The Art and Science of Intimacy in Friendship, Love, and Family
by Giovanni Frazzetto
Pub Date 04 Jul 2017
“Together, Closer examines the way humans relate to each other across a spectrum of relationships from parent-child to platonic friendships and, of course, romantic love.” —The Guardian
“An ambitious project . . . Giovanni Frazzetto marries science with art, the most recent discoveries of neuroscience with human stories about intimacy. . . . A clear love of art and science shines from the book.” —The Irish Times
For readers of Oliver Sacks and Stephen Grosz, a wondrous, deeply felt book that explores intimacy through the stories of eight relationships, from the author of Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love
The bonds we are capable of feeling toward other people—how we know and belong to one another—provide fascinating glimpses into the intricacies of human behavior. Intimacy is that moment when our true identity is revealed to another, when traumas, fears, and ambitions are shared. Through the ordinary stories of eight relationships, Giovanni Frazzetto has woven an extraordinary narrative of togetherness. He shares the details of romantic partners trapped in a long cycle of attraction and rejection, a single woman who finds herself deep in a fictional relationship with a boyfriend she has invented out of frustration with her love life, and a couple absorbed in a years-long clandestine affair. But intimacy can also extend beyond romantic encounters: coping with the loss of a loved one, dealing with overbearing or emotionally distant parents, or celebrating the joys and comforts of our dearest friends.
In Together, Closer, Frazzetto unravels the components of intimacy in all of these relationships, illuminating the mysteries, challenges, and pleasures of intimacy through a brilliant mix of storytelling and science.
Praise for Giovanni Frazzetto’s Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love:
“In Frazzetto’s book, the Italian researcher and writer offers a fine primer on six emotions plus empathy. But before diving into the biology of each emotion (the role of the amygdala in fear and of serotonin reuptake in grief), he inspects his target through the lenses of psychology, philosophy, art, and personal experience. What you see is that poetry offers more insight into our feelings than does neuroanatomy or biochemistry.”
—The Washington Post
“Together, Closer examines the way humans relate to each other across a spectrum of relationships from parent-child to platonic friendships and, of course, romantic love. . . . The reader reads the stories of others’ lives but, of course, we are really appraising our own. Every now and then—and where this happens will depend on your intimate style—the text seems to silver into a kind of mirror. It is unnervingly accurate the way this works, and triggers an interior scrutiny. In these characters, Frazzetto is really showing us ourselves, helping us to look at what we usually look away from.”
“An ambitious project . . . Giovanni Frazzetto marries science with art, the most recent discoveries of neuroscience with human stories about intimacy. . . . A clear love of art and science shines from the book.”
—The Irish Times
“[Frazzetto] ponders what intimacy really is, what it means, and how it shifts and changes throughout a person's lifetime. . . . Regardless of whether they are heterosexual or homosexual relationships, or between a parent and child, each tender story shows a different aspect of intimacy, including the passion one first might ascribe to the word ‘intimate.’ . . . The author leaves the door open for readers to make their own comparisons and conclusions. Science and anecdote intertwine in this close examination of the bonds that bind humans together.”