Letter From An Alien: Subject/Object/Narcissist?
Posted: December 5, 2011 in Letters From An Alien, Writing
Tags: Barthes, Letters From An Alien
In Barthes’ Lover’s Discourse he says that the ‘amorous subject’ suffers from an overload of empathy. In one sense it is the opposite of narcissism as the amorous subject focuses on the ‘loved object’ more than himself (Barthes always uses ‘he’ and ‘him’) but in another sense ‘love’ in the constructed sense of the word, is all about reflecting back on the self. There is this devestating bit in the book where he basically says every time you think you care about how your ‘loved object’ feels you are kidding yourself. You only care about how he feels in relation to you.
It really hit home to me.
But after reading it I was with Barthes all the way. He positioned himself as the ‘amorous subject’ and that seemed to me like the font of his creativity and knowledge and writing and work. If you are always the ‘object’ of someone else’s affections, it is a very passive role. What do you actually do?
This subject made me recall this, one of the first conversations I had with Mark Simpson, king of metrosexual narcissism, on his blog in 2010:
QRG: ‘Classic Pushy Bottom’ is a classic phrase!
MS: Well, I’ve enough experience of that particular species to recognise one when it pushes back at me – in Widescreen
QRG: Maybe the ‘Classic Pushy Bottoms’ and the ‘Classic Passive Tops’ should get together in a (very large) room and fight it out amongst themselves. With the cameras rolling of course, for the rest of us to enjoy the carnage.
MS: Oops, I think I may have already appeared in that movie….