Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture and Spring Journal Books
$ 23.95

Portrait of the Blue Lady
The Character of Melancholy

by Lyn Cowan

ISBN: 978-1-882670-96-3
314 pp.

Once imagined in past centuries as an affliction from the gods and as a majestic woman of power and wisdom, Dame Melancholy, the Blue Lady, has been reduced to a modern, impersonal clinical category. But we all get the blues sometimes, and how are we to understand what is going on in the psyche in those blue moods? This book, written in a lyrical style with wit and passion, intends to redeem melancholy and restore it to its rightful place in the human psyche, as a Muse of creative force, a characteristic of greatness, and a bittersweet comfort in the sensitive soul.

"Lyn Cowan brings the full weight of her keen intellect, the probing depth of her analytic sensibility, a poet's gift for language, nuance, irony, metaphor, narrative, and parable, and a rich, confessional, achieved personal style to a condition most common, yet shunned and pathologized: melancholia. She explores, anatomizes, amplifies, and depathologizes this universal mood, and recovers its proper role as a fecund, generative place of soul, and, as Keats reminded us, the necessary companion to joy."
-James Hollis, Jungian Analyst, Executive Director of the Houston Jung Center

"They say that depression dams up creative energy until the river bursts its banks, to personal and universal benefit. If so, thank the Gods for it because Lyn Cowan's scholarly and loving retrieval of melancholy from the slag heaps of the medical model and psychopathology brims over with creativity, wit, and lyricism. Reading it is a reliable therapy in itself. And, as you'd expect with an author who made her well-deserved reputation as a writer one cannot overlook by traveling in some pretty dodgy areas, there is no avoidance of the absolute shit that attends the blues."
- Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex

Lyn Cowan, Ph.D., has been practicing as a Jungian analyst for 25 years. She has served as Director of Training for the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and then as President of the Society, and held a professorship for 10 years in the doctoral program for Clinical Psychology of the Minnesota School for Professional Psychology. Her books include Tracking the White Rabbit: A Subversive View of Modern Culture and Masochism: A Jungian View, and she has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. Born and raised in New York, she lived in Minnesota for 42 years and now resides in Houston, Texas.