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The Unholy Bible: Blake, Jung, and the…
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The Unholy Bible: Blake, Jung, and the Collective Unconscious (edition 1986)

by June Singer

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641186,178 (3.67)1
Member:jgbell
Title:The Unholy Bible: Blake, Jung, and the Collective Unconscious
Authors:June Singer
Info:Sigo Press (1986), Paperback
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The Unholy Bible: Blake, Jung, and the Collective Unconscious by June Singer

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Singer's "Psychological Interpretation of William Blake" is for the most part a Jungian sermon that takes Blake's prophetic works as its scripture. Sometimes she just rambles off into outright theologizing in that distinctive Jungian fashion. Nor does she avoid the scientism and occasional outright materialistic philosophy to which the Jungian discourse is prone. At times, Singer's chief concern seems to be whether or not Blake was a good Jungian. But even so, The Unholy Bible is a fairly diligent and perceptive study of Blake's mature work.

Following a quick but useful biographical preliminary, the largest section of the book is Singer's analysis of The Marriage of Heaven & Hell, which is quite thorough. Her attention to the symbolic value of the pictorial elements of the plates is especially welcome. She traces some principal themes in the Proverbs of Hell, and offers careful consideration of the Memorable Fancies.

The book could have used more proofreading. The erroneous transcriptions from Blake's plates are particularly galling. (See 137, 142, e.g.) And here's an author's blunder: She reverses the symbolic attribution of the sheep and the goats relative to Blake's context! (141)

The later sections of the book treat Blake's prophecies which are the "unholy Bible." These are viewed from a wider angle than The Marriage, and with some success.

The final two chapters seemed relatively disposable to me. "Sources of Creative Activity" hagiographizes Jung and defends Blake against charges of insanity and mysticism -- the latter subject to an evidently narrow, yet largely implicit definition. The two pages of "The Symbol" extol "the slender filament which reaches from our world to the Infinite" (247), if you care for that sort of thing.

For diehard Jungians, there's probably no better book on Blake. For general readers unfamiliar with Blake's work, this might not be an optimal introduction, because of its tendency to confuse interpretations of Blake's writing with assertions of Jungian doctrine. But I did enjoy reading it, and I learned some things along the way.
3 vote paradoxosalpha | Jun 19, 2012 |
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June Singerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harding, EstherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 093843425X, Paperback)

CONTENTS: * Intro * Approaching Blake * The First Half of Life * The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

* The Bible of Hell: The Later Prophetic Writings * 'Visions of the Daughters of Albion' * The Minor Prophecies * The Four Zoas * Milton * Jerusalem

* Sources of Creative Energy

The Symbol

Notes to the Text Includes 24 Illustrations

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:44 -0400)

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