View Full Version : Stuart Kaplan
I haven´t read anything by this famous author. Are their books worthy of studying? I have heard he´s a great writer on Tarot.
There's his three-volume Encyclopedia of Tarot, which contains a lot of interesting background information on tarot and pictures of hundreds of tarot decks.
Personally, I do not think he is a great writer - but remains a very important author - on Tarot. Two of his earlier books (the first on the 1jj, the other called Tarot Classic) are also worth getting, but they assume much and make errors.
Where Kaplan is indispensible is with the Encyclopedias. Essentially, he has put at our fingertips such a wealth of information that he has provided an invaluable service to the Tarot Community (whilst also making a few millions through his US-Games)...
His 'habit' of requiring that artists hand over the originals for decks, by the way, is certainly not quite correct, for the creator of the Spiral deck still has, to my knowledge, her originals.
I do not know what the state of his collection is now, having apparently sold a number of materials from his personal collection, but it would still be one of the best Tarot collections in the world.
...but back to the books - I would definitely recommend his Encyclopedias - including the fourth volume, sight unseen, due soonish :)
I only have one of his books, written in the 1970's I believe, its a companion to the 1JJ Swiss tarot and like jmd, I think its got a few mistakes, its a very negative book in my opinion and I've never been able to use it. Although I do know that his Encyclopedias are very useful, especially if your into researching decks.
Originally posted by jmd
Personally, I do not think he is a great writer - but remains a very important author - on Tarot.I agree on that. I only have his Encyclopedias, not any of his other books, but I think they were rather poorly structured. It looks as if he had all this information he wanted to include and ended up throwing it all together into one big bowl... ;)
However, the information in the Encyclopedias is very valuable, so don't let the poor structure stop you from delving into it. ;)
Any idea when that fourth volume is coming out, jmd?
It is good to know this. I see not always the famous is the better.
In such way of thing I would ask you, which 5 Tarot books are the best you´ve ever read.
I have bought recently, Paul Marteau´s Tarot de Marseille and Waite´s The Key of Tarot, and although I haven´t had time enough for reading both entirely, I think Marteu´s is not only better than Waite´s, but one of the better Tarot books I have ever seen(although in some senses is very personal).
I very much agree with you regarding Marteau's book. I would rate it, along with Kaplan's Encyclopedias, as an essential resource.
Of the five top Tarot books, Meditations on the Tarot (http://www.aeclectic.net/meditations-on-tarot/index.html) would have to be included. For that matter, so would Tarot Symbolism (http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot-symbolism/index.html).
Dummett's various books, co-authored and written alone, also make for such important reference.
If I had to limit my collection to five or six, however, I would have to only include the first six already mentioned... This seems a more difficult exercise than limiting one's Tarot decks to five of six!
As for the fourth volume of the Encyclopedia, I have been lead to believe that it is due out next year.
The due date on the book was supposed to be October of this year, but was pushed to spring of 2004 because they were still adding art (so I've heard). As to when it WILL come out, that's anyone's guess. I can't find an update notice on it anywhere online.