The Face Behind the Mask of Success

As you know, I am obsessed with the subject of sociopaths. I am now listening to the second book on the subject – Confessions of a Sociopath. And I have been unsure how to react to it.

The proper reaction, I am sure – is to pretend the subject does not exist, that these people do not exist. That this is is just one of the many, many subjects that must be ignored by the right kind of people – who are just like everyone else.

But our society, sometimes called the Age of Anxiety, contains extremes – people who are nothing and want to know nothing – and also an astonishing amount of information. That is why it is sometimes called the Information Economy. The two – The Age of Anxiety and the Information Economy fit together nicely. Two sides of the same coin.

Sometimes the image on the cover of book reveals a lot about its contents – indeed, that is what it is for. The image on this book is that of the mask that the author holds up to hide her real identity. And the best parts of the book describe how she does that in her life as a lawyer and an academic. This gal is extremely clever about working around her limitations as a sociopath – but even more unusual because she works hard at understanding herself. And is honest about telling her readers about what has really happened in her life.

This is typical of a new kind of memoir that tells us not only about the author’s past – but the past of an entire people – what we call (for lack of a better term) post-modern society.

I am taking an online course now about The Fiction of Relationship – and am learning how far back this trend goes in Literature – and how important it was. People were reading about themselves – and were amazed by what they were reading.

And what can be said of an individual can also be said for her whole society. A society obsessed with success – but also obsessed with hiding what that success really amounts to.


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