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Of "Fire" and "Form": From Dante's Commedia to C. G. Jung's Liber Novus

Priviero, Tommaso; (2021) Of "Fire" and "Form": From Dante's Commedia to C. G. Jung's Liber Novus. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Of “Fire” and “Form”: From Dante’s Commedia to C. G. Jung’s Liber Novus recounts the untold encounter between two illustrious visionaries: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) and Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961). For the renowned Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, Dante’s journey to Hell for the sake of his beloved, Beatrice, perfectly unveiled the passions and struggles of the modern psyche, while providing a pathway to inner freedom. The Commedia crucially affected Jung’s own visionary experiences (coalesced into the astonishing book of visions known as Jung’s Liber Novus) and indeed the development of his psychological ideas. In light of this, this study provides a thorough comparative analysis of the intertextual and symbolical correspondences between Liber Novus and the Commedia, upon a continuous intersection of a historical perspective with a symbolical-analytical one. The result is a journey through thematics as various as the metánoia or “radical mental change”, the symbolism of animals, the descent into Hell, Christian mysticism in the Middle Ages, the function of Lucifer, the meaning of the magician or psychopomp (in Greek mythology, the “guide of the souls” in the underworld), the transformative role of the feminine, the erotic and spiritual imagery of the “soul”, the mandala symbolism in relation to Dante’s ecstatic vision of the celestial rose, and the ever-changing action and enigma of love. Threshold by threshold, this project explores in detail Jung’s lifelong confrontation with Dante and uses it as a beacon to capture a fundamentally Dantesque characteristic of analytical psychology: the transformative and healing capacities of man’s visionary potential.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Of "Fire" and "Form": From Dante's Commedia to C. G. Jung's Liber Novus
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134919
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