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Cracking Up The Work of Unconscious Experience

Bollas, Christopher

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ISBN 10: 080908533X / ISBN 13: 9780809085330
Published by New York Hill and Wang, 1995
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

First edition. 264 pages. Never fully opened, unread. Owner's embossed mark on fly leaf, else perfect. Dust jacket is flawless. (D6). Bookseller Inventory # 3627

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cracking Up The Work of Unconscious ...

Publisher: New York Hill and Wang

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


In this book, psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas extends his exploration of the inner world of human experience. In his last book, he argued that Freud's vision of the dream process is a model for all unconscious mental experience. Now he suggests that the rhythm of that experience - marked by everyday moments of psychic intensity, to which we respond first by breaking up the various factors that go into them (remembered, bodily, instinctual) and then by recombining them in a new understanding of ourselves - that this unconscious rhythm, fully engaged in, is vital to individual creativity and freedom. It develops what Bollas calls a separate sense, with which we assess the immeasurable, complex meanings of our own experience and become sympathetically attuned to the lives of other people.
Bollas examines how people educate one another in the idioms of their unconscious lives, and he considers the nature and consequences of the traumas that inhibit the freedom to do this. He studies what we mean by the past - is it ominously unchangeable, or can history be a creative, open understanding of experience? We come to know who we are by giving form and meaning to our past, yet what do we mean when we speak of ourselves?

From Publishers Weekly:

Every day, according to British psychoanalyst Bollas, each of us experiences hundreds of intense moments when ordinary consciousness mingles with unconscious memories, bodily sensations and instinctual reactions. This process, he maintains, produces ``latent thoughts,'' or unconscious ideas, that give rise to dreams when we sleep. Bollas argues that the freely moving work of the unconscious is vital to our sense of self and to creativity. This erudite neo-Freudian study explores how each individual develops an idiom of the unconscious, a personal way of conveying one's inner experiences. Bollas (Being a Character) also examines how analysts, patients and ordinary people use free association to ``crack up'' or deconstruct dream events, trains of thought, layers of unconscious meaning. He isolates common structures of evil in murder, dictatorships, perverse sadomasochism and genocide, all of which involve ``psychic death'' and compartmentalization, or splitting off, of human qualities. Finally, Bollas provocatively argues that an adult's sense of humor derives from infancy, when the mother stimulates her baby to smile or laugh so as to transform misery into amusement.

Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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