Glimpses at Signs

In the era of the Internet and social media, an awareness of semiotics, also known as the “study of signs,” is useful to have. This article considers some elementary but illuminating ideas in the field. What are signs and how do they convey meaning? What is the message […]

Narcissism and the Flicker of Self in Thomas Mann’s Felix Krull, Confidence Man

Picaresque novel cum Bildungsroman, Thomas Mann’s Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man (1954; trans. Denver Lindley) resonates with the late modernist psyche. Mann’s novel prefigures a psychiatric epidemic of our day, psychopathic narcissism. In this widespread postmodern condition, the fragile identity implodes in its own process of self-aggrandizement, […]

Myths of the Wild West as Period and Genre

The processes of myth-creation rely on a crossover between reality and imagination. A collective psychological space  exists in which history and myth merge and become indistinguishable from one another.  In the heyday of the television western, for instance, how many young children were aware there was any difference […]