RRP: $35 (AUD)
Format: 216x140 mm (5.5x8.5 in) Paperback
Pub. Date: April 2010
First Love: A Phenomenology of the One explodes two great myths that remain unquestioned in psychoanalysis and contemporary philosophy: that first love is a love of the mother and, in French philosopher Alain Badiou’s phrasing, ‘the One is not.’ The bold, central argument of the book claims that, with its unprejudiced acceptance of first love as mother love, psychoanalysis is at risk of missing the full potential of its own thought: the existence of an uncounted One as named and held faithful to in the literary tradition.
In detailed, sensitive readings of the First Love of Samuel Beckett, Ivan Turgenev, Eudora Welty, John Clare and Søren Kierkegaard, Jöttkandt considers the ways love is conceptually ‘first’ for these writers. With this groundbreaking work, Jöttkandt suspends the contemporary philosophical stricture against every idea of an ‘all’ to unmask the shadowy figure concealed behind the traditional psychoanalytic myth of first love: (some)One that - or perhaps who - is not purely an effect of structure.
1. A is for Anna, or ‘There is some One’: Samuel Beckett
2. Forfeits and Comparisons: Ivan Turgenev
3. In the Self’s Temporary Lodgings: Eudora Welty
4. I Mary You: John Clare
5. ‘The First Love is the True Love and One Only Loves Once’: Søren Kierkegaard with Eugene Scribe
‘Simultaneously a literary and a mathematical discovery’ -- Joan Copjec, author of Read My Desire (1994) and Imagine There’s No Woman (2003).
‘This book is full of sharp, original and exciting close readings that are marshaled cogently into the building of a consistent post-Lacanian theory of love’ -- Jean-Michel Rabaté, author of The Future of Theory (2002) & The Ethics of the Lie (2008).
About the Author
Sigi Jöttkandt is the author of Acting Beautifully: Henry James and the Ethical Aesthetic (SUNY Press, 2005), and a co-founder of Open Humanities Press.