#28 & #30: Fun With Jung

Marie-Louise Von Franz was just a bit wacky. I mean that in a nice crazy aunt sort of way. "The Problem of the Puer Aeternus" was my last book of hers before "Animus and Anima in Fairy Tales" and both had similar hard to swallow undertones. Her extreme polarization of gender is problematic at best, at worst you could say she has an axe to grind where gender fluidity is concerned (it'll all end in tears!). That particular criticism aside she offers some insightful analysis of the roles masculine and feminine psychologies as they play out in folktale literature. I'm at a loss whether point out the general lack of contextualisation regarding the cultures from which she extracts her source literature, or just shake my head at the few times she actually does. You have to give her credit for being wildly politically incorrect. I have two more of her books to get through, "Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology" and her edition of the Aurora Consurgens. I can't wait!! (but I have to because they are very long, incredibly difficult and would test my limits of sanity if I tried to read them in one day)

Edinger is a far less colourful writer but no less devoted to Jung than Von Franz. His commentary on Goethe's Faust is a smart interpretation of the work, offering isolated snapshot-style ideas that work best taken individually. The book does not necessarily work as a complete narrative, but it goes a long way to explaining Jung's fascination with Goethe's Faust, specifically, how he aligned the play with his own spiritual worldview. Since that is my main interest (as opposed to the applied psychological aspect) I found this little commentary both succinct and helpful. As a bonus, his Jungian-flavoured evaluation of the various translations available should be useful when it comes to picking the edition for the library.

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