrama Essay Prize in 2009, unfolds a geography of passions where negativity is seen as a necessary and vital force that animates from within the mechanics of life and the flow of the Universe. Therefore, the considered negative and divisive passions have here the same range as those considered positive and integrative, and for the same reason concepts as perversion, diversion or disease are eliminated to define what are essentially only experiences of desire.

Ferrero manages to combine the study of philosophy and psychology with literature, and gradually builds, into seven parts and an epilogue, a story about our loves and our hates and how they act in the person from birth to the end of his days.