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Trad represents himself in each of these paintings but -- far from naturalistic or self-flattering depictions -- the leveled gaze in these self-portraits have a bizarre, bone-penetrating, goose bump-provoking quality about them.
Christianity--which, if one reads Paul and the Gospels carefully, helps us to recognize and resist the self-flattering reductionist anthropologies of nationalism--has often been employed in the service of various egocentric schemes of order and domination.
As Egyptian history has borne witness more than once, soldiers do not wish to serve the occupants of gilded palaces, or the bearers of self-flattering titles - they wish to serve their country.
The hero also must be the possessor of ability, and be conscious of that ability without any self-flattering hubris.
In Myths America Lives By (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003) Hughes assessed self-flattering national narratives of chosenness and innocence.
Embodiments of the British penchant for role-playing, Fleming's James Bond novels also enshrine the self-flattering national conviction that Britain is an incomparable force for good.
And so I find myself enmeshed in the contradictions and complicities, ambitions and ambivalence that institutional critique is often accused of, caught between the self-flattering possibility that I was the first person to put the term in print, and the critically shameful prospect of having played a role in the reduction of certain radical practices to a pithy catchphrase, packaged for co-optation.
Liberals offer self-flattering explanations for the imbalance: The academic atmosphere of open-minded inquiry fosters and accommodates liberal ideas.
The tableau furnished by this life-transforming "epiphany" is discomfittingly close to that experienced by a raw Party recruit before the towering authority of a Great Leader; we should remember, in the face of such self-flattering cant, that the final horror of Nineteen Eighty-Four was that Winston Smith loved Big Brother.
And "This was where my narcissism lay, I suppose, in my desire to insert myself in self-flattering discourse which required that England be guilty and decadent, instead of playing my part as well and as silently as Pocahontas.
All of the above, plus her own ambition and determination to rise to the top, are described in this somewhat pretentious memoir, which offers up a number of amusing anecdotes and stories but is marred by an overabundance of self-flattering tributes, letters, and comments.
Since our stories are inevitably incomplete, one-sided, and only partially true, the custodians of more self-flattering narratives must do their utmost to silence or discredit alternative versions.