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by Mari Ruti

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-231-15816-9
Publisher: Columbia Univ.

Canadian professor Ruti has love all figured out and explains why it’s worth the trouble.

Some yearn for invulnerability, viewing love as a threat; others search for the soul that will make them complete, at times losing themselves in the process. Ruti (Critical Theory/Univ. of Toronto; A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living, 2009, etc.) posits a rational argument for the love relationship as stimulation for personal growth, encouraging acceptance of its impermanence yet offering tips for its survival. The author makes a “contemplative rather than prescriptive” case for love as she challenges popular contemporary theories, taking on Marshall Rosenberg’s “non-violent communication” as well as Eckhart Tolle’s philosophy of living in the now. She argues that the past is an active component of the present within every relationship, and without conscious effort, the lover is doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Backing her assertions by citing the philosophies of psychological heavies like Freud and Heidegger, the book tends toward academic and lacks any revelation about the author’s personal history. However, Ruti transcends the textbook label by eloquently examining familiar feelings in scientific language filled with romance. Her illustration of passion in technical terms proves amusing but accurate: “…we meet a person who, for reasons that may remain enigmatic, resonates on a frequency that we find precious beyond calculation.”

A psychological look at love relationships and their pragmatic benefits that cleverly blends scientific language and romantic concepts.