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Lament of the Dead: Psychology After Jung's Red Book Hardcover – August 26, 2013
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hillman's a prose poet scientist of the heart and mind – live until you die.Published 2 months ago by DesertThorne
This work is a stunning dialogue propounding the depth of Jung's soul and the truth of what he truly held dear in the human experience personally and collectively. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Shira Marin
A must read for those interested in Jung and in his Red Book in particular. Wonderful!Published 12 months ago by J Brown
You have to be very interested in Carl Jung to enjoy this. It was interesting.Published 14 months ago by Adele Aldridge
Very thought stimulating conversational book between two Jung scholars... The general themes, historical context and personal Jung changes are well worth reading - would be a good... Read morePublished 15 months ago by John Benda
In his 2012 "First Things" review of Jung's "Red Book," the theologian David Bentley Hart said he found it "a rather disconcerting document, not simply because it has the feel of... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Hapax Existentiel
In 2009, Norton published Jung's RED BOOK: LIBER NOVUS, expertly edited by the historian Sonu Shamdasani, translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Thomas J. Farrell
Invaluable companion to the Readers Edition of the Red Book. Hillman as always elucidates the deeply mythic with apparent ease and naturalness making his words a joy to read.Published 18 months ago by michele woodey