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Albert, G. (2020). Stein, Murray & Arzt, Thomas (eds.). Jung's Red Book for Our Time: Searching for Soul in Postmodern Conditions. Volumes 1 (2017, pp. 418); 2 (2018, pp. 415) & 3 (2019, pp. 410). Asheville, NC: Chiron Publications. Pbk. $37 each volume, or $111 for the series.. J. Anal. Psychol., 65(3):600-606.

(2020). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65(3):600-606

Book Reviews

Stein, Murray & Arzt, Thomas (eds.). Jung's Red Book for Our Time: Searching for Soul in Postmodern Conditions. Volumes 1 (2017, pp. 418); 2 (2018, pp. 415) & 3 (2019, pp. 410). Asheville, NC: Chiron Publications. Pbk. $37 each volume, or $111 for the series.

Review by:
Guy Albert

The publication of The Red Book, Liber Novus, the masterfully recreated copy of Carl Jung's journals of his ‘most difficult experiment’, (Jung 2009, p. 198) was a widely anticipated and highly acclaimed event. Since then, enthusiasts, amateurs, and connoisseurs have spent countless hours perusing the pages of this captivating document, discussing the meaning of its images or passages, being struck with its uniqueness, and deciphering the meanings and messages within. Now, more than 10 years later, a group of authors has come together to write the most extensive Jungian anthology to date. Jung's Red Book for Our Time: Searching for Soul in Postmodern Conditions is a series of ideologically multifaceted and complex essays inspired by the publication of The Red Book, bound in three volumes, that gather contributions from 54 authors from around the world.

This accomplishment is to be expected. Upon opening The Red Book, many are struck by the distinctive nature of the artwork, the intricate detail in the calligraphy, and after reading the translation, they might find themselves - as I was - exploring, interpreting, inquiring and being seduced by this beautifully crafted document. Jungian thinking typically scans the depths of the human psyche to uncover the rich material it holds - albeit sometimes dark and distressing. Jung, the founder of Analytical Psychology, set out on such an analysis of his own psyche more than 100 years ago and kept a detailed journal of his ‘experiment’ leading to The Red Book: Liber Novus. Much to publisher W.W. Norton's surprise, The Red Book sold out soon after its original 5,000 copies had been printed - a conservative move to avoid over-zealously printing too many copies of such an uncommon manuscript, especially when books and bookstores seemed to be a dying breed.

Liber Novus sparks many of us to ride a wave of inspiration and this is what gave birth to Jung's Red Book for Our Time.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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