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C. G. Jung: A Biography in Books Hardcover – April 30, 2012


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C. G. Jung: A Biography in Books + The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) + Reading The Red Book: An Interpretive Guide to C.G. Jung's Liber Novus
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (April 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039307367X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393073676
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sonu Shamdasani is a preeminent Jung historian at University College London and the author of C. G. Jung: A Biography in Books. He lives in London.

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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Lance S. Owens on July 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"C. G. Jung: A Biography in Books" is the most important biographical study of Jung published in a generation, and the essential companion to reading and understanding Jung's "The Red Book: Liber Novus". And to boot, the book is beautiful - sumptuously illustrated, artfully designed, and exquisitely crafted (it is printed in Italy by Mondadori, the company that produced the Red Book). Whether you are just starting to read about Jung or have been studying his work for decades, an evening with "A Biography in Books" will open new perspectives.

Why is "A Biography in Books" essential reading? Here we have the first rendition of Jung's history that integrates an understanding of Liber Novus into the story. By illustrating the centrality of Liber Novus in Jung's life, Sonu Shamdasani radically transforms the way in which Jung's biography will hereafter be rendered and read. This is a landmark accomplishment.

Sonu Shamdasani has spent decades immersed in the universe of Dr. Jung - including thirteen years preparing Liber Novus for publication - and the breadth of his mastery of C. G. Jung's work is daunting. A Biography in Books reflects not just that scholarly passion, but his genuine delight in sharing the treasures touched and the insights earned during his years cloistered with Jung's incalculably important but until now mostly sequestered archival legacy. And he writes here with a delightful eloquence.

After years of study, Shamdasani is unequivocal in his affirmation that Liber Novus is the long occulted key to understanding everything Jung said and wrote after 1916 (which is to say, the last forty-five years of his life).
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Donald L. Conover on July 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Professor Sonu Shamdasani has proven himself to be one of the leading scholars on the life and work of Dr. Carl G. Jung, particularly thanks to his work on _The Red Book_. Here he provides us with a unique perspective on Jung's oeuvre, taking as its foundation Dr. Jung's library.

With beautifully reproduced color plates, Professor Shamdasani has demonstrated the importance of images and symbols to the prodigious lifelong scholarship, teaching and therapies of Dr. Jung, which was incomparable among 20th Century psychologists.

Professor Shamdasani's lucid explanations of Dr. Jung's process, and the development of his theories, ties together the contents of his vast library, with very interesting highlights of the notations made in Dr. Jung's personal copies of ancient books, some of which date back centuries. Here we see clearly the scholar at work.

Dr. Jung's detractors often suppressed his work by calling him a mystic or worse. One might believe that such approbation often came from religious communities, which failed to appreciate that he was their greatest ally in modernizing their ideas from their sterile dogma. They suppressed his work because they failed to understand it. They failed to understand it because its breadth and depth was so vast that they probably did not read it. Here Professor Shamdasani provides essentialized comments on many of the facets of Dr. Jung's work, thereby debunking much of the dismissive myth surrounding the man.

Alchemy was one such facet of Jung's work, often misunderstood. Most laymen think of the idea of the production of gold from lead, but Jung demonstrated, through decades of scholarship, that the ancient alchemists were really exploring ideas modern science regards as elements of psychology.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Peter FYFE on September 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So I'm thinking, I've been shocked by Shamdasani's bio-killing "Jung stripped bare", been severely shaken by his misconception-crushing cubist biography "Jung and the making...", and nearly drowned in the scholarly lake on which he sailed the good ship "Liber Novus": am I up for another assault by the Chief Inspector of the Jung History Thought Police?

The answer is yes, for my fears were in vain. This is a gentle (by comparison) and beautiful book that takes us through some key aspects of Jung's scholarly journey with a slow, revealing wander though Jung's library (and one of his neighbour). Full of pictures of Jung's books and manuscripts and the books (and manuscripts of books) Jung read, this is the story told from the book's view.

Perhaps, like me, you'll recognise a kindred spirit as you glimpse Jung's underlining and marginalia, turn ever so-slightly green at those treasured inscriptions from author-friends that no-one's heard of like James Joyce, or be quietly relieved to discover Jung's manuscripts are no neater than your own! You may also start to grasp the enormous amount of work CGJ had to do to write just one volume of the CW.

This is a personal journey, or at least as personal as the whispers from the objects in a library permit it to be, and for me, the most moving. Fellow bibliophiles, writers, and the artistically insane are sure to enjoy!
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