W.H. Auden

“Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful but because it is his. If it were his beauty that enthralled him, he would be set free in a few years by its fading.

"After all," sighed Narcissus the hunchback, "on me it looks good.

The contemplation of his reflection does not turn Narcissus into Priapus: the spell in which he is trapped is not a desire for himself but the satisfaction of not desiring the nymphs.

"I prefer my pistol to my p…," said Narcissus; "it cannot take aim without my permission" – and took a pot shot at Echo.”


W.H. Auden, The Dyer's Hand
tags: narcissism
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The Dyer's Hand The Dyer's Hand by W.H. Auden
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