The seat of the soul is where the inner world and the outer world meet. Where they overlap, it is in every point of the overlap. - Novalis

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Charles Olson in Connecticut

Charles Olson in Connecticut by Charles Boer; with an introduction by Fielding Dawson. North Carolina Wesleyan College Press, 1991.

I bought this on impulse to "complete" my little library of Charles Olson works & etc... I knew of Boer as editor of Spring Journal for many years, and as translator of Ovid and the Homeric Hymns. He was a student and friend of Olson. The book is a chronicle of Olson's last months in Connecticut, written in the second person as a long letter to Olson. I've found it quite a wonderful read. It seems to me a terrific book and nearly indispensable for anyone wanting to understand Olson the man and his poetry. There's a very brief review available on jstor here which is worth reading - though I think the book is far better, more interesting and useful than the reviewer suggests.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Patron Saint of the Beats

Jaime De Angulo (also here) arranged C.G. Jung's 1924 trip to New Mexico, as we learn from one of the most interesting sections of Shamdasani's Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology (317-328).

His poetry has recently been published as Home Among the Swinging Stars: Collected Poems of Jaime De Angulo, La Alameda Press, 2006.

From La Alameda Press: "Jaime de Angulo (1887-1950) was born in Paris of Spanish parents. He came to America in 1905, found work as a cowboy and ended up in San Francisco the day before the Great Earthquake in 1906. A picaresque life followed as a homesteader in Big Sur, medical doctor, psychologist, renowned linguist, and novelist. As a linguist, de Angulo contributed to the knowledge of many Northern Californian languages, as well ethnomusicological investigations. He lived among the tribes he studied and tried to become integrated into their daily lives. Much of his life and work exemplifies his recognition of the trickster wisdom in their native “coyote tales.” Invited by Mabel Dodge Luhan to visit Taos, he turned out to be a vivid chapter in her artistic circle. Brilliant and eccentric, Ezra Pound called him "the American Ovid." Bohemian to the core, he was friend and colleague to poets, composers, and scholars such as Harry Partch, Henry Miller, Robinson Jeffers, Henry Cowell, Franz Boas, Carl Jung, D.H. Lawrence, and many others. Renderings of Pit River lore in his book Indian Tales had a distinct influence on Beat literature, especially Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac. Besides prose, there exists an abundance of poetry which is collected in Home Among the Swinging Stars and includes the out-of-print Coyote’s Bones, versions of Shaman Songs, translations of Federico Garcia Lorca, and unpublished poems."

And a number of books by and about him are still available - see this amazon page.

Also of more than passing interest is this, which looks to be very much worth reading:

Rolling in Ditches with Shamans: Jaime de Angulo and the Professionalization of American Anthropology, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, 2005.

From the Publisher: Rolling in Ditches with Shamans charts American anthropology in the 1920s through the life and work of one of the amateur scholars of the time, Jaime de Angulo (1887–1950). Although he earned a medical degree, de Angulo chose to live on an isolated ranch in Big Sur, California, where he participated fully in the lives of the people who were his ethnographic informants. The period of his most extensive research coincides almost perfectly with the professionalization of anthropology, and de Angulo provides a link between those who are generally recognized as the most important figures of the day: Franz Boas, Alfred Kroeber, and Edward Sapir.

The fields of salvage ethnography and linguistics, which Boas emphasized, were aimed at recording the culture, language, and myths of the Native groups before they became completely acculturated. In keeping with these dictates, de Angulo recorded data from thirty groups, mostly in California, which otherwise might have been lost. In an unusual move for that time, he also wrote fiction and poetry describing the modern lives of the people he studied, something of little interest to Boas but of great interest today. His most enduring work is Indian Tales, a fictional synthesis of myths learned from various California Indians. De Angulo’s range of interests, originality, and expertise exemplified the curiosity and brilliance of those who pioneered American anthropology at this time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Molecular Animation

Well... this is why molecular biology is so amazing. I tried to convey this to students for years and years - waving my hands in the air, talking too fast, and trying to describe the processes that were being described, and illustrated increasingly well, in their texts. Makes me want to go back to teaching biology...

Read the NYTimes article here. And the Inner Life of the Cell and Powering the Cell: Mitochondria are not to be missed. This is so wonderful.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sonu Shamdasani interviewed by Ann Casement

Sonu Shamdasani interviewed by Ann Casement
Journal of Analytical Psychology
Volume 55, Issue 1, 35–49, February 2010

This interview is available online, for free, as text or a pdf from Wiley Online Library.

Abstract:  Sonu Shamdasani interviewed by Ann Casement about Jung's  The Red Book: Liber Novus  in the course of which they range over issues to do with what drew Shamdasani to Jung; how he came to be involved in editing, translating and publishing  Liber Novus; why he is so passionate about it; where it stands in relation to Jung's other work; some of the central figures that appear in the book such as  Philemon  and  Izdubar; what  Liber Novus  might offer training candidates and succeeding generations of Jungians; how it has changed Shamdasani's own impression of Jung and what he hopes this enormous project will achieve; why Jung did not publish it in his own lifetime and whether he was mistaken in not doing so; and what impact the publication of  Liber Novus  will have on Jung's reputation worldwide as well as within the Jungian community.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Philemon Foundation

A note for those who may not know of it: The Philemon Foundation is responsible for the publication of Jung's Red Book and for much of the best current work on his life and work. Their excellent website is full of lots of hidden gems and deserves the attention of anyone with even a passing interest in Jung's psychology.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Light Inside the Dark

The Light Inside the Dark: Zen, Soul & the Spiritual Life, John Tarrant

Here's one I was unaware of, which is on it's way to my house right now. I will recommend it sight-unseen based on the high praise from a close friend whose opinion on such things is never wrong. I am looking forward to this Buddhist/Jungian (Jung & Hillman both we are told) account of the spiritual path.

I can also confirm my suspicion that Loy's book The World is Made of Stories is indeed worth reading. It is short but excellent. I started it on the plane to London, and finished it in the customs line in Heathrow. And then promptly left it, and all my underlinings & comments, in the cab I took to Kensington.