Existence in time. Development or catastrophe?

Bell, David (2007) Existence in time. Development or catastrophe? In: Time and Memory. Psychoanalytic Ideas Series . Karnac, London, pp. 68-84.

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Abstract

“Existence in time: development or catastrophe”, serves to express the idea that feeling oneself as existing in time is an important developmental achievement. For some, however, it is felt as a permanent imminent catastrophe evaded by the creation of a timeless world where, apparently, nothing ever changes, an illusion of time standing still. The chapter discusses a character in a novel, who sells his soul to remain forever young and suffers the catastrophic consequences of this Faustian bargain. His very method of evading the catastrophe of growing old is ultimately the source of the actualization of the very situation that fills him with horror—namely, sudden deterioration, ageing, and death. The chapter presents the analysis of a patient, who is in some way typical of patients who are forced to evade the pain of awareness of the passage of time through maintaining, often in a hidden way, an illusion of timelessness.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Literature, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
Subjects: Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychoanalysis
Department/People: Adult and Forensic Services
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/7

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