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The Interpretation of Fairy Tales Paperback – July 9, 1996

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The Interpretation of Fairy Tales + Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales (A C.G. Jung Foundation Book) + The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marie-Louise von Franz (1915–1998) was the foremost student of C. G. Jung, with whom she worked closely from 1934 until his death in 1961. A founder of the C. G. Jung Institute of Zurich, she published widely on subjects including alchemy, dreams, fairy tales, personality types, and psychotherapy.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; Rev Sub edition (July 9, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877735263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877735267
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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90 of 91 people found the following review helpful By David Adams on September 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I want to second the good review already written and add that the thing about Marie-Louise von Franz is her great readability compared with most of Jung, who can at times be very obtuse. All of von Franz's fairy tale studies are valuable and useful, but for the beginning searcher, this IS a good place to start. Von Franz, "the greatest living heir to C.G. Jung," is down-to-earth in her writing, and her examples of interpretations are always crystal clear and practical. She IS a Jungian, but for her Jung is just a tool that she uses -- she is no slave to a method. She freely admits that any interpretation is just one of many possible ones one might make. Beware! If you like this book and find it useful, you will want to read ALL of her other books.
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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Snowbrocade VINE VOICE on May 20, 2006
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M.L. von Franz was one of Jung's closest associates and is proclaimed by some to be his intellectual heir. She was a language specialist, in particular ancient languages, and worked with Jung from her early twenties until his death.

Von Franz has the knack of going to the essence of Jungian theory without some of the circumlocution that so many complain of in Jung's collected works. Fairy tales were her forte and she believed by analyzing fairy tales in terms of their collective, not their personal meaning, one would connect with the wisdom of the collective.

This books provides step-by-step instructions for doing fairy tale analysis according to the method of mythological amplification. She also provides examples of her own analysis of fairy tales.

Von Franz believes that all fairy tales are describing one psychic fact--that of the Self. (The Jungian Self includes both the individual self and the collective unconscious). The Self has so much complexity and variation that many different tales are necessary to describe it.

This is an important book that describes some of the basic tenets of Jungian psychology in an easy-to-read form. It is one I return to over and over in my exploration of symbolic material.
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56 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Noel Eastwood on February 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book by marie-Luise Von Franz provides valuable insight into the varied uses of a Jungain approach to psychology. Interpreting fairy tales provides us with skills and techniques to help interpret our own fairy tales, that of our dreams and life stories. Useful for all students of Jung and applicable in our own lives if only for the joy of seeking connections and associations in our own experiences. Ideal for dreamers and philosophers as well as beginner Jungians.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Davis on August 24, 2010
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I've read a number of ML von Franz's interpretations of fairy tales and I've found them all invaluable. While, as ML von Franz states herself, you don't have to agree with every breakdown or rely upon her interpretations as the absolute truth, the stances she takes are fascinating and offer another view of reality, specifically a window into another way of understanding a great deal of our literary past.

This particular book works as a strong introductory text to the work that Marie-Louise von Franz has done in her break down of fairy tales.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ZSky on January 23, 2013
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This is the first book by Marie-Louise von Franz that I have ever read. I have been aware of her being a student of Jung but never got around to reading her works. After reading this fascinating and remarkable study on fairy tales, I'll be taking up a search for her other works.

"The Interpretation of Fairy Tales" (up to 200 pages) is an useful work that analyzed fairy tales, starting with the history and theories of fairy tales, an enumerated scrutiny of "The Three Feathers," and finally, examinations of motifs as related to Jung's concepts of shadow, animus, and anima. I have found this work to be quite good introduction to an interpreting fairy tales, and it is quite valuable and an easy reading.

It is to be recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Littletommy on February 6, 2014
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I am into Jung, and Marie-Louise von Franz, being a student of Jung and in his inter circle, was no disappointment. Sometimes the original Jung can be difficult to understand, but I found von Franz to very clear, not over wordy and to the point. Her humor is a relief after reading hardcore Jung. In other words, some complicated ideas were simplified and clarified, others explained more in detail and the whole book was enjoyable to read. So, if you are into this sort of thing, I would recommend highly this wonderful book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen R. Swain on October 11, 2013
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Dr. Marie-Louise Von Franz was one of Dr. Jung's closest disciples and colleagues. This book is a bit hard to follow on occasion, so great is Dr. Von Franz's erudition, but the insights are worth the investment in time. She's truly a wonder!
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Format: Paperback
What a brave woman was Marie Louise Von France. She never, ever discounted her thoughts or ideas, but traveled deeper and deeper in her passion to understand life - both her own and the collective. Her insights into meanings are extraordinary, compassionate and very stretchable. What YOU think matters most of all. Von Franz gives us thoughtful tools to understand ourselves. I was richly rewarded for reading The Interpretation of Fairy Tales.

Eleanor Cowan, author of A History of a Pedophile's Wife: Memoir of a Canadian Teacher and Writer
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