“Abreaction,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1939

“Abreaction,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1939 — A bulldozer operator slips into a point in the universe tangential with that of an alien dimension. The denizens try to care for him, but the alienness of his new environment drives him into madness and brings about amnesia. The aliens attempt to restore his personality, which becomes confused with the last person he saw (a Puerto Rican laborer) before being transported.  Only by focusing his memories on the point/time of departure (an abreaction) is he able to return. He wakes to find that his bulldozer appeared in the sky and fell to the ground, injuring him; he’s been in the hospital for weeks. He happily tells the doctor that his name is Alonzo Padin de Kirkpatrick.

Comments: Read in The Future Makers. Abreactionis a term from Jung. Wikipedia: “Abreaction is a psychoanalytical term for reliving an experience in order to purge it of its emotional excesses; a type of catharsis. Sometimes it is a method of becoming conscious of repressed traumatic events. Early in his career, psychoanalyst Carl Jung expressed interest in abreaction, or what he referred to as “trauma theory”, but later decided it had limitations concerning the treatment of neurosis.”

Author: Wikipedia: “Theodore Sturgeon (born Edward Hamilton Waldo; February 26, 1918 – May 8, 1985) was an American science fiction and horror author…In 1951, Sturgeon coined what is now known as Sturgeon’s Law: ‘Ninety percent of [science fiction] is crud, but then, ninety percent of everything is crud.’…Sturgeon was a distant relative of Ralph Waldo Emerson.”


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1926-1939, identity/authenticity, memory, time/history/causality. Bookmark the permalink.

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