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note. I think he now relishes life as well as any really thoughtful man of middle life can.
There is a personality type, the emotional introspective, whose interest in life is directed toward their own
sensations and emotions. They do not view people or things as having a value in themselves and for
themselves; they deliberately view them as sources of a personal pleasurable sensation. I do not mean the
crude egoist who asks of anything or anybody, "What good is it (or he) for me?" but I mean that connoisseur
in emotions, casually blase and bored, who seeks new sensations. This is an introspective deviation of a
serious kind, for the connoisseur in emotions rarely is happy and usually is most deeply miserable. Bourget in
his remarkable psychological novel, "A Love Crime," has admirably drawn one of these characters. The
exquisite Armand, seeking pleasure constantly, is divided into the sensualist who seduces and ruins and the
introspectionist who watches the proceeding with disgust and disillusion. It is not an outraged conscience that
is at work but the inability to feel without analyzing the feeling "Ah, for a single passion that might apply my
entire sensibility to another being, like wet paper against a window pane." This is the eternal tragedy of
sophistication,--that there results an anhedonia in large part manifested by a restless introspection. The mind is
drawn away from the outside world, and everything is seen out of proportion.
The hypochondriac directs his attention to his health and is in part a monothymic of the fear type. Moliere's
"Le Malade Imaginaire" is a classical study of this person, and I do not, presume to better it. Modern
popularizing of disease has distinctly increased the numbers of the hypochondriacs, or at any rate has made
their fears more scientific. Brain tumor, gastric ulcer, appendicitis, tuberculosis, heart disease, cancer,
syphilis,--often have I seen a hypochondriac run the gamut of all these deadly diseases and still retain his
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11