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Bollas, C. (2015). Psychoanalysis in the Age of Bewilderment: On the Return of the Oppressed†. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(3):535-551.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(3):535-551

Psychoanalysis in the Age of Bewilderment: On the Return of the Oppressed Language Translation

Christopher Bollas

I came into the world imbued with the will to find a meaning in things, my spirit filled with the desire to attain to the source of the world, and then I found that I was an object in the midst of other objects …. Sealed into that crushing object-hood, I turned beseechingly to others.

(Fanon, 2008a, p. 257)

Our own period is constitutionally one of desperation. What I say is that it is a period of disorientation, nothing more.

(Ortega y Gasset, 1958, p. 140)

It is perhaps fitting that this Congress takes place here in the ‘City upon the hill’. The Puritan elders of the early 17th century not only sought refuge from European religious persecutions, but believed that in founding a New Israel would ‘cast a light’ upon a Europe living in sin. They set impossibly high standards for themselves and their children and within the first generation were shocked by their own crimes. In Of Plymouth Plantation (1981) Governor Bradford (who arrived on the Mayflower) confronted the aftermath of a disturbing trial in which the plaintiff, Thomas Granger, was tried for serial bestiality. At his trial various animals were brought into the room and he had to identify those with which he had committed these ‘foul’ acts.

Granger was found guilty and executed in September 1642. “A very sad spectacle it was”, writes Bradford because “for first the mare and then the cow and the rest of the lesser cattle were killed before his face, according to the law, Leviticus xx.15; and then he himself was executed.” The animals were buried in a large pit.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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