Penguin Dictionary of Symbols
By Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant
Translated by John Buchanan-Brown
Publisher: Penguin Books
Paperback, 1,184 pages octavo 7.6 x 5.18 x 2.08 inches
An invaluable resource. In my top ten list of reference books - William Kiesel
This remarkable and wide-ranging book is an inventory of symbols and the symbolic imagination. The editors and their fifteen contributors are drawn from a variety of scholarly backgrounds—including anthropology, ethnology, psychotherapy and art history. This diversity of approach is responsible for the book’s unique character, a reflection of the multiplicity of symbols and signs and the phenomenal range of possible interpretations they offer. This book draws together folklore, literary and artistic sources, and focuses on the symbolic dimension of every colour, number, sound, gesture, expression or character trait that has benefited from symbolic interpretation. The conscious and unconscious minds are explored, desire and dreams are treated alongside the known and the chronicled. Extraordinary in its range and eclecticism, this dictionary was originally published in French as the Dictionnaire des Symboles, and it is regarded as the standard work on the subject.