Versions of Love and Hate by Renata Salecl

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Why, when we are desperately in love, do we endlessly block union with our love object? Why do we often destroy what we love most? Why do we search out the impossible object? Is it that we desire things because they are unavailable, and therefore, to keep desire alive, we need to prevent its fulfilment? Love and hate go hand in hand, since the subject is both attracted and repelled by the uncontrollable jouissance of the other. In contemporary society, intersubjective relations have changed with the decline of social prohibitions; but this change has not simply brought liberation, it has also triggered various forms of violence, including self-mutilation. In seeking out new forms of prohibition, don’t young people who pierce their bodies have something in common with African immigrants who embrace clitoridectomy, or with women who act on their dates according to the instructions set out in the Rules? In Perversions of Love and Hate, Renata Salecl explores the disturbing and complex relationships between love and hate, violence and admiration, libidinal and destructive drives, through investigation of phenomena as diverse as the novels The Age of Innocence and The Remains of the Day, Hollywood melodramas, the Siren song, Ceaucescu’s Rumania and the Russian performance artist Oleg Kulik, who acts like a dog and bites his audience. For Salecl--who questions the legitimacy of the calls for tolerance and respect by multiculturalists--practices such as body-mutilation are symptoms of the radical change that has affected subjectivity in contemporary society.

About Renata Salecl

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Renata Salecl is Researcher at the Institute for Criminology at the Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics. She is the author of The Spoils of Freedom and Sexuation (published by Duke University Press). Slavoj Zizek is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His latest books include Tarrying with the Negative (Duke University Press) and The Indivisible Remainder.
Published January 17, 1999 by Verso. 190 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Romance, Gay & Lesbian, Parenting & Relationships, Law & Philosophy, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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In an effort to examine why love and hate are often connected in literature, film and life, Salecl (The Spoils of Freedom) crafts an argument that draws heavily from Lacan and sparingly from her own t

Nov 02 1998 | Read Full Review of (Per)Versions of Love and Hate

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