Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty, by Jacqueline Rose, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2018, 237 pp.
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We live in outrageous times when intellectuals are called upon to speak truth to power. Jacqueline Rose has consistently stepped forward to speak and write as a brilliant reader of psychoanalysis and a concerned citizen of the world. She has written more than a dozen books, and spoken in public and academic forums about feminism, gender and sexuality, refugees, the question of Israel and Palestine, children’s literature, and has been published in the London Review of Books, the Guardian,among others. Psychoanalysis gives to her writing a kind of plumb line that reaches from the quotidian to the individual psyche, advancing a psychoanalytic tradition that began with Freud’s cultural writings, one that she picks up and rescues from the dustbin of second wave feminism where psychoanalysis languished, fairly or unfairly, as an artifact of patriarchal misogyny. In this intelligent and readable volume Rose enriches both psychoanalytic thinking and the argument for political and social...
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