“ . . . a work that builds a substantial bridge between Freudian psychoanalysis and radical feminist thought, particularly on the subject of lesbianism. . . . Presenting a complex argument about an issue vital to the psychoanalytic endeavor as well as to feminist theory, The Practice of Love should stimulate a reconsideration of ‘perversion’ and the construction of sexual fantasy. The illumination of the fantasies that make lesbian desire distinctive will necessarily open up our understanding of all sexuality.” —Jessica Benjamin, New York Times Book Review
“Teresa de Lauretis has entwined three books into one: a critical history of psychoanalytic theories of female homosexuality; a bold study of how lesbians keep disappearing from popular culture, especially film; and an original speculation on the dynamics of lesbian desire.” —Elisabeth Young-Bruehl
“An important and original contribution not only to lesbian and gay studies, but also to psychoanalytic theory and film criticism. De Lauretis brings a unique and valuable perspective to issues of great importance today in all these areas.” —Leo Bersani
“De Lauretis’s influential theory gets top marks from sapphic scholars who know best.” —Out
In an eccentric reading of Freud through Laplanche and the Lacanian and feminist revisions, Teresa de Lauretis delineates a model of “perverse” desire and a theory of lesbian sexuality. The Practice of Love discusses classic psychoanalytic narratives of female homosexuality, contemporary feminist writings on female sexuality, and the evolution of the original fantasies into cultural myths or public fantasies.