''The self,'' St. Augustine believed, ''is an abyss.'' By denying the limits of the self, one is cast into an unfathomable narcissism, blind to the power of the natural world of Creation and severing the capacity for vulnerability and human connection. Cultural critic Christopher Lasch, reversing the metaphor, calls this the ''flight from feeling,'' an image that resonates throughout his body of work. Until his death in 1994, Lasch consistently brought a profound historical and moral wisdom to the discussions of society, politics, gender and family. In The Culture of Narcissism
(and The Minimal Self
), he reveals the way modern American culture feeds the narcissism of the individual, erasing a sense of history in favor of ''living in the now,'' thereby shifting the definition of education, family and work from a process of continuing the sacrifice and love of predecessors to one that embraces the idea of ''living for yourself.'' Our copies are new, previously unpurchased, but show sunfading to foredges of text block.
An Eighth Day View:
Faced with an escalating arms race, rising crime and terrorism, environmental deterioration, and long-term economic decline, people have retreated from commitments that presuppose a secure and orderly world. In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self-concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a search for psychic survival.