Most of this experience will never be consciously thought, but it resides within us as assumed knowledge. Aspects of the unthought known—the primary repressed unconscious—emerge during psychoanalysis as a mood, the aesthetic of a dream, or in our relation to the self as other. Within the unique analytic relationship, it becomes possible, at least in part, to think the unthought—an experience that has enormous transformative potential. First published in , The Shadow of the Object remains a classic of the psychoanalytic literature written by an original thinker. The concept of the unthought known has influenced many areas of study, including literature, psychology, and the arts.
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Shelves: This is a wonderful account of lost objects and unknown thought within psychoanalysis. Bollas text covers a lot of ground - from the foundations of these objects, to its manifestations most notably the part on normatic illness which, as he notes, could make a wonderful science fiction text and how it in turn is reflected back upon the analyst. The concept of the "unthought known" is worth the entire book.
Chapter 6, "Moods and the Conservative Process" was especially good. However, I forged through because of his distinct voice, and his devotion to following the idea of psychoanalysis to the furthest point, with equal parts exploratory rigor and deep compassion. I am someone who is three years into being an analysand, and I still struggle at times with the idea that the psychoanalytic project is all some sort of complicated quackery if not an egotistical indulgence, but books like this remind me analysis has promise for unresolved personality structures of all kinds, sick or healthy, and reading about types of analysis because this book really was written more for clinicians than laypersons reminds me of how varied but universal the human experience is.
His vernacular is sometimes hilarious. I will be reading more of him. It would be of interest to anyone in this kind of psychoanalysis and could interest even those who have never been in therapy.
It does have its dry moments, but this is one of those rare, very dense and jargon-intensive books that is worth the effort required to read. Nov 27, Carol marked it as to-read Fascinating thus far. Appreciate his examples from literature e.
The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known
The Shadow of the Object