This essay considers psychoanalytic theories of love in the work of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, and Jacques Lacan. Though there is no coherent theory of love in psychoanalysis, paying attention to love in the analytic situation—that is, to transference—allows us to read analytic love as a transformative practice through which subjects affiliate with one another as subjects rather than as objects. In considering the importance of love to solidarity, the work of Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Black feminist theory is mobilized to offer two short readings of Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved and the autobiography of Dorothy Day. Across these theoretical and narrative works, the author formulates an account of analytic love as a site of negative plenitude that rearranges conventional accounts of identity and difference.

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