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The Singularity of Being


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Intervenes in current debates about subjectivity, agency, resistance, creativity, the self-other relationship, and effective political and ethical action

About the Author

Mari Ruti is Associate Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Toronto, where she teaches contemporary theory, psychoanalysis, and continental philosophy. She is the author of Reinventing the Soul: Posthumanist Theory and Psychic Life; A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living; and The Summons of Love.


... The Singularity of Being never surrenders its distinctly humanist commitment to real lives. In doing so, Ruti reminds us that the opacity of the other, just like the potential opacity of philosophical and psychoanalytic ideas, cannot--and should not--entirely be conjured away. * -Los Angeles Review of Books *
In a work of truly impressive post-Lacanian scholarship, Mari Ruti has made The Singularity of Being into a unique reading event. Verve and passion mark every page and instantiate in action the contents on the page. One learns, almost experientially, about key Lacanian concepts such as Das Ding, the sublime-in-sublimation, and jouissance. Most importantly, in her brilliant chapter on Love, we learn that we are always in an ethical position relative to the complexities of our desire. There are many books on Lacan. Few offer as rich an experience as The Singularity of Being.----Mitchell Wilson, Training and Supervising Analyst, The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
In this passionate, innovative book, Mari Ruti brings Lacanian psychoanalysis into the twenty-first century. She argues brilliantly for the creativity and fragility of singular beings who are in constant transformation while also changing the social orders in which they are embedded from the inside. Erudite and enjoyable, this book is a must read for all those interested in the future of psychoanalysis as well as in cultural and critical theory.----Verena Andermatt Conley, Harvard University
In this intense meditation on the possibilities for an ethical life as a creative subject, Mari Ruti extends her previous explorations into the paradoxes of post-Lacanian theory and philosophy. What does it mean to live one's life as a singular human being limited by a finite set of events and cultural imperatives that everywhere create victimhood and injustice? Is the wound of singularity founded on an unassimilable corporeal real trauma enough to serve as foundation for an ethical principle based on desire? Ruti restlessly probes the responses of numerous thinkers- notably Badiou, Santner, and Zizek- to these questions and shows us their limitations as moral philosophers. At the same, she highlights the relevance of their at times uncompromising or extreme positions. Ruti's stubborn resistance to settled notions about trauma, subjectivity, and multiculturalist realities, her discomfort with apocalyptic or utopian solutions, and her personal honesty in struggling with moral imperatives make this work an impressive contribution to moral philosophy and to post-Freudian psychoanalytic critical thought.----Lewis Kirshner, Harvard University

In her breathtaking new work, Mari Ruti completely transforms our
understanding of ambivalence, revealing the role that art plays in the
expression of singularity and the role that commodities play in its

----Todd McGowan, The University of Vermont

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