Love, Not Actually

Surprise: the end of semester has signaled a return to reading psychoanalysis (isn’t it the perpetual return?) and in particular a return to the problem of thinking love.  I’ve been reading across texts authored both by practitioners and theorists of psychoanalytic persuasion, but it was Lauren Berlant’s halting piece, Desire/Love, just recently released, that both captured me and reanimated my thinking.

I found myself most drawn toward her suggestion that part of the intensity of the pull of “love” is that it promises to build a world in which desire can endure.  That endurance, so fleeting in its everyday ambivalence, frustration, recalcitrance, exhaustion, and occasionally satisfaction, hungers for the temporality of the promise to live on, relatively safe– to endure.  Survival doesn’t seem so bad, after all, does it…?

In the spirit of building worlds, or perhaps houses, for desire, I found myself compiling “A Love Syllabus” for an imaginary class that I would teach on Love, Sex, and Desire.  Here’s what I have so far:

Freud, Sexuality and the Psychology of LoveThree Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
Lacan, “God and the Jouissance of the Woman”; “A Love Letter”
Melanie Klein, Love, Hate and Reparation
Teresa de Lauretis, The Practice of Love
Eve Sedgwick, A Dialogue on Love
Laura Kipnis, Against Love: A Polemic
Lisa Henderson, Love and Money
Luce Irigaray, I Love to YouSharing the World
Lauren Berlant, Desire/Love

Have anything to add to the list?



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