An opportunity like this is just an opportunity to talk and to find out what you are thinking. And what I am thinking is, as usual, a bit scandalous. I want to talk about history and mythology and how similar they are. I have discovered in the last year that there are at least three people who are writing the history of post-Kleinian analysis. The one I have read which I thought was pretty impressive is by Silvia Fano Cassese, 1 and it was really a work of fiction, mythologizing my so-called contributions. It reminded me immediately of War and Peace and the wisdom of Kutuzov, which consisted of apathy and inactivity, allowing Napoleon to make all the mistakes and to create history through his mistakes. Well, my contribution has not been quite as lethargic and inactive as that, but it has consisted of an invasion of a space that is really a mythological space—the space of the unconscious. If we freeze to death when we are there, it is nobody’s fault but our own; and every time we try to treat a psychotic we are in danger of freezing to death, really—when we meet the coldness of the patient’s response to our passion, turbulence, excitement, and so on. It is a very corrective experience to realize that 316your own passion does not communicate to the patient, whose expertise at resisting excitation and interest has been developed over the years, and you are confronted with this stonewall of indifference. Well this, strangely enough, makes for a kind of mythology of history, in which the analyst, like Kutuzov, manifests his inertia and allows things to happen in this space, with the patient or without the patient. And, of course, the amazing thing is that things do happen. They more obviously happen in the very young children, whose symbol formation is in action and is describable, and there is no guesswork about it—the child does crawl under the table, does disappear behind the couch; he does create from these flexible pipe-stems a world of phantasy figures that are marvellously explanatory. With adult patients, of course, you have nothing to rely on but dreams—which are pretty good really, as far as their descriptive value is concerned, but it is still in the realm of guesswork; whereas the little children don’t demand guesswork of you, they just do it—they show it. They don’t have to say it; they show it. Now the mythology of psychoanalysis demands that we say it; and what we say, of course, is largely nonsense, but we do show things also, which is not nonsense. And what we show mainly is this passion of interest; and like the troops of Napoleon that are freezing in Siberia and retreating helter-skelter to get away from the mistakes they’ve made, our patients also retreat from the frozen atmosphere that they’ve been themselves creating; and they leave us time to thaw out and to discover what’s been happening to us and to them. So this unconquerable space of the frozen world of emotion is gradually reclaimed, and becomes the three- or perhaps four-dimensional space of psychic life, and imagination begins to take the place of guesswork.