The Crypt in Outer Space: Grief in Solaris

Mark Holmwood


This short piece is about bereavement by suicide, prolonged grief disorder that might follow this traumatic loss, and the way it leads to suicidal ideation. I use Steven Soderbergh’s 2002 cinema adaptation Solaris as a fictional case study. In this inquiry, Abraham & Torok’s ‘cryptic mourning’ theory is combined with Jungian analysis, symbology and mythology to highlight the unusual results of Rosen’s research into suicidal adults.


Solaris; suicidal ideation; bereavement by suicide; prolonged grief disorder; cryptic mourning; abaissement du niveau mental; psychotic suicidal depression; deus ex machina; transformation; numinosum

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