The work that follows is an attempt to explore the psychological roots of addiction in a narcissistic personality disorder through a narrative lens. The primary influence on the style of that narrative lens is C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces, his retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche, as the title, Beneath Our Faces, alludes. This work is an attempt to accomplish something similar regarding Ovid's presentation of the story of Narcissus and Echo, albeit on a smaller scale.
Lewis also, in his Discarded Image, offers a defense for the classical style of literature with its multilayered allusions. Dante was a classic example of this style, and in this it can be said that he resembled more the poet of my own focus than Ovid's contemporary upon whom Dante relied as guide. This relationship between Dante and Virgil has been offered as an illustration of the role of the therapist, represented by Virgil, in shepherding one through the challenges of recovery and individuation, and this relationship between poet and hero is considered herein.
In Discarded Image Lewis compares wading through the heavy laden context of classic literature to exploring a new territory or city, in that frequently having to refer to your guidebook does distract one from appreciating the sights, but not nearly as much as not understanding the significance of the sights. He does acknowledge that there are those who do not want to mine their literature for obscure meanings, and claims to have no quarrel with such folk, but says that he writes for the other sort.
In a similar vein this work has been structured so that the reader, should they choose, may read through the story entire without reaching for the end notes. Alternatively, the end notes could be read first, in the way that looking at one's guide book before venturing into the unknown can afford the opportunity to both see and appreciate the sights. I guess it is also the case that upon running into a reference or two that does not obtain for the reader they may put the story aside altogether. As Lewis before me, I do understand that there are those for whom literature proper should not feel like a labor, of love or otherwise, but I am writing for that other sort.
In association with the Hitchhiker's Guide to Reality, this story could be read as a moral fable exploring the importance of developing the skills of empathy and trust. The acrostics are a kind of reward for the even more inquisitive readers.
(note: formatting issues are withholding the footnotes, for now. I wil