The Self as Muse
Alexander Mathäs (Ed.)
Narcissism and Creativity in the German Imagination
While there are countless philosophical and psychological studies that focus on sources of the self, narcissism -- the creation of an ideal image of the self and the vain attempt to merge with it -- has found relatively little attention in a pre-Freudian context. This volume intends to fill the gap by examining various aspects of narcissism and their significance for the outpouring of creativity in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German literature. Narcissism provided an impetus for poetic production when writers expressed what they perceived as the inner workings of their soul. By showing narcissism's pervasive allure for a broad array of literary productions by Schiller, Goethe, von Kleist, Hamann, von Hippel, Hoffmann, and Poe, among others, The Self as Muse argues that narcissism is a constitutive force in both literary production and in the construction of modern subjectivity. Yet this construction is by no means complete and invites the reader/writer to strive toward the illusive image of an ideal.
About the editor:
Alexander Mathäs is Professor of German at University of Oregon.