Narcissus as Narcosis: A Contemporary Media Example


A great example of McLuhan’s “Narcissus as Narcosis” ( as are “selfies” especially). My thanks to Malcolm Dean for sharing this……….Alex

“The Greek myth of Narcissus is directly concerned with a fact of human experience, as the word Narcissus indicates. It is from the Greek word narcosis or numbness. The youth Narcissus mistook his own reflection in the water for another person. This extension of himself by mirror numbed his perceptions until he became the servomechanism of his own extended or repeated image. The nymph Echo tried to win his love with fragments of his own speech, but in vain. He was numb. He had adapted to his extension of himself and had become a closed system.

Now the point of this myth is the fact that men at once become fascinated by any extension of themselves in any material other than themselves….

The Gadget Lover, Narcissus as Narcosis, Chapter 4, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), p.41, MIT Press ed.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Hi, yes, it's Peaches Hi, yes, it’s Peaches.

Hang on, I've hit a bump... Hang on, I’ve hit a bump…

See more pictures here


3 Responses to “Narcissus as Narcosis: A Contemporary Media Example”

  1. 1 The Prime Meridian | Hugo's Probe
  2. 2 The Junkyard of History | Hugo's Probe
  3. 3 TB, or not TB? | Hugo's Probe

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