Why might Krauss have given her novel the title The History of Love, the same as that of the fictional book around which her narrative centers?
Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love is, at least I found it to be, is a masterpiece. I made it a bit hard for myself to follow along with the storyline by taking a multi-week break in the middle of reading the book, but that only makes me want to reread the work at some point in my life even more.
But, anyway, that doesn’t answer the question, at least not really. I see a couple of various, somewhat interconnected reasons why it makes sense, in a way, for Krauss to have titled her book the same as the fictional book storied within — both of which add to my opining the masterfulness of her work.
Krauss’s The History of Love is sort of a history of the fictional The History of Love. An alternative title, then, I suppose, could have been “The History of The History of Love.” But that’s a bit cumbersome and not necessarily totally accurate. More accurately is that the narrative centers around The History of Love, as the above question states.
What do book titles like, for instance, I don’t know, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone contain? The focus of the book’s storyline, the thing everything circles back to eventually. And Krauss’s book — all the different narrator’s individual stories — revolve in some way around the fictional The History of Love, so what else would have made sense to be the title of Krauss’s physical book?
To have named after anything else within her story, I think, would have been some combination of insufficient or showing some lean of bias towards one aspect or narrator within the novel. Too, the title The History of Love is intriguing; it has some appeal to attract curious readers, I feel, but that’s aside from relevant points.
Further, the fictional The History of Love is full of Almas — so is Krauss’s book by the same name. In the story, Zvi Litvinoff adds a final chapter to his transcribed manuscript of The History of Love during the publishing process titled “CHAPTER 39: THE DEATH OF LEOPOLD GURSKY.” Krauss’s The History of Love ends with a page titled “THE DEATH OF LEOPOLD GURSKY.”
That latter connection, the interplay between Krauss’s story in a physical sense and a fictional sense, is one I particularly enjoyed. It’s the most striking relevancy in Krauss naming her book, narratively centered around a fictional The History of Love, The History of Love. When it comes down to fine details, in some marvelous meta sense, they are the same book, are they not?