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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in German as Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, this is the book that set Carl Jung on his independent path as a psychoanalytic theorist and explorer of the mysterious world of the unconscious mind of the individual and the mythological mind of humanity. He bases his work on an exploration of Miss Frank Miller's Quelques Faits d'Imagination Creatrice, demonstrating complex connections between Miller's self-portrait of her own dreams and fantasies and the world of myth, symbol, and religion. From there, he explores a wide range of myth and religion, always relatiing the mythological and religious products of human culture to the functions and fantasies of the unconscious mind, with particular attention to the workings of that fundamental life-energy he calls the libido. The book is a challenge to the reader. Jung does not limit himself to the boundaries of any one language, culture or discipline. He draws from sources in German, French, Italian, English, Greek and Latin, from Milton to Goethe to Longfellow to Augustine. He explores literature, etymology, and anthropology freely to support his views. Where Jung quotes from the original language, this edition provides an English translation immediately following, and gives each of the quoted authors their own voice, thereby providing an audio equivalent of the quotation typography of the original book. The challenge, and the length of the book, is worthwhile. Jung is a fundamental thinker in the history of 20th century Western culture, and this book is the foundation of all his later work. This audiobook is an unabridged recording of the 1916 translation of the first edition of Jung's book.

(P)2012 Robert Bethune

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Performer inadequate

What did you like best about Psychology of the Unconscious? What did you like least?

Read this book many years ago - had hoped to revisit via Audible, but found the performer's reading to be very tedious.

Who was your favorite character and why?


What didn’t you like about Robert Bethune’s performance?

Nasal, high-pitched, and emotionally flat. Reminded me of some college lectures where I was turning to people in class pleading with them to 'shoot me now'.

Was Psychology of the Unconscious worth the listening time?

Did not finish it...

Any additional comments?

Would love to see other title from Jung's Collected Works on Audible, but obviously with a different performer.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sparrow
  • Marin County, CA
  • 11-18-13


What did you like about this audiobook?

As a student of Depth Psychology with a commute, I was looking forward to getting to dive into additional works of Jung. Jung's writing is complex and a bit obtuse to begin with (at least his early works, IMHO). In this course, they have a male who sounds like a victorian butler whose performance makes this course almost entirely UN-LISTENABLE. LOVE JUNG -- but had to return this book -- AWFUL!!

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?


Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?


What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

Specified above

Do you have any additional comments?


10 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Nice to listen to this classic.

If you could sum up Psychology of the Unconscious in three words, what would they be?

A collection of Carl Jung's ideas on the Unconscious, at an early stage in his career.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Psychology of the Unconscious?

The connections Jung makes seem personal, in response to Freud, and maybe or maybe not intuitive for the reader.

Did Robert Bethune do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

There is not much differentiation in characters required for this text. The challenge is making the theories sound fresh and vibrant. It is a well-done narration.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Solid and Informative

Would you listen to Psychology of the Unconscious again? Why?

I absolutely would! It's an amazing, to the point way of introducing listeners to Jung and has interesting views that are still applicable today!

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Occasionally, there were some parts where foreign languages were read with little translation but it was an overall solid reading!

Which character – as performed by Robert Bethune – was your favorite?

He did a great job narrating! His monotone, straight to the point approach made this a very informative read! He performed poetry with amazing talent and I was very impressed.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The whole book moved me. I had never heard Jung's work before and it opened up my mind by presenting me with alternative views on motivations and the human mind.

Any additional comments?

10/10 would read again

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Only book I have returned

I guess I was expecting to learn about the unconscious. Instead this talks on about pedophilia, Negros and other "inferior" races, children equated with said inferior races, drawers as children of tables, nervous women having a predilection for caviar, etc. I also don't speak french, so the long french only sections were lacking meaning. Its easy to see the mindset that allowed eugenics and strength through joy to grow.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful