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Mander, G. (2003). On A Darkling Plain: Journeys into the Unconscious edited by Ivan Ward with an introduction by Oliver James. Published by Icon Books, London, 2002; 342 pages; £16.99 hardback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 19(3):389-392.

(2003). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 19(3):389-392

On A Darkling Plain: Journeys into the Unconscious edited by Ivan Ward with an introduction by Oliver James. Published by Icon Books, London, 2002; 342 pages; £16.99 hardback.

Review by:
Gertrud Mander

On the cover of this book is a detail from Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights which serves as a powerful metaphor of the Unconscious, as does the title On a Darkling Plain. The surreal and bizarre images on a black background from which stares a watchful eye point directly to the revolutionary discoveries made by Sigmund Freud a century ago when he turned from neurology to psychopathology and began his lifelong work on mapping the unconscious mind. The book has the ambitious plan to ‘reinstate psychoanalysis as a valid, exciting and original language with which to comprehend our troubled and unstable world’. Offering ‘10 Journeys into the Unconscious’ by eminent psychoanalysts who tackle different key concepts of Freud's theory, it sets out to fulfil this promise from the blurb, which is no mean task.

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