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Lament of the Dead: Psychology After Jung's Red Book Hardcover – August 26, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This series of transcribed conversations between two eminent scholars provides nuanced and provocative context for Carl Jung’s Red Book and its influence on contemporary thinking….  A brilliant collection, evocative of all that is wonderful and strange about Jung’s Red Book and about the human psyche itself. (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

James Hillman (1926–2011) was the author of many influential books including The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling.

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (August 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393088944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393088946
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The fact that this book even exists is practically a miracle. Jung's The Red Book was only published in 2009 after over seventy years gathering dust, and James Hillman passed away in 2011. That he had an opportunity to read it, reflect on it, have conversations with the one person most knowledgeable of The Red Book and the two put it in perspective for the professional and lay Jungian community... It's just difficult to fathom how we could be so fortunate.

First, note that the dustcover is the same color as the inside pages of The Red Book. The book without the dustcover is red, the same red as both the dustcover and cloth cover of The Red Book. Undoubtedly those colors were chosen to be symbolic of its connection with the The Red Book and shows the attention this little volume has received by its publisher.

Next, the title, Lament of the Dead, speaks so loudly and on many levels, only one of which is that James Hillman is no longer with us. When I opened this book and read the first few lines, it took my breath away:
______

James Hillman: I was reading about this practice that the ancient Egyptians had of opening the mouth of the dead. It was a ritual and I think we don't do that with our hands. But opening the Red Book seems to be opening the mouth of the dead.

Sonu Shamdasani: It takes blood. That's what it takes. The work is Jung's `Book of the Dead.' His descent into the underworld, in which there's an attempt to find the way of relating to the dead. He comes to the realization that unless we come to terms with the dead we simply cannot live, and that our life is dependent on finding answers to their unanswered questions.
______

So it is with opening this book, for James Hillman speaks to us practically from the grave.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some of my favorite James Hillman books are the ones that transcribe his conversations, capturing his thoughts on the fly. Lament of the Dead is a series of conversations between Hillman and Sonu Shamdasani, the editor of Jung's Red Book - a Herculean undertaking that he achieved with incredible patience and skill. Listening in on (reading) their talks is thrillingly enlightening. While there is a lot of repetition here, with the two of them going over the same ideas and material again and again in different conversations, as well as repeated statements of Hillman's stance and work on psychology (which may already be familiar to some readers), the book is nonetheless rewarding for the often brilliant insights into not only Jung and his Red Book, but into our culture.

The chief concern of the Red Book, according to Hillman and Shamdasani, is giving voice to the dead - to history, to the actual dead, to buried ideas. Our culture is so forward looking, valuing novelty over reflection on the past, that the ancestors are too often forgotten. If we don't deal with them, their lament will continue to haunt us and foil our intents. True novelty requires the seed-bed of the past's rich loam.

This is an excellent companion to the Red Book. While the conversationalists don't try to elucidate the meaning of individual passages of that difficult work, their talks do help the reader to understand and amplify its meaning and possible impact for our culture today, in the aftermath of the Red Book's posthumous printing. As they remark, Jung's opus was not for personal effect, but to bring something from the depths back to the world. The proper concern of psychology shouldn't be the exclusive working out of purely personal disorders but should instead aim for a therapy of the world.
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Format: Hardcover
Lament of the Dead: Psychology after Jung's Red Book--Reviewed

During 2010, world renowned psychologist James Hillman* and Sonu Shamdasani**, Editor of The Red Book: Liber Novus by Dr. C.G. Jung, sat together for fifteen conversations about the implications to modern psychology of this long missing foundation of Dr. Jung's oeuvre. These conversations are the substance of Lament of the Dead: Psychology after Jung's Red Book. Their insights add important depth and breadth to what was already a profoundly important work for the future of our species.

"He who does not heed history is doomed to repeat it." Cicero

While the old adage is well known, we pay little attention to it. As we watch Fascism revive itself in a new form around the globe, very few have noticed or stood up to the onslaught of the loss of our liberties, although the occupy movement and the demonstrations in Turkey and Egypt are manifestations of people doing just that. This situation gives new urgency to Dr. Jung's dictum in The Red Book that the weight of history is upon us, and we must listen to "what the dead want to say."

Although medical psychology is largely focused on "normalizing" a patient with quick fix drugs these days, the loss of the Soul in our psyche means that we are forever cut off from what the dead want to tell us. Dr. Hillman points out that "psychology after The Red Book has to be based on the fantasy image," and cannot simply rely on the "denotative." By this he does not mean a make believe fantasy, but a real image that emerges from the unconscious as a dream or vision, and influences our day-to-day lives.

Given that this observation is coming from one of the most famous psychologists of the 20th Century, and an early disciple of Dr.
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