Annie Reich's compensatory narcissist, Daniel K.
The psychoanalyst, Annie Reich, was the first to define the compensatory narcissistic type, and her analysand, Daniel K., serves as a good prototype. Reich wrote:
Daniel K. was a very accomplished writer who wrote one book after another, with marked success. But he did not feel gratified by this. Nothing he did was as grandiose as he wanted it to be. He would feel reassured, for a time, when he looked at his book shelf and counted: "Here are seven books I wrote, six volumes I edited; there are twenty-three articles I brought out in other people's publications; I am quoted so and so many times:--There are about two and a half feet of Mr. K. on the shelf." The phallic meaning of this little game was obvious. He had to reassure himself that his phallus was not only there, but of extraordinary size.
Daniel's life consisted to a large extent in behavior of this kind; he was constantly preoccupied with attempts to feel great and important. He was active in innumerable civic and cultural enterprises and had attained a leading position in his community. But neither this nor his prolific literary production nor his erotic successes sufficed to make him happy. He was a man of considerable talent, well informed, and rich in ideas. But frequently his writing was careless and superficial, not up to the level of his capacities, because he was driven to produce too fast. He could not wait for results, could not stand tension and unpleasure, although he knew better. He had an inner standard of quality for his work as well as the gift for it, but was unable to muster enough self-discipline to realize his potentialities. He had to have the immediate gratification of success. This need was so overwhelmingly strong that he had little control over it. He also was touchy, quick to take offense at the slightest provocation. He continually anticipated attack and danger, reacting with anger and fantasies of revenge when he felt frustrated in his need for constant admiration....
The narcissistic goal against which he measured himself was most clearly expressed by his fantasies in puberty: he would see himself successively as the Mayor of New York City, the President of the United States, and as the president of the world, until he had to stop with the painful question: "And then what?" Later, he wanted to be the outstanding genius of his time. Of course, no success in reality could measure up to such limitless inner demands, and his state of dissatisfaction was all the more intensified because he had to sacrifice more mature superego demands in reaching out for his illusory aims.
...Daniel continually felt not only slighted, unloved, unappreciated by others, but also awkward, embarrassed, and "self-conscious." Moreover, he harbored severe anxieties regarding his state of health. He was forever anticipating early death from cancer or heart attack, etc., and anxiously watched himself for signs of disease....(46-47)
Reich uses Edith Jacobson's definition of self-esteem:
[Jacobson] considers self-esteem to be the expression of discrepancy or harmony between self-representation and the wishful concept of the self.
Or, to put it differently: in the course of growing up, we must learn to evaluate our potentialities and accept our limitations, continued hope for the impossible represents an infantile wish, revealing a basic lack of ability to face inner and outer reality. Self-esteem thus depends on the nature of the inner image against which we measure our own self, as well as on the ways and means at our disposal to live up to it. That this inner image is influenced by many factors, especially by the particular form of the superego, is obvious. Living up sufficiently to the demands of one's superego is a mature form of self-esteem regulation (45-46).
This definition is like William James's formula for self-esteem which accompanies his discussion of the problem of self-esteem in The Principles of Psychology.
Reich, Annie, (1986). Pathological forms of self-esteem regulation. In Morrison, A. P., (Ed.), Essential Papers on Narcissism. pp. 44-60. Reprint from (1960) Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. Vol. 15, pp. 205-32.
Noteworthy examples of the Inventive personality type
Many people (and not just those of the Inventive personality type) have inventive traits or behave in a inventive manner. The traits and behaviors of the Inventive personality type are not so inflexible and maladaptive or the cause of such significant subjective distress or functional impairment as to constitute
Compensatory Narcissistic personality disorder
The noteworthy examples of the Inventive personality type are examples of a *type*, not of a disorder. It is my opinion that the ideal type which is described above is best characterized as inventive, and that the Inventive personality type represents the pervasive and enduring pattern of the personalities of the people listed below better than any other type.
- Clusty // Clustering
- Invention: Enhancing inventiveness for quality of life, competitiveness, and sustainabilty
With all that as backdrop, what makes the inventive mind inventive? Studies in cognitive
science disclose that highly inventive people consistently display a range of abilities and
character traits. While this pattern can be organized in several ways, one way of
representing it is as a kind of map (see diagram) with a central region representing the
essence of inventive thinking, a surrounding region of characteristics that directly support
inventive thinking, and an outer region representing important social aspects of inventive
enterprise that the inventor needs to function effectively. In particular, at the core, the
inventive mind displays transgressive cognition, meaning a tendency to cross boundaries
in various ways, and a practical-technological orientation. Both of these characteristics
receive support from technical knowledge, dogged persistence, and a systematic and
strategic frame of mind, and further depend on socially oriented capabilities concerning
collaboration, leadership and coordination, market sensitivity, and entrepreneurship and
- Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind - imagination
"Traditionally, the mental capacity for experiencing, constructing, or manipulating 'mental imagery' (quasi-perceptual experience). Imagination is also regarded as responsible for fantasy, inventiveness, idiosyncrasy, and creative, original, and insightful thought in general, and, sometimes, for a much wider range of mental activities dealing with the non-actual, such as supposing, pretending, 'seeing as', thinking of possibilities, and even being mistaken."
The Word Spy - egoboo
egoboo (EE.goh.boo) n. Recognition and praise for a task well done, particularly a task that is performed for free. Also: ego-boo.
"In science-fiction-fan-speak there's a phenomenon called 'egoboo.'...It means a boost in reputation. Hackers operate in a gift economy in which giant-size egos compete with one another for attention and reputation on the Net. If you do something cool, like reduce the length of a subroutine by 50 percent, you score major egoboo."
�Mark Frauenfelder, "Man Against the FUD," LA Weekly, May 21, 1999
All human, anthropogenetic desire--the desire that generates self-consciousness, the human reality--is, finally, a function of the desire for "recognition." And the risk of life by which the human reality "comes to light" is a risk for the sake of such a desire. Therefore, to speak of the "origin" of self-consciousness is necessarily to speak of a fight to the death for "recognition."
--Alexandre Koj趥, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, quoted in The End of History and the Last Man (pg. 143) by Francis Fukuyama.
"Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been: namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir" - Friedrich Nietzsche.
I hypothesize that the personality theories of personality theorists best describe themselves and those of their own type.
Erik H. Erikson
Reinhold Niebuhr: A Biography
Reinhold Niebuhr's biographer, Richard Fox, highlighted Robert Calhoun's critique of Niebuhr's The Nature and Destiny of Man:
"Robert Calhoun, historical theologian at Yale and fellow member of the Younger Theologians (now, in deference to the onset of middle age, renamed the Theological Discussion Group), made the most trenchant critiques of The Nature and Destiny of Man. He rightly observed that it was a prophetic, not a scholarly, work. "No cautious weigher of evidence here," he wrote, "but a preacher expounding the Word in line with his private revelation. . . . Other authors, Christian and nonChristian . . . are swiftly divided into sheep and goats. The former are treated with enthusiasm and insight, the latter dismissed as not worth much bother. Swiftness is the word always." Calhoun saw to the heart of Niebuhr's enterprise. The selective mining of the Christian tradition to illuminate and dramatize his personal vision: the prophets (especially Amos and Isaiah) preferred to the Wisdom literature; Paul to the Synoptic Gospels; the "Hebraic" to the "Hellenistic," a bias Niebuhr inherited from Harnack; a "Protestant" to a "Catholic" Augustine; Kierkegaard as the modern seer. At a more fundamental level: the passionate intensity, the urgency to speak, the carelessness with detail, the impatience with logical consistency. Speak now, discriminate later. Always on the run, suitcase packed, in dread of passivity. Obsessed with delivering his message; there might not be enough time. A spiritual vocation with evident if obscure psychological roots" (pp. 203-204).
"Yet even Calhoun went out of his way to praise the book for its insight into the human condition. "The real ground of the author's doctrine is not what he has read but what has happened to him as a struggling self"; his reflections on the mysteries of selfhood "must become a permanent part of any reader's thinking." Niebuhr had managed the uncommon feat of dissecting the intricacies of the self while communicating his own sense of wonder at its secrets. Analysis framed by amazement. He marveled at the capacity of the self to step back and examine itself; he shook his head at the thought of "a spirit who can set time, nature, the world and being per se into juxtaposition to himself and inquire after the meaning of these things." The book displayed the wisdom of one who knew what it meant to pass beyond knowledge and see again with the eyes of a child. He found the prophetic voice he had been seeking: authoritative and humble. Understanding human nature meant probing its paradoxes--the creaturely creator, determined yet free, sinful but responsible--and reveling in its mysteries" (204).
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Some Notes on the Themes of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Compare Hemingway)
Central Theme: The corruption and failure of the American Dream, and the false and distorted forms in which that dream exists in the modern world.
"Art invariably grows out of a period when, in general, the artist admires his own nation and wants to win its
approval. . . . The greatest grow out of these periods as the tall heads of the crop." - F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes.
On that hot, fateful afternoon on the trip to the city, Daisy tells Gatsby that he always looks cool, that he resembles an advertisement. And he does. In him the inward confidence expresses itself in outer surfaces. He does not wear a mask, he becomes one. The inner self is expressed in the creation of an ideal role, and there is no distance between facade and self. When his dream world is shattered, Gatsby cannot experience disillusionment; he simply collapses (Lindberg, 1982, 138).
I didn't want you to think I was just some nobody. -- Jay Gatsby
Perhaps the most tragic element of Fitzgerald's saga was the desperate need of a first-rate writer to escape from his middle-class origins and pretend to be many of the things he was not - the war hero, the dazzling athlete, the passionate husband or lover, the intellectual author and concerned social observer (Mellow, 1984, xx).
"For what are the tragedies but the portrayal in tragic verse of the sufferings of men who have admired things external?" - Epictetus.
- Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald: Great Gatsby: Chapters 1 - 4 - Monarch Notes.
The Fragile "Enchantment":
The problem, of course, is that false identities do depend essentially
on externals, and the result is personal vacuum. Combined with Gatsby's
optimistic "faith" that every desire can be turned into reality with the right
stage-props, with the right gestures or "productions," there remains the
nagging fear, the inevitable panic resulting from the fact that the
"enchantment" itself can last only so long as the external appearance remains
intact. Given any change in external circumstances; given any sudden eruption
of crisis, or intrusion of real emotion, and the entire edifice must collapse;
the "enchantment" fades away like cheap neon light, and the result is . . .
nothing at all.
There is no room, in an Enchanted Palace, for the sordid demands and
necessary commitments of reality, and it is for this reason that Gatsby's
protection of Daisy at the end of the novel represents something far more
profound than chivalry; in protecting his Ideal, he is literally fighting for
his own survival. For Jay Gatsby has so "enchanted" his own vision that
without the enchantment he quite simply does not exist. Defined by externals,
there is nothing beneath the surface; without his "faith" in material
acquisition-the stage-props-as a means of securing his enchanted ideal, his
glowing "promise," there is nothing but the Valley of Ashes, with the yellow
eyes of Doctor Eckleburg peering over a desolated landscape from which all
the fairy-girls and golden hosts have long since fled.
That Gatsby does have the Ideal, however, at once defines his non-reality
and somehow redeems it as well, for it is by means of the Ideal that Gatsby
transcends his own materialism-unlike the merely gross flesh of a Tom
Buchanan. And it is for this reason that Nick, despite the fact that he finds
Gatsby absurd and even offensive, nevertheless remembers the "purity" of
Gatsby himself; the peculiar innocence and child-like hope, the sense of
wonder that Gatsby radiates even in his complete inability to distinguish
between truth and falsehood, between the real and unreal.
- Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald: Great Gatsby: Chapters 5 - 9 - Monarch Notes.
- Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Structure Of The Great Gatsby - Monarch Notes.
Fitzgerald's weakness of showing off
The attractive, egoistic, socially insecure boy now revealed a crucial lifelong flaw in his character which would hurt him as a writer. He had a weakness of showing off instead of listening and observing, and was unaware of the effect he had on others. "I didn't know till 15," Fitzgerald said, "that there was anyone in the world except me, and it cost me plenty." Two of his closest friends later criticized the narcissistic self-absorption that limited Fitzgerald's understanding of other men and women (Meyers, 1994, 10).
- Google Search: scott fitzgerald passion
- PTypes - F. Scott Fitzgerald: Self-appraisal
- Fitzgerald, F. Scott -- Site Map
- USC: F.Scott Fitzgerald Centenary Home Page
- Fitzgerald, F. Scott. 1920. This Side of Paradise - The Bartleby Library.
Excellent online text of Fitzgerald's first novel.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: biographical, literary, and critical fragments
I am not a great man, but sometimes I think the impersonal and objective quality of my talent, and the sacrifices of it, in pieces, to preserve its essential value has some sort of epic grandeur.
--F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Fitzgerald's 'Radiant World' - The New York Review of Books
- Almost A Masterpiece
Fitzgerald scholars have long known about the existence of an underlying version of The Great Gatsby,
but the text of this version has never been formally published or assessed. Now, seventy-five years
after the initial first appearance of Gatsby, this ur-text is to be issued for the first time by
Cambridge University Press. It will appear under the title Trimalchio as a volume in the
Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Editorial work on the project was
supported by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and by a travel
grant from the American Philosophical Society.
- Amory Blaine's Mirrors in Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise [Internet Archive]
College essay. Good typological insight and analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald's first autobiographical protagonist, Amory Blaine, a noteworthy example of the Compensatory Narcissistic personality type.
- The Great Gatsby Trivia Challenge
- Kill Devil Hill Fitzgerald chat and message board
- f.scott.fitzgerald narcissist OR narcissism OR narcissistic - Google Search
Lindberg, Gary H. The Confidence Man in American Literature.
New York: Oxford University, 1982.
Mellow, James R. Invented Lives: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
Meyers, Jeffrey. Scott Fitzgerald: a biography. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
If you tell me now I have no faith, you are perfectly right, only I did not have it before either. It is plain, isn't it, that when a man wants, as it were, to invent a machine for becoming decent, such a man has no faith. But what am I to do? I am clear about one thing: I am far too bad to be able to theorize about myself; in fact I shall either remain a swine or else I shall improve, and that's that! Only let's cut out the transcendental twaddle when the whole thing is as plain as a sock on the jaw (Monk, 152-53).
Ray Monk (278): There is no doubt that, though he regarded ethics as a realm in which nothing was sayable, Wittgenstein did indeed think and say a great deal about moral problems. In fact, his life might be said to have been dominated by a moral struggle - the struggle to be anst䮤ig (decent), which for him meant, above all, overcoming the temptations presented by his pride and vanity to be dishonest.
It is not true, as some of his friends have insisted, that Wittgenstein was so honest that he was incapable of telling a lie. Nor is it true that he had no trace of the vanity of which he was always accusing himself. Of course, to say this is not to claim that he was, by ordinary standards, either dishonest or vain. He most certainly was not. But there were, equally certainly, occasions on which his concern to impress people overcame his concern to speak that strict truth. In his diary he says of himself:
What others think of me always occupies me to an extraordinary extent. I am often concerned to make a good impression. I.e. I very frequently think about the impression I make on others and it is pleasant if I think that it is good, and unpleasant if not.
And though, in stating this, he is only remarking on something that is platitudinously true of all of us, yet he is also drawing attention to what he felt to be the biggest barrier between himself and anst䮤igkeit - namely, his vanity.
Monk, Ray (1990).Ludwig Wittgenstein: the duty of genius. New York: Penguin Books.
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