Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jung's The Red Book coming soon

Thinking of updating your wish list? You might want to consider adding this one: in October WW Norton will publish Carl Gustavus Jung's The Red Book for the first time. Featured in a lengthy article in the New York Times Magazine earlier this month and referred to by the publisher as "the most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology," the book is from a journal written and illustrated by Jung over a 15 year period. It was been hidden from the public view by Jung's heirs until they very recently made the decision to publish it.

What's the book about? Here's a quote from the NYT article to get you started:
The Red Book is not an easy journey — it wasn’t for Jung, it wasn’t for his family, nor for Shamdasani, and neither will it be for readers. The book is bombastic, baroque and like so much else about Carl Jung, a willful oddity, synched with an antediluvian and mystical reality. The text is dense, often poetic, always strange. The art is arresting and also strange. Even today, its publication feels risky, like an exposure. But then again, it is possible Jung intended it as such. In 1959, after having left the book more or less untouched for 30 or so years, he penned a brief epilogue, acknowledging the central dilemma in considering the book’s fate. “To the superficial observer,” he wrote, “it will appear like madness.” Yet the very fact he wrote an epilogue seems to indicate that he trusted his words would someday find the right audience.
At the bargain price of $105 (at Barnes and Noble -- Amazon appears sold out and now has a delivery date of December for new orders) I'm guessing this one will be a perfect present for others to give you!

Finally, as a geek I personally love the fact that "a 10,200-pixel scanner suspended on a dolly clicked and whirred, capturing the book one-tenth of a millimeter at a time and uploading the images into a computer." Below are some of the images for you to enjoy.

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