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Echo

Spivak, Gayatri C.

I started to think specifically about Narcissus when I came across Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism. The book seemed such an attack on the few social gains made by feminism. Yet Narcissus was a boy! What seemed particularly unjust was the description of the young executive as "the happy hooker." (The word Yuppie had not yet come into the common language.) Prostitutes, however, were already organizing precisely because their class-position was rather different from that of young executives. I turned to Freud and found that he too had located the richest examples of narcissism among women, especially women unfulfilled by the secondary narcissism of motherhood. Where was Echo, the woman in Narcissus's story? My essay is an attempt to "give woman" to Echo, to deconstruct her out of traditional and deconstructive representation and (non)representation, however imperfectly.

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Title
New Literary History

More About This Work

Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
Publisher
Johns Hopkins University Press
Published Here
March 17, 2015