From murderous love to worldly love?
This chapter argues that using the 'outlying' or 'pathological' cases of the dynamics of love and its 'failure' can provide a way to analyze the possibilities and limits of affect theory's account of love. The percentage of women experiencing intimate partner violence varies widely within and across countries. The extreme cases men's murderous violence against women is an extreme, though paradoxical, instrument of control; a violent attempt to secure recognition, once and for all. The inability to sustain this 'inevitable tension' in the process of mutual recognition lies at the heart of the failure of love in domestic violence situations. Most men don't experience the loss or withdrawal of women's 'love power' as inciting violence. If murderous love represents an extreme instance of the breakdown or failure of love, implicit in this judgment is an alternative ontology of love as mutual recognition or 'accommodation to accommodation' or love as living attention.