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April 28, 2006


This is very interesting, Beth! I've not read Jung either, except for some excerpts here and there, even though I keep meaning to. I'm attracted by his interest in the artist, archetypes and myths. I look forward to reading more of your comments on his memoir!

You know, Beth, I wonder if Jung isn't referring specifically to the shade of Montaigne here. The reference to the sixteenth-century gives it away though it's possible it's all just a wonderful coincidence.

Montaigne was noted, in later life, for the amount of time he spent in a private tower on his property in Bordeaux, a tower he had filled with books and solitude. For many years (and maybe even still now), Montaigne's tower was lodged in my mind as an image of the happiest possible life. A place for the mind to roam freely, and develop itself, far from prejudice and chatter. I'm sure you know his essays. They show up 15 long centuries after Marcus Aurelius, but they have the same nourishing effect on my spirit.

I love your photo and your paragraphs in this post. Very evocative. And, taken by themselves, even without the Jung quotation, they too very much remind me of Montaigne and his tower.

That's really interesting, and maybe he'll say something about Montaigne later. The person he speaks of identifying with is Goethe, even describing how Faust and Mephistopheles were combined in his (Jung's) own person.

I thought you'd like the idea of the tower, too.

I have been intrigued by Jungian ideas, without actually going to the source and reading him. I guess it's time.

I would love your room.

I have a quotation and two links for you, Beth:

"In 1571 Michel de Montaigne, suffering increasingly from melancholy, retired to the library tower on his estate in the PĂ©rigord, and began to write his Essays. He was 38. From the windows he could see over his estates and check if his men were shirking their work. Inscribed on the walls and beams of his tower room were about 60 maxims in Greek and Latin taken from the philosophers. He replaced and augmented them as his moods and his reading led him."


But don't stay all cooped up on this beautiful weekend.

Zhoen, Marja-Leena - yes, I think both of you would be intrigued by Jung for the same reasons I am. He has a lot to say about the creative act and how creativity and the unconscious are linked; painting and stone-carving/cutting were his two mediums. I plan to follow this book with another becasue I do want to know more.

St. A.: thanks so much for the links. He MUST have been thinking of Montaigne, that's just too close a parallel. Jung was also very intereted in alchemy and assembled a large library of old alchemy texts - based on a dream he had - and that was all part of this "other world" he created for himself to live in. Those of us with lesser means and ambition can't exactly follow suit, but the idea of this sort of refuge is something that has always appealed to me.


I was also very interested in Jung's"Dreams & Reflections". It is somewhere on my bookshelves and now you make me want to read it again, Beth. Like so many "movements" which grew out of a particular individual's life and thoughts, the original is far more interesting than what came later. Jungian therapies, therapists and offshoots proliferate but the man's own story is the real McCoy.
I love the description of your tower room but am surprised that you prefer it un-heated - especially remembering Vermont winters! I could never be that stoic though I can see how it could have beneficial effects on the spirit.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.