Some further thoughts on beauty, this time in connection with intimacy. Paul J. Griffiths, in his commentary on the Song of Songs, notes that
it is rare for us to be dazzled by beauty … without seeking some kind of intimacy with it. [However,] appreciation of beauty can be heightened by certainty that there will be no physical intimacy with it; [and yet,] appreciation for and delight in beauty may not survive physical intimacy with it, and will certainly be altered thereby.
Griffiths’ commentary is a stimulating read, even if it is not one I would recommend to those seeking to acquaint themselves with the Song of Songs. Why? Because Griffiths comments on the Latin text of the Vulgate rather than the Hebrew original, and he focuses quite strongly on figurative readings of the Song.