Selfish {self.E}

The Century of the Self

The Century of the Self is a 2002 documentary made and produced by Adam Curtis. It considers the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful mean of persuasion for both governments and multinational corporations. It consists of four parts:

01. — The Happiness Machine
02. — The Engineering of Consent
03. — The Policemen Inside our Heads
04. — People Sipping Wine

A while ago I wrote a post about how Instagram etc. is changing the way humans interact with the wilderness and sites of beauty and/or historic importance:

Wilderness-Lost--02

Wilderness-Lost--03


Wilderness Ruined

Today, I read a bit more about Instagram and how it seemingly deeply interferes with a great many of our psyches:

“Infinite scroll: life under Instagram”
by Dayna Tortorici (31 January, 2020)
The Guardian
 
“Why the New Instagram It Girl Spends All Her Time Alone”
by Dayna Tortorici (16 October, 2019)
The Atlantic
 
Tavi Gevinson’s Life on Instagram
by Lauren Starke (16 September, 2019)
New York Magazine

Here’s an interesting thing…

psyche means the human soul, mind, or spirit.
 
psychology means the scientific study of the mind.
 
Psyche [Ψυχη] however, is a name too. Only now did I know.

Psyche Abandoned, by Jacques Louis David (1795)
“Psyche Abandoned”
by Jacques-Louis David (1795)

^ look at her eyes, I mean, gaze into them and wonder the reason for why — my man’s eyes are a gorgeous green / my woman’s eyes are a beautiful brown — once you’ve done your wondering, I’ll tell you the reason for Psyche’s tear weary eyes. It is this: the flight of Cupid. Unfortunately, his sudden departure was something that she unintentionally caused. You see, despite having been forbidden as a mortal to look upon the god, Psyche could not resist discovering who her nighttime lover was and what he looked like (she knew well his sublime amorous moves and sweet wettening whispered words). So as Cupid slept, she gazed upon him by the light of an olive oil fueled lamp (Moby Dick wouldn’t be for another two millennia…). Mesmerised by his beauty, she accidentally spilled a drop or two of that warm frankincense incensed Kalamata oiive oil upon his naked torso. As a consequence, Cupid — for that was his name — woke and was compelled by God’s command to retreat back to the heavenly abode from whence he cometh.

Good thing is — I guess, yes — our dear Psyche became a god and lived happily ever after:

“Psyche Receiving Cupid’s First Kiss”
by François Gérard (1798)

I love

& I hate

Some may wonder how…

“How can it be both, Anna?”

Alas, I know not the why nor the how.

Anglophile? Me? You’re dreaming Darlin’

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Stockholm syndrome

‘F’ me! ‘F’ me! ‘F’ me!
is this… is this…
me?

DEF.

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response.

It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers.

This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse.

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Love will tear us apart;
You’ve stolen my heart.
1) The second coming: Am I Dreaming?
2) Did I ruin you?
3) The second coming: Am I Dreaming?
4) Have you ruined me?
5) The second coming: Am I Dreaming?
6) A new beginning? The final ending?
Love will tear us apart;
You’ve stolen my heart.


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Mary Ann Evans

[English | 1819–1880]

a.k.a., George Eliot

Mary Ann Evans was a philosopher, journalist and translator before she became a novelist. Her first book of stories was published in 1856. She led an unconventional life, co-editing the liberal journal Westminster Review for three years and living with the married man and philosopher George Henry Lewes. Her novels, in particular, Middlemarch, are acclaimed for their realism and psychological insights.

Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love.

Mary Ann used the pen name George Eliot to write her novels because at that time in history female novelists were seen as only capable of being romantic authors. Thus, the argument goes, she wanted to be taken seriously as a writer, so felt that using a man’s name would afford her the credit.

What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?

Middlemarch

— 1871, Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons.

Today it is widely considered to be the case that her novels are amongst the greatest works of English literature produced in the 19th c.

Middlemarch contains all of life: the rich and the poor, the conventional and the radical, literature and science, politics and romance, but above all it gives us a vision of what lies within the human heart, the roar on the other side of silence. In the story, Dorothea is bright, beautiful and rebellious. Lydgate is the ambitious new doctor in town. Both of them long to make a positive difference in the world. But their stories do not proceed as expected and both they, and the other inhabitants of Middlemarch, must struggle to reconcile themselves to their fates and find their places in the world.

Adam Bede

— 1859, Edinburgh: John Blackwood.

In this novel, the protagonist is Adam Bede, a wood worker, who is in love with the beautiful Hetty Sorrel, but unknown to him, he has a rival, in the local squire’s son Arthur Donnithorne. Hetty is soon attracted by Arthur’s seductive charm and they begin to meet in secret. The relationship is to have tragic consequences that reach far beyond the couple themselves…

The Mill on the Floss

— 1860, Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons.

In this novel, we meet Maggie Tulliver, a young lady who worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family. As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires is painfully played out as she finds herself torn between her relationships with three very different men: her proud and stubborn brother; hunchbacked Tom Wakem, the son of her family’s worst enemy; and the charismatic but dangerous Stephen Guest. … choice-overload, right?

Romola

— 1863, London: Smith, Elder & Co.
This is said to be one of Eliot’s most ambitious and imaginative novels. It is set in Renaissance Florence during the turbulent years following the expulsion of the powerful Medici family during which the zealous religious reformer Savonarola rose to control the city. At its heart is Romola, the devoted daughter of a blind scholar, married to the clever but ultimately treacherous Tito whose duplicity in both love and politics threatens to destroy everything she values, and she must break away to find her own path in life.

Felix Holt, the Radical

— 1866, Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons.

The novel centres around a lady called Esther. When the young nobleman Harold Transome returns to England from the colonies with a self-made fortune, he scandalises the town of Treby Magna with his decision to stand for Parliament as a Radical. But after the idealistic Felix Holt also returns to the town, the difference between Harold’s opportunistic values and Holt’s profound beliefs becomes apparent. Forthright, brusque and driven by a firm desire to educate the working-class, Felix is at first viewed with suspicion but, as Esther discovers, his blunt words conceal both passion and deep integrity. Soon the romantic and over-refined Esther finds herself overwhelmed by a heart-wrenching decision: whether to choose Transome or Holt… ch- ch- choices — again 😦

It is never too late to be what you might have been.


p.s.
The Guardian view on George Eliot: a novelist for now
— Editorial
“It is 200 years since the birth of George Eliot, and her artistic virtues – humanity, honesty, seriousness – are more necessary than ever…”

Also, I wanna introduce to A.S. Byatt who has written a lot about George Eliot, is a well regarded literary critique (heart) and is a novelist in her own right and is, according to one essayist, “a gifted observer, able to discern the exact but minor details that bring whole worlds into being.”

Possession
It says ‘Romance’ and in some ways it is, but in others it is not…

Possession is not just a novel; it’s a collection of poetry, letters, journals and diaries, each with their own distinct voice. A tour de force of prose-wring skill, beyond the usual demands of fiction, written by a literary ventriloquist. The novel begins in the Reading Room in the London Library. Part-time research assistant Roland Michell, finds letters hidden inside a book. They were written by celebrated Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash to Cristobel LaMotte, a lesser-known writer, suggesting an adulterous affair…

📙 The Magic of Reality

O. J. ( as in, “Oh, Jay!” )

This book really and truly fascinated me:

The examples and illustrations are mind opening and mind blowing, respectively.

96
p. 96

Richard Dawkins (see full profile here) is an English evolutionary biologist, author and professor at Oxford University. His seminal work The Selfish Gene (1976), popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. Here are a few extracts from The Magic of Reality that I feel it is okay to share as editable .pdf files:

pp. 12-13 from ‘The Magic of Reality’ (Dawkins, 2011)


pp. 32-52 from ‘The Magic of Reality’ (Dawkins, 2011)


pp. 118-139 from ‘The Magic of Reality’ (Dawkins, 2011)


pp. 246-265 from ‘The Magic of Reality’ (Dawkins, 2011)