In praise of narcissism


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In today’s modern world where selfies and self-help books are in abundance, this needull looks at the moral dimension of narcissism.

Ours is a self-obsessed age. Modern life is an obstacle course littered with people snapping selfies at every corner. Bookshop shelves heave with self-help books.  And yet we publicly chastise the apparently vain and egotistical, outing them for their inability to conceal the self-concern of which we are all secretly guilty.  We prize modesty, humility and self-effacement.  But don’t those qualities also betray a certain discomfort with who we are, an instinct to downplay aspects of ourselves that we might otherwise cherish and seek to share?  The more images we take, the harder it seems to see ourselves as we really are.  And yet, isn’t there also something to be won in the endeavour to attend to ourselves more thoughtfully, making ourselves the subject of our probing enquiry?

The complete article

Shahida Bari — TLS

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