The Self as Muse

Alexander Mathäs (Ed.)

Narcissism and Creativity in the German Imagination

2011
222 pages
$65.00
ISBN 1611480320
Transits

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.

Contributors: Richard Block, Fritz Breithaupt, Susan Gustafson, Gail K. Hart, Martin Klebes, Edgar Landgraf, Alexander Mathäs, F. Corey Roberts, Ann Schmiesing

About the editor:

Alexander Mathäs is Professor of German at University of Oregon.

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