Love is not meant to be manipulated; it will
always outwit our control systems.
We are conditioned to think that love heals wounds, makes us happy, and gives our lives meaning. When the opposite occurs and love causes fracturing, disenchantment, and existential turmoil, we suffer deeply, especially if we feel that love has failed us or that we have failed to experience what others seem so effortlessly to enjoy.
In this eloquently argued, psychologically informed book, Mari Ruti portrays love as a much more complex, multifaceted phenomenon than we tend to appreciate—an experience that helps us encounter 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 Ruti's 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 often irrational in love does not absolve us of ethical accountability. In Ruti's view, we must work harder to map the unconscious patterns motivating our romantic behavior. As opposed to popular spiritual approaches urging us to live fully in the now, Ruti treats the past as a living component of the present. Only when we catch ourselves at those moments when the past speaks in the present can we keep ourselves from hurting the ones we love. Equally important, Ruti emphasizes transcending our individual histories of pain, an act that allows us to face the unconscious demons that dictate our relational choices. Written with substance and compassion, The Summons of Love restores the enlivening and transformative possibilities of romance.
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
Mari Ruti started teaching contemporary theory - including gender and sexuality studies - to Harvard undergraduates in 1991 when she was still a graduate student. Nine years later, she became Assistant Director of the Harvard program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.Read More
Mari Ruti holds degrees from Brown (B.A.), the University of Paris (DEA), and Harvard (M.A. Sociology; M.A. Comparative Literature; Ph.D. Comparative Literature). She is currently Associate Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Toronto, where she teaches contemporary theory and criticism, psychoanalysis, continental philosophy, phenomenology, poststructuralism, and gender and sexuality studies.Read More
Ruti's academic research explores the intersections of contemporary theory, psychoanalysis, and continental philosophy, focusing on questions of subjectivity, psychic life, signification, creativity, agency, social change, and the ethics of the self-other relationship.Read More