In 1980 I was 44 years old.
I had returned to Toronto two years earlier from the Jung Institute
in Zurich and I had a thriving practice. I had so much energy I
thought I might explode. Theoretically it's possible. E = m x c2
(squared). If you have no place to put your energy it could build
up inside until poof! - a burst of flame and at the speed of light
For some time I had been trying to interest
publishers in my Diploma thesis on Franz Kafka (The
Secret Raven: Conflict and Transformation). I had high
hopes. After all, the 100th anniversary of his birth was coming
up, and then the 60th anniversary of his death. But there were no
takers. I was frustrated. My friends and colleagues Marion Woodman
and Fraser Boa, who had trained with me in Zurich, finally said,
"Why not do it yourself, you have the tools."
was true. I had worked for many publishers before going to pieces
and becoming an analyst. I knew what was involved in making and
marketing a book. Yes, I thought, why not! Only I didn't fancy being
a one-shot vanity press, so I decided to invite manuscripts from
other analysts. Marion immediately offered her Diploma thesis on
obesity and anorexia, The
Owl Was a Baker's Daughter.
Then I called Marie-Louise von Franz at her
home in Kusnacht, at 9 a.m., just when I knew she'd be coming in
from the garden. I told her I was starting a publishing house and
was interested in some of her unpublished seminars, which I just
happened to have in mimeographed form, namely: Redemption
Motifs in Fairy Tales, On Divination
and Synchronicity and Alchemy:
An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology.
Dr. von Franz was very pleased. What is more,
she graciously agreed to be Honorary Patron of Inner City Books.
So, I now had a place to put my energy, and other analysts responded.
Close on the heels of Woodman and von Franz came Sylvia
Brinton Perera (Descent
to the Goddess), James
A. Hall (Jungian
Dream Interpretation), Nathan
and Character Transformation) and Edward
F. Edinger (The
Creation of Consciousness). These early gems and later
books by the same authors continue to be the backbone of Inner City
In the beginning I did not expect publishing
to be a profitable enterprise. I thought it would have to be subsidized
by my practice. As it happened, however, there was a ready and eager
market. Sales flourished and readers clamored for more. Never mind
the phenomenal success of Marion
Woodman's several books. I did not foresee that offers would
fall from the sky from publishers in other countries.
Every morning at 8 a.m. I walk down to the
post office to collect what's in the box. Typologically I think
of myself as an introvert. I relate to the world subjectively, in
terms of what's going on in me. I am quite happy working alone in
a corner. But my extraverted shadow survives on what's in the box.
Inner City Books might have become faceless.
It has not. We are three people: myself, Senior Editor Vicki Cowan
and Editorial Assistant Scott Milligen. Everything is contained in
my Victorian house in downtown Toronto: analytic practice on the
first floor, publishing offices on the second, bedroooms on the
third, books in the basement and garage. We have no plans to expand
our base of operations.
We now have more than 100 authoritative works
on many themes, all promoting the understanding and practical application
of Jungian psychology. The only complaint we regularly hear is that
we publish books faster than people can read them.
Well, we tried to slow down. In 1997 we published
only two titles, instead of the previous four or five a year. But
in 1998 we were back to four, including the wonderful
biography of Jung by Marie-Louise
von Franz, long out of print. In 1999, we published five books,
including a Cumulative
Index of the first 80 titles.... so it looks like we will
continue to do what is right in front of us - and let our readers
catch up when they can.
The loss in 1998 of both Dr. von Franz and
Dr. Edinger was a severe blow to us personally as well as to the
world-wide Jungian community. We have been consoled by the fact
that new, unpublished manuscripts by them have since become available.
We feel fortunate indeed to be in a position to keep their spirits
and their work alive, to the benefit of everyone who seeks to become