what artist

This from Eric Maisel’s wonderfully intelligent essay on narcissism.

Hamilton (1988) makes the following observation: “People with narcissistic disorders are often talented, charming, and successful. Yet their poor integration of the grandiose and devalued aspects of themselves bring about preoccupation with extravagant success fantasies and expletive behavior accompanied by underlying feelings of meaninglessness and emptiness.” But isn’t healthy narcissism also likely to breed extravagant success fantasies? What is “unhealthy” about wanting a lot? And why shouldn’t just good reality-testing and a keen intelligence provoke feelings of meaninglessness and emptiness? 

Go, Maisel! Good reality-testing, indeed. I have often tried to say that last sentence quoted above, and failed to get the point across. (because when I say it, it sounds more like I’m waving my pom-poms for nihilism.)

“High self-esteem is no sweet, light affair: it necessarily casts a shadow on the world, because mattering is a demanding, confrontational state of being.”


8 Responses to “what artist”

  1. Jo



    Word up!
    I especially enjoy the “expletive behavior.”

  2. Rook



    OK, I’m still stuck on the part about waving your pom-poms for nihilism. It leaves a bizarre picture in my mind. (“Yay! Yay! Go, nobody! It just doesn’t matter! No one cares!”)

  3. badgerbag



    Squid, you drew me a legless amphibian. Can you draw us all a picture of the Nihilist Pep Squad?

  4. Jo



    Don’t you think they’d all just sleep through the Event, or smoke cigarettes and sit around on the sidelines with their feet up? Play with matches as the basketball players swept by?

  5. badgerbag



    for sure they’d be smoking. and there might be absinthe and an indefinable air of ennui. they would all have “0″ sweatshirts…

  6. squid



    Wouldn’t the pep squad be their hangers-on?

  7. badgerbag



    is pep squad and cheerleaders not the same thing? woe, i expose my abysmal ignorance.

  8. squid



    They are the same thing. I meant that the people sucking up to the real nihilists would be the only ones willing to do the cheering, methinks.

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