The Christopher Bollas Reader  book cover
1st Edition

The Christopher Bollas Reader

ISBN 9780415664615
Published July 13, 2011 by Routledge
312 Pages

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Book Description

This reader brings together a selection of seminal papers by Christopher Bollas.

Essays such as "The Fascist State of Mind," "The Structure of Evil," and "The Functions of History" have established his position as one of the most significant cultural critics of our time. Also included are examples of his psychoanalytical writings, such as "The Transformational Object" and "Psychic Genera," that deepen and renew interest in unconscious creative processes. Two recent essays, "Character and Interformality" and "The Wisdom of the Dream" extend his work on aesthetics and the role of form in everyday life.
This is a collection of papers that will appeal to anyone interested in human experience and subjectivity.

Table of Contents

The Transformational Object. Extractive Introjection. Normotic Illness. The Destiny Drive. Psychic Genera. The Fascist State of Mind. Why Oedipus? The Functions of History. Cracking Up. The Structure of Evil. Mental Interference. Creativity and Psychoanalysis. Architecture and the Unconscious. What is Theory? Character and Interformality. The Wisdom of the Dream.

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Christopher Bollas PhD is a Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, and Honorary Member of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR) in New York.

Arne Jemstedt MD is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Stockholm. He is a member and training analyst of the Swedish Psychoanalytical Association and its current President. He edited the Swedish translation of Christopher Bollas's book Being a Character and has published articles and chapters on Bollas's work in Swedish and international psychoanalytic journals and books. He is a member of the International Editorial Panel for the Complete Works of D. W. Winnicott and editor of Swedish translations of Winnicott's work. He is a member of the ‘nomenclature group’ for the Swedish translation of Freud's Standard Edition.


"The Reader amounts to a substantial retrospective, including a selection of fourteen essays dating from the 1970s as well as two previously unpublished essays. This makes it an important publication in its own right as well as a useful primer." - Steven Groarke, International Journal of Psychoanalysis

"What a life project Bollas has realized! And what a pleasure it is to go along for the ride!…Bollas's vision of human experience opens up. And it is dazzling"  - Alfred Margulies, Journal of the American Psychoanalytical Association

Praise for Bollas' previous publications:

"A unique and remarkable book… one of the most interesting and important new books on psychoanalysis… in the last decade." - International Journal of Psychoanalysis

"There is much in this book that is wise, clinically perceptive, and thought-provoking." - Psychoanalytic Quarterly

"A very creative illustration of his work with patients as well as ideas." - American Journal of Psychiatry

"Regardless of your analytic orientation, you will enjoy Bollas' writing immensely, because it is so clinically provocative." - Psychologist Psychoanalyst

"This work is the product of an astute clinician who is as well a creative thinker and evocative writer. The reader will have the privilege of watching such a mind 'at play', and will be drawn to join the author in free exploration of new ideas." - Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association

"I appreciate Bollas ability and courage—and I would say lust—to cross the borders into different fields in a creative and playful way and to see art, creativity, and spirituality as a prerequisite for compassionate living." - International Forum of Psychoanalysis

"It is a joy to read a book where one is happy to read a paragraph or a page over and over again because of the wealth of meaning that comes with each reading." - Counselling

"In an era of considerable redundancy in the psychoanalytic literature, Christopher Bollas continues to be a fresh voice…The originality of the author’s content is matched by his unique and evocative prose style."- Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

"These thoughtful essays urge us to deepen our wisdom about the human condition and the endeavor of psychoanalysis. Bollas leads the analytic debate into the realm of reverie, and he succeeds brilliantly in extracting from our elusive subjectivity a compassionate grasp of how we may, or may not, connect with one another." - Modern Psychoanalysis

"Bollas will take you on a journey that you will not soon forget." - American Journal of Psychotherapy