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The Maiden King: The Reunion of Masculine and Feminine

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  180 ratings  ·  18 reviews

From Robert Bly, author of the groundbreaking bestseller Iron John, and famed Jungian analyst Marion Woodman comes an interpretation of a primordial folktale that takes the message behind Iron John to its next phase: the reunion of masculine and feminine. Bly and Woodman interpret the archetypal symbols embedded in an ancient Russian story, The Maiden King, a tale woven of
Paperback, 264 pages
Published October 15th 1999 by Owl Books (first published 1998)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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I don’t think this book is particularly accessible without a strong grasp of the premises of jungian psychology and archetypes. It is also firmly rooted in the cultural context of the late 1990s (it feels like a quarter of the book is spent discussing the death of Princess Diana). I was also disappointed with its fundamental commitment to a strict gender binary, even as it purported to not be. Despite this, there were moments that I found very compelling.
Edwina Callan
Sep 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, bookcrossing, 2017
What a crock-o-crap!
If it is truly possible to die from boredom then I'm lucky to still be alive.
I think that that is an extremely important read for anyone who's looking to expand their folklore knowledge and their understanding of the interplay between myths and the journey of the soul. My only hesitation in widely recommending the book is the strong reliance on using Princess Diana as a case study. It's not necessarily that I disagree with Woodman's assessment, but it felt really dated to me. Not just in a "it happened twenty years ago" kind of way, but in a "this isn't going to stand ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I like the first haft of the book. The second half, not so much.
Jen Bracken-Hull
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
What I liked I REALLY liked. Dismissed the rest.
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: myth, scavenged, therapy, women
I really wanted to like this. I'm a huge fan of Marion Woodman (why isn't she listed as co-author, Goodreads?) and Robert Bly is certainly a brilliant and interesting man. But there is so much wrong with this book. It's based on a workshop they co-facilitated together to bring the genders "back in touch with each other." Yet, they split the book up - with Bly writing the first half and Woodman finishing it. Bly's writing is dry, stilted and boring (surprising!) and Woodman's writing, while ...more
James M. Madsen, M.D.
Mar 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is actually based on a workshop conducted jointly by eminent authors Robert Bly and Marion Woodman, and their humanity and expressiveness come across even more effectively in the filmed version (which I have seen but unfortunately no longer have) of the workshop. Bly and Woodman are famous for their interests in the men's and women's movements in psychology, and this workshop focuses on possible interpretations, from each point of view and from a Jungian background, of the folk tale ...more
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
So much wisdom in this book and so much that I don't much mystery...maybe best not trying to understand that.

I'm going to trust that what I've got from it in this first read is what I've got the capacity for now and the same the next time and next after that.

It was first published in the UK in 1999 and it seems to me that as I read it now in 2013 in so many ways we're no further forward in the reunion of masculine and feminine as we were then, but maybe that's my projected
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Actually, I wish I could split my review in half in the same manner that the book is split in half by the two authors. I would give Bly two stars and Woodman five. Her interpretations of the masculine and feminine energies that we all possess (as explained through the dissemination of a Russian folktale) are fascinating. And her marvelously poetic Jungian language is mesmerizing.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazingly preceptive interpretation of this Fairy Tale by Woodman. So very helpful and very healing. Helps exquisitely show the deep pain of the masculine and feminine and that struggle we have until these two archetypes come into union and their contents can be brought to light.
Interessante discussie tussen twee (archetypische) psychologen over wat nu 'vrouwelijk' of 'mannelijk' is. En dat de held van zijn 'mannelijkheid' moet worden gered. Voor mij interessant vanwege Heldinne's Reis.
AJ Paris
Oct 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I really loved Robert Bly's portion of the book, but couldn't get through Marion W's portion. No matter--Bly's portion is so brilliant, it's worth it. Really a must read for every writer I think.
Sep 29, 2010 added it
I have met both Robert Bly and Marion Woodman in intimate workshop settings. This was before he wrote Iron John and was primarily a poet and performance artist. Marion Woodman is one of my favorite writers, and she is a delightful person.
Hope to purchase this and read soon.
Maureen Rue
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Interesting reading the interpretation of the Russian folk tale from two perspectives. Of course, I enjoyed the woman's perspective more!
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: existential
A most excellent exploration of archetypes within a single myth.
The concept of this book is great, especially with the dual authorship. I tried reading it a couple of times and found some of it fascinating, but ultimately, I didn't get drawn in. Pity.
Jean E.
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Rain Jewelle Martin
Unspeakably brilliant!
Adam Howard
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Robert Bly is an American poet, author, activist and leader of the Mythopoetic Men's Movement.
Robert Bly was born in western Minnesota in 1926 to parents of Norwegian stock. He enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and spent two years there. After one year at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, he transferred to Harvard and thereby joined the famous group of writers who were undergraduates at that time, which