chapter  4
Death by daydreaming: Madame Bovary
Pages 17

The process of making the world alive depends on mingled sight and remembrance, actual experiences in external reality coloured by projections of our own emotions and of memories of our objects. This chapter examines from a psychoanalytical point of view, the question of particular kind of lack of illumination in the conscious mind, a regression to a memory-less state of almost complete darkness, of being psychically reduced to the narrow beam of a candlelight. Traumatic experience may return unmodified to the conscious mind as if it is never transformed into a proper memory, psychologically remaining perpetually in the present. Excessive fear, excessive grief, or an excessive sense of grievance create situations where ordinary forgetting cannot take place. Failure to mourn creates an internal situation by which the lost object is excessively identified with, and the self lives in the shadow of an internal death, leading to melancholia, pathological depression; emotionally this is caused by excessive guilt, excessive grievance, or trauma.