Hunger is want. It's a broader desire than desire. It isn't the will, which is strength. Neither is it a weakness, for hunger doesn't know passivity. He who hungers searches.

If Catullus enjoins us to resignation, it is precisely because he himself is not resigned. In hunger there is a dynamic that forbids us to accept its state. It is an intolerable want.

People will tell me that Catullus's wanting, the lover's lack, obsession due to the absence of the loved one, has nothing to do with it. But my language finds within it an identical register. Hunger, true hunger, not the whim of someone who's feeling a bit peckish, the hunger that tears out the heart and drains the soul of its substance, is the ladder that leads to love. The great lovers were educated in the school of hunger.

from Amelie Nothomb, The Life of Hunger