Graphology has a long and honourable history starting in the 16th century. Below are short résumés of two of its most important exponents
Jules Crépieux-Jamin 1858-1940
J. Crépieux-Jamin was born in Arras, France. He was the pupil of Abbé Michon, who was indisputably the founder of the study of graphology as now practised.
Crépieux-Jamin revised the whole of his teacher’s work, reclassified and regrouped the system of signs, and established new rules on the classification of the signs. His methods are still regarded today as the basis for the study of graphology.
He published various titles, ten books altogether, including his famous book L’Écriture et le Caractère (which reached 17 editions), and after 30 years of research, he set out a classification of seven categories which grouped 175 graphological signs in his 1929 masterpiece ABC de la graphologie (11 editions).
In this book he consolidates the results of his 50 years of research and gives graphology a sound scientific basis. He established basic principles as a guide to handwriting analysis, and in particular to sign interaction within the graphic environment.
His psychological vision enhances the principles of Gestalt theory in which each element is evaluated and interpreted in the context of the whole.
Max Pulver 1890-1953
Max Pulver was a writer, poet, philosopher and lecturer in graphology at the University of Zurich and was a man of immense humanistic culture.
His outstanding work, Symbolism of Handwriting, the first
of his three books on graphology, was published in 1931
and supplied graphology with an incomparable means of
working out the symbolic value of the handwriting in its
relation to space.
Max Pulver was the first to introduce psychoanalysis to graphology, and his contribution to handwriting analysis is tremendous. He pointed out the ambivalence of human nature, which can be a limiting factor. Furthermore, Pulver explained rhythm and introduced the concept of a three-dimensional written field; vertical, horizontal and depth.
He also discovered the symbolism of movement, of the various directions. Pulver studied the subject of insincerity (dishonesty) in depth. He considered lying as a symptom of some particular psychological state. He built up an elaborate list of signs indicative of dishonesty under certain conditions.
He said: “Knowledge of the fundamental, mostly unconscious images which influence the act of writing, is absolutely essential. The person who writes is unconsciously depicting his own inner nature."
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