Friday, 22 February 2013

In matters of love, as well as in all others, time is a great teacher. Drawing lessons from someone else's misfortunes and mistakes. The hero is a relentless, driven individual

"In matters of love, as well as in all others, time is a great teacher," wrote Giacomo Casanova in his Memories when he was 62 years old. Since his youth in Venice, he had gone a long way, making and losing several fortunes until he had finally found a modest librarian position in the castle of a Czech baron.

In matters of love, as well as in all others, time is a great teacher

From what we know, Casanova was neither particularly handsome, nor wealthy, nor privileged by family connections. Nevertheless, the 6.000 pages of his Memories recount a long string of amorous victories that have made Casanova the archetype of a successful seducer.

Casanova's Memories were published only in 1831, that is, 33 years after his death. Many adventures that he presented in his work are no doubt literary fabrications, but even so, his writings offer deep insights into human nature and love relations.

A contemporary publisher might have titled Casanova's work as "Proven principles of success in dating." The autobiographical nature of Casanova's writings enhances their value as teaching material without making their content less entertaining.

Drawing lessons from someone else's misfortunes and mistakes

Casanova invites the reader to draw lessons from the misfortunes and mistakes of his literary hero. His advice includes being properly groomed, using flattery, frequenting parties and social events, learning to speak well, ignoring petty offences when courting a prospective lover, being witty, and choosing the right moment to speak out your heart.

Since these are the sort of recommendations that one finds nowadays in any self-help book on the subject, why are Casanova's Memories so special? What particular characteristic makes Casanova's writings so compelling? Why does his personal example remain so vivid through the years?

The hero is a relentless, driven individual

My answer to this key question is simple: The hero that walks and stumbles through the 6.000 pages of Casanova's Memories is a relentless, driven individual. This is, in my view, the ultimate reason for the hero's success, what allows him to learn from experience and progressively sharpen his skills to perfection.

In dating, like in anything else, you have to play the game if you want to become a master. Forget any fears you might have and get down to action. Relentless practice will maximise your chances of success. As Casanova put it so well in his work "Timidity is often another word for stupidity."

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living


[Image by mick124 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]