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Browne, E.F. (1981). Sharp, Daryl. The Secret Raven: Conflict and Transformation in the Life of Franz Kafka. Toronto, Inner City Books, 1980. Pp. 128. $10. J. Anal. Psychol., 26(3):283-284.
    

(1981). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 26(3):283-284

Sharp, Daryl. The Secret Raven: Conflict and Transformation in the Life of Franz Kafka. Toronto, Inner City Books, 1980. Pp. 128. $10

Review by:
Elizabeth F. Browne

This book is the first from a new Canadian publishing house set up exclusively for Jungian studies by Jungian analysts. Marie-Louise von Franz is the honorary patron. It is particularly suitable that the book should be related to her thinking; it is an application of it.

The author's purpose in adding another book to the many about Kafka is to illuminate his psychological conflicts rather than to consider him as a writer. Daryl Sharp sees Kafka as having lived ‘a provisional life’, ‘an aspect of the puer aeternus problem … the neurosis of the modern age’. He follows von Franz's seminars on the problem of the puer aeternus whom she sees as someone remaining ‘too long in adolescent psychology’ and usually too dependent on the mother.

The book reads easily and is copiously illustrated with poignant and vivid quotations from Kafka's diaries, letters and aphorisms. There are also many of his strange, flimsy yet vigorous drawings and two facsimiles of his handwriting. The references are well organised, but the numbered references to the diaries, carefully given by the author, are to the Secker and Warburg edition, not now in print, and are not given in the available Penguin edition.

A succinct biography is followed by an analysis of Kafka's conflicts in terms of archetypal material, using Jung's ideas as developed by the Zürich school. In the process a great range of ideas and associations is covered, as is perhaps appropriate in the first of a series of Jungian studies.

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