On Psychological And Visionary Art: Notes From C. G. Jungs Lecture On Grard De Nervals Aurlia (Philemon Foundation Series)

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In 1945, at the end of the Second World War and after a long illness, C. G. Jung delivered a lecture in Zrich on the French Romantic poet Grard de Nerval. The lecture focused on Nerval's visionary memoir, Aurlia, which the poet wrote in an ambivalent attempt to emerge from madness. Published here for the first time, Jungs lecture is both a cautionary psychological tale and a validation of Nervals visionary experience as a genuine encounter.

Nerval explored the irrational with lucidity and exquisite craft. He privileged the subjective imagination as a way of fathoming the divine to reconnect with what the Romantics called the life principle. During the years of his greatest creativity, he suffered from madness and was institutionalized eight times. Contrasting an orthodox psychoanalytic interpretation with his own synthetic approach to the unconscious, Jung explains why Nerval was unable to make use of his visionary experiences in his own life. At the same time, Jung emphasizes the validity of Nervals visions, differentiating the psychology of a work of art from the psychology of the artist. The lecture suggests how Jungs own experiments with active imagination influenced his reading of Nervals Aurlia as a parallel text to his own Red Book.

With Craig Stephensons authoritative introduction, Richard Sieburths award-winning translation of Aurlia, and Alfred Kubins haunting illustrations to the text, and featuring Jungs reading marginalia, preliminary notes, and revisions to a 1942 lecture, On Psychological and Visionary Art documents the stages of Jungs creative process as he responds to an essential Romantic text.

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