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The Summons of Love
Mari Ruti
Columbia University Press / Hardcover / 2011-08-01 / 0231158165
Relationships (Self Help) / Psychoanalysis
reg price: $38.00 our price: $ 34.20 (may be subject to change)
192 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

We are conditioned to think love's purpose is to heal wounds, make us happy, and give our lives meaning. When the opposite occurs, and love causes us to feel fractured, disenchanted, and full of existential turmoil, our suffering is compounded by the sense that love has failed us, or that we've failed to experience what so many others effortlessly enjoy.

In this eloquently argued, psychologically-informed book, Mari Ruti portrays love as a much more complex, multifaceted phenomenon prompting us to access the depths of human existence. Love's ruptures are as important as its triumphs, and sometimes love succeeds because it fails. At the heart of her argument is a meditation on interpersonal ethics that acknowledges the inherent opacity of human interiority and the difficulty of taking responsibility for what we cannot fully understand.

Yet the fact that humans are not always rational in love does not absolve us of ethical accountability. In Ruti's view, we need to work harder to map the unconscious patterns motivating our romantic behavior. As opposed to popular spiritual approaches that urge us to live fully in the now, Ruti sees the past as a living component of the present. Only when we learn to catch ourselves at those moments when the past speaks in the present can we keep from hurting the ones we love. Equally important, transcending our individual histories of pain means facing the unconscious demons that dictate our relational choices. Written with substance and compassion, The Summons of Love reveals the enlivening and transformative possibilities of romance.

--- from the publisher


"The self-help field is saturated with books on love, yet Mari Ruti's book, The Summons of Love, is in a class by itself—elegantly and beautifully written, superior in every way." — Henry Kellerman, psychologist, psychoanalyst, and author of Love Is Not Enough: What It Takes To Make It Work and The 4 Steps to Peace of Mind: The Simple Effective Way to Cure Our Emotional Symptoms

"The Summons of Love distills decades of psychoanalytic wisdom into a graceful, engaging, and eminently useful exploration of the ups and downs of romantic love. Whether a veteran or novice in the ways of love, the reader takes away an enriched understanding of what it means to invest in deep relating." — Margaret Crastnopol, psychoanalyst and clinical instructor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington



Love as an Existential Nudge

An Invitation to Self-Actualization

The Risks of Love

Love’s Panoramic Calling

Love as a Gamble

1. The Hall of Mirrors

The Quest for Wholeness

The Beloved as Mirror

The Pitfalls of Narcissism

The Specificity of Desire

The Speck of Corruption

2. The Patterns of Passion

The Compulsion to Repeat

Repetition as World-Structuring

Missing Our Step

Riding the Turbulence

Managing the Repetition

3. The Sliver of Eternity

The Human and the Divine

The Nick of Time

The Fall into Tenderness

The Process of Becoming

The Reinvention of Identity

4. The Midst of Life

The True Self

The Touch of Madness

The Flight from Passion

Beyond Romantic Nihilism

Passion’s Enduring Imprint

5. The Edge of Mystery

The Enigma of the Other

Messages That Motivate

The Clearing of Unknowability

The Softness of Silence

The Craving for Solitude

6. The Ambivalence of Ideals

Between Reality and Fantasy

The Generosity of Ideals

Ideals That Deplete

Keeping Desire Alive

Love beyond Ideals

7. The Intrigue of Obstacles

Jumping Hurdles

When Satisfaction Threatens

The Desire to Desire

The Bedrock of Desire

Love’s Apprenticeship

8. The Initiations of Sadness

The Aftermath of Loss

From Sadness to Creativity

Moving beyond Melancholia

Giving Up Pain

The Wisdom of the Past

9. The Lessons of Love

The Transience of Romance

The Mission of Love

Respecting Love’s Rhythm

The Fidelity to Love

Love as a Process


The Ethics of Relationality

A Call for Accountability

Steering Clear of Masochism

The Other Side

Continuing to Care

About the Author:

Mari Ruti was educated at Brown University and Harvard University. She is associate professor of critical theory at the University of Toronto, where she teaches contemporary theory, continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, and gender and sexuality studies. She is also the author of Reinventing the Soul: Posthumanist Theory and Psychic Life and A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living.

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