Shadow: Searching for the Hidden Self (Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, Vol. 1)

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9781585421916: Shadow: Searching for the Hidden Self (Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, Vol. 1)
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Collects works of art and literature designed to capture the American spirit, focusing on the darker side of human nature through works by Stephen King, Robert Frost, Shirley Jackson, and Risa Mickenberg.

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Robert Bly is an American Poet Laureate who has authored, edited, and translated numerous books of poetry and prose, including Iron John.

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"The darkness that lies within" is the diffuse but evocative organizing principle of this collection of stories, poems and art reproductions, the first of four volumes in the Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious series. Some two dozen selections explore many facets of the macabre, violent, and disturbing side of life. Among them, an excerpt from Stephen King's Cujo looks at the undying evil that lurks in children's closets; Shirley Jackson's The Lottery examines the banal murderousness of social convention; and Frederick Douglass plumbs the depths of racial bigotry. The project's overtly Jungian agenda is fleshed out in an introduction by poet and men's movement guru Bly, who speculates that "over the last 400,000 years every act of violence our ancestors witnessed" has been "stored in some remote place"-perhaps a part of the brain called the amygdala, where psychological "traumas" are sequestered and from which they sometimes leak out to cause flashbacks and multiple personality disorders. But despite all the neuro-psychology, the Shadow Archetype remains a contentless notion; pointing out that humans have a hidden dark side is neither a satisfactory explanation of evil nor an adequate unifying concept for the wide range of experience explored in these pieces. As an excuse to gather up a grab bag of disturbing literary gems, though, it will do. Paintings and photos of bleak landscapes and grotesque figures heighten the lugubrious mood; frequent typos mar its slick pages.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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