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The Myth of Narcissus as a Surreptitious Allegory about Creativity

Perhaps no myth is more misunderstood than the story of Narcissus, who is erroneously thought to be self-absorbed, egotistical, and vain. Adding to the confusion, a growth industry on narcissism has emerged in academic circles. case in point: Professor Daniel Ames of columbia business School devised a brief personality test with sixteen binary choices such as “I am going to be a great person” or “I hope I am going to be successful.”1 One student did so “well” that he boasted of his perfect score—a clear manifestation of disturbing egotism!2 In his way, Freud set the stage for this modern obsession with the self. He theorized that narcissists love either what they are, what they were, what they’d like to be, or someone who was once part of them3—leading them to treat their own bodies like sex objects (Freud, p. 3). Interpretations like these stretch beyond recognition the actual story, handed down by Ovid in Metamorphoses.4 As we will see, Narcissus is deluded rather than vain, and his tale functions as a curious allegory of an artist’s compulsive excursion into the self.

Portending the madness to come, Ovid tells us that Narcissus’s very conception was violent. The river god Cephisus rapes a water nymph named Liriope5 “in the folds of his sinuous stream.”6 From the outset, Narcissus’s heritage is insubstantial and fluid, literally and figuratively, despite his rare physical beauty. Liriope consults the blind prophet Teiresias to determine if the infant will enjoy a long life. “Yes,” he tells her, “so long as he never knows himself” (Ovid, p. 109)—an ironic reference to the “know thyself” edict at Delphi. Thus the boy’s longevity will depend on ignorance and delusion. [End Page 273]

As Narcissus grows to manhood, “legions of lusty men and bevies of girls” want to enjoy his body, but his “hard and proud” heart is unmoved (Ovid, p. 109). He sublimates his energy into hunting and blithely chases a deer into the nets, auguring the trap he will soon set for himself. Meanwhile, a mountain nymph named Echo has been watching. Like Narcissus’s mother, she has experienced the violence of the gods. We learn that Juno, the great Jupiter’s long-suffering queen, is suspicious of her straying husband and tries to catch him in the act with one of the mountain nymphs he favors. Echo takes it upon herself to distract the queen with an endless stream of chitchat so that Jupiter’s lover can escape unseen. Once Juno realizes that she has been deceived, she puts a curse of near silence on the chatterbox. From that point on, Echo can only repeat words that others have spoken, and just the last few at that.

Her voice may be compromised, but her lust for Narcissus is robust as it flares like sulfur near flame. She longs to express her passion, but cannot. Instead she has to “wait for the sounds which her voice could return to the speaker” (Ovid, p. 111). When Narcissus calls, “Is anyone there?” she can reply only, “One there.” She becomes his all-but-mute muse, reflecting only the last words of his remarks and deceiving him with the reproduction of his own voice. For Narcissus, this is solipsism at its worst: imprisonment in an aural womb of reverberation without inspiration. This “acoustic mirror,”7 returning his “fragmented thoughts… as enigmatic expressions,” in effect representing his unconscious.8

Despite this pathological introversion, Narcissus is nonetheless attracted to Echo. He calls out, “We must come together,” and Echo copies his words with evident joy in her voice. She bursts out of the forest with arms outstretched, but Narcissus reverts to form and recoils in horror. “May I die before you enjoy my body,” he tells her (Ovid, p. 111). Her ironic rejoinder is “enjoy my body.” Scorned and rejected, “with burning cheeks,” she withdraws to the forest to brood in secluded caves, where her skin shrivels and dessicates. At first she is reduced to a voice and bones, and finally to nothing but a voice as her skeleton turns to stone. She survives only as an echo—an amputated sound. Unfortunately for Narcissus, the disappearance of his inarticulate muse forecloses any sort of consummation. (It might be that their elemental natures simply clashed. With his “liquid” heritage, and Echo’s status as a mountain nymph, their failed union could have been a case of rock repelling water.)

Narcissus mocks his other admirers, nymphs and young men alike. One of the rejected lovers prays for a curse so that Narcissus “may fall [End Page 274] in love and never attain his desire” (Ovid, p. 112). Nemesis, the goddess of retribution, obliges. Narcissus stumbles upon the perfect vehicle for execution of the spell: “a clear, unmuddied pool of silvery shimmering water,” untouched by shepherds, bird, or beast, ringed with lush grass and shaded by trees. This retreat is a representation of the creator’s untroubled mind just prior to the initiation of a work.

Exhausted from hunting, Narcissus finds the place to his liking. He bends down to drink “but soon grew thirsty for something else.” He’s “overwhelmed by a vision of beauty” and falls in love with “an empty hope, a shadow mistaken for substance”—like a silhouette on the wall of the cave in Plato’s Republic. All he can do is gaze at the image in gloomy adoration. The eyes are “twin stars” and the hair “rippling curls like the locks of a god” (Ovid, p. 113). He divides in two, serving as devotee and idol, suitor and beloved, fire and candle. When he bends to kiss the elusive lover, the water shimmers and “betrays him”; when he stretches out his arms to grab the object of his desire, he finds only insubstantial liquid. Narcissus’s vision is just “a wraith … a reflection consisting of nothing.” Many centuries later Nietzsche’s Zarathustra could very well have been speaking of Narcissus when he said “the seduced seduces himself, to love the earth as the moon loved her”9 with an immaculate perception of all things. He asks for nothing, only “to lie prostrate before them like a mirror with a hundred eyes.”10 In this sense Narcissus is an artist manqué who can never capture any fantasy in concrete form. As the poet Clive Wilmer wrote, “Only reflection sanctifies … All mass is burden.”11

And here is the crux of the myth: Narcissus does not realize that he has fallen in love with himself. “He knows not what he is seeing; the sight still fires him with passion. … Trusting fool, how futile to woo a fleeting phantom” (Ovid, p. 113). One might argue that his stunning failure to comprehend the identity of the image in the pool underscores his egocentrism (he must really be vain if he doesn’t recognize his conceit!), but that skirts the central allegory: Narcissus falls into a potentially infinite regression of watching, then watching himself watching, etc. What better description of an iterative creative process, as the artist divides himself in two—into pursuer and pursued, vision and canvas? This is a quest that can never resolve itself. “Looking and longing is far from enough. I still have to find,” he cries (Ovid, p. 114), and he cannot.12 Nothing, neither hunger nor fatigue, can dissuade him from this absurd contemplation of that “fraudulent image of beauty,” an apparition that seduces and paralyzes him. Yet he still controls it, to a point, because its [End Page 275] existence depends on his solipsistic gaze. If he turns away, the reflection disappears. The pain is all the more poignant since “all that keeps us apart is a thin, thin line of water … The paltriest barrier thwarts our pleasure” (Ovid, p. 114).

Artist and object of creation, subject and predicate, are divided only by a delicate but impenetrable barrier. In falling in love with his own imagination, he “paints” on that thin layer. He tries to objectify or reify the visual echo, but succeeds only in theorizing himself, without realizing that he has done so. He cannot achieve that satisfying union of idea and expression, of concept and execution, and is condemned to a vain attempt to seize the unseizable. Like Eve in Paradise Lost, he finds himself at rest near “a liquid plain … pure as th’ expanse of heav’n … [a] clear smooth lake, that to me seemed another sky.”13 He does not reflect to live, he lives to reflect. When all energy turns inward, ontological development of the artwork stalls. It devolves into a claustrophobic unilateral contract, a “unigon,” or one-sided figure that is sadly incomplete. He sees the world in his peripheral vision, but recognizes that he cannot re-create it.

Narcissus is nothing but an overstimulated sense of sight—optic nerves writ large—at once seeing and seen, enamored of a mute vision as inarticulate as his muse: “When I read those exquisite lips, I can watch them gently repeating my words, but I can never hear you repeat them!” he says. He can only reiterate the silent patterns in his brain as he struggles to escape the endless reflection. If we believe Marshall McLuhan’s famous observation that the medium is the message,14 then we have to conclude that in Narcissus’s case medium, message, image, and body are one. He “adapt[s] to his extension of himself and … become[s] a closed system” (McLuhan, p. 51). In effect, he transforms into a “servomechanism” of his image (in the same way that a cowboy relates to his horse)—“amputating” his reflection because it was an intolerable irritant (McLuhan, pp. 52–55). Yet he cannot recognize himself in the external counterpart, so his suffering is intensified.

At long last, though, self-knowledge arrives for Narcissus: “I know you now and I know myself,” he says to the reflection. “Yes, I am the cause of the fire inside me.” Now, as the oracle prophesized, death must follow. If only he could unleash the object of his desire, if “I and my body could now be parted,” then he could unite with his vision. This is not possible, however. As “two soulmates in one, we shall face our ending together.” When Narcissus cries, “I wish my love were not here,” Ovid cannot help but editorialize that this is “a curious prayer for a lover.” [End Page 276] Perhaps it is more the plea of an artist who cannot release the creative force trapped inside his soul. Narcissus’s tears blur the image, as if the representational portrait had turned abstract. Consumed with lust, he rips his tunic aside and beats his chest in frustration. The reflection of the crimson bruises doubles the pain. As flame melts wax, and sun melts frost, he fades away, “slowly consumed by the fire inside him” (Ovid, p. 116), in an act of self-immolation caused by inspiration directed inward. Artist and “canvas” are disappearing together.

Echo augments his suffering by mimicking his sighs and the sounds of his self-inflicted blows. Then “death’s hand” closes his eyes, still intoxicated by their owner’s beauty. Even as he crosses the River Styx en route to the underworld, Narcissus leans over the bow of Charon’s boat to gaze at his beloved image, no doubt difficult to see in the black waters. Meanwhile, in the upper world, Echo’s fellow nymphs wail, and she reiterates their cries, perhaps as a final expression of Narcissus’s unconscious. They build a funeral pyre, but his body has disappeared. In its place they find a flower “with a trumpet of gold and pale white petals”—a plant we now call narcissus. He has finally become the beauty he could not create. Unfortunately, the transformation occurred after death.

As the poet Gustave Kahn notes, the essential aim of art is to “objectify the subjective” (to externalize an idea), not to subjectify the objective (to externalize a temperament),15 as Narcissus does to an extreme. The artist has a primordial need to assert himself through external objects, as Hegel suggests, so that he can recognize himself there as he imprints them with the “seal of his inner life.”16 In this way he can “divest the [outside] world of its stubborn alienation” (Hegel, p. 401) and enjoy the work as a separate and explicit configuration of his thoughts and identity. This is an effort to exalt his inner soul—and nature’s—in a “conscious embrace of [the] mind [where] he rediscovers himself” (Hegel, p. 401). Tbus the artist is acutely aware that the world is a discrete entity that can be enfolded into his own existence.

Narcissus is in effect his own art object, as he seeks to find the universal in that reflection in the pool. The water displays an unfiltered idea, what the poet Mauclair calls the “union of the knowing and the known, of the perception and the perceived.”17 As Steven Levine suggests in his thoughtful book Monet, Narcissus and Self-Reflection, Narcissus can be seen as the “disillusioned figure of flesh who now longs for the purity of disembodied thought” (Levine, p. 180), simultaneously body and sign, trying to live in “a continuous present” (Levine, p. 236). If, as Levine [End Page 277] says, Narcissus is the very apotheosis of the creative soul (Levine, p. 160) and the inventor of painting,18 then Monet was a latter-day incarnation, obsessively depicting his garden and pool at Giverny countless times: “This bit of water … is not two hundred meters around yet its image awakens in you the idea of infinity” (Levine, p. 235). For Maupassant, Monet’s “terrible combat” is redolent of Zola: “that superb and frightful battle of the artist with his Idea, with the picture glimpsed and unseiz-able” (Levine, p. 58).

Besides Monet, no modern artists come closer to the spirit, and the pathology, of Narcissus than nineteenth-century French poets. For instance, Gérard Nerval said he was feeding off his own substance without ever renewing himself; that he needed “to move beyond this tendency to record only my personal impressions” to avoid “turning in too narrow a cycle.”19 Narcissus redux. Nerval was in and out of the asylum, and eventually committed suicide by hanging himself with an apron string that he called the garter of the Queen of Sheba, because, in the words of his doctor, he came face to face with his madness.20 His statement “Je suis l’autre”21 (I am the other) would find its echo in Rimbaud’s “Je est un autre”22 (I is another), both describing a dual personality simultaneously in contemplation of itself and in conflict with itself. Rimbaud said the true poet must be a seer (voyant), in the literal sense of one who sees the unknown through “un long, immense et raisonné dérèglement de tous les sens” (a long, immense, and reasoned derangement of all the senses) (Rimbaud, p. 376). But Rimbaud’s version of the Narcissus myth was grotesque:

The first study of the man who wants to be a poet is the knowledge of himself, complete. He looks for his soul, inspects it, tests it, learns it. As soon as he knows it, he must cultivate it … so many egoists call themselves authors, there are many others who attribute their intellectual progress to themselves!—But the soul must be made monstrous: in the fashion of the comprachicos [kidnappers of children who mutilate them], if you will! Imagine a man implanting and cultivating warts on his face.

(Rimbaud, p. 377)

This is the obverse Narcissus,23 more like the Medusa, whose image is instantly fatal even to herself.24

Rimbaud was not yet thirteen when Baudelaire died, so it is safe to say the author of Les Fleurs du Mal never knew the younger man’s work, but he certainly knew Nerval’s. In fact, the two men were members of [End Page 278] the Club des Hashischins and no doubt sampled the weed together. Though Baudelaire expressed displeasure with the new medium of photography—claiming that it would encourage narcissism—he nonetheless explored the myth in a Nervalian vein in the poem Man and the Sea (my translation):

Homme libre, toujours tu chériras la mer!La mer est ton miroir; tu contemples ton âmeDans le déroulement infini de sa lame,Et ton esprit n’est pas un gouffre moins amer.

(Free man, you will always cherish the sea!The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soulIn the infinite rolling of her waves,And your spirit is no less bitter an abyss.)

Tu te plais à plonger au sein de ton image;Tu l’embrasses des yeux et des bras, et ton coeurSe distrait quelquefois de sa propre rumeurAu bruit de cette plainte indomptable et sauvage.

(You love to plunge into the breast of your image;You embrace it with eyes and arms, and your heartSometimes distracts itself with its own murmurIn the din of that indomitable and savage lament.)

Vous êtes tous les deux ténébreux et discrets:Homme, nul n’a sondé le fond de tes abîmes,O mer, nul ne connaît tes richesses intimes,Tant vous êtes jaloux de garder vos secrets!

(You’re both dark and discreet:Man, no one has sounded out the bottom of your depths,Oh sea, no one knows your intimate riches,How jealously you both guard your secrets!)

Et cependant voilà des siècles innombrablesQue vous vous combattez sans pitié ni remord,Tellement vous aimez le carnage et la mort,O lutteurs éternels, ô frères implacables! [End Page 279]

(And yet for these countless centuriesYou have fought one another without pity or remorse,How you love carnage and death,Oh eternal wrestlers, oh implacable brothers!)25

Here we have the Narcissus story in all its dialectical glory: Man freely cherishes the sea—the pool writ large—as a mirror in which he contemplates his own soul in the infinite, rolling waves. He loves to plunge into the breast of his own image, to embrace it fully, while his heartbeat mingles with the din of the ocean. Both man and ocean have unplumbed depths, untold riches, and jealously guarded secrets. Like brothers locked in a loving battle, they fight for all eternity, without pity or remorse, in a whirlpool of carnage and death. Not a happy vision of the creative mind, but we must take it seriously from a poet who was also an astute critic. He restates the Narcissus myth as a schizophrenic war between man and his image, or perhaps between painter and materials, writer and pen, fantasy and flesh. This is one of the most eloquent explanations of the plight of the introverted artist in the face of an indifferent world that serves as a counterpoint to his restless longings. As Sartre wrote in his critical study of Baudelaire, the poet could never forget himself: “He watched himself see” in order to “see himself watch.”26 For Baudelaire, pure art was a “suggestive magic which contains both subject and object, the external world and the artist himself” (Sartre, pp. 22–23). He looked at himself in every mirror “because he wanted to see himself in them as he was … For what he looked for in the glass was himself as he had composed himself” (Sartre, p. 156).

We find an echo of this self-absorption in Cézanne, too: “The landscape reflects itself, humanizes itself, thinks in me. I objectify it, project it, fix it upon my canvas … I would be the subjective consciousness of this landscape, as my canvas would be its objective consciousness” (Levine, p. 182). And in a pathological way, van Gogh was another member of the cult of Narcissus. He was known to eat his paints during attacks of mania; in particular, primary colors like chromium yellow, cobalt and carmine—washing them down with turpentine.27 He apparently feared that they might devour him, so he guzzled them first, in effect consuming his means of production and, by extension, his own mirror, in a paroxysm of rage.28

Andrey Tarkovsky would have understood this. In fact, his most autobiographical film is entitled Mirror. For him, the artist’s inspiration came “into being somewhere in the deepest recesses of his ‘I’”29 and he [End Page 280] delighted in creating his own world on the screen. It gave him particular pleasure to hear that his films were reflecting pools for the audience as well, especially when he received letters like this: “Thank you for Mirror. My childhood was like that … only how did you know about it? There was that wind, and the thunderstorm, [and my grandmother telling me to] put the cat out. … I felt for the first time in my life that I was not alone” (Tarkovsky, p. 10).

Conceptual artist Dan Graham took this one step further by rigging glass pavilions with mirrors, even at the Arctic Circle, so that spectators could see themselves in the landscape. He believes that these works “exist somewhere between architecture and television,” an in-between world that children and the elderly seem to understand readily.30 As Baudrillard has noted, “Beyond the whole convulsive movement of modern art lies a kind of inertia, something that can no longer transcend itself and has therefore turned in upon itself, merely repeating itself at a faster and faster rate.”31

In an ideal arrangement, however, the artwork develops its own “mind,” encompassing both creator and audience—in effect combining Narcissus, his pool, and his admirers. The creator controls and is controlled by his creations, just like the astronomer in Johnson’s Rasselas who believed he moved the heavens himself. If we are perceptive enough to imagine the interaction between the artist and her work, then her solipsism will decrease in inverse proportion to our ability to understand the intricacies of the world she has forged. We enter into the conspiracy, so to speak, making the unilateral contract she has crafted between her mind and visions bilateral. If, as Heidegger said, the artist is the origin of the work, and the work the origin of the artist,32 then the viewer forms the third side of what becomes an equilateral triangle. It is unfortunate that Narcissus, as an artist manqué, existed only as a singularity. As Melville says in Moby-Dick, “he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain … but that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life.”33

Intriguingly, the bulbs and leaves of all of the plant species in the genus Narcissus are poisonous if ingested. The flower associated with the story, called Narcissus poeticus, is the most dangerous of all,34 with a scent so strong that in sufficient quantity and in a closed area it can cause headaches and induce vomiting.35 It is odd that beauty, both in the myth and in these species, goes hand in hand with death. Freud, a consummately literate man, no doubt knew this. Perhaps that’s why he [End Page 281] gave Virginia Woolf a narcissus flower in 1939.36 He was terminally ill at the time, and she was to drown herself not long thereafter. Even the name Narcissus itself has the same etymology as narcotic—meaning to make numb—but with what? Perhaps with the pain of failed inspiration.

Greg Stone
Belmont, Massachusetts


1. Daniel Ames, Paul Rose, and Cameron Anderson, “The NPI-16 as a short measure of Narcissism,” Journal of Research in Personality 40 (2006): 449.

2. Jan Hoffman, “Here’s Looking at Me, Kid,” New York Times, July 20, 2008.

3. Joseph Sandler et al., Freud’s “On Narcissism: An Introduction” (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), p. 15; hereafter abbreviated Freud.

4. Ovid’s Metamorphoses taught us much of what we know about Greek and Roman mythology. There are alternative versions of the Narcissus story besides his, however. A papyrus fragment unearthed in ancient garbage dumps at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt—believed to be written by Parthenius, who was later to become Virgil’s tutor—depicts Narcissus as a suicide, as does Conon’s version. See David Keys, “The ugly end of Narcissus,” BBC History Magazine (May 2004): 9.

5. The name means “like the face of a lily.” As we shall see, botany plays a large role in the myth and its impact.

6. Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. David Raeburn (London: Penguin, 2004), p. 109; hereafter abbreviated Ovid.

7. Paige Ambroziak, “Poussin’s Echo of Ovid,” Wreck 4, no. 1 (2013): 19, quoting Dora Panovsky, “Narcissus and Echo: Notes on Poussin’s Birth of Bacchus in the Fogg Museum of Art,” Art Bulletin 31, no. 2 (1949): 115–16.

8. Ambroziak, “Poussin’s Echo,” 19.

9. Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (New York: Penguin, 1978), p. 122.

10. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, p. 122.

11. Clive Wilmer, “Narcissus, Echo” in Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths, ed. Nina Kossman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 132.

12. Successful artists tend to reach their destinations. As Picasso said, “I don’t seek, I find.” Andrey Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987), p. 97.

13. John Milton, The Complete Poems (London: Penguin, 1998), p. 203.

14. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: Mentor, 1964), p. 28; hereafter abbreviated McLuhan. [End Page 282]

15. Herschel Chipp, Theories of Modern Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 50.

16. Georg Hegel, “The Philosophy of Fine Art,” in Philosophies of Art and Beauty: Selected Readings in Aesthetics from Plato to Heidegger, ed. Albert Hofstadter and Richard Kuhns (New York: Modern Library, 1964), p. 401; hereafter abbreviated Hegel.

17. Steven Levine, Monet, Narcissus, and Self-Reflection: The Modernist Myth of the Self (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 162; hereafter abbreviated Levine.

18. Levine, quoting Leon Battista Alberti, p. 247.

19. Gérard de Nerval, Selected Writings (London: Penguin, 1999), p. xxix.

20. Gérard de Nerval, Aurélia & Other Writings (Boston: Exact Change, 1996), p. vii.

21. Nerval, Selected Writings, p. ix.

22. Arthur Rimbaud, Complete Works, Selected Letters (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), p. 374; hereafter abbreviated Rimbaud.

23. Nerval, one of the original “conceptual artists,” would have appreciated at least the spirit of Rimbaud’s bizarre edict. Nerval famously walked a lobster on a leash made of blue ribbon in the park outside the Palais Royale in Paris (supposedly because the animal did not bark and it knew the secrets of the sea—excellent reasons, I imagine). He was part of a wayward group called the bousingos (“rowdies”) who enjoyed orgies, consumed ice cream served in skulls, held literary salons in the nude, and created cacophonous music with instruments they had no idea how to play. Nerval, Aurélia, p. vii.

24. In mythology Perseus slew Medusa by turning his shield toward her, so she saw her own reflection. His horse Pegasus dipped its hoofs into her blood and smashed them into the earth on Mount Helicon, and miraculously the fountain of the muses appeared on the spot. Perhaps inspiration owes its birth to the destructive nature of reflection. Simon Schama, The Power of Art (New York: HarperCollins, 2006), p. 36; hereafter abbreviated Schama.

25. Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil and Other Works (New York: Dover, 1992), pp. 32–34.

26. Jean-Paul Sartre, Baudelaire (New York: New Directions, 1950), p. 22; hereafter abbreviated Sartre.

27. Schama, p. 337.

28. This is redolent of the parable of the ancient Chinese pottery master who struggled for years to find the perfect glaze for his vases. In frustration, he finally walked into the kiln. When his assistants opened the door and removed the vases inside, the glaze was glistening perfection itself (David Whyte, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America [New York: Crown, 2002], pp. 113–14). On a more benign note, Lewis Carroll wrote and received nearly one hundred thousand letters in his life and seemed to feel that he was literally losing himself in them: “I hardly know which is me and which is the inkstand. … The confusion in one’s mind doesn’t so much matter—but when it comes to putting bread-and-butter [sic], and orange marmalade, into the inkstand; and then dipping pens into oneself, and filling onself up with ink, you know, [End Page 283] it’s horrid!” Anthony Lane, “Go Ask Alice: What Really Went On in Wonderland,” New Yorker, June 8 and 15, 2015: 50–51.

29. Andrey Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), p. 188; hereafter abbreviated Tarkovsky.

30. Randy Kennedy, “A Round Peg,” New York Times, June 25, 2009.

31. Cynthia Freeland, But Is It Art? An Introduction to Art Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 198.

32. Martin Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art,” Philosophies of Art and Beauty, p. 650.

33. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (London: Wordsworth, 1993), p. 5.

34. Gordon Hanks, Narcissus and Daffodil: The Genus Narcissus (London: Taylor and Francis, 2002), p. 27.

35. Maud Grieve and C. F. Leyel, A Modern Herbal (Mineola: Dover Publications, 1971), p. 573.

36. Virginia Woolf, The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume 5: 1936–1941 (San Diego: Harcourt, 1985), p. 202. [End Page 284]