An Introduction to W.R. Bion's A Memoir of the Future: Volume Two: Facts of Matter or a Matter of Fact?




In the last years of his life Bion gathered unusual manuscripts handwritten in his tidy lettering that assumed the form of a trilogy. Finely typed and edited by his dedicated wife, they were named A Memoir of the Future. Many of the themes of this book were already evident in Transformations and Attention and Interpretation. These earlier books provide many of the theories whose practical counterpart finally found a form in the trilogy: as Bion himself noted, "the criteria for a psychoanalytic paper are that it should stimulate in the reader the emotional experience that the writer intends, that its power to stimulate should be durable, and that the emotional experience thus stimulated should be an accurate representation of the psychoanalytic experience that stimulated the writer in first place."

In this second volume of a much needed introduction to Bion's last work, A Memoir of the Future, Paulo Cesar Sandler continues his detailed and insightful "prelude" to a work many readers have found "obscure, complicated and difficult". The first volume was described as "an exhaustive and generous contribution…to the now globalised psychoanalytic community", in which Dr Sandler "tries to share his own apprehension of Bion’s trilogy in order to allow us to perform our own apprehension of it". Using many quotations from the text of the trilogy and drawing on his own extensive clinical experience, Dr Sandler now continues with his stated aim of helping readers towards their own reading of the original text, and draws attention to the many instances where Bion has given hints and tips that analysts will find useful in their day-to-day practice.

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