Publication details [#14859]

Xing, Jianchang. 2020. Confrontation with the Unconscious: A Reading of C. G. Jung’s The Red Book. Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art 41 (5) :  44–53. 54 pp. URL
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The Red Book is the most difficult work among the oeuvre of C. G, Jung (1875 - 1961), and it is Jung’s “self-experiment” on his “inner images” from 1913 to 1930, a “personal diary” written to himself, and a psychological work on literary themes. It “contains the nucleus of” and is “the key” to Jung’s later works. The theme of the book is an exploration of the “the spirit of the depths” and the exertion of “refinding the soul” by means of images or metaphors rather than logical thinking and intellectual intervention. Jung held that “the spirit of the times” seemed powerful, but it forced people to fill the present with “trivial things [and] small matters from our…daily life,” which would eventually lead the barren, lazy soul straying far away from the scared or even the ordinary. Guided by “the spirit of the depths”, Jung chose a way to return to the inner experiences, not to finding the self from the outside but from the inside.