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Rush, S. (2000). At One with Death: Destructive Narcissism. Psychoanal Q., 69(4):711-740.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 69(4):711-740

At One with Death: Destructive Narcissism

Stephen Rush, Ph.D.

In this paper, narcissism is considered to be the relation of self with an idealized internal object, and Narcissus's romance with his reflection is taken to be a two-party affair. Destructiveness, an inborn capability, is distinguished from destructive narcissism, a two-party situation between the self and a sadistic internal figure built on the idealization of power. Too often, only half the narcissistic pair is analyzed. The internal object becomes the persecutor of self, while the sadism of self, projected onto the persecutor, goes unanalyzed. This paper takes up a clinical solution: how the analysis can seize the destructive internal object and resolve it down to its nucleus, the self.

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