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Covington, C. Peters, R. (1991). Jung, C. G. Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the seminar given in 1934-9: C. G. Jung. James L. Jarret (Ed.). London. Routledge. 1989. pp. xxvi + 1578 (two volumes). £70. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(1):125-127.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(1):125-127

Jung, C. G. Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the seminar given in 1934-9: C. G. Jung. James L. Jarret (Ed.). London. Routledge. 1989. pp. xxvi + 1578 (two volumes). £70

Review by:
Edited Coline Covington

Roderick Peters

Thus Spoke Zarathustra was Nietzsche's most significant work. Nietsche was a precociously brilliant philosopher, ahead of his time in many ways, and often regarded as the source of the dangerous ideas informing the turbulent events of twentiethcentury European history; Jung, more than any other Western psychologist, had an awesome grasp of the history of philosophies and religions; and, finally, the members attending his seminars, almost without exception, went on to become outstanding contributors in the field of analytical psychology.

Given such ingredients, there is every reason to approach Jung's analysis of Zarathustra with considerable enthusiasm. And enthusiasm is needed; the 1,500 and more pages are closely packed with what feels like a remarkably accurate transcript of Jung's flow of ideas. These seminars on Zarathustra (they are, with some justification, described as ‘lectures’ in the books) began on 2nd May 1934 and took place weekly until 15th Feb 1939, when world events, themselves very relevant to Zarathustra, necessitated a termination of the meetings despite the fact that the fourth part of Nietzsche's work remained untouched.

Jung speaks with tremendous energy; this forcefulness, together with the difficulty of many of the ideas and the breadth of the historical references, made it hard for me to read more than one seminar per day. I needed time to digest the material, and so it has taken me six months to read them all. But the hard work is well worth while in various ways.

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