The renowned French philosopher’s “ode to love’s power to unite in the face of eternity, and its optimism in the face of pain” (Publishers Weekly).
In a world rife with consumerism, where online dating promises risk-free romance and love is all too often seen as a mere variant of desire and hedonism, Alain Badiou believes that love is under threat. Taking to heart Rimbaud’s famous line “love needs reinventing,” In Praise of Love is the celebrated French intellectual’s passionate treatise in defense of love.
For Badiou, love is an existential project, a constantly unfolding quest for truth. This quest begins with the chance encounter, an event that forever changes two individuals, challenging them “to see the world from the point of view of two rather than one.” This, Badiou believes, is love’s most essential transforming power.
Through thought-provoking dialogue edited from a conversation between Badiou and Truong, a vibrant cast of thinkers are invoked: Kierkegaard, Plato, de Beauvoir, Proust, and more, create a new narrative of love in the face of twenty-first-century modernity. Moving, zealous, and wise, Badiou’s “paean to the anticapitalist, antiessentialist, unifying power of love” urges us not to fear it but to see it as a magnificent undertaking that compels us to explore others and to move away from an obsession with ourselves (Publishers Weekly).
“Finally, the cure for the pornographic, utilitarian exchange of favors to which love has been reduced in America. Alain Badiou is our philosopher of love.” —Simon Critchley, author of The Faith of the Faithless
In this free-ranging, thought-provoking dialogue, French intellectual, philosopher, and playwright Badiou sings a paean to the anticapitalist, antiessentialist, unifying power of love. Edited from a conversation between Badiou and Truong at the Avignon Festival's Theatre of Ideas, Badiou's ruminations center on some of the themes addressed in his previous work, The Meaning of Sarkozy. Specifically, Badiou's discussion of love is rooted in his fight against "zero risk" economic theories of interaction and relationship replacing the volatile emotional contours of love and friendship. His description of the latter draws from sources as rarefied as Jacques Lacan and Emmanuel Levinas to classic French litterateurs like St phane Mallarm and Paul Claudel. The book's ode to love's power to unite in the face of eternity, and its optimism in the face of pain is wonderful for readers of pop philosophical writers like Mark Grief, Laura Kipnis, and Simon Critchley especially those recently dumped.