|Pages/Publication Date:||259 / 2015|
Wondering if it is possible to love well without lying, philosopher Clancy Martin explores the question in this provocative and unsettling look at the nature of love and deception. At least since the time of 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 it may be difficult to sustain long-term romantic love without deception, both of oneself and of others. Through contemporary philosophy, psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience, and the works of such writers on love as William Shakespeare, Marcel Proust, Adrienne Rich, and Raymond Carver, 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.
"With engaging prose, genuine insight and often hilarious stories, Clancy Martin uses the best writers among philosophers—like Plato, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Bonhoeffer—and the best philosophers among writers ... to show us that intimacy and eros are much more complex and deceptive than most of us would like to admit. Perhaps paradoxically, this is one of the most honest books I have read about love."—Simon Critchley