Laura Kipnis Against Love: A Polemic

ISBN 13: 9780375719325

Against Love: A Polemic

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9780375719325: Against Love: A Polemic
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Who would dream of being against love? No one.

Love is, as everyone knows, a mysterious and all-controlling force, with vast power over our thoughts and life decisions.

But is there something a bit worrisome about all this uniformity of opinion? Is this the one subject about which no disagreement will be entertained, about which one truth alone is permissible? Consider that the most powerful organized religions produce the occasional heretic; every ideology has its apostates; even sacred cows find their butchers. Except for love.

Hence the necessity for a polemic against it. A polemic is designed to be the prose equivalent of a small explosive device placed under your E-Z-Boy lounger. It won’t injure you (well not severely); it’s just supposed to shake things up and rattle a few convictions.

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Review:

Less against love than against the cultural constraints that leads us to create wrong-headed ideas of love, this is book is the perfect antidote to any lingering social guilt about being happily single. Against Love: A Polemic will both shock and irritate, especially when you find yourself nodding your head in agreement while laughing at another broken taboo. Laura Kipnis (author of Bound and Gagged, Ecstasy Unlimited) clearly enjoyed writing this; she lets her wit run rampage over classic married situations and human emotions with results that include comparing adulterers to freedom fighters (using sharpened spoons to tunnel out from under love's barbed wire fences) and referring to tearful confessions of cheating as "funny little couple rituals." These make it fun, but the iconoclastic beauty is in her questions. How did good relationships come to be considered work instead of play? Why, unlike most of history and many other modern cultures, do Americans assume love and marriage go hand-in-hand? What lead to infidelity committed by public figures becoming a source of outrage? Kipnis doesn't have answers. Although urging us to have more compassion for our own desires, she expects her readers are smart enough to supply their own in response to her ideas. That attitude itself is a treat--if you're prepared to keep up through a complex whirlwind of Freud, Marx, Gingrich, Wollstonecraft, and several generations of pop culture. Jill Lightner

From the Back Cover:

"Engagingly acerbic . . . extremely funny. . . . A deft indictment of the marital ideal, as well as a celebration of the dissent that constitutes adultery, delivered in pointed daggers of prose." - New Yorker

"It's about time someone blew apart our idealistic notions about relationships and love." - New York Post

"A timely, entertaining cherry bomb of a book. . . . Smart, witty and withering." - The Boston Globe

"Wonderfully clever, deliciously written. . . . Kipnis blends journalistic pizazz and philosophical nerve . . . Whether you agree or not, Kipnis' crackling colloquial style keeps Against Love rollicking forward, often hilariously. . . . It's hard to imagine even the fiercest champion of wedded bliss not enjoying the provocations of this book." - Philadelphia Inquirer

"If you think of 'family values' as something more, better and different from simply loving the people in your family, avoid this book for fear of apoplexy." - The Washington Post

"Reading Against Love, I felt invigorated half the time and plunged into the deepest, most morose pit of self-pitying despair the rest of it - in other words, I felt as if I were in love. This seems to have been Kipnis's aim." - Salon

"In this ragingly witty yet contemplative look at the discontents of domestic and erotic relationships, Kipnis . . . combines portions of the slashing sexual contrarianism of Mailer, the scathing antidomestic wit of early Roseanne Barr and the coolly analytical aesthetics of early Sontag. . . . With a razor-sharp intelligence and a gleeful sense of irony, Kipnis dismantles the myths of romance surrounding monogamy." - Publisher's Weekly

"Wittily invigorating. . . . [Kipnis] possesses the gleeful, viperish wit of a Dorothy Parker and the energetic charisma of a cheerleader. She is dead-on about the everyday exhaustion a relationship can produce." - Slate

"A person would need a heart of stone not to rejoice at the drubbing [Kipnis] delivers. . . . Funny and astute . . . much of the writing is informed and bracing, amplifying ideas about social control derived from Engels, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Raymond Williams, Foucault and Adam Phillips." - Chicago Tribune

"[Kipnis is] a talented social satirist." - Weekly Standard

"Against Love is a wonderfully provocative book, daring and incisive, written with verve and no small amount of humor. It raises a thousand questions most of us lack the courage to ask, about domestic life and even the meaning of the human enterprise, while remaining at every instant a delight to read." - Scott Turow

"Kipnis's treatise reads like a brisk, sophisticated novel about the beginning, middle and end of an adulterous affair. . . . [A] bravura book." - Times Literary Supplement (London)

"This book is trouble . . . and the worst thing is that Kipnis is so convincing. A vastly entertaining and smart work of social criticism. Kipnis demonstrates her brilliance at the [polemic] form . . . playing a heretic in the chapel of love. An unsettling and witty deconstruction of love and marriage." - NPR, Fresh Air

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Who would dream of being against love? No one. Love is, as everyone knows, a mysterious and all-controlling force, with vast power over our thoughts and life decisions. But is there something a bit worrisome about all this uniformity of opinion? Is this the one subject about which no disagreement will be entertained, about which one truth alone is permissible? Consider that the most powerful organized religions produce the occasional heretic; every ideology has its apostates; even sacred cows find their butchers. Except for love. Hence the necessity for a polemic against it. A polemic is designed to be the prose equivalent of a small explosive device placed under your E-Z-Boy lounger. It won't injure you (well not severely); it's just supposed to shake things up and rattle a few convictions. Seller Inventory # AAS9780375719325

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