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Modern Narcissus: the lingering reflections of myth in modern art

Loreti, Silvia Modern Narcissus: the lingering reflections of myth in modern art. Papers of Surrealism , 9. pp. 1-29. ISSN 1750-1954 (2011)

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Why has myth continued to fascinate modern artists, and why the myth of Narcissus, with its modern association with narcissism? This article considers the relationship between the Narcissus myth and the lineage of modern art that runs from Symbolism to surrealism through the polymorphous prism of the Greco-Roman Pantheon to which Narcissus belongs. The article offers an interpretation of the role of mythology in modern art that moves beyond psychoanalysis to incorporate the longer span of the art-historical tradition. Addressing issues of aesthetics, gender and sexuality, the following account highlights Narcissus‟s double nature as an erotic myth that comprises both identity formation and intersubjectivity, as enacted in the field of representation. The myths associated with Narcissus in the history of Western art will help us reconsider his role as a powerful figure capable to activate that slippage between word and image, identity and sociability, representation and reality which was celebrated by the Symbolists and formed the centre of the surrealists‟ social-aesthetic project.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Users 38 not found.
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2012 13:36
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2013 14:20
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/1289

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