chapter  Chapter 13
On memory and desire
WithNicola Abel-Hirsch
Pages 9

“Notes on Memory and Desire” was originally given without notes on Wednesday 16 June 1965, at a Scientific meeting at the British Psychoanalytical Society; it was summarised subsequently in a highly abridged form by Wilfred Bion in 1967 as “Notes on Memory and Desire”. Memory and desire are human attributes, which analysts have in common with their patients. Divesting oneself of them might look, on the face of it, like a retreat from personal relationship to a psychological crow’s-nest, allowing exact observation but little in the way of shared experience. The processes Bion describes, which might appear so transcendent as to become impersonal, are similarly to be found in the ordinary details of the everyday analytic interaction. The quote is from Bion’s reply to the discussants’ responses to his “Memory and Desire” paper when given in Los Angeles.