Jung Stripped Bare: By His Biographers, Even

Ann Lammers’ Review of Deidre Bair’s “Jung: A Biography”

[Examples of Deirdre Bair’s errors in her “Jung: A Biography” as cited in Footnotes provided by Sonu Shamdasani in “Jung Stripped Bare-By his Biographers Even.”]

  1. Bair noted that Jung asked Cary Baynes to write his biography in the 1930s, without citing a source (Bair, 2003, p. 585) There is no mention in their correspondence of this.

  2. This copy of the protocols was donated by Helen Wolff to Princeton University Press, who in turn donated them to the Library of Congress in 1983, placing a ten year restriction on them. I studied these in 1991, and they have been on open access since 1993. Bair stated that the copy in the Library of Congress, which is in the Bollingen collection, is restricted (2003, p. 657, n. 7). This is actually unrestricted and was moved to a separate collection. The copy at the ETH in Zürich is restricted.

  3. Countway ms., CLM; Hull draft translation, LC; Draft translation, BL. During the editing, there was some discussion about one passage in the manuscript. In Hull’s draft translation of Jung’s boyhood fantasy concerning Basle Cathedral, the manuscript reads: “God sits on his golden throne, high above the world, and shits on the cathedral; from under the throne falls an enormous turd falls” (p. 32, LC). In the Countway manuscript, the same passage reads: “God sits on his golden throne, high above the world, and shits on the cathedral [in hand: shits on his church]” (CLM, p. 32). Bair commented that neither Jaffé nor Marianne Niehus would permit Jung to use the word “shit” in this context,
    suggesting that it was censored (2003, p. 635). However, the original German typescript reads: “unter dem Thron fällt ein ungeheures Excrement” (“an enormous excrement falls under the throne”) (JA, p. 19). This manuscript is on open access. This correctly reproduces Jung’s handwritten manuscript (Jung family archives, personal communication, Ulrich Hoerni).

  4. Adler, 1975, p. 550, tr. mod. Bair described this letter as ‘curious’ and claimed that it indicated power which Marianne and Walther Niehus had (2003, p. 606–607). However, as the documents cited here show, this letter is in consonance with a number of other critical statements by Jung.

  5. In the late 1980s, research on the composition of the text was concurrently and independently undertaken by Alan Elms and myself (see Elms 1994 and Shamdasani 1995). Prior to this, the status of the text was unquestioned in the public domain. Bair claimed that the divergences between the English and German editions caused led to speculation concerning censorship between scholars from the moment that the work was published (2003, p. 638). This was simply not the case, as there was no public debate concerning censorship until our research was published. In her footnote, she wrote: “most prominent among them Shamdasani and Elms, who base many of their charges on incomplete evidence and non-objective speculation” (p. 847, n. 69). No evidence is given of this, and Bair does not even provide the reference for anything that I have written on the subject.

  6. Jung discussed his relationship with Toni Wolff in the protocols, LC, p. 98, pp. 171–174; see Shamdasani, 1995, pp. 124–125. Bair stated that in the protocols she read, there was no discussion of this (2003, p. 838, n. 61).

  7. In 1933, Fordham had gone to Zurich to meet Jung for training, and was turned down, due to the difficulty of foreigners finding work. (Fordham 1993, pp. 67–69). The date of this trip is confirmed by Fordham’s diary (private possession, Max Fordham). Bair misdated this meeting to the early years of the Second World War and claimed that by this time Fordham was angry that Baynes had published an account of his analysis which was too easily recognizable (2003, p. 472). Baynes’ Mythology of the Soul only appeared in 1940. Bair also claimed that until his death, Fordham insisted that he did not resent Jung, and alleged that his “grudge” towards him was as great as that towards Baynes
    (ibid.). Over the course of many conversations I held with Fordham between 1988 and 1995, I did not notice any resentment expressed towards Baynes or Jung: his attitude towards them was one of admiration and gratitude.

  8. Jung to Read, 17 July 1946, RA. Bair claimed that most of Jung’s correspondence during the Collected Works project was with Hull (2003, p. 582). This is not the case, as Jung had extensive correspondences with Gerhard Adler, Michael Fordham and Herbert Read.

  9. 11 May 1955, CMAC, orig. in English. Bair claimed that Jung praised Hull’s translations in all extant statements, and that there is no evidence that he had any reservations about them (2003, p. 583). The citations here indicate that this was not the case. In Hannah’s view, as a “thinking type”, Hull’s translations left out feeling and the irrational. (1976, p. 334). Von Franz noted that Jung’s writings had a double aspect, a logically understandable argument on the one hand, and on the other, the “unconscious” was allowed its say: “the reader . . .finds himself at the same time exposed to the impact of that ‘other voice’, the unconscious, which may either grip or frighten him off. That ‘other voice’ can, among other factors, be heard in Jung’s special way of reviving the original etymological meanings of words and allowing both feeling and imaginative elements to enter into his scientific exposition.” She noted that “unfortunately, this double aspect of Jung’s writings has not been preserved in the monumental English edition of his Collected Works, translated by R. F. C. Hull” (Von Franz, 1972, p. 4). Franz Jung recalled heated discussions between Jung and Hull on issues of translation. He noted that Hull would come to see Jung with a completed translation, and would be unwilling to correct what he had done (personal communication).

  10. Jung, CW 5, (1952), pp. 13–14. Bair misdated this episode to 1915 (2003, p. 255).

  11. Bair described Barbara Hannah as a lesbian (Bair, 2003, p. 364). Emmanuel Kennedy, Hannah’s literary executor, who has her diaries, stated that this is not true. He also noted that many of Bair’s descriptions of Hannah are derogatory (personal communication).

  12. The first to posit that Jung had a “death-wish” against Freud was Freud himself when they met at Bremen in 1909, as an interpretation of Jung’s interest in the corpses recently found there (Jones, 1955, p. 166). Jung commented to Bennet, “I had branded myself, in becoming identified with Freud. Why should I want him to die? I had come to learn. He was not standing in my way: he was in Vienna, I was in Zürich. Freud identified himself with his theory—in this case, his theory of the old man of the tribe whose death every young man must want; the son must want to displace the father. But Freud wasn’t my father!” (Bennet 1961, p. 44). According to Jones, it was at Bremen that Jung was persuaded to have his first alcoholic drink since leaving the Burghölzli, with its teetotal regime (1955, pp. 61, 165). This point is repeated by Paul Roazen (1974, p. 246), McLynn (1996, p. 135), and Bair (2003, p. 161). However, in commenting on Jones’ biography, Jung pointed out to Bennet that this was mistaken, and that he had celebrated leaving the Burghölzli by drinking (Bennet, diary, 18 September, 1959, Bennet papers, ETH).

  13. Oeri, 1935, p. 526. A few pages earlier, Bair had actually referred to Oeri’s article, (p. 44). In the protocols of the Zofingia society, the student debating organization which Jung attended, his name is generally given as “Jung vulgo Walze” (Staatsarchiv, Basel).

  14. Bair claimed that Jung did not practice hypnosis or believe in its powers (p. 738, n. 84). This is not the case. Volumes 1 to 4 of Jung’s Collected Works present numerous cases of hypnosis and discussions of it. For an account of Jung’s involvement with hypnosis, see Shamdasasni, 2001. In 1913, Jung recalled that he resolved to abandon the use of hypnotic suggestion not because it was inefficacious, but because he did not understand how it cured: “I was resolved to abandon suggestion altogether rather than allow myself to be passively transformed into a miracle-worker” (CW 4, § 582).

  15. When Jung visited Freud in March 1909, a loud noise occurred at a critical point in the conversation, which he interpreted parapsychologically as a “catalytic exteriorisation phenonemena”. For Freud’s understanding of this event, see Freud to Jung, 16 April 1909, (McGuire, 1974, p. 218). Bair mistakenly stated that this occurred on their first meeting (p. 117).

  16. The Honegger papers are in the archives of the ETH in Zurich. A number of years ago, a copy was given to William McGuire for his personal study. McGuire subsequently deposited them in the Library of Congress. The ETH requested the return of their materials. Bair stated that the Jung estate claimed ownership of the papers (2003, p. 642), which is false (personal communication, Ulrich Hoerni).

  17. On this question, see Jung’s discussion of this issue in his 1912 lectures at Fordham University, “Attempt at a portrayal of psychoanalytic theory”, CW 4, §§ 407–457. While Jung was in America on this trip, Bair claimed that Emma Jung wrote to him usually every day (2003, p. 229) and noted that the letters are in the Jung family archive (ibid., p. 723, n. 60). However, there are no letters from Emma Jung to C. G. Jung in 1912 there (personal communication, Andreas Jung).

  18. [Bair 2003], p. 246. Bair added that Jung did not respond to Freud’s citation of the letter because of his distress and confusion. The letter cited to Bjerre cited above suggests otherwise.

  19. In August 1913, Jung presented a paper in London at the International Medical Congress. Bair erroneously stated that he gave a series of lectures (2003, p. 239). Jung actually gave one lecture, “General aspects of psychoanalysis” (CW 4).

  20. Bair argued that Jung’s work began as an attempt to show how myths could be used to explain psychological concepts, which is mistaken (2003, p. 201).The work applied the libido theory to the interpretation of mythological symbols.

  21. Bair erroneously claimed that Flournoy gave Jung his translation of Frank Miller’s fantasies with what he had gleaned from her in conversation and correspondence (2003, p. 213). Frank Miller wrote an article in French, to which Flournoy wrote an introduction. Bair also claimed that Frank Miller actually invented her fantasies (p. 214). There is no evidence to support this. On Frank Miller, see Shamdasani, 1990.

  22. Bair claimed that in the second part of the work, Jung argued that the sex drive did not have primacy, as other factors were present, such as the archetypes of the collective unconscious (2003, p. 201). This is to confound Jung’s subsequent theories with his arguments in 1912.

  23. 27 October 1913, McGuire, 1974, p. 550. Bair noted that Freud informed Maeder that Jung was an anti-Semite, but the reference given is to the Jung’s letter to Freud concerning ‘bona fides’ (p. 240). Freud’s letter to Maeder of 21 September 1913 (LC) contains no reference to anti-semitism. This may be a confusion with Maeder’s statement in his interview with Nameche that he received a letter from Freud in which he wrote, “Maeder, you are an anti-Semite” (CLM, p. 4).

  24. Bair claimed that in the protocols, Jung identified this figure as Maria Moltzer (p. 291). Such an explicit identification is not found in the protocols in the Library of Congress. The argument for Moltzer as the woman in question was made by myself (Shamdasani, 1995, p. 129, 1998a, p. 16). If there exists documentation where Jung explicitly made this identification, it should be produced. In the early 1920s, Riklin painted frescos on the ceilings of Amsthaus 1 in Zürich, together with Augusto Giacometti. Bair misdated this to 1912 (p. 223). On Moltzer, see also Shamdasani, 1998b.

  25. Protocols, LC, p. 98. In the protocols, there then follows an excerpt of Jung’s discussion of this dream in the 1925 seminar (protocols, pp. 99–100; Jung 1925, pp. 56–57). What Bair cited as Jung’s discussion of this dream in the protocols on p. 727, n. 13 is actually a quotation from this excerpt.

  26. Bair claimed that Emma Jung was forbidden to read the Black Books, and that in early 1914, Toni Wolff was the only person to read them. (pp. 249–250). Material in the Jung family archives suggests otherwise, as will be clear when the Red Book is published. Bair also reported that Jung “drew” in the Black Books, which was generally not the case.

  27. Information from Andreas Jung. Bair erroneously claimed that he was away more than he was at home that year (p. 248).

  28. Bair erroneously noted that these dreams contain “yellow flood” and “dark red blood” (2003, p. 243). Neither in Memories, nor in the Black Books are these motifs to be found.

  29. [Bair 2002] Ibid., p. 292. Bair also stated that the figure of Philemon led Jung to study Gnosticism (p. 396). However, Jung’s reading notes (JA) and references in
    Transformations and Symbols of the Libido indicate that he started studying Gnosticism in 1910. Bair reproduced a photograph of Jung’s mural of Philemon together with his a mural of a mandala and stated that they are on the wall of his “private room” in his tower at Bollingen (facing p. 370). Actually, they are in separate bedrooms.

  30. Bair, 2003, p. 297. Bair claimed that the Sermones followed the style and subject matter of the works of G. R. S Mead, and that Jung was studying sixteen or eighteen volumes of Mead’s work at this time (p. 296). The first statement is mistaken. No source is given for the second, and no evidence exists to support it.

  31. Bair claimed that the only member of the Club who declined was Fanny Bowditch Katz. In actuality, between half and two-thirds of the membership responded.

  32. I wrote: “these points strongly suggest that ‘Analytical collectivity’ was actually written by Moltzer. Whilst this is not definitively proved, the balance of the evidence clearly points in this direction” (Shamdasani, 1998a, p. 72). “We have seen that no positive corroborative evidence has arisen to indicate that ‘Analytical collectivity’ was by Jung, and that sufficient evidence exists to refute the claim that Jung was the author, beyond all reasonable doubt” (p. 84).

  33. Archives, Psychological Club, Zürich. Riklin made no reference to Harold McCormick’s letter.

  34. Moltzer resigned from the Club in 1918. Bair claimed that she subsequently returned to Holland for the rest of her life (p. 259). She actually remained in Switzerland, and lived at 198 Zollikerstrasse, Zollikerberg. She was buried in Zollikon cemetery.

  35. Bair stated that the account in Memories was evidently pieced together from what Jung said about Taos in various passages in the Collected Works (p. 762, n. 40). Actually, it was excerpted from the manuscript, “African Voyage”. It is explicitly stated in Memories that the section is an “extract from an unpublished manuscript” (1962, p. 274). On this ms., see Shamdasani, 2003, pp. 323–328.

  36. Jung/Jaffé 1962, p. 303. The sentence in German actually reads: “That the air had become too thick for me in Europe.”

  37. Bair claimed that the Psychological Club wanted a further seminar based on Jung’s experiences (2003, p. 357). Such a request was not noted in the Club minutes. Bair also claimed that Jung received requests for new writings and translations “every day” (ibid.). I have made a comprehensive study of Jung’s correspondences in the 1920s, and this is simply not the case.

  38. After his Africa trip, Bair referred to Jung’s annual month of military service (pp. 361–362). However, after the First World War, Jung was only on military service twice—for five days in 1923 and 1927 (personal communication, Andreas Jung).

  39. Bair, 2003, p. 395. Concerning Jung’s religious attitudes, Bair stated that Jung once described himself as a “Christian-minded agnostic” (p. 127). The phrase comes from a letter Jung which wrote to Eugene Rolfe on 19 November 1960, in response to Rolfe’s book, The Intelligent Agnostic’s Introduction to Christianity. Jung wrote: “you have fulfilled your task of demonstrating the approach to Christianity to a Christian-minded agnostic” (Adler, 1975, p. 610). The phrase is not a self-description, but refers to the intended reader of Rolfe’s book. On Rolfe’s correspondence with Jung concerning his book, see Rolfe, 1989, p. 130f.

  40. Bair claimed that the first results of Jung’s research into alchemy was The Psychology of the Transference in 1946 (p. 526). This was actually preceded by “Dream symbols of the individuation process” (1936), “The process of redemption in alchemy” (1937), “Some remarks on the visions of Zosimos” (1938), “The spirit Mercurius” (1943), Psychology and Alchemy (1944), “The enigma of Bologna” (1945) and “The philosophical tree” (1945).

  41. “Ueber Alchemie”, Library of the Psychological Club, Zürich. Reichstein later won the Nobel prize for Chemistry.

  42. Toni Wolff, (1946). A similar point is made by Hayman, who cites this article (1999, p. 288). We may also note that Toni Wolff’s paper, “Christianity within,” took its point of departure from Jung’s Psychology and Alchemy (in Wolff, 1959).

  43. Bair, 2003, p. 434. On Jung’s collaboration with Hauer, see my introduction to Jung, 1932.

  44. Bair, 2003, p. 469. This is an example of what Richard Ellmann referred to in his review of Bair’s Beckett biography as the way in which Bair “hangs on to wrong views even while amassing information that discredits them” (Ellmann, 1978, p. 236).

  45. Bair, 2003, p 750, n. 36. Bair noted that Jung abandoned this term and referred to his work as “analytical psychology”. The reverse is actually the case.

  46. There has been a great deal of mythology written concerning Sabina Spielrien and Jung’s relation with her. For correctives, see Angela Graf-Nold (2001), Zvi Lothane (1999), and Fernando Vidal (2001).

  47. Jung, 1930–1934, p. 3. Bair suggested that the reason why Jung may have chosen to discuss Morgan’s work was because it would offer an opportunity for triangular relations between the participants to be worked out on a neutral terrain, which is quite implausible. She claimed that the lectures paralleled Jung’s “strong attraction” towards Morgan, but does not provide sufficient evidence for this (Bair, 2003, p. 391).

  48. Douglas 1993, p. 167. There is no indication of an affair between Jung and Morgan in Forrest Robinson’s biography of Henry Murray (1992), which is based on extensive interviews with Murray.

  49. Bair erroneously stated that there was no such gossip during the course of the seminars, while also claiming that Jung betrayed Morgan’s privacy, as she could be recognized (2003, p. 391).

  50. On Bair’s errors in her treatment of Jung’s relationship to Victor White, see Ann Lammers, 2004.