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The Red Bookby Carl Gustav Jung
Synopses & Reviews
When Carl Jung embarked on an extended self-exploration he called his 'confrontation with the unconscious,' the heart of it was The Red Book, a large, illuminated volume he created between 1914 and 1930. Here he developed his principle theories "of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation" that transformed psychotherapy from a practice concerned with treatment of the sick into a means for higher development of the personality.
While Jung considered The Red Book to be his most important work, only a handful of people have ever seen it. Now, in a complete facsimile and translation, it is available to scholars and the general public. It is an astonishing example of calligraphy and art on a par with The Book of Kells and the illuminated manuscripts of William Blake. This publication of The Red Book is a watershed that will cast new light on the making of modern psychology.
The most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology.
"A great and calamitous sequence of arguments with the universe: poignant, terrifying, ludicrous, and brilliant.TheExegesisis the sort of book associated with legends and madmen, but Dick wasnand#8217;t a legend and he wasnand#8217;t mad. He lived among us, and was a genius."and#8212;Jonathan Lethem Based on thousands of pages of typed and handwritten notes, journal entries, letters, and story sketches,The Exegesis of Philip K. Dickis the magnificent and imaginative final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this will be the definitive presentation of Dickand#8217;s brilliant, and epic, final work. In theExegesis, Dick documents his eight-year attempt to fathom what he called "2-3-74," a postmodern visionary experience of the entire universe "transformed into information." In entries that sometimes ran to hundreds of pages, Dick tried to write his way into the heart of a cosmic mystery that tested his powers of imagination and invention to the limit, adding to, revising, and discarding theory after theory, mixing in dreams and visionary experiences as they occurred, and pulling it all together in three late novels known as the VALIS trilogy. In this abridgment, Jackson and Lethem serve as guides, taking the reader through theExegesisand establishing connections with moments in Dickand#8217;s life and work.
"The years, of which I have spoken to you, when I pursued the inner images, were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, the scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then."
These are the words of the psychologist C. G. Jung in 1957, referring to the decades he worked on The Red Book from 1914 to 1930. Although its existence has been known for more than eighty years, The Red Book was never published or made available to the wide audience of Jung's students and followers. Nothing less than the central book of Jung's oeuvre, it is being published now in a full facsimile edition with a contextual essay and notes by the noted Jung scholar Sonu Shamdasani and translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani.
It will now be possible to study Jung's self-experimentation through primary documentation rather than fantasy, gossip, and speculation, and to grasp the genesis of his later work. For nearly a century, such a reading has simply not been possible, and the vast literature on his life and work has lacked access to the single most important document. This publication opens the possibility of a new era in understanding Jung's work. It provides a unique window into how he recovered his soul and constituted a psychology. It is possibly the most influential hitherto unpublished work in the history of psychology.
This exact facsimile of The Red Book reveals not only an extraordinary mind at work but also the hand of a gifted artist and calligrapher. Interspersed among more than two hundred lovely illuminated pages are paintings whose influences range from Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East to the native art of the new world. The Red Book, much like the handcrafted "Books of Hours" from the Middle Ages, is unique. Both in terms of its place in Jung's development and as a work of art, its publication is a landmark.
About the Author
Born in 1875, C. G. Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and innovative thinker whose most influential ideas include the concept of psychological archetypes, the collective unconscious, and synchronicity. He is the author of numerous works, including Memories, Dreams, Reflections and Man and His Symbols. He died in 1961.
Sonu Shamdasani is a historian of psychology and psychiatry and the Philemon Professor of Jung History at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London, and the general editor of the Philemon Foundation. He is the author of several books, including Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science. He lives in London.
Mark Kyburz, Ph.D., specializes in German into English scholarly translation. Over the past twenty years, he has translated numerous books and articles in various areas of the humanities and social sciences. He is currently working on the lectures that C. G. Jung delivered at the Eidgenssische Technische Hochschule from 1933 to 1941. He lives in Zurich.
John Peck has taught literature at Princeton, Mount Holyoke, Skidmore, and the University of Zurich, and worked as a Jungian analyst in New England for fifteen years. The author of Collected Shorter Poems and Red Strawberry Leaf, he has translated Luigi Zoja, edits for the Philemon Foundation, and lives in Connecticut.
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