C.G. Jung’s Red Book: Liber Novus
In the introduction to the Red Book, editor Sonu Shamdasani summarizes the importance of the work: “The overall theme of the book is how Jung regains his soul and overcomes the contemporary malaise of spiritual alienation. This is ultimately achieved through enabling the rebirth of a new image of God in his soul and developing a new world view in the form of a psychological and theological cosmology” (p. 207).
Around the time of WWI, C. G. Jung commenced on an extended self-exploration that he called his “confrontation with the unconscious.” During this period, Jung developed his principal theories of the collective unconscious, the archetypes, psychological types and the process of individuation, and transformed psychotherapy from a practice concerned with the treatment of pathology into a means for reconnection with the soul and the recovery of meaning in life.
At the heart of this endeavor was his legendary Red Book, a large, leather bound, illuminated volume that he created between 1914 and 1930, and which contained the nucleus of all his later works.
While Jung considered the Red Book, or Liber Novus (New Book), to be the central work in his oeuvre, it has remained unpublished until the end of 2009, and unavailable for study and unseen by the public at large. The work can be best described as a work of psychology in a literary and prophetic form. Its publication is a watershed that inaugurates a new era in the understanding of Jung’s life and work.
“This life is the way, the long sought-after way to the unfathomable which we call divine.” ~C.G. Jung, The Red Book, p. 232
About the Editors and Translators
Edited and Introduced by Sonu Shamdasani. Translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck and Sonu Shamdasani. With a forword by Ulrich Hoerni.
Sonu Shamdasani is the General Editor and Co-Founder of the Philemon Foundation and the Philemon Professor of Jung History at the Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines at University College London.
About the Book
Published on October 7, 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company, the Red Book is a scholarly and historical edition made accessible to the general reader by an introduction that sketches the social and intellectual context of the work, its history, and the circumstances in which it arose.
The folio size (11.57 inches by 15.35 inches) volume, exactly the same size as the original, consists of 205 pages of text in Jung’s masterful calligraphic hand and, from his skilled brush, stunning paintings. Of them, 53 pages are full images, 71 pages contain both text and 81 images and pages are pure calligraphic text.
Video, Radio and Print Media
Preview how the book was produced at: DigitalFusion Captures History for Carl Jung’s Red Book « DigitalFusion
Read an interview with Red Book editor, Professor Sonu Shamdasani, in Harper’s Magazine
Listen to an interview with Red Book editor, Professor Sonu Shamdasani, on National Public Radio
Order the Red Book
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“There is a human story here. The basic message he’s sending is ‘Value your inner life.’” ~Sonu Shamadasani, Editor of the Red Book