Narcissism (Freudian Concept) (733 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


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Where narcissism has been generally considered a negative trait in Western thought - and sometimes as a particular tendency of women - Freud proposes in his paper “On Narcissism: An Introduction” (1914) that certain aspects of narcissism are necessary to the maturation of the self, and to self-preservation. He argues that narcissism is not a perversion but a normal feature of sexual maturation which arises as a function of “the libidinal complement of the instinct of self-preservation, a measure of which may be justifiably attributed to every living creature.” (66) Narcissism is “primary or normal” and results from the attachment of our innate auto-erotic instincts to particular objects (69) for the purpose of …

Clark, Robert. "Narcissism (Freudian Concept)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 February 2007
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Psychoanalysis