A Beam of Intense Darkness: Wilfred Bion's Legacy to Psychoanalysis

Author(s) : James Grotstein

A Beam of Intense Darkness: Wilfred Bion's Legacy to Psychoanalysis

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : December 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 390
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 97360
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032384764
  • ISBN 10 : 103238476X
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Written by pioneering analyst and creative thinker James Grotstein, A Beam of Intense Darkness offers a thorough overview and illuminating insight into the often complex work of W. R. Bion.

This reissued psychoanalytic classic sees Grotstein introduce over 30 key Bionian theories, comprehensively explaining them to the reader before offering his own insight and commentary. Grotstein first encountered Bion as his analysand and, later, as his friend. This book offers a level of insight only possible through such a close relationship, and offers a dialogue between Bion and Grotstein as they delve into the inner workings of the human psyche. Throughout, Grotstein offers his own original thoughts on topics such as projective transidentification, transcendent position and the truth drive.

With a new introduction from Nicola Abel-Hirsch, this book is an essential read for anyone interested in Bion’s work and legacy.

Reviews and Endorsements

A Beam of Intense Darkness, is a treasure trove of thoughts about Bion’s work, filtered through the fertile mind of James Grotstein. This rich, scholarly book has served me well in my pursuit of deeper understanding of Bion’s endlessly complex and evocative contributions to psychoanalysis. My copy of the book, inscribed by Dr. Grotstein, is well worn after many decades of reading and re-reading, for I have gone back to it as a reference over and over again, sometimes getting answers to questions I have had, sometimes stimulating new questions, that can also be explored with reference to this classical work on Bion.
Dr. Grotstein’s imaginative, poetic, and scholarly perspectives on Bion’s theories have made this book instrumental in providing a deeper intuitive grasp of Bion’s revolutionary ideas, and rare wisdom.
Annie Reiner, Los Angeles. Member and senior training analyst at The Psychoanalytic Center of California (PCC)

Jim Grotstein, an analysand, colleague and friend of Bion’s during the latter’s sojourn in Los Angeles, was one of our foremost North American explicators of and heirs to Bion’s thought. This classic book, enriched by Grotstein’s personal anecdotes and reminiscences of their exchanges and by his own uniquely creative and provocative extensions of and contributions to Bion’s models and theory, is an authoritative, foundational text that will assure and pay tribute to the enormity and relevance of Bion’s legacy as psychoanalysis continues to move forward into the 21st century.
Howard B. Levine, Editor-in-Chief, The Routledge W.R. Bion Studies Series

Table of Contents

1. The Scope Of This Book
2. What Kind Of Analyst Was Bion?
3. What Kind Of Person Was Bion?
4. Bion's vision
5. Bion's Legacy
6. A Brief Summary Of Bion's Metatheory
7. Bion On Technique
8. Clinical Case Encompassing Bion's Technical Ideas
9. Bion, The Mathematician, Bion, The Mystic
10. The Language Of Achievement
11. Bion's Discovery Of O
12. The Concept Of The "Transcendent Position"
13. The "Quest For The Truth": Part A: The "Truth Drive" As The Hidden Order Of Bion's Metatheory For Psychoanalysis
14. Part B: "The Truth Drive" Curiosity About The Truth As The "Seventh Servant"
15. Lies, "Lies," And Falsehoods
16. The Container And The Contained
17. "Projective Transidentification": An Extension Of The Concept Of Projective Identification
18. Bion's Work With Groups
19. Bion's Studies In Psychosis
20. Transformations
21. Learning From Experience
22. The Breast, The "No-breast," And The Point
23. The Grid
24. The Question Of Fetal Mental Life And Its Caesura With Post-natal Mental Life
25. What Does It Mean To Dream?" A Preliminary Note On Bion's Theory Of Dreaming
26. "...perchance To Dream...": The Profounder Mission Of Dreaming
27. "Become"
29. L, H, And Passion
30. Faith
31. The Importance Of Bion's Discovery Of Zero ('No-thing")
32. A Pot Pourri Of Selected Contributions By Bion
33. A Reading Of Bion's A Memoir Of The Future
34. Epilogue For The Book

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