Writing nearly 100 years ago in Mourning and Melancholia, around 1915 – 1917, Freud was developing his ideas about narcissism. He was able to push his thinking further by exploring the difference between normal mourning and pathological melancholia. Freud’s thinking on this topic contributed to his formulation of super ego and the sense of guilt, … [Read more…]
Ambition and Shame: Narcissism in the film “Capote”
The movie dramatizes the risk and cost of this work. The writing of the book, his artistic endeavour, takes over Capote’s life. His relationship with the murderer Perry Smith overshadows his relationship with his lover and all others. In Perry Smith, Capote sees something to fascinate his readers, but also a darker image of his own temperament. The movie portrays Smith seduced, betrayed and immortalized by the writer’s attention and, again according to the Times review, “unflinchingly faces the moral abyss at the heart of the journalistic enterprise”. Capote’s great literary success with the book achieved one ambition for him, that of acknowledged, high voltage professional admiration for work that was unique and groundbreaking, in a league by itself; while his abandonment of his moral code meant failure of another, apparently for Capote a more important goal: his ego ideal of goodness and compassion. The arch between these provides the tension in the movie.