Into Fiction, Through Catastrophe: A Conversation With Christopher Bollas


In this interview, psychoanalyst and JEP co-editor Anthony Molino engages Christopher Bollas in an exploration of the radical turn in his recent literary output. Focusing primarily on his novels Dark at the End of the Tunnel and I Have Heard the Mermaid Singing, Bollas here discusses in detail his move away from the traditional psychoanalytic essay into the realms of fiction (and theatre). Finding the former suitable to “a much more radical form of theorizing”  psychoanalysis, Bollas explores both the internal pressures to which he responded in resorting to the genre, as well as contemporary societal pressures and themes which the genre more readily accomodates. Among these are analyses of modern-day Islam’s rise and revolt against the West, and of what Bollas sees as the loss of character in our globalised consumer culture: expressions both of the “catastrophe” that engulfs and pervades our culture, the determinants of which remain, for the most part, “unconscious”.

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European Journal of Psychoanalysis