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The War Memoirs: Some origins of the thought of W.R. Bion

Souter, K.M 2009, The War Memoirs: Some origins of the thought of W.R. Bion, International journal of psycho-analysis, vol. 90, no. 4, pp. 795-808, doi: 10.1111/j.1745-8315.2009.00168.x.

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Title The War Memoirs: Some origins of the thought of W.R. Bion
Author(s) Souter, K.M
Journal name International journal of psycho-analysis
Volume number 90
Issue number 4
Start page 795
End page 808
Total pages 14
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2009-08
ISSN 0020-7578
Keyword(s) psychoanalytic theory
war
psychoanalysis
history
20th century
humans
identification
interpersonal relations
male
Summary The work of W. R. Bion changed the shape of psychoanalytic theory in fundamental ways, one of the most important of which was Bion's insight into the nature of normal projective identification. No other psychoanalytic theorist has Bion's ability to represent the horrors of psychic abandonment and the converse, the absolute necessity of the presence of another mind for psychic survival. Through a discussion of Bion's War Memoirs 1917-1919 (Bion, 1997), Attacks on linking and A theory of thinking (1993), this paper explores the link between war, masculinity, the maternal and Bion's sensitivity to the significance of everyday interpersonal contact. It is argued that Bion's apocalyptic experiences as a teenage tank commander gave him shattering insight into the extent to which mind is inter-mind, self is inter-self. Bion's life writing has the quality of survivor insight: 'And only I am escaped alone to tell thee' (Job 1: 14-19), as he returns repeatedly to the events of the day when he 'died ', 8 August 1918. His insight into the elemental passions nature of love, hate and mindlessness are borne of his experiences on the battlefield, and exquisitely crystallized in his repeated explorations of an encounter with a dying soldier.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-8315.2009.00168.x
Field of Research 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30064465

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Deakin Learning Futures
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