This book is about love, how we fall in love, why we fall in love, and how much we suffer if unable to love or be loved. The need to love and be loved can be read as the prototype of every human need and every relationship between human beings. To be loved is wishing to be seen, known, and recognized for what we are in our deepest and most hidden inner self in our wildest desires to live and be free. It is a need for knowledge, gratefulness, and recognition. Literature, cinema, and our very experience of life tell us about it.
By listening to love, can psychoanalysis add anything further and new to what has already been said by culture, art, and our life experiences? In psychoanalysis, the events of love can be understood by going back to the most primitive forms of human relationships, that is, to the earliest childhood experiences. However, they can also be looked at as an integral part of human vicissitudes and, therefore, as an essential element of adulthood, caught between passion and bonds.
From a strictly theoretical viewpoint, we might say that the passion of love stems and develops from an intermediate area existing between the libidinal and narcissistic structures of the Self, between drives and projective identifications. However, the terrible and unfathomable nature of passions, that complex tangle of sexual desire, fusional need, abandonment anxiety, fear of solitude, despair, and unbearable unhappiness, the continuous swinging between delusions and disappointments, escapes a definition that is too narrow. According to different sexual orientations and at different ages, from childhood to adulthood, passion and bonds constitute the innermost essence of human nature.
About the Author:
Simonetta Diena, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, is a full member with training functions of the SPI (Italian Psychoanlytical Association) and the IPA (International Psychoanalytical Association). She teaches at the Istituto Italiano di Psicoanalisi di Gruppo (IIPG) in Milan and, since 1999, is a Fellow in the IPA Research Training Programme. For years her research has focused on art and psychoanalysis, and she has authored a number of essays on this topic as well as articles published in national and international journals.