The myth of Echo and Narcissus
DOI link for The myth of Echo and Narcissus
The myth of Echo and Narcissus book
This chapter argues for a repositioning of the marginalised narrative of the nymph Echo and her clinical counterpart. It considers how Wilfred Bion’s theory of alpha-function, concerning the discharge of what he terms beta-elements into the mother in the container-contained process, might be applied to understanding myth as a container and a transformative process. The plethora of theories and clinical practices concerning narcissism purport to have their origins in the well-documented myth of Narcissus and Echo. Myths contain the most dreadful of all aspects of the human condition and experience, from matricide and incest, to eating one’s own children to placate the gods. The chapter draws attention to the ways in which the prevailing literatures have followed one dominant reading of the text, that which favours the narrative of Narcissus. Echo leaves a clearing where Zeus, the thunder god, ruler of the gods on Mount Olympus, is cavorting with other nymphs.