Love's Work: A Reckoning with Life

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9780805241358: Love's Work: A Reckoning with Life

The author reflects on her near-death experience, describing the insights she gained into love, life, and the relationship between thinking and feeling

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About the Author:

Gillian Rose is a professor at the University of Warwick in England.

Review:

Love's Work has been outfitted with the small pages, wide margins, and curlicue typeface of a so-called woman's book. Caveat emptor. This is not a pastel reverie, but a work in which the author, an English philosopher, feminist, and Marxist, not only bares her soul but carefully dissects it. It begins as autobiography: Rose describes her secular Jewish upbringing and goes on to discuss professional and personal engagements, among them an affair with a priest. She writes with equal power and precision about sex or the place of reason in a postmodern age, and when she discloses, about halfway through the book, that she has been diagnosed with a fatal cancer, she resists the temptation to make her predicament pathetic. Deploring the different ways in which both conventional and alternative medical treatments diminish the lives of the sick -- the one by what she calls its iatrogenic materialism, the other by a "Screwtape spirituality" -- Rose develops by contrast her notion of love's work: the obligation to go on thinking and caring in spite of the certainty of physical and moral defeat. Gillian Rose died shortly after completing this rigorous and lyrical book.
Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved. -- From The Boston Review

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