The Self as Muse

Alexander Mathäs (Ed.)

Narcissism and Creativity in the German Imagination

222 pages
ISBN 1611480320

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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