Orpheus and
One holds on to the belief that someone, somewhere, loves one enough to hold on to one, keep one from being torn away. But the belief is false. All love is moderate, in the end.
The story of Eurydice has been misunderstood. What the story is about is the solitariness of death. Eurydice is in hell in her graveclothes. She believes that Orpheus loves her enough to come and save her. And indeed, Orpheus comes. But in the end the love Orpheus feels is not strong enough. Orpheus leaves his beloved behind and returns to his own life.

--- J. M. Coetzee
Diary of a Bad Year

As quoted in the
London Review of Books
4 October 2007
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