A book recommendation for the New Year: Jung's Shadow Concept: The Hidden Light and Darkness within Ourselves, edited by Christopher Perry and Rupert Tower
Today, I want to draw your attention to an excellent book that will be of interest to all those who love Daphne du Maurier's writing and, in particular, those of you for whom The Scapegoat is your favourite novel.
In May 2023, Daphne du Maurier's grandson Rupert Tower gave a presentation at the Fowey Festival on the subject of his book Jung's Shadow Concept: The Hidden Light and Darkness within Ourselves. Rupert's talk was a huge success and was of interest to both Daphne du Maurier fans and those who are interested in the work of Carl Jung.
After the festival event, Rupert told me that it had been a particular pleasure for him to bring together his evolution as a psychologist and Jungian psychoanalyst with an exploration of his favourite book of his late grandmother's, The Scapegoat. Such a thoughtful narrative of a Shadow encounter with one's double! And, as Rupert reminded me, at the time of writing The Scapegoat, Daphne was immersed in reading Carl Jung's Collected Works.
Many people reading this article here at the Daphne du Maurier website will be most interested in Rupert's chapter, The Shadow in Literature: Daphne du Maurier's 'The Scapegoat', that makes a psychological examination and Jungian interpretation of Daphne's novel. In this chapter, Rupert discusses Daphne's novel The Scapegoat, first published in 1957, which she herself described as the examination of a 'crisis of identity'. The novel can also be considered a Shadow encounter, in which a man is invited to become aware of a duality within himself, is called upon to face challenges in his relationships and to begin to relate to unconscious aspects of himself. The outcome is deliberately ambiguous, yet there is the hopeful potential for some form of internal integration with unlived parts of the self. Rupert looks at possible interpretations of the novel and reflects on what Daphne may have been engaging with in her inner life at the time of writing it.
Here is a synopsis that Rupert and Christopher have written about their book:
This book seeks to reach out both to the general public and to the psychotherapeutic and counselling communities.
All of us are faced on a daily basis with individual and collective manifestations of the Shadow – all that we fear, despise, and makes us feel ashamed. The book is designed as a series of invitations towards living attentiveness through private and shared introspection to how we all make the 'other', through 'projection' (blaming and shaming the other outside ourselves), our enemy with whom we prefer not to dialogue. Carl Jung's concept of the Shadow, emerging as it did from his personal confrontation with the realms of his unconscious self, is one of the most important contributions he made to the understanding of humanity and to depth psychology, that realm where the focus is on unconscious processes. We have invited authors who wish to re-frame his concept in the context of contemporary Jungian thinking.
The book offers readers a voyage through a series of concentric circles, at the centre of which is the relationship of one's inner being with those closest and those most distant. It ranges between the infant emerging and the planet decaying. It travels through couples, disease, organisations, Evil, fundamentalism, ecology, and boundary violation before ending in a chapter designed to assist us all, through various imaginative and creative ways, to integrate the Shadow and to hold contra-positions with patience and a tilt towards mutual understanding rather than being locked in polarities.
This remarkable and insightful book is available for sale from all good booksellers and online.
The details are as follows:
Jung's Shadow Concept: The Hidden Light and Darkness within Ourselves, edited by Christopher Perry and Rupert Tower
Publisher: Routledge, 1st edition (5 May 2023)
We very much hope you enjoy reading this book. We would love to hear your thoughts and to share them with our readers, so write to us at email@example.com, with your comments on the chapter about The Scapegoat and the book as a whole.
We also hope that Rupert will come to the Fowey Festival to share his wisdom with us again in the future.
Ann Willmore, January 2024.