An urgent, stirring reflection on violence and morality.
“Recalcati explores the most fundamental of questions—for Cain, Abel, and every human being: can we believe in love?”—La Stampa
What lies at the foundation of human history and life in a society? According to Massimo Recalcati, it is not the sentiment of love for one’s neighbour preached by Jesus in the Gospels but the brutal hatred and violence depicted in the story of Cain and Abel.
As timely as it is brilliant, this essay examines Cain’s murderous act through the lens of psychoanalysis, showing how delusions of self-sufficiency and individual perfection lie at the deepest roots of fear and violence in our societies.
True completeness can only be achieved through others—not despite them. This, argues Recalcati, is the lesson of Cain, one that resonates powerfully in our time.
Praise for Recalcati’s A Night in Gethsemane:
“A book that reads in less than two hours but stays with you forever.”—Il Foglio
“Lively and sharp . . . An invitation to look positively at the loneliness of human experience.”—Lettera
Massimo Recalcati is a psychoanalyst and author who teaches at the universities of Pavia and Verona.