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Pierrot

A cautionary tale about not loving.

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"The Second Story Of Echo And Narcissus":

The story you know is that Narcissus was so beautiful that everyone wanted to be with him, but he rejected them all: no, no, no, no, no, not good enough.

[...]

You think Narcissus was so in love with himself that he couldn't love anyone else. But that's not what happened, the story clearly tells it in the reverse: he never loved anyone and then he fell in love with himself. Do you see? Because he never loved anyone, he fell in love with himself. That was Narcissus's punishment.

You thought Narcissus rejected all those people because he was in love with himself, but he rejected them all before he loved himself. Loved himself? Do you think Narcissus rejected them because he thought he was better than them? Or better looking? How would he have known he was so beautiful? He didn't even recognize his own reflection! He rejected all those people because they loved him.

[...]

What did Narcissus do when he saw something beautiful in that pool? He fantasized and dreamed all the different possibilities of that person, all the things that person could be to him. He didn't stay there for years because the reflection had pretty hair. He stayed because daydreaming takes a lot of time.

[...]

At the beginning, Echo was watching him, hidden, but Narcissus sensed someone was there, and he was excited by it. "Come!" he called. "Come," she could only echo, and stayed hidden, which only made him want her more. What mystery is this? He couldn't see her but he could hear her voice, and in that unfathomable voice was incarnated all the possible loves he could imagine. It helped that this mysterious woman knew just what to say to him. She was perfect for him in every way, she was the cause of his desire.

And then she came out from hiding, and he saw her.

Was she beautiful? Undoubtedly. But the moment he saw her he wretched, "Blech-- better death than should you have all of me!"

What was so wrong with her? It wasn't just that she may have been shorter or heavier than he had imagined. What was wrong was in that instant he experienced her, she stopped being anything else.

[...]

The moral of the story of Narcissus, told as a warning for the very people who refuse to hear it as such, is that how Narcissus came to be is irrelevant. What was important was what he did, and what he did---- was nothing.

The whole article is worth reading, it's not a nice one but the useful ones never are. I think this shows how the study of fiction (films, books, etc) are so important, so that we can look at us, our projections and reflections, from a 'outsider' perspective and perhaps use them to grow and change.

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