Valentine's Day is only a few days away, and, trust us, your date doesn't want to hear that love is blind or that it makes the world go 'round. If you'd like to pour your heart out to your significant other (or to the empty bottle of Yellow Tail Chardonnay that will be standing in for an s.o.) without resorting to cliché, these famous authors — and their idiosyncratic views on love — can help.
1. "Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place." — Zora Neale Hurston
This well-known phrase from Zora Neale Hurston may actually be a misquote of a line from her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God: "He drifted off to sleep and Janie looked down him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place."
2. "At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet." — Plato
The line, which explains probably every quotation on this list, comes from the Ancient Greek philosopher's Symposium.
3. "A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love." — Friedrich Nietzsche
Leave it to a nihilist to bring us back down to Earth a bit.
4. "All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name." — André Breton
This possibly explains the French Surrealist's famous collecting habit.
5. "To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead." — Bertrand Russell
The line comes from the philosopher-critic's book Marriage and Morals, which caused a stir when it was first published in 1929.
6. "The only abnormality is the incapacity to love." — Anaïs Nin
This is only one of many quotable lines from the diarist, essayist, novelist and overall authority on the erotic.
7. "Love takes up where knowledge leaves off." — Thomas Aquinas
Leave it to the coolest Catholic in history to let us know, in the context of his multi-volume religious work Summa Theologica, that it's okay not to use our heads in love.
8. "Love is a springtime plant that perfumes everything with its hope, even the ruins to which it clings." — Gustave Flaubert
I love the way this sentence goes from Hallmark to hell in a single breath.
9. "Love is the extremely difficult understanding that something other than yourself is real." — Iris Murdoch
A typically incisive remark from the English novelist and philosopher. This one comes from one of her better-known critical essays, "The Sublime and the Good."
10. "It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize how much you love them." — Agatha Christie
When the Queen of Crime wasn't axing characters, she could be surprisingly warm. This quote comes from her memoir An Autobiography.