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The post-Kleinian model of the mind, as developed by W. R. Bion and Donald Meltzer, is essentially an aesthetic one. It is founded on Melanie Klein's discovery of the "internal object" with its combined masculine and feminine qualities and ambiguous, awe-inspiring nature. Turbulent emotional experiences are repeatedly transformed through symbol-formation, on the basis of the internal relationship between the infant self and its object; and the aesthetic containment provided by this "counter-transference dream" (as Meltzer put it) enables the mind to digest its conflicts and develop.This search for a pattern that can make "contrary" emotions thinkable is modelled by all art forms and accounts for their universal significance. It is a process that can be observed particularly clearly in literature, in the form of the romance between the poet and his Muse (the traditional formulation of the psycho-analytic internal object). This book explores the "counter-transference dreams" of some of the inspired symbol-makers who have been most influential in forming the modern aesthetic perspective in psychoanalytic thinking, including Shakespeare, Milton, Keats, Homer and Sophocles. It concludes with a discussion of Bion's autobiographical works, which are the final expression of his own conception of the aesthetic model.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781855753105
ISBN-10: 1855753103
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 147mm x 21mm)
Pages: 250
Imprint: Karnac Books
Publisher: Karnac Books
Publish Date: 1-Jan-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Meg Harris Williams

Meg Harris Williams, a writer and artist, studied English at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and art at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, and has had a lifelong psychoanalytic education. She has written and lectured extensively in the UK and abroad on psychoanalysis and literature, and teaches at the Tavistock Centre in London, and the University of Surrey. She is married with four children and lives in Farnham, Surrey.

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