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The Book Of Symbols: Reflections On Archetypal Images Hardcover – November 25, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, the content is not up to what's advertised.
The articles are short and have a scattershot, unscholarly feel. All entries receive two or four pages. As a result, the most basic, important symbols, e.g., sun, moon, rose, fountain, receive embarrassingly scant coverage. Egg gets two pages. Obviously you can't even scratch the surface of these major symbols in two or three paragraphs.
Other articles such as knee, coyote, bicycle, and kangaroo, get two pages each and are mixed in among the more important ones; so flipping through the book gives no sense of relative weight and hierarchy.
A number of key symbols and terms, such as Trinity, caduceus, tarot, sephiroth, crucible, receive no articles or references. There is no article or index entry for either hero or journey
Each article gets 1-3 illustrations, but few if any have references in the article text and many lack captions altogether.
A closer look at the book shows a complete lack of scholarly credentials. The "About the Authors" page lists only the archives from which the images were taken; no individuals are listed there as editors or authors. The "Contributors" page that follows gives only the contributors' names; there is no mention of anyone having so much as a college degree much less a publication or academic position.
The Bibliography contains fewer than fifteen items, nearly all of which are encyclopedias and archive catalogs. Carl Jung's collected works are mentioned as one citation, but Jung himself is hard to find -- there's no article on him and his name does not even appear in the index.Read more ›
The ribbon markers are especially useful for contemplating a number of symbols discovered together taken from our own dreams or active imagination. There are a variety of images both ancient and contemporary to complement each entry, as well as sub-headings e.g.: under the Human World section, you will find sub-headings at the top left hand page indicating whether you have landed on "Human Body" or "Movement & Expression" or "Work & Society". Goodness. This is the kind of care all books should be designed with. My copy came shrink-wrapped with a Taschen postcard tip-in.
The whole book appears deceptively simple and the images including accompanying text entries are equally important. Each "brief" page of text offer profound commentary by the world's art and mythology scholars, among others. When available, each entry ends with illustration captions and text credit to promote further individual research.
This book is highly recommended and should the reader need more information can find sample pages at both the Taschen and ARAS websites.
"When the soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it."
The book is organized by these topics: creation and cosmos, plant world, animal world, human world, spirit world. It's a wonderful resource to have on your bedside table, next to a meditation cushion, or on a coffee table, displayed with your most treasured art books. Highly recommended!
I'd be very surprised if anyone working with myth, symbol and image (be they writers, artists, alchemists, analysts or just plain ol' venturing souls) would not be glad to have this lovely book in their reference library or beside the bed next to a well-thumbed etymological dictionary, as I am... and do: I predict it won't be long until it too is well thumbed!
[PS: A gentle reminder not to forget that any description ain't the symbol it describes and if you start to think it is, you've probably missed the symbol's point]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a precious handbook for discovering the symbols of inner world.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
my daughter was reading this at a place we were waiting at and she loved it so i bought it for her.Published 5 months ago by Crystal Perez