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Tuesday, September 18th 2018

Book launch for Mari Ruti's two new 2018 titles: Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings: The Emotional Costs of Everyday Life + Distillations: Theory, Ethics, Affect

Mari Ruti
presented by Caversham Booksellers with Mari Ruti, Columbia U Press and Pearson Canada

Please join us at Caversham Booksellers, 98 Harbord St for a reception 6:30 to 8:30 pm,
Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
(416) 944-0962 • 1-800-361-6120 or

to celebrate the release of Mari Ruti's two 2018 books:

Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings: The Emotional Costs of Everyday Life (Columbia University Press, May 2018)

Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings is a poignant, incisive work of autotheory that combines the personal and theoretical. Starting from a playful engagement with Freud’s idea of penis envy—an idea that, in college, made Ruti throw Freud’s book across the room—Penis Envy fans out into a broader consideration of neoliberal pragmatism and feminist politics. Ruti targets the emphases on high productivity, self-improvement, and relentless cheerfulness that drive our pressure-cooker age, arguing that such fantasies of “the good life” can lure us into a cycle of endless striving. In its critique of gender relations, Penis Envy refutes the idea that we live in a postfeminist world—rather, heteropatriarchy has transformed itself in insidious, subtle ways. Theoretically rigorous and lucidly written, Ruti lays bare the anxieties that often underlie our mythologies of self-fulfillment, romantic satisfaction, and professional success.

Distillations: Theory, Ethics, Affect (Bloomsbury Academic, August 2018)

Distillations collects and condenses the key questions that Mari Ruti has addressed throughout her career. Moving fluidly between theoretical registers, Ruti reflects on the general state of contemporary theory as it relates to posthumanist ethics, political resistance, subjectivity, agency, desire, and bad feelings. Ruti is critical of progressive theory’s tendency to advance extreme, improbable models of revolt, insisting instead—as her work does more broadly—that theory should speak directly to the reality of lived experience. To that end, one of the book’s aims is to explore the uncharted territory between psychoanalysis and affect theory, which are frequently held up as hopelessly incompatible, but which Ruti shows can be brought into productive dialogue.

Mari Ruti (PhD, Harvard University) is Distinguished Professor of Critical Theory and of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is the author of five academic books: Reinventing the Soul: Posthumanist Theory and Psychic Life (2006); A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living (2009); The Summons of Love (2011); The Singularity of Being: Lacan and the Immortal Within (2012); and The Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living (2013). She has also published a trade book: The Case for Falling in Love: Why We Can't Control the Madness of Love – and Why That's the Best Part (2011).


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