Top 20 Most Famous Love Stories in History and Literature/ Literary Valentines: The 10 Worst Lovers In Literature

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Katelyn Rogers‘s insight:

Today, masses around the world are reminded to contemplate their love lives.  As St. Valentine spreads hallmarked hearts across the country, regardless of whether you are blissful or in pain, we at LitCouture would like to remind you of one great love that has never left your side and you have hopefully never forgotten, literature.

Before you buy that new romance novel and download it to your IPad, think about that love-worn book on your shelf about to fall apart because you have read it so often.  Take comfort in what you love and make a few more creases in its pages.

We at LitCouture leave you with a few literary love stories.  But since there are two sides to every story, a list of the worst lovers in literature has been added for your viewing pleasure.

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Presenting the 10 worst lovers in literature, scummy dudes and dudettes who make Valentine’s Day–and every day–a nightmare.

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“The Power of Books”

In 2003, artist Mladen Penev worked on a project called “The Power of Books.” The books featured in his project do not have titles or even words at all. In fact they are completely blank, but their stories are nonetheless electric. In “The Power of Books” we are seeing the words instead of reading them. They literally explode off the page just as they would in someone’s mind.



Paired with Penev’s work is Allison Peters’s poem “Shelved,” as first published in LitCouture.

Shelved” by Allison Peters


In a row like that, they look like a painting,

the books, an abstract about liveliness,

delicacy (colors, textures).

In all my time
—trying so hard to be both those things—
to find I am not (except for those

few undocumented moments of

human wholeness,

which, because no one can assert them,

of course are made of magic).

Lying alone below the sky, sometimes

you feel inspiringly small. Like

there are forces above you, about you,

and there are. The books all in a row, and I am

watching, mouth open, as if to speak.

Allison Leigh Peters won an Academy of American Poets Prize in 2010. Her work has appeared in the Michigan Quarterly Review, Burner Magazine, Up the Staircase, Connotation Press, WomenArts Quarterly, Oberon Poetry Magazine, Third Wednesday, Avatar Review, and elsewhere.  

This post was written by Katelyn Rogers.


Beth Lipman’s glasswork can be found globally within prestigious venues like the Smithsonian.  Her glass sculptures create the serene impression that they are ghosts of natural counterparts.  Lipman believes the lack of color “captures the essence of an object,” allowing viewers to see the object more purely, unencumbered by the “illusionary perfection” of still life paintings.


Her pieces freeze a moment in time.  A fragile medium such as glass can simultaneously portray immeasurable strength.  Lipman sees her work capable of making “perishable objects everlasting.”


To further explore this concept, please enjoy Shane Lake’s poem “A Room Full of Air,” as first published in LitCouture.


A Room Full of Air” by Shane Lake

She keeps a secret room lined with glass jars

trapping the air of the world, hundreds of them

sealed & labeled with black letters across a strip of masking tape.

Air Above Central Park Skating Rink.

English Football Match Air from the Stadium of Light.

American Civil War Air, with hint of gunpowder.

Each day she selects one jar, carefully

twists loose the lid, presses her clean skinny lips

over the small open space & inhales, the air

filling her body, humming just above the wrinkles

in her feet, carrying her to each exact moment

the air was captured as if it were painted

on the backs of the shades, pulled

over her like a hallucination. Continue reading

Space and her Family of Stars

Brandon McConnel, a Californian artist with a yearning for the stars, uses the medium of spray paint to create otherworldly paintings.


This video features the entire process McConnel uses to create his pieces.  His paintings transform before your eyes in a matter of minutes to something strange and celestial.

Paired with McConnel’s art is Walter Bargen’s poem “Family of Stars,” as first published in LitCouture.

Family of Stars” by Walter Bargen

When the sky is

no longer just sky, the buffeted debris of wind and light,

sucking black holes

and colliding galaxies, and we are ready to improvise ragged visions

on the bottomless up

we stare into, the endless tales tongued by clouds,

half seen, hardly seen,

much less heard, quickly scudding toward a weathered dissolution,

hail and pounding deluge,

a preparation for yet another resurrection beyond stone worship

and memory.

Continue reading

Toilets have feelings too

Can a porcelain toilet really be the focal point of an exhibit?  All my doubts were flushed away, when I saw Diane Landry’s art collection.  She does not simply take a toilet and call it art (coincidentally there is actually an online museum dedicated to toilet art in case you were worried).

Diane Landry, in her own words, seeks to “challenge the emotional memory’s link” to an object and its designated function–morphing, for instance, “a record turntable into a merry-go-round” or “umbrellas into flowers.”  Her artwork creates a dissonance within our functional memories of an object. This allows new “emotional links” be fostered as our minds reassess an object’s utilization (Landry).  Diane Landry emulates a type of creativity reminiscent of the child within us all.



Not all art can be as inventive as Diane Landry’s. There are still those modern art pieces, like the toilet, deprived of any function and condemned to sit in a museum corner. To hear their story, please enjoy Andrew Miller’s hilarious “My Life Imitating Art,” as seen on LitCouture.

My Life Imitating Art” by Andrew Miller

By A Toilet Seat

I didn’t ask for this.

It’s not like you wake up one morning and say, ‘Dammit, wouldn’t it be provocative if I hung myself on a white washed wall in some drafty warehouse looking gallery.’

I didn’t ask to be an ‘objecte d’arte.’

This is the fate that was thrust upon me by some hack. Some hack that went to art school, who somehow didn’t get jaded and is now trying to make a career out of it.

When I was young, I just wanted to be amiable, and make it real easy for people to shit on me.

Continue reading

Things and a List of More Things

It is easy to disregard commonplace objects in a commonplace environment. Rune Guneriussen, a Norwegian artist, seeks to bring into relief the inherent strangeness of these items by placing them in unexpected settings, rendering them impossible to overlook.


Her coupling of nature with select “out of place” elements from our society creates a surprisingly harmonious and ethereal effect.


None of her art pieces remain, but that itself is quite beautiful.  They only exist within her photographs.  After making a masterful composition, she destroys her work. However, the moment lives on, begging us to ask whether the art is the photograph or the sculpture itself.

This post was written by Katelyn Rogers.

The Most Beautiful College Libraries: The University of Chicago’s Harper Memorial Library

Opened in 1912, UChicago’s Harper Memorial Library is more than just a library–it features study space, classrooms, and administrative offices. It functions as the heart of the university and after celebrating its centennial, still stands regally .

The Most Beautiful College Libraries: Harvard University’s Widener Library

Harvard’s Widener Library is the centerpiece of the university’s book collection, the largest university library system in the world, with over 15 million volumes. It was opened in 1915 and has even been referenced in a Weezer song.

The Most Beautiful College Libraries: Yale University’s Beinecke Library

Displaying Yale’s collection of rare books and manuscripts, Beinecke Library was built in 1963 and is open to the public. Its centerpiece is a six-story stack of valuable books.

The Most Beautiful College Libraries: Vassar College’s Thompson Memorial Library

Originally a single room when Vassar opened in 1865, the Thompson Memorial Library was most recently renovated in the early 2000s and is the home of a million volumes.