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“In this fascinating and disturbing book, two writers with prose styles and intellectual styles that are at once famously identifiable and intimately personal celebrate the possibility of relationships that defy identity and undo personality. Braiding together brilliant psychoanalytic reflections on fiction and film, on the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the invasion of Iraq, on suicidally unsafe sex and Socrates’ theory of love, Bersani and Phillips at once dream of shattering the ego and, in their own distinct voices, display its miraculous, tragicomic persistence.”
“Intimacies is a very incisive and gentle exchange between two writers who have thought and rethought psychoanalysis in powerful terms for contemporary culture. The dialogue enacts the kind of relationality it seeks to know, moving beyond the traditional narcissism of authorship, probing the important difference between being a psychological subject and finding a way to be present to another person. Psychoanalysis is moved beyond the theory of the ego and developmental norms, returned to primary questions of how and why pleasure is often at odds with self-preservation, and how such enduring tensions are presented in visual media, sexual practice, dialogue, and clinical exchange. Practiced here is an intimacy that explores the regions of impersonal co-existence where losing the self expands the capacity to love. This a beautifully crafted book, one that underscores how the social life of the psyche is a matter of risk, wager, suspense, excitation, bodies, talk, and all manner of things both dangerous and sustaining.”Judith Butler, author of Undoing Gender