The Red Book by Jung and The Lost Symbol

The publication of C.G. Jung’s The Red Book, one of the world’s most long-awaited books, is interestingly timed in the same season that The Lost Symbol has been published.

Dan Brown fans waited six years for a sequel to The Da Vinci Code, but Jung devotees have been waiting more than forty years since Jung’s death in 1961 to peek into his personal cosmology and his most private and secretive thoughts.

The Red Book is Jung’s own personal diary of his dreams, revelations, meditations, brainstorming sessions with himself, etc. The focus is very much on symbols and archetypes, and the attempt to wrestle with the meaning of life, personal experience, dreams, and visions as seen through the prism of myth and archetype. Although Robert Langdon, Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol protagonist, lacks emotional depth—certainly nothing approaching the power of Jung’s insights into the self and the psyche–he would be right at home in the world of Jung’s efforts to decode symbols and find meaning in archetypes.

For more, see Kathryn Harrison’s New York Times Book Review of The Red Book and Michael Dirda’s Washington Post review.

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