The Black Books 1913-1932: Notebooks of Transformation

Edited and Introduced by Sonu Shamdasani. Translated by Martin Liebscher, John Peck and Sonu Shamdasani.


The Black Books (c) Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung, photo (c) Sonu Shamdasani


The publication in 2009 of Liber Novus, C. G. Jung’s Red Book, has justly been regarded as a cultural event of historical significance. The publication enabled a new reading of Jung that is just beginning, based for the first time on primary documentation of the most critical creative phase in Jung’s life. To continue this, the Philemon Foundation is pleased to announce the editing for publication of C. G. Jung’s Black Books, from 1913 to 1932, in a facsimile edition, accompanied by translation, introduction and notes, in collaboration with the Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung. The edition is being edited by Sonu Shamdasani, translated by Martin Liebscher, John Peck and Sonu Shamdasani and will be published by W. W. Norton.

The text of The Red Book draws on material from The Black Books between 1913 and 1916. Approximately fifty percent of the text of The Red Book derives directly from The Black Books, with very light editing and reworking. The Black Books are not personal diaries but the records of the unique self-experimentation that Jung called his ‘confrontation with the unconscious.’ He did not record day-to-day happenings or outer events but his active imaginations and depictions of his mental states together with his reflections on these.

The material that Jung did not include in The Red Book is of equal interest to the material that he did include. The Black Books shed light on Jung’s ‘confrontation with the unconscious,’ for which they are the prime documentation, as well as the genesis of The Red Book, the further elaboration of Jung’s personal cosmology, and the making of analytical psychology.



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philemon_series Publication Date: 13 October, 2020 W. W. Norton & Company, New York/London Hardcover, 2020 $300.00/£240.00 ISBN: 9780393088649 Seven-Volume Set, 1648 pages, 9.7 × 12.8 in Available to purchase for current Philemon Foundation Donors (except currently Canadian residents) at the full author’s discount of 50% plus postage. Email to place an order. Philemon Foundation Launch Webinar 18 October, 2pm EDT. Tickets, $30. To book, click here.
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