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Guest Thinkers

What Is Love?

Oscar Wilde once declared that “the mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.” Well, this might be true, but it’s not stopping us from attempting to get to the bottom of this eternal riddle once and for all in our Valentine’s Day series, “What Is Love?”

To commemorate the holiday we’re releasing a brand new clip from the British comedian and author, Stephen Fry, who takes us back to the “fine careless rapture” of one’s first love, eloquently explaining why the intensity of this feeling lasts a lifetime and may never be matched by another emotion.


Taking a slightly different approach is the former Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who highlights love’s ability to change dramatically over the years, from a palpable and singular “exaltation” to a “dependence” and “merging of personalities.”

We also hear from Sara Nasserzadeh, a psychosexual therapist who explains why the idea of love is many different things in many different cultures, but should always be felt as a verb.

Also weighing in on love is the famed linguist Noam Chomsky, who explains his inability to define the emotion, but the certainty that “life is empty without it.”

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat, Pray, Love,” provides some guidance on the difference between “love” and “healthy love” and how to maintain the latter in a modern marriage.

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Tomorrow we will continue our pursuit of this grand mystery with two world-renowned experts, Helen Fischer and David Schnarch, who provide a keen medical and psychological understanding of the world’s most puzzling, and enduring, phenomenon.


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