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Three Papers of W.R. Bion


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Ronald Britton Introduction Chris Mawson Paper I: 'Memory and Desire' (1965) EDITOR'S POSTSCRIPT to 'Memory and Desire' Paper II: 'Negative Capability' (1967) EDITOR'S POSTSCRIPT to 'Negative Capability' Paper III: Break Up, Break Down, Break Through (1975) EDITOR'S POSTSCRIPT to 'Break Up, Break Down, Break Through'

About the Author

Chris Mawson is a training and supervising analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society and works in private practice as a psychoanalyst. He is Editor of The Complete Works of W. R. Bion (2014), alongside Consulting Editor Francesca Bion.


"Edited by Chris Mawson, this new volume, appearing after the publication of the Complete Works of WR Bion, will be in itself a happy surprise for readers. Three Papers of W. R. Bion contains two papers by Bion not before published and one printed in the Complete Works only. Furthermore, Ronald Britton contributes a Foreword with a fine commentary on the papers themselves together with valuable reflections on the psychoanalytic world of Bion studies."-Edna O'Shaughnessy, Training and Supervising Analyst, and Child Analyst, of the British Psychoanalytical Society

"This is an excellent book that presents three papers of Bion, two of which have not been yet published. The third one appears only in the The Complete Works of W.R. Bion. Memory and Desire is a transcription of Bion's spoken version which he presented to the British Society in 1965. It brings a clear description of his thinking behind the proposal that 'in order to see clearly one really needs to be pretty well blind'. The second paper Negative capability gives us access to his thinking on what he sees to be essential to what Keats called the Man of Achievement, the difference between memory and evolution and his thoughts on the directionality of events in analysis. Break Up, Break Down, Break Through (1975) explores the connection between knowing and being. Mawson's clear editorial comments and Ron Britton's Foreword adds to the richness of this book. It is an illuminating, rich and powerful exposition by one of the leading thinkers in psychoanalysis."-Catalina Bronstein, Fellow, British Psychoanalytical Society, Editor of Kleinian Theory. A Contemporary Perspective and co-Editor of Attacks on Linking Revisited

"This book, containing three of Bion's papers, with valuable editorial comments by Chris Mawson, give us a fascinating glimpse of Bion's evolving ideas on a range of different clinical issues. Ron Britton has written an interesting Foreword, relating Bion's thinking to scientific and philosophical ideas current at the time. This collection has a freshness about it - elaborating and expanding some of Bion's more condensed writings (especially 'Memory and Desire', and 'Negative Capability'), conveying to the reader something of Bion's fertile, creative thinking." -Michael Feldman, Training and Supervising Analyst, and Child Analyst, of the British Psychoanalytical Society

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