Pygmalic Love X

November 25, 2009 at 8:16 am (Uncategorized)

Forgive my need to bitch something with unreasonable force when I’m having a bad day. It’s like a lipgloss boost. It makes everything better.

On to the next great foe, Pygmalion Syndrome Complex! Pygmalionism! Pygmalic Love. 😀

Pygmalion & Galatea by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Okay, I thought I’d coined Pygmalion Syndrome, but apparently that’s what an online erotic fiction writer calls his abnormal sexual attraction to statues, so I wanted to call it Pygmalion Complex, but apparently that was also taken. It is defined as the obsessive desire to work on something until it’s perfect. My third choice, Pygmalionism is an actual term for a sexual desire for something you’ve created. It exists as a branch of Agalmatophilia, a sexual desire for statues, dolls and mannequins. So let’s call it Pygmalic Love.

Okay, first off, a little background. This is an attempt at an exploration of deeper themes within Pygmalionism and “Pygmalion Syndrome” (but let’s not call it that please) and it is called Pygmalic Love.

What is Pygmalic Love? It originates from the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. According to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, X, Pygmalion was a sculptor who had sworn off women and love and he refused to give offerings to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. One day, Pygmalion created a beautiful life-sized sculpture of a woman, and he fell madly in love with the beauty of what he’d created. He begged Aphrodite to bring her to life, which she did and they lived happily ever after.

It’s a tad trite for a Greek myth (which ideally ends in Fucking Misery, or at least Goddamn Irony, for Chrissakes) but I had a brain fart about the idea of falling in love with something you’ve created.

As a writer, I seriously love my work. Not all of it, because that would be saying all of it is good, which is a lie, but the truth stands, I am madly in love with my work, which brings us to my first point.

Let’s recall: why do we fall in love with things? Why do we love books, songs, paintings, even people? We love them because they remind us of ourselves. They exist as a reflection of our beings. Like infants discovering the mirror for the first time, we are enthralled by the work, how it mimics our actions, how it speaks of exactly how we feel.

In effect, when we love things because they remind us of ourselves, we are indirectly glorifying ourselves. When we say we love a song entitled “I Will Love You Forever Because You’ve Broken My Heart And It’s Yours Forever, Goddammit,” we are in effect, expressing love for our own miserable love lives, because the song speaks of a situation that mirrors our own experience. We sympathize with the hero because in our minds, we are the hero of the story, we are the persona of the song and we totally dig ourselves.

Second point, why do we create things? We create things to express ourselves. As much as we should never assume that the artists is the persona shown in the work, we must remember that the artist can never create something genuine from something he has not felt, from something he doesn’t understand. In this regard, all personas are created with an idealized or distorted self-portrait in mind, whether representational or non-representational. The persona will always reflect elements of the artist’s perception of self. Look at the Bible. It says that God created man in His image, because He wanted an outward expression of His being. He wanted to bring something into the world that reflected Him.

Deep down, the writer makes endless autobiographies. When he presents a character, he gives it positive and negative characteristics culled from himself or from other people. He will put pieces of himself in all the characters, because he cannot write their story objectively without entering each persona and giving it life.

Since it is a culmination of the two, the love for something that reminds us of ourselves and art as a medium of expression of self, we can say that Pygmalic Love is a form of double-vanity. We’ve created something in our own image and we love it for that very fact. We love it because we love ourselves. We love it because we’re vain.

Let’s return to the concept of Pygmalic Love in creating people because it poses an odd question. If the creator loves the creation out of a sense of vanity, because it is a reflection of himself, what about parental love? Is maternal/paternal instinct simply a BS term for loving a being we’ve created in our image?

It’s something we’ve labored to create, something we’ve borne from our own essence, do we love it because it’s a bawling, helpless version of ourselves that needs to be brought up to be like us? Do we love it because we’re vain?

That question is an appropriate ending, I guess. Pygmalion only loved Galatea because Galatea was him in female form. Man is, indeed, a very vain creature. Can he love something that is unlike him in any way?

These are currently Apa’s “really deep thoughts,” what’re yours? Over.



  1. AJ Elicaño said,


  2. Wolf-Boy said,

    Why the sad pez? 😦

  3. guissmo said,

    Mehn. I remember the beautiful CSO backdrops and projects we did back then. Aww. Oh, btw, speaking of vanity: (NSFW link).

  4. Wolf-Boy said,


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