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This is the Age of the Narcissist

In "The Era of the Narcissist," Aaron Kheriaty points out the self-absorption of our era:

Of all the amazing features of the medieval cathedrals, one feature stands out as very strange to the modern mind: We have no idea who designed and built them. The architects and builders did not bother to sign their names on the cornerstones. People today might ask, Why build the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres if you can't take credit for it? No lasting fame? No immortalized human glory? We're perplexed by the humility of these forgotten artists who labored in obscurity. Do and disappear? This is not how we roll in the America of the twenty-first century.
All this humility and anonymity began to change during the Enlightenment. For example, when Jean-Jacques Rousseau's wrote his book Confessions in 1789 he dedicated it "to me, with the admiration I owe myself." The book opens with these lines: "I have entered upon a performance which is without example, whose accomplishment will have no imitator. I mean to present my fellow-mortals with a man in all the integrity of nature; and this man shall be myself." In contrast, the 4th century Christian thinker Augustine's Confessions (Rousseau ripped off Augustine's title) gives all glory to God, as in his opening line from the Book of Psalms: "Great thou art, and greatly to be praised." As much as we might admire Augustine's humility, Rousseau's language sounds more familiar. "To me, with the admiration I owe myself" is a dedication that would look right at home today on social media.

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