Red Book

Preface to the Reader’s Edition

More than a decade has passed since the memorable decision of the former society of heirs of C. G. Jung to release The Red Book for publication.

Much consideration was given to what kind of audience this multilayered work should be directed:

Professional readers of works on the history of psychology?

The general reader? Visually receptive people, orientated toward images? Lovers of calligraphy?

Collectors of beautiful books? Which aspects should the format and design of the publication foreground?

These questions weren’t easy to answer, since even the physical appearance of the precious original seemed to contain a message.

Many proposals were discussed and discarded.

It was W. W. Norton that finally found the appropriate solution: a complete facsimile edition, which was presented in its original format in 2009.

Overwhelming success proved that the publisher was right.

The work rapidly spread worldwide and is already available in nine languages.

Evidently, it was possible to design an edition that did justice not only to the many facets of the work but also to the different types of audience.

The list of people to whom the credit for this success is due is now of considerable length.

However, two names especially deserve to be mentioned, Jim Mairs (W. W. Norton) and Sonu Shamdasani (Philemon Foundation).

The present Reader’s Edition contains the complete text of the original.

It is specifically aimed toward those who would like to engage deeply with the literary documentation of Jung’s inner development.

It would undoubtedly accord with Jung’s intention if this edition helps readers to make their reading more fruitful for their own development.

Ulrich Hoerni
Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung
July 2012