Mari RutiThe Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living

Columbia University Press, 2013

by Tracy Morgan and Richard Brouillette on September 21, 2014

Mari Ruti

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Exploring everything from the impact of her own psychoanalysis on her mode and mien to the effect of consumer culture on the psyche, the delightful Mari Ruti keeps the ball rolling.  We pondered with her so many things that the interview feels like xmas morning! Traversing the advent of self-help books, Lacan, the Frankfurt School, the super ego, the repetition compulsion, hegemony, trauma, love and more, there is seemingly no topic germane to psychoanalysis and daily life that Ruti shies away from.

In The Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living (Columbia University Press, 2013)–a book akin in spirit to McDougall’s Plea for a Measure of Abnormality albeit without the case studies–Ruti argues that a bit of madness is an agreeable thing. Loving one’s symptom lessens its impact for sure. As such, Ruti embraces Lacan rather fully as she argues for the ways in which desire can produce forms of human subjectivity that don’t reproduce the normative. By helping us to identify what lures us away from listening more carefully to the “call” of our own “characters”, Ruti plots a course to live a life worth living.

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