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The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known Paperback – 1 Jan 1987


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Free Association Books (1 Jan 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946960607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946960606
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

There is much in this book that is wise, clinically perceptive, and thought-provoking. Bollas is clearly exquisitely sensitive to affective nuances as clues to early, preoedipal events and their developmental consequences...Bollas's book is a lucid, creative, balanced... exposition. It deserves a respectful audience. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Christopher Bollas is Director of Education at the Austen Riggs Center of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark Stipanovsky TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 May 2012
Format: Paperback
Ever wondered who actually are you?
Are you a single coherent "self" or does it seem that there's more than one of you...

I want to stop smoking and yet...

A part of me seems hellbent on wrecking my relationship and yet I love him more than anything in the whole world...

How do you know what you know? And how do you know what you don't know?

Deep stuff - this getting better lark...

The "unthought known" is an idea or rather a psychoanalytic term.

Christopher Bollas - in his introduction first mentions the "unthought known" as the shadow of the object as it falls on the ego, leaving some trace...

This is a seriously deep book, a bit which made me laugh was someone classed as abnormally "normal".

Knowing something and never really thinking about it is how we probably construct most of our ongoing reality. I know I'm good at... Or rubbish at... Or extremely lucky...

Thinking about thinking helps to think more logically and questioning emotional reasoning is probably life saving...

Because of my addiction work I seem to read very widely and very diverse subject matter and I'm not even sure how I came across this book.

I find psychoanalytic thought interesting and yet somewhat incomprehensible and I love reading it and attempting to make meaning of it.

I find Transactional Analysis a much more user friendly theory but even TA seems to be heading back to its psychoanalytic roots.

Anyway, if you like reading psychoanalytic object relations type of stuff then you probably will enjoy this. I've read it three or four times now and still can't make head nor tail of half of it and maybe that's part of the attraction...

Who knows? I'm not even sure who I actually am...
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Hilton on 6 Oct 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book for anyone studying psychodynamic counselling. The concept of the unthought known seems to me to be a very useful one. Most of us know when something that we discover anew has an emotional impact and this book describes that experience in a fascinating way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
The Luminosity of the Writing 24 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It would prove very difficult to over-praise this wonderful book. Bollas writes with such lucidity and wit about every topic he touches that I find myself returning to these pages just to re-experience his prose. If you value psychoanalysis performed in the Winnicottian mode, then you owe it to yourself to read this book.
47 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Eye Opening 31 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At once amusing and heartbreakingly honest, Christopher Bollas has the ability to cut completely through the fog of ego and object attachment and promote understanding, awareness, acceptance and curiosity. This book is on my list of Life-Changing Must Haves.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Essential reading 18 Sep 2005
By Walter A. Davis III - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Bollas is one of the most important figures in contemporary psychoanalysis and this book is the place to start. The book teems with new discoveries and striking ideas. Most important, it functions as only the best psychoanaltyic books do: it opens the reader to the discovery of their own psyche.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A Beautiful Writer 5 Sep 2004
By Charlie Sandover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Bollas is a beautiful writer. This early book introduces the main themes of his writing, while avoiding the postmodern obtuseness of his some his more recent writings. A compassionate and wise observer of the human soul, he here relates his knowledge, as it has been won through the mystery and misery he has encountered.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Expanding on Psych 101 & making sense 8 Jun 2012
By Dean Yannias - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The one take-away I have from the then-mandatory psych class in college 45 years ago was: most emotional harm is done to children by well-meaning but ignorant parents. The subtle implications of the impact of infant nurturing is daunting -- "Where do we learn how to relate to the world around us other than through how the world 'treats' us?"...the first world being the mother and father? How this non-verbal handling of us before we can know what it is casts us into a mystery world that many spend a lifetime revealing to themselves. This is the world we inherited, the world we cope with daily, the world we know. "The Shadow of the Object" makes a strong case for delving into the life patterns we accept as 'givens' before we have thoughts and words to express them. Hence -- the unthought known. The book was a revelation and opened many doors that once were closed, and continues to open them the more I think about and remember. It helps that the author, Christopher Bollas, can write clearly and with a minimum of jargon, too. Just a wonderful book to read before, during and after your "mid-life" crisis. You just might learn something too.
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