In Memoriam – Daryl Sharp 1936-2019

Jungian Analyst, publisher & author, Daryl Sharp, has died. We will have much to say in times to come. You can add your own thoughts to our Blog. In the meantime, we think it’s fitting to share an abridged excerpt of his auto-obituary from one of his books, Another Piece of My Heart:

Daryl Sharp“This morning, a Sunday, alone in my turret and with nothing much in the works, an inner voice prompted me to have a try at writing my obituary. Just the bare facts:

Daryl Leonard Merle Sharp (code name Daemon) was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, on Jan. 2, 1936. It was a caesarian birth; he was born a Capricorn. As a child he tended to pout, earning him the nickname of Louie the Lip,” and to this day some relatives still call him Lou. His maternal grandparents had emigrated to Canada from Odessa in Ukraine.

Daryl’s mother Marion was a chorus girl, a “flapper” in the “roaring twenties,” his father Emery initially a brakeman on the Canadian National Railway (CNR) and later an accountant in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Daryl had one brother, two years older, who bullied him from time to time, though with affection. Daryl’s mother took Eros into the kitchen, where she held the family together. She always claimed Daryl was named after the movie mogul Darryl F. Zanuck, but she couldn’t account for the difference in spelling. One of Daryl’s middle names came from his uncle Len, a feckless prairies boozer; the other from his father’s brother Merle, a sober accountant with the Royal Bank of Canada in Regina.

The Sharp family moved frequently from one air force base to another across Canada, spending a year or so in each province, ending up in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, where Daryl completed his high school years at Middleton Regional High School at the head of his class. He excelled at badminton, basketball, snooker, table tennis, and had a rep as a ladies man. He read only science-fiction, publishing and distributing his own fan-zine at the age of sixteen. His only ambition was to emulate Hugo Gernsbach, publisher of Amazing Stories and a multitude of other sci-fi magazines.

Daryl, obsessed with European writers like Kafka, Rilke, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Dostoyevsky, applied to the new University of Sussex in Brighton for the post-graduate M.A. degree in literature and philosophy, code-named “The Modern European Mind.” He was accepted and excelled, and the next year he was recommended to an exchange position at the University of Dijon in France. Daryl and B. jumped at the chance. To finance their impending cross-channel adventure, Daryl took a job as a common laborer rebuilding the Waterloo Bridge; his wage was 2 and 6 — two shillings and six pence—an hour. Not much, but it added up over a few weeks, eight hours a day plus overtime.

In Dijon Daryl planned to do a Ph.D. thesis called “In Search of the Self,” drawing on the work of Soren Kierkegaard (“The Religious Self”), D.H. Lawrence (“The Vital Self”), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“The Natural Self”). Rousseau’s papers were archived in the University of Dijon, and Daryl’s French was adequate to the task. In exchange, Daryl would teach a few weekly classes in English, and once a month would partake of the 6-course all-male dinner with wines from the Route du Grand Cru. B. did not relish being left out, but that was the protocol.

Daryl Sharp was no idiot savant, though some claim he was an idiot, if not wise, to found a publishing house in 1980 catering exclusively to a niche Jungian market. However, over time this modest enterprise (never more than two people) earned him almost a million dollars.

Sharp (or “Razr,” as he was sometimes known) led a rather shadowy life alongside his meagre practice as a Jungian analyst. He smoked (rolling his own) and drank Scotch, both to excess. He was a notorious womanizer in his youth, flirting outrageously with other men’s wives. This did not endear him to his male peers, but women adored his wit and playfulness, to the extent that many a hitherto chaste lass was known to come awry in his presence.

He leaves behind his two sons, Dave and Ben, two daughters, Tanya Claire and Jessy Kate, and his many friends.

And above his ashes in the Rose Garden of Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto, a bronze plaque reads, at his request:
“He was kind and generous; he loved women.”

That was hard to write, but better me than a rookie on the Canadian Press obit desk. They’ll cut it anyway ”

Inner City Books