Compiled by Hessel Willemsen
Kimmel, K. A. Eros and the Shattering Gaze: Transcending Narcissism.
Carmel: Fisher King Press, 2011. Pp. ix + 297. Pbk. £ 21. 00
Kimmel’s theory on the transcendence of narcissism is based on the work of two men, Jung and the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. Kimmel draws on Jung’s concept of the ego’s primitive identification with the negative or overly positive aspects of the mother. Kimmel also focuses on the puer aeturnus and the relationship with the senex, the old man. His use of Jungian concepts is characterized by contemporary analytic psychology. He argues for example that narcissistic defences develop before the complex itself arises. Levinas’s theory is important because he provides insight into the belief that the self is the only reality. The other is unknowable and can only be glimpsed intersubjectively. The awareness of ‘the face of the human other’ opens the narcissistic wounding to consciousness. This relational book evidences a great deal of integrity, revealed in clinical examples, giving
hope to the emotional struggle related to narcissism.
0021-8774/2013/5804/583 © 2013, The Society of Analytical Psychology
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