Jung and the Epic of Transformation Volume 1, Wolfram von Eschenbach’s “Parzival” and the Grail as Transformation

This is the first volume in a series of books, examining key texts in German literature and thought that were, in Jung’s own estimation or by scholarly consent, highly influential on his thinking. The project of Jung and the Epic of Transformation consists of four titles, sequentially arranged to explore great works from a Jungian perspective and in turn to highlight their importance for interpreting The Red Book.

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What have the Middle Ages got to do with us? For Jung, it seems, quite a lot; after all, he tells us: “I must catch up with a piece of the Middle Ages — within myself,” adding: “We have only finished the Middle Ages — of others.” In Wolfram von Eschenbach’s “Parzival” and the Grail as Transformation, Paul Bishop considers the significance for Jung of a masterpiece of medieval German literature, and a major work in the tradition of the legendary Holy Grail. Wolfram’s Parzival epic depicts a three-fold quest: for the hero’s identity, for vröude (“joy”), and for the mysterious Grail. In the course of this quest, Parzival himself is transformed from a fool into the lord of the Grail, and the power of the Grail brings about a collective transformation as well.

This is the first volume in a series of books, examining key texts in German literature and thought that were, in Jung’s own estimation or by scholarly consent, highly influential on his thinking. The project of Jung and the Epic of Transformation consists of four titles, sequentially arranged to explore great works from a Jungian perspective and in turn to highlight their importance for interpreting The Red Book.