A little book on the human shadow

by Robert Bly

Other authorsWilliam C. Booth
Book, 1988



Call number


Call number



San Francisco : Harper & Row, c1988.

Physical description

81 p.; 22 cm

Local notes

Robert Bly, renowned poet and author of the ground-breaking bestseller Iron John, mingles essay and verse to explore the Shadow -- the dark side of the human personality -- and the importance of confronting it.

User reviews

LibraryThing member William345
Robert Bly has this wonderful Jungian lens through which he sees the world. Here he is discussing the subconscious mind, which he represents with the metaphor of the shadow. The book is distilled from three or four poetry readings he gave in the 1970s. He wants us to be in touch with our dark side, meaning the subconcious. The metaphor of the shadow he sees is also a bag in which we are forced to put every personal attribute not desired by our parents, who want us to be only "nice." Yet we are essentially wild animals at heart. What should we do with all that anger, rage, sexuality, creativity, whatever, that we've been forced to suppress? Well, when we get to about 35 or 40, Bly says, we have to start taking things out of the bag. Unless we take them out, unless we address them, we will become damaged. Please don't read this book if you've never had a psychology course or have not familiarized yourself with psychological concepts through reading, esp. Jungian ones. Those without such a background are likely to see Bly as little more than a raving lunatic. He is not. What I found fascinating (again) was how very discursive Bly's thought process is. He's been thinking in Jungian terms for so long that his analysis, essentially cultural analysis, psychohistory, can be a little dense at times. This is one of those books that you have to absorb over time, reflect upon, pick up again, and re-read. Fortunately it's only 81 pages long.… (more)
LibraryThing member Kronomlo
The book talks about the psychological concept of the shadow, or shadow self. This is an idea that was put forth by C.G. Jung, the great psychoanalyst. The shadow is the part of you, and every human being, that is more-or-less your "dark side", or the part of you that people claim doesn't exist or won't admit that it does. Bly, through his writings, tries to show you how and why you should integrate with your shadow, and to not deny or suppress it.

A wonderful book, I only wish it was a lot longer.
… (more)
LibraryThing member LeeBoiBoi
Wonderful little book on jungian psychology and philosophy. In particular the idea of the human shadow. (Not a literal shadow lol)

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