What I Love in a Woman
It seemed to me an error in reasoning for a man to isolate a woman he loves from all the circumstances in which he met her and in which she lives, to try, with dogged inner concentration, to purify her of everything that is not her self, which is to say also of the story that they lived through together and that gives their ove its shape.
After all, what I love in a woman is not what she is in and for herself, but the side of herself she turns toward me, what she is for me. I love her as a character in our common love story.
Milan Kundera, in 'The Joke'