Mari Ruti

Mari Ruti

Mari Ruti's most recent books - The Case for Falling in Love and The Summons of Love - tackle the complexities of romance, relating, heartbreak, and letting go.

She has also written a number of more academic books about the fundamentals of human life: Reinventing the Soul: Posthumanist Theory and Psychic Life; A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living; and The Singularity of Being: Lacan and the Immortal Within. If her two books on romance focus on love and lust, her latest mainstream project - The Call of Character - looks at what, broadly speaking, gives luster to our lives.

Mari was educated at Brown and Harvard, and she also holds a degree from the University of Paris where she studied psychoanalytic theory with Julia Kristeva. After finishing her Harvard Ph.D. in 2000, she spent four years as Assistant Director of the University's program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is currently Associate Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Toronto, where she teaches contemporary theory, psychoanalysis, continental philosophy, gender and sexuality studies, as well as popular culture.

Mari's work on love is motivated by the idea that we make a mistake when we try to control or manipulate our romantic destinies. Much of contemporary self-help literature on romance consists of offering rules, strategies, and 12-step programs for managing the unruliness of our love lives. And much of it starts from the premise that men and women are "wired" differently so that, to make romance work, women need to make a superhuman effort to interpret "the male psyche."

Mari offers an alternative to this line of thought by arguing 1) that our attempts to reduce love to a game rob it of everything that is noble and interesting about it; 2) that there is no such thing as "the male psyche" (or "the female psyche," for that matter); and 3) that when it comes to love, what is meant to happen always will, so that our exertions to manage love's fickle arc are ultimately largely futile. Mari proposes that when we free ourselves of our culture's game-playing mentality, as well as let go of outdated gender stereotypes, we release what is most electrifying and enriching about love. We come to see that love's mission is much more panoramic than merely making us happy, that heartbreak is not necessarily a sign of love's failure, and that the sadder frequencies of romance are essential for the deepening of our character. We, in short, save the soul of love.

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Mari's photo by Bodhan Turok:

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Love, lust, and the luster of life.
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