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Trophies of an afternoon

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In the later years of his life, the influential British psychoanalyst Wilfred R. Bion compiled a fictional trilogy called A Memoir of the Future (1990), loosely based on his childhood in Mathura, India. Through his method – which he modestly called ‘science fiction’ – he constructed a speculative account of the future of psychoanalysis. Considered one of the greatest psychoanalytic thinkers since Freud, Bion is most well-known for his work on emotional states within groups and also for his ‘theories on thinking’. Bion’s concept of maternal ‘reverie’ as the capacity of the mother to sense (and make sense of) what is going on inside the infant has been an important element in post-Kleinian thought. All these concepts are revisited through his ‘science-fictional method’ in A Memoir of the Future (1990). Through this work he wished to break down the constraints of sense that characterized psychoanalytic writing and arrive at a ‘communication of pure non-sense’.

The text that follows is a creation myth that combines elements of science fiction and Bion’s theories of psychic envelopes, imagined within the context of the colonial experience in India.

Keywords: India; daydream; memoir; psychoanalysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Artist and Researcher

Publication date: October 1, 2015

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  • Studies in South Asian Film and Media (SAFM) is the most promising new journal in the field. This peer-reviewed publication is committed to looking at the media and cinemas of the Indian subcontinent in their social, political, economic, historical, and increasingly globalized and diasporic contexts. The journal will evaluate these topics in relation to class, caste, gender, race, sexuality, and ideology.
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