- Hardcover: 810 pages
- Publisher: Taschen (November 25, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3836514486
- ISBN-13: 978-3836514484
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 2.1 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Book Of Symbols: Reflections On Archetypal Images Hardcover – November 25, 2010
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About the Author
Drawing upon Carl Gustav Jung's work on the archetype and the collective unconscious, the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) is a pictorial and written archive of mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic images from all over the world and from all epochs of human experience. The collection of 17,000 photographic images, accompanied by commentary on their cultural and historical context, probes the universality of archetypal themes and provides a testament to the deep and abiding connections of all life.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
The book badly needed a critical introduction giving some background, better explaining the criteria for inclusion and presentation of entries, summarizing Jung's work, and much more The Index appears to be more useful to find what is missing from the book than it is to locate anything useful.
I would not recommend this book for any serious scholarly purpose.