Hombre, claro…: A Reflection on Narcissism in Spanish Culture


Frédéric Conrod


Cultural Narcissism is a phenomenon that has been prevalent in Spain for centuries, and it has been reflected in the country's literature and film. This narcissism is often characterized by an excessive focus on one's culture, traditions, and a way of life based on elevating the motherland above all. As it would for an individual, this cultural psychological condition leads to a lack of clarity, a tendency to lie and exaggerate in social communication, a sense of superiority in the value system, and the idealization of certain cultural figures. One of these most prominent figures in Spain is the “sacrificial mother” largely inspired by the Holy Virgin, who is often idolized and placed on a pedestal in literature and film. In the works of famous Spanish authors such as Miguel de Cervantes and Federico García Lorca, the mother figure is often portrayed as a symbol of life, safety, and comfort, but also the very source of all narcissistic behaviors. They are the embodiment of Spanish culture, and their roles as mothers are celebrated and revered. Spanish film has also reflected this idealization of the mother figure often assimilated with the motherland. In films such as All About My Mother by Pedro Almodóvar, the mother is the central figure, and her role as the nurturer and protector is highlighted.