Saturday, April 12, 2014

Portrait of the narcissist as a con artist

The pathological narcissist is described in the DSM-IV (1994), by Kohut (1977) and by Kernberg (1990). Kernberg (1990) notes that "the main characteristics of these narcissistic personalities are grandiosity, extreme self-centeredness, and a remarkable absence of interest in and empathy for others in spite of the fact that they are so very eager to obtain admiration and approval from other people" (228-229). He further describes such persons as being very envious of others' possessions or other's apparent contentment, emotionally shallow, seemingly unable to understand complex emotions exhibited by others and as displaying few emotions and being capable of feeling sad or depressed. What may look like depression when they are disappointed by others is anger, resentment and a desire for revenge instead of genuine sadness.
The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern by Nina W. Brown  

 Salvador Dalí ~ Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1937
[Tate Modern, London]

Soon after this painting was completed, Dali published a poem and essay entitled The Metamorphosis of Narcissus in which he related that in Catalonia the phrase “To have a bulb in the head” means to suffer from a psychological complex.  The painter then went on to state that “If a man has a bulb in the head it might break into flower at any moment.  Narcissus!” 
The Life and Masterworks of Salvador Dalí by Eric Shanes

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