Mimetic Desire: Essays on Narcissism in German Literature from Romanticism to Postmodernism

Overview

This important collection of essays opens new pyschological perspectives on writers such as Tieck, Goethe, Freud, Thomas Mann, Heidegger and Thomas Bernhard. Psychological approaches to literature have grown rapidly in the last few decades, new developments in literary psychoanalysis mirroring the reassessment of Freud in the psychoanalytic community; particularly important revisions have come both from the Lacanian school, and from the field of object relations and self-psychology. The latter studies narcissism ...

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Overview

This important collection of essays opens new pyschological perspectives on writers such as Tieck, Goethe, Freud, Thomas Mann, Heidegger and Thomas Bernhard. Psychological approaches to literature have grown rapidly in the last few decades, new developments in literary psychoanalysis mirroring the reassessment of Freud in the psychoanalytic community; particularly important revisions have come both from the Lacanian school, and from the field of object relations and self-psychology. The latter studies narcissism not only as a pathological condition, but as a healthy and universal aspect of all psychological reality. Theorists such as Heinz Kohut have also suggested that the transformations of narcissism can be healthy and may contribute to the development of wisdom, humour and creativity. The articles in this volume consider the phenomenon of narcissism across a wide range of works, several reflecting the current re-evaluations of narcissism as a counter-challenge to Freudian thought and attitudes.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Adams
Jeffrey Adams is a historian of the Juniata region of Pennsylvania and author of Tyrone. The images in Harrisburg have been drawn from his own extensive collection of postcards.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
From Paradise to the Valley of Woe: A Fantasy about Primal Unity and Traumatic Separation by Carl Pietzcker 22
Narcissus and the Poet: Jean Paul Richter's Questions about Creativity in Flegeljahre by Wulf Koepke 34
Stones That Stare, or, the Gorgon's Gaze in Ludwig Tieck's Der Runenberg by Alice Kuzniar 50
Narcissism and Object Relations in Goethe's Creative Imagination by Jeffrey Adams 65
Narcissism, Creativity, and Literary Friendship: Sigmund Freud and Arnold Zweig by Carole Stone 85
The Effect of Heidegger's Pathological Narcissism on the Development of His Philosophy by Richard Chessick 103
"Narcissism" in Thomas Mann's Goethe Novel by Peter Heller 119
"The Jewel in the Lotus": A Re-Implantation. The Healing of a Narcissist in Gottfried Benn's Berlin Novella "Der Ptolemaer" by Oskar N. Sahlberg 142
Incest and Ponytales: Max Frisch's Montauk by Eric Williams 167
The Politics of Empathy and Self in Christa Wolf's The Quest for Christa T by J. Brooks Bouson 187
Thomas Bernhard: Narcissistic Alliances and The Talking Cure by Francis Michael Sharp 205
Index 221
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