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Hautmann, G. (1981). My Debt Towards Bion: From Psycho-analysis as a Theory to Psycho-analysis as a Mental Function. Rivista Psicoanal., 27(3-4):573-586.

(1981). Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 27(3-4):573-586

My Debt Towards Bion: From Psycho-analysis as a Theory to Psycho-analysis as a Mental Function

Giovanni Hautmann

At the end of his 1977 Rome seminar, Bion likened the fate of his contribution to the fall of a leaf from a tree — one cannot say which side it is going to land on… However, we know that Bion cared more that his writings and seminars should produce psychoanalytical thought rather than ‘faithful’ interpreters of his own thought. The style of his thought, while hardly allowing a detailed exegesis of the text, on the other hand, stimulates further thought. Very different from Freud's way of writing, there is nevertheless, an affinity, Bion is permeated by a problem-producing obscurity which leads to leaving the discussion open, Freud is permeated in the course of time, by the revival and reformulation of his ideas which, by being repeated in ways that are nearly always different from each other, offer vast space for creativity in the same way.

Consoled by this intention of his, I cannot see any better way of commemorating Bion than to declare how one believes oneself to have sipped from his cup. This coincides with an attempt to give justice to the specific character of Bion as I see it. So, while preparing to summarize the themes on which I have meditated and about which I have written, but above all — indirectly — the modes that shape my analytic research with patients, I remember thinking of Bion's contribution as revolutionary.

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