Does David Cornwell — better known as John le Carré — admire George Smiley, his most celebrated spy? “He is the best of me, the most rational — I admire his commitment to his task and his sense of responsibility to humankind. Insofar as I am capable of self-love, I love him.”
This brings to mind something from one of Anthony Powell's novels: "He fell in love with himself at first sight and it is a passion to which he has always remained faithful. Selflove seems so often unrequited." My own view is the one advanced by Oscar Wilde: "To fall in love with oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."