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Finlay-de Monchy, M. (1995). Narcissism: pathology of the post-modern self or healthy and socially progressive investment of the interests of self-centered subject-hood? For Robert Young. Free Associations, 5(4):453-482.

(1995). Free Associations, 5(4):453-482

Articles

Narcissism: pathology of the post-modern self or healthy and socially progressive investment of the interests of self-centered subject-hood? For Robert Young

Marike Finlay-de Monchy

Introduction

Recently, there has been a host of works dealing with the theory of the subject in the light of certain social phenomena referred to as post-modernity and seen to be cultural extensions or generalizations of what were previously labelled as individual pathologies. The sickness is now seen to be not only in the individual but also, and worse still, to have spread epidemically to large groups in society, even to a cultural Geist. By way of example, I will refer primarily to one such case, which Free Associations has asked me to review, David Michael Levin's edited collection of essays, Pathologies of the Modern Self: Post-Modern Studies on Narcissism, Schizophrenia and Depression (1987). This book has two sets of texts, at least on the surface: (1) those dealing with an epistemic critique of the institutions of pathology, i.e., the physical and disciplinary sites of its emergence; and (2) those dealing with the possibility of the emergence of a self different from the modern self and its positive and negative implications.

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