Millennial Narcissism as a Problem of Social Recognition

Good stuff from a fellow blogger

Daniel Tutt

Narcissus is a comedy in so far as what I am giving to the other is myself, what I recognize in the other, what I love in the other, is myself. This is the object outside of itself. – Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, The Freudian Subject

The recent obsession with millennial narcissism has become a bit more nuanced in popular culture.  Many writers and journalists are now pointing out the a-historic nature of critics who declare today’s young people to hold a monopoly on self-love compared to previous generations. Speaking of historical origins of narcissism in America, what about the self-love espoused by the transcendentalists and romantics? There was no shame in their self-love. It was as if the whole world could come into a mystical union with the self. But today, Walt Whitman’s politics of the self in Leaves of Grass and Democratic Vistas appears as a very vague, mystical notion.

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