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Essential reading for scholars and students in critical theory psychoanalysis and gender studies How does the self care for itself in the posthumanist era? What psychic processes might allow the postmodern subject to find meaning and value in its life? Is it possible to delineate a theory of psychic potentiality that is compatible with poststructuralist models of fluid decentered and polyvalent subjectivity? Reinventing the Soul offers a new perspective on what it means to be a human being and to strive in the world despite the wounding effects of the socialization process Drawing on the rich legacies of French poststructuralism and Lacanian psychoanalysis Ruti builds an affirmative alternative to the post Foucaultian tendency to envision subjectivity as a function of hegemonic systems of power She proposes that the subject's encounter with the world also necessarily activates the psyche's innovative potential By focusing on matters of creative agency imaginative empowerment inner metamorphosis and self actualization Ruti outlines some of the mechanisms by which the psyche manages not only to survive its lack alienation or suffering but also to transform its abjection into an existentially livable reality Central to Ruti's argument is the idea that human beings relate to the world in active rather than merely passive ways—as dynamic creators of meaning rather than as powerless dupes of disciplinary power


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    Ruti provides a soulful and constructive take on posthumanist theories that brilliantly reconciles the notion of a constructed narrativemetaphorical self made up of externally obtained fictions with the possibility of agency and autonomy She argues that it is precisely because the self is constructed with metaphors that one is able to reconstruct it by taking in newer enabling metaphors that prevent old fossilized and oppressive metaphors from running the show alone This is what makes it possible to resist oppression and create a viable life for oneself as opposed to the picture that many posthumanist thinkers have painted of humans as inevitably doomed to hegemonic suppression by dehumanizing dominant narratives In her words subjectivity although constituted with pieces obtained externally does not always equal subjection Ruti also provides a much needed distinction between harmful and loving forms of sociality arguing that even though individualistic notions of the self that disdain the masses and communities are problematic communities and relationships are not always conducive to one's wellbeing either and health does not depend on our being alone or being with others but on our ability to experience both our solitary contemplative moments and our time with others as deeply satisfying