Robert Bly Narrates Iron John
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Iron John: A Book About Men is a book by American poet Robert Bly published in 1990 by Addison-Wesley, and his best known work to the public at large. An exegesis of Iron John, a parable about a boy maturing into adulthood (monomyth) with help of the wild man, and part of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales published in 1812 by German folklorists Brothers Grimm, it spent 62 weeks on the The New York Times Best Seller list and went on to become a pioneering work in mythopoetic men’s movement.
It uses Jungian psychology, various myths, legends, folklores, and fairy tales to analyze Iron John in Bruno Bettelheim fashion, to find lessons especially meaningful to men and men’s movement. Bly believes that this fairy tale contains lessons from the past of great importance to modern men.
It builds upon material in “What Do Men Really Want?: A New Age Interview With Robert Bly” by Keith Thompson, New Age Journal, May 1982 and first appeared as a series of pamphlets. Comparable to Clarissa Pinkola Estés‘s book Women Who Run With the Wolves (1992). The cover was illustrated by Bruce Waldman.