Sunday, January 20, 2013

Read me, Seymour

I am beginning to think that blogging is inherently narcissistic. It isn't just that it invokes the vain belief and, I admit,  the occasional expectation that anyone wants to hear what I have to say but that it taps into a time honored tradition of narcissism within writing - the belief that the printed word can transcend death and achieve a measure of immortality.

I am fully familiar with the Woody Allen quote to the effect that he does not want to achieve immortality through his works but wants to through not dying.  Yes, sure.  But in the meanwhile, all this blather on the even virtual page is just so much thrashing and kicking in the hope that once I am gone there will be some part of me that lives on - that I  made a semi permanent mark on the fabrics of society and time and space.  And that belief is the heart of narcissism, the sense that I have found some way to overcome what should doom us all as the great equalizer/fertilizer.

And if I spend all my free time crafting an online identity or three and fighting against the tide of ignorance creeping around the corner in the Internet this is only secondarily because stupidity is a personal affront to me.  Primarily it is a chance for me to lay down more roots to validate and extend my existence beyond this fragile and ultimately transient shell.  So when something gloriously tragic,  romantically violent (and,  I hope, miraculously painless) sweeps me off my living feet in, say, 75 years,  and the myth makers on the left coast decided to find out what made me tique (yes,  I am being that pompous) there will be threads galore online which they can use to weave the fiction that was my life. Ah,  narcissism.

All this on my phone,  at 3:45 in the morning when I have to be up in 3 hours.


  1. By your definition, almost any worthwhile activity could be called narcissism. We raise families so we our children and grandchildren etc will live after us. Narcissism. We teach for much the same reason. Narcissism. I remember our rabbis teaching us that when we quote someone in Torah their lips move in the grave. (See: does this make learning Torah a narcissistic act? Where does this end?

    I hope your blog and this comment can live on in cyberspace forever so future generations can gain pleasure from our narcissistic ravings.

  2. Any expression of self is, in that sense narcissism and this doesn't make the quest to defeat death a necessarily bad thing. Narcissus, while vain, certainly got his name in the papers.


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