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 fulfillment?
Renata Salecl explores the distributing and complex relationships between love and hate, violence and admiration, libidinal and destructive drives, through an investigation of phenomenon as diverse as the novels The Age of Innocence and The Remains of the Day, classic Hollywood melodramas, the Sirens’ song, Ceauseşcu’s Rumania and the Russian performance artist Oleg Kulik, who acts like a dog and bites his audience. (Per)Versions of Love and Hate presents a unique and timely intervention in contemporary debates by questioning the legitimacy of the calls for tolerance and respect by multiculturalism and exploring practices such as body-mutilation as symptoms of the radical change that has affected subjectivity in contemporary society.
“The theme was Oscar Wilde's, that each of us kills the things we love. Through forests of psychoanalytic theory, the East European pursues it formidably...this is challenging, moving and thought-provoking stuff.”