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Plaut, A. (1977). Critical Notice. J. Anal. Psychol., 22(1):64-66.

(1977). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 22(1):64-66

Critical Notice

A. Plaut, M.B., B.Ch., D.P.M., F.R.C.

GRINBERG, LEON; SOR, DARIO; TABAK DE BIANCHEDI, ELIZABETH, Introduction to the work of Bion, Translated from the Spanish by Alberto Hahn. Ballechin, 1975. Clunie Press. The Roland Harris Educational Trust. pp. 82, Price £2 (casebound £3.50).

Although five out of the six books published by Bion (a seventh has just appeared) between 1961 and 1975 have been reviewed in the Journal, the present ‘Introduction’ is worth studying despite its obvious shortcomings. The most serious of these is that it fails to serve anybody who has not read at least two of Bion's own books as an introduction. On the other hand, the booklet, by three authors and translated from the Spanish into English, presents a summary which is as stimulating and evocative as the originals to which it may send the sufficiently curious reader back. Indeed, to introduce any reader within the space of 80 pages to the context of six books which, although slender, are written in a style so terse as to remind one of mathematical formulations, is an arduous undertaking. Bion does actually employ mathematical expressions, starting with the ‘abstraction of elements’ which were necessary for designing his grid (see below). His approach leads away from the global, literary and artistic trend, which, together with emphasis on the countertransference, has been much to the fore in some analytical quarters. He enjoins us to use models because they are more flexible than theories, and therefore help to form a bridge between abstractions and clinical observations.

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