The Return of Mythic Voice in the Aporias of Narcissism: Pleshette DeArmitt’s Ethical Idea

Sara Beardsworth


The ordeal of mourning, being so much harder than any thought its experience may deliver, bears out the impression developed in Julia Kristeva’s opening to The Severed Head—that thought is swift. She has recognized as well as anyone the interplay of blindness and insight. Nothing brings all this into starker evidence than the premature death of a loved other, a friend, or a true assistant in life and thought. There is a reminder in this that the new narratives of subjectivity on which Kristeva places a high value, and certainly the long life of meaning in the world, come at the price of the loss and mourning of our loved others. Pleshette DeArmitt’s book, The Right to Narcissism: A Case for an Im-possible Self-Love, has given the condition of narcissism an intricate place in this difficult if promising work.



Narcissism; Derrida; Freud; Kristeva

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