The Self as Muse: Narcissism and Creativity in the German Imagination 1750-1830

Overview

While there are countless philosophical and psychological studies that focus on sources of the self, narcissism has found relatively little attention in a pre-Freudian context. The Self as Muse fills this gap by examining various aspects of narcissism and their significance for the outpouring of creativity in late eighteenth and nineteenth-century German literature. In many Eighteenth-century works of the period narcissism refers to the creation of an idealized image of the self and the desire to merge with this ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $68.32   
  • Used (3) from $1.99   
The Self as Muse: Narcissism and Creativity in the German Imagination 1750-1830

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$51.99
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$74.99 List Price

Overview

While there are countless philosophical and psychological studies that focus on sources of the self, narcissism has found relatively little attention in a pre-Freudian context. The Self as Muse fills this gap by examining various aspects of narcissism and their significance for the outpouring of creativity in late eighteenth and nineteenth-century German literature. In many Eighteenth-century works of the period narcissism refers to the creation of an idealized image of the self and the desire to merge with this image. It provided an impetus for poetic production as writers resorted to the Greek myth of Narcissus to express what they perceived as the inner workings of their soul. Yet they were also acutely aware of the vain, and therefore narcissistic, motivations for their explorations of the self. While those influenced by the Pietist tradition attempted to distinguish between an "unselfish" self-scrutiny and self-indulging vanity, others like Goethe took advantage of narcissism's creative potential and integrated it into their aesthetic endeavors. The abundance of confessional and autobiographical accounts, the burgeoning of poetry drawing on personal experience, the emergence of a type of drama that is based on empathy, and the concern with an individual's ability to control one's senses and emotions in general testify to an unprecedented interest in notions of the self in German literature. Mathäs explains the emergence of narcissism in the literature of the period as a sense-inspired concept that aims to bring about a better comprehension of both the self and other human beings, and how writers used narcissism to improve the moral behavior of their readers. It examines eighteenth-century representations of narcissism against the background of Freudian and post-Freudian notions of the concept, and explores narcissism as a creative process that engages both reader and writer in the production of meaning. By showing narcissism's pervasive allure for a broad array of literary productions, the vol

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
This volume treats the unprecedented interest in notions of the self in German literature from 1750 to 1830. The legitimacy of the use of the term "narcissism" in connection with texts of this period is put into question by the fact that authors were ignorant of the meaning of the word as used today. Mathäs (Univ. of Oregon) seeks to avoid this dilemma by using the term as preoccupation with the self in the broadest sense. The editor divides the book's nine essays into four parts: "Narcissism and the Senses," "Narcissism and Morality," "Over and against Freud" (which focuses on the narcissistic structure of the modern psyche), and "Reading and Writing Narcissism." The contributors discuss works and theories of authors both well known and less familiar—Goethe's Werther, Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel's Lebensläufe, Kant, Schiller, Herder, Lessing, Hamann, von Kleist, Hoffmann, Poe. Each of the essays has its own footnotes and bibliography, and a general index serves the entire volume. This is a handsome, well-edited volume that will undoubtedly provoke further discussion of the main topic.
Choice
This volume treats the unprecedented interest in notions of the self in German literature from 1750 to 1830. The legitimacy of the use of the term "narcissism" in connection with texts of this period is put into question by the fact that authors were ignorant of the meaning of the word as used today. Mathäs (Univ. of Oregon) seeks to avoid this dilemma by using the term as preoccupation with the self in the broadest sense. The editor divides the book's nine essays into four parts: "Narcissism and the Senses," "Narcissism and Morality," "Over and against Freud" (which focuses on the narcissistic structure of the modern psyche), and "Reading and Writing Narcissism." The contributors discuss works and theories of authors both well known and less familiar—Goethe's Werther, Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel's Lebensläufe, Kant, Schiller, Herder, Lessing, Hamann, von Kleist, Hoffmann, Poe. Each of the essays has its own footnotes and bibliography, and a general index serves the entire volume. This is a handsome, well-edited volume that will undoubtedly provoke further discussion of the main topic.
Monatshefte
The nine essays in this focused and consistently fruitful collection explore the extensive interest in the self and self-examination in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth century German culture. Alexander Mathäs, has already established his credentials as a scholar of literary narcissism.

It is a strength of the volume that so many of its essays directly support the central theses put forth in the introduction

A good deal of scholarly work has already been devoted to the invention of selfhood and modern individuality in the late- eighteenth century, but there remains an open spot on that shelf for this thoughtful collection to fill. By focusing on narcissism’s productive potential, within both German art and letters and the rise of modern subjectivity, the books’ contributors produce a valuable set of insights.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Alexander Mathäs is professor of German at the University of Oregon and author of Narcissism and Paranoia in the Age of Goethe and Der Kalte Krieg in der deutschen Literaturkritik: Der Fall Martin Walser.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Narcissism and the Self: An Introduction Alexander Mathäs 1

Part I Narcissism and the Senses

Narcissism and the Sublime Alexander Mathäs 19

Narcissism, the Self, and Empathy: The Paradox that Created Modern Literature Fritz Breithaupt 39

Part II Narcissism and Morality

Self-Reflection and Knowledge of Self in Hamann's Early Philosophical and Aesthetic Writings F. Corey Roberts 61

Narcissistic Investments and Transformations in Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel's Lebensläufe nach aufsteigender Linie and Über die Ehe Ann Schmiesing 85

"Some Day My Prince Will Come": Fürstenspiegel and the Bourgeois Writer Gail K. Hart 109

Part III Over and Against Freud

Werthers Sentimental Narcissism: Consciousness, Communication, and the Origin of the Modern Psyche Edgar Landgraf 127

"I suffered and I loved": Narcissism and Abject Desire in Goethe's "Confessions of a Beautiful Soul" Susan Gustafson 151

Part IV Reading and Writing Narcissism

Textual Narcissism in Kleist's "Über das Marionettentheater" Richard Block 171

That Specter in My Name: Writing and Its Mirror Effects in Hoffmann and Poe Martin Klebes 195

Notes on Contributors 217

Index 219

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)