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The Golden Ass of Apuleius
The Liberation of the Feminine in Man
"Today there is much discussion of the liberation of women," writes Marie-Louise von Franz, "but it is sometimes overlooked that this can only succeed if there is a change in men as well. Just as women have to overcome the patriarchal tyrant in their own souls, men have to liberate and differentiate their inner femininity. Only then will a better relationship of the sexes be possible." It is this timely theme that Dr. von Franz explores in her psychological study of a classic work of the second century, The Golden Ass by Apuleius of Madaura. The novel recounts the adventures of a young Roman who is transformed into an ass and eventually finds spiritual renewal through initiation into the Isis mysteries. With its many tales within a tale (including the celebrated story of Psyche and Eros), the text as interpreted by Dr. von Franz is a rich source of insights, anecdotes, and scholarly amplification.