In Psychology and Alchemy, Carl Gustav Jung wrote that “only in the region of danger (watery abyss, cavern, forest, island, castle, etc.) can one find ‘the treasure hard to attain’ (jewel, virgin, life potion, victory over death).”
Jung’s quote shows his amazing intuitive grasp of island’s significance: it is both beautiful and dangerous.
Where there is death, there must be transformation. Whoever comes to an isolated island, does not leave it as the same person: islands are both safe havens and dangerous areas of upheaval; safe wombs and insular alchemical vessels of transformation.
Time flows differently on islands, because they are places torn out of the conventional time space continuum.
Islands are like precious jewels scattered on ocean waves, like treasure chests waiting for brave heroes to explore them. They provoke longing and wishful craving.
Northrop Frye, a literary critic, referred to islands as “points of epiphany.” On an island, away from their everyday circumstances, mythical and literary characters can become free of themselves in order to find themselves.
As the cover of the book suggests, the mystery of the island cannot be solved without a woman.
Time and again we find the island represented as the locus of a transformation, a translation. On islands, things change or, as William Golding shows so dramatically in his Lord of the Flies, things rise to the surface and are made visible, often things that we wish we did not have to see.