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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Carl Jung and his Big Red Book

A very private press....






The designs and color (Red) in yesterday's post reminded me of a huge event that recently occurred in the world of books and psychology -- the publication last October of Carl Jung's mythical, long-hidden, self-analytical tour-de-force, the Red Book which he wrote between 1914 and 1930.  Three months later it is in its fifth printing (available from Amazon here).  In the seemingly over-the-top words of the Philemon Foundation, which is dedicated to the publication of the complete works of Jung, "While Jung considered the Red Book, or Liber Novus (New Book) to be the central work in his oeuvre, it has remained unpublished till this day, and unavailable for study and unseen by the public at large. The work can be best described as a work of psychology in a literary and prophetic form. It is possibly the most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology. Its publication is a watershed that inaugurates a new era in the understanding of Jung’s life and work."  

Sounds exciting!  If you want to see the real thing, the Red Book is being exhibited at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan until February 15th, then it travels to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and then goes to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in June.  

I can't help but wonder if Jung was aware of, or inspired by, William Morris and/or his illuminated manuscripts (see this earlier post).

The Red Book