Basing his view on the object relations theories of the "British School" of psychoanalysis, Christopher Bollas examines the human subject's memories of its earliest experiences (during infancy and childhood) of the object, whether it be mother, father, or self. He explains in well-written and non-technical language how the object can affect the child, or "cast in shadow," without the child being able to process this relation through mental representations of language.
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
Part I. The Shadow of the Object 1. The transformational object 2. The spirit of the object as the hand of fate 3. The self as object 4. At the other's play: to dream 5. The trisexual Part 2. Moods 6. Moods and the conservative process 7. Loving hate 8. Normotic illness 9. Extractive interjection Part 3. Countertransference 10. The liar 11. The psychoanalyst and the hysteric 12. Expressive uses of the countertransference 13. Self analysis and the countertransference 14. Ordinary regression to dependence Part 4. Epilogue 15. The unthought known: early considerations