A Personal Tribute to Daryl Sharp
by Peggy Voth
Daryl Sharp, founder and general editor of Inner City Books in Toronto, passed away on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at the age of 83. He was one of the first Jungian analysts in Canada and a founding member of OAJA, the only training program in Canada. His company published Marion Woodman’s early books. To this day, it is the sole publisher in the world to issue only books written by Jungian analysts. Many of you will have read – perhaps even purchased – a book by Marie-Lousie von Franz, James Hollis, Sylvia Brinton Perera or Edward Edinger.
It was my great privilege to have Daryl as my first training analyst. Somewhere, somehow, the archetype of Eros had taken up residence in him by the time I met him. Before either of us said a word, a brick wall that surrounded my heart collapsed. I had had no awareness of this inner barricade until it imploded.
A man of few words and a soft chuckle, Daryl had an ability to put a finger directly on my blind spots. He did this without judgment throughout the two years I worked with him.
From his writings and my limited experience of Daryl, he struck me as a man who lived out both his brightness and his shadow. He enjoyed scotch, scrabble and scribing. The books he wrote portray a delightful irreverence. Those who socialized with him say that he lived life “exuberantly and unapologetically.” I believe it.
Of the many books written by Daryl himself, my favorite is Jungian Psychology Unplugged: My Life as an Elephant. A playful, down-to-earth presentation of Jung’s fundamental concepts, it offers a peek into the dance between a man’s ego and the anima. Jung Lexicon: A Primer of Concepts and Terms is useful for both lay people and students of Jung. The library of the Calgary Jung Society has a copy of both books.
With humor, humility and dedication, Daryl brought Jung’s analytical psychology to the larger world and gave Jungian analysts a home for their writings. The quality of Inner City’s books has been top-notch with tight, clear writing. We, the beneficiaries of Daryl’s legacy of love and devotion to Jung’s work, are enriched by his labour. May he rest in peace.
To view the book catalogue, or to read the obituary written by Daryl himself, go to https://innercitybooks.net
A Second Tribute to Daryl Sharp
by Chris Wilkes
It’s a pleasure to add my voice to that of Peggy’s in paying tribute to Daryl’s many contributions both professionally to the Jungian community and of course personally, as he was my training analyst since sept 2001 for approximately 13yrs. Now both Peggy and I embarked upon that important but regressive and painful journey of personal analysis with Daryl in his castle, at 53 Alvin Avenue, in all weathers. As a result, I feel Peggy and I have become the Calgary based Canadian brother and sister in Jung. We are both profoundly grateful for this opportunity to have met and worked with a great Canadian Jungian scholar. Of course, most people who met him in this role were impressed by his warmth and wit. I remember once arriving early on a hot summer day only to find him standing and looking out the back on his yard and pool. When I enquired about what he was thinking in the back yard, he replied gleefully that he was merely looking over his 40 acres of land in his Toronto suburban dwelling. He was the consummate master of the oxymoron. Of course, most of the time he would often greet the training candidates at the door after he had descended down the stairs from his turret, his words not mine, where he had been working for many hours on some manuscript, writing and reflecting on Jungian theories. After sessions it was always a joy for me to leave with another one of his Inner City book to review on plane ride home to Calgary.
Daryl was not perfect by any means, as he wrote so eloquently his life had at times been hijacked by Eros. But I think the anima for Daryl was the inward arc of self-discovery and the renewal of energy as he struggled with the existential issues of death, meaninglessness, isolation and freedom, not to mention his gradual failing health of old age. Daryl like Goethe’s Faust pursued the comforting encouragement and inspiration of the eternal feminine, and we are the richer for it. In the words of the chorus mystica, salvation has been achieved.
All that is transitory,
Is but a parable,
Is here attained,
Here is accomplished,
Draws us on high.
Now the outward arc of Daryl life certainly was heroic and included the promotion Jung’s work through inner city books with the message of individuation. This often translated into his stalwart support, love and respect for the individual, but it was often accompanied by his suspicion and disdain for the collective organizations with their bureaucracy. I appreciated his personal support in many ways but none more important to me than the time when I was forced to take a year off work, for cancer treatment and endure radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Then his books and his encouragements and recommended reading activities was again life saving for me. So his compassion, generosity and Eros always shone through and I grew to love the man, foibles and all. Finally, I would like to thank him for some of his books. We all know Daryl wrote many books and edited even more but a few of my favourites included The Secret Raven, Who Am I Really?, Chicken Little and The Survival Papers: Anatomy of a Midlife Crisis. I particularly enjoyed the characters he created for these books, especially Professor Adam Brillig, Nancy, Norman, Rachel and his dog Sunny. For me his writings evoked the eternal and the temporal simultaneously. I will miss Daryl, but my life is bigger and better for having known him and of course his love of music and Johnny WALKER Wisdom points the way for all of us to experience the sublime, which transcends the pair of opposites and I can think of no greater tribute to him but to end with the quote from the English Poet Blake.
“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour”