Cover image for Love and lies : an essay on truthfulness, deceit, and the growth and care of erotic love
Title:
Love and lies : an essay on truthfulness, deceit, and the growth and care of erotic love
Author:
Martin, Clancy W., author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.
Physical Description:
258 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"Drawing on contemporary philosophy, psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience, his own personal experience, and such famed and diverse writers on love as Shakespeare, Stendhal, Proust, Adrienne Rich, and Raymond Carver, Clancy Martin--himself divorced twice and married three times--explores how love, truthfulness, and deception work together in contemporary life and society. He concludes that learning how to love and loving well inevitably requires lying, but also argues that the best love relationships draw us slowly and with difficulty toward honesty and trust"--Amazon.com.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374281069
Format :
Book

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Central Library BJ1421 .M28 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

A provocative and unsettling look at the nature of love and deception

Is it possible to love well without lying? At least since Socrates's discourse on love in Plato's Symposium , philosophers have argued that love can lead us to the truth--about ourselves and the ones we love. But in the practical experience of erotic love--and perhaps especially in marriage--we find that love and lies often work hand in hand, and that it may be difficult to sustain long-term romantic love without deception, both of oneself and of others.
Drawing on contemporary philosophy, psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience, his own personal experience, and such famed and diverse writers on love as Shakespeare, Stendhal, Proust, Adrienne Rich, and Raymond Carver, Clancy Martin--himself divorced twice and married three times--explores how love, truthfulness, and deception work together in contemporary life and society. He concludes that learning how to love and loving well inevitably requires lying, but also argues that the bestlove relationships draw us slowly and with difficulty toward honesty and trust.
Love and Lies is a relentlessly honest book about the difficulty of love, which is certain to both provoke and entertain.


Author Notes

Clancy Martin is the author of the novel How to Sell (FSG, 2009) as well as many books on philosophy, and has translated works by Friedrich Nietzsche, Søren Kierkegaard, and other philosophers. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine and also writes for The New York Times , London Review of Books , The Wall Street Journal , GQ , The Atlantic , and many other publications. He is a professor of philosophy at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, where he lives with his wife, the writer Amie Barrodale, and three daughters.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Martin (How to Sell) probes the insidious relationship between lying and love in a sometimes frustrating but often brilliant book, extolling the ways in which lying can make us better lovers. This is no easy how-to manual, though; Martin's sources include Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Nietzsche, among others. One of his most provocative proposals is that we first discover the intertwined relationship between love and deception as children. Remembering his own experience of first love, Martin argues that this process often involves an element of self-deception. In his view, the connection between lying and love is not necessarily bad: "Most of the deceptions we practice in erotic love do not have the goal of harming the beloved." In the end, Martin asserts, "How, when, and why we sort out the right kind of lying from the right kind of truth telling... are a lifetime's pursuit." At times, his tone comes across as overly lofty, and at others, emotionally inauthentic-readers may suspect he is less worldly than he suggests. Nonetheless, Martin's conclusions about the nature of love and lies succeed in boldly challenging conventional views. Agent: Susan Golomb, Susan Golomb Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Martin (philosophy, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City; How To Sell), using examples drawn from literary sources, philosophical arguments, and personal experiences, argues that lies and deception (including self-deception) are inextricably bound with love. He describes in five chapters how this comes to pass through looking at the experience of love as presented in childhood, our first love, erotic love, and marriage. In each instance the author shows that our love, and its maintenance, is based on subjective meaning of the truth instead of the absolute truth. Indeed, if absolute truth was the true object of love, he argues, the emotion would not survive. Thus, his conclusion is not that love will lead us to truth but that our experiences of it teach us that love is neither a moral absolute nor a mythical concept but a subjective experience. While the chapters concerning first love and childhood are the strongest supporters of his premise, overall, Martin offers a persuasive and absorbing argument. VERDICT Since the reader needs some background knowledge of philosophy, this title is recommended for serious students of philosophy (upper-level undergraduate to graduate level) who will find the argument fascinating.-Laura Hiatt-Smith, Douglas Cty. Libs., CO (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prologue: Why I Wrote This Bookp. 5
1 A Brief Introduction to the Morality of Deceptionp. 21
2 Childhoodp. 53
3 First Lovesp. 91
4 Erotic Lovep. 145
5 Marriagep. 205
Notesp. 249
Acknowledgmentsp. 259

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