The Soul of Narcissism

1st Edition

Christian Fierens

Routledge
February 22, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 120 Pages
ISBN 9780367132781 - CAT# K407222

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Summary

The notion of narcissism introduced by Sigmund Freud has become a victim of its own success. On the one hand, with its emphasis on self-love and new forms of well-being, it can take the form of a celebration of the self. On the other, with its range of negatively associated character traits, it has given rise to a burgeoning field of narcissistic pathologies.

But The Soul of Narcissism argues that both perspectives represent impoverished and superfluous forms of narcissism, obscuring the vibrant notion that Freud put in place to question the very heart of psychoanalytic practice. This book proceeds by examining Freud’s introduction of narcissism in its historical context as a movement of reflexion on the clinical practice of psychoanalysis, advancing a close reading of Freud’s writings that led up to his seminal paper "On Narcissism: An Introduction". Against the trend of current perceptions, it re-establishes narcissism as a methodology of reflexion upon clinical practice and theory, whose very motor is the unconscious.

In this way narcissism is restored to its fundamental place in psychoanalysis, rich with all of the life of the drives. This reinvigorated notion of narcissism will be of interest not just to students and practitioners of psychoanalysis, but also to all who draw upon Freud’s study of narcissism.

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