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Introduction: Narcissus and the Wounded Self

  • Nicholas Ealy
Chapter
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

This chapter presents narcissism and selfhood within the context of medieval French literature. Exploring Ovid’s myth of Narcissus, the dominant paradigm for selfhood in this literature, it examines the tale of how this boy, after falling in love with an image incapable of answering him, understands himself to be a subject doomed by frustrated longing, wounds himself and then dies. The construct of selfhood present within the medieval literature influenced by Ovid’s myth, relayed through discussions of Bernart de Ventadorn’s poetry and Guillaume de Lorris’s Romance of the Rose, bases itself upon the wound resulting from unrequited love for an image that undercuts the lover’s body. The wounded self therefore becomes the lens through which the literature this book treats is examined.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Ealy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HartfordWest HartfordUSA

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