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Kumin, I. (1986). “The Shadow of the Object” Notes on Self- and Object-Representations. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 9(4):653-675.

(1986). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 9(4):653-675

“The Shadow of the Object” Notes on Self- and Object-Representations

Ivri Kumin, M.D.

Thus the shadow of the object fell upon the ego, and the latter could henceforth be judged as though it were … an object, the forsaken object.

—Freud, Mourning and Melancholia

The world/is only a mirror returning its image.

—Mark Strand, Itself Now

Early in life most people develop an internal sense of the permanence of their loved ones as well as a cohesive and enduring experience of themselves as individuals. These experiences of the self and its loved objects become elaborated in a subjective representational world. The failure to adequately differentiate self- from object-representations is a sign of psychopathology, figuring prominently in schizophrenia, the disturbances of borderline and narcissistic conditions (Rinsley, 1982, 1985), and sexual perversions.

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