This is such an important and intensely original book—I think it will have an enormous success and become a classic! ~Richard Hull, 1960
Memories, Dreams, Reflections is commonly regarded as Jung’s most important work, as well as being the most widely known and read.
It has been taken as his final testament, for, as Gerhard Adler notes, “Nowhere else has the man Jung revealed himself so openly or testified to his crises of decision and the existence of his inner law.”3
Since Jung’s death, it has been the preeminent source on his life and has spawned a plethora of secondary literature.
In this study, my first omission will be the vast majority of this secondary literature, for reasons that will become clear.
I hope to show that through a process that has had disturbing implications for the understanding of Jung, and his rightful location in twentieth century intellectual history, Memories, Dreams, Reflections is by no means Jung’s autobiography.
The existence of Memories, Dreams, Reflections has significantly delayed scholarly work on Jung.
In her preface to her biographical memoir, which was one of the first to appear, Barbara Hannah writes that “Jung’s children were very much against anything biographical being written about their father, since they feel that all that is necessary has been said in his own Memories, Dreams, Reflections.”
When Jung biographies came to be written, without exception they all relied heavily on the book, not only as a source of information, but also as the fundamental narrative structure of Jung’s life.
Thus Hannah writes of Memories that it “will always remain the deepest and most authentic source concerning Jung.”
So much has the prevalent understanding of Jung relied on this text that it is unlikely such understanding could change without a radical rereading of it.
From the outset, the significance of an autobiography by Jung was entailed by his own understanding of the nature of the psychological enterprise.
Jung claimed as one of his central insights the notion of the “personal equation.”
He writes: “philosophical criticism has helped me to see that every psychology—my own included—has the character of a subjective confession.”
Regardless of whether one agrees with this notion, it is crucial in understanding Jung’s psychology, for it clearly indicates how Jung understood his own psychology—and meant it to be understood.
Aside from a tantalizing glimpse in a private seminar in 1925,7 however, Jung did not publicly present his life story.
From his own understanding of the significance of the theorist’s biography, this lacuna presented perhaps the major impediment for an understanding of his work.
In that same seminar, he candidly provides one rationale for this lacuna:
All of this is the outside picture of the development of my book on the types. I could perfectly well say that this is the way the book came about and make an end of it there. But there is another side, a weaving about making mistakes, impure thinking, etc., etc., which is always very difficult for a man to make public. He likes to give you the finished product of his directed thinking and have you understand that so it was born in his mind, free of weakness.
A thinking man’s attitude towards his intellectual life is quite comparable to that of woman toward her erotic life.
If I ask a woman about the man she has married, “How did this come about?” she will say, “I met him and loved him, and that is all.”
She will conceal most carefully all the little meannesses, and squinting situations that she may have been involved in, and she will present you with an unrivalled perfection of smoothness.
Above all she will conceal the erotic mistakes she has made…Just so with a man about his books.
He does not want to tell of the secret alliances, the faux pas of his mind.
This it is that makes lies of most autobiographies.
Just as sexuality is in women largely unconscious, so is this inferior side of his thinking largely unconscious in man.
And just as a woman erects her stronghold of power in her sexuality, and will not give away any of the secrets of its weak side, so a man centers his power in his thinking and proposes to hold it as a solid front against the public, particularly against other men.
He thinks if he tells the truth in this field it is equivalent to turning over the keys of his citadel to the enemy.
In this remarkable statement, what Jung sees as the near impossibility of honesty, which “makes lies of most autobiographies,” proves to be the major contraindication for entering upon such an endeavour.
Clearly, Jung hadn’t the slightest intention of ‘turning over the keys of his citadel’ to his enemies.
In the years following this seminar, Jung consistently held to this position.
In 1953, Henri Flournoy, the son of Jung’s mentor, the Swiss
psychologist, Théodore Flournoy, relayed to Jung the question of a Dr Junod as to whether he had written an autobiography or intended to do one.
I have always mistrusted an autobiography because one can never tell the truth. In so far as one is truthful, or believes one is truthful, it is an illusion, or of bad taste.
When it came to Memories, had Jung latterly succumbed to an illusion, or to a severe lapse in taste?
In a letter to his lifelong friend Gustave Steiner, Jung expressed his continued resistance to undertaking an autobiography,
despite continued pressure:
During the last years it has been suggested to me on several occasions to give something like an autobiography of myself. I have been unable to conceive of anything of the sort. I know too many autobiographies and their self-deceptions and expedient lies, and I know too much about the impossibility of self description, to give myself over to an attempt in this respect. Jung was no less sanguine concerning the possibility of a biography of his life. In reply to J.M.Thorburn, who had suggested that Jung should commission a biography of his life, Jung states:
if I were you I shouldn’t bother about my biography. I don’t want to write one, because quite apart from the lack of motive I wouldn’t know how to set about it. Much less can I see how anybody else could disentangle this monstrous Gordian knot of fatality, denseness, and aspirations and what-not! Anybody who would try such an adventure ought to analyze me far beyond my own head if he wants to make a real job of it.
How then did Memories come about? It initially arose out of the suggestion of a remarkable publisher, Kurt Wolff. At that time, Jung already had exclusive contracts with Routledge and Kegan Paul and the Bollingen Foundation. That another publisher managed to publish Jung’s “autobiography” was quite a coup, though clearly one that Kurt Wolff was up to. In an article entitled “On luring away authors,” Wolff writes:
Every country in the world has strict laws about white-slave traffic. Authors, on the other hand, are an unprotected species and must look after themselves. They can be bought and sold, like girls for the white-slave trade—except that in the case of authors it is not illegal.
To Richard Hull, Jung’s translator, Kurt Wolff described how: or several years he had tried to persuade Jung to write it [an autobiography], how Jung had always refused, and how finally he (Kurt) hit on the happy idea of an “Eckerfrau” to whom Jung could dictate at random, the Eckerfrau being Aniela Jaffé.14
In a letter to Herbert Read, Kurt Wolff wrote that in the last analysis it was Aniela Jaffé who persuaded Jung to undertake this task.
Due to the involvement of another publisher, the book did not go down the same editorial channels as the rest of Jung’s work, which was to have significant consequences for what ensued.
In her introduction to Memories, Aniela Jaffé writes:
We began in the spring of 1957. It had been proposed that the book be written not as a “biography” but in the form of an “autobiography,” with Jung himself as the narrator. This plan determined the form of the book, and my first task consisted solely in asking questions and noting down Jung’s replies.
When the book was published, its significance for the understanding of Jung was perceptively pointed out by Henri Ellenberger.
Few personalities of the psychological and psychiatric world have been as badly understood as Carl Gustav Jung…. It is precisely the interest of his Autobiography that it permits us to unify in a plausible fashion the disparate images which one made up till now of the life, personality and work of the founder of Analytical Psychology.
However, as I shall argue, its very plausibility by no means diminished the misunderstandings surrounding the work of Jung, but escalated them to unforeseen proportions.
From the beginning, much was made of Jung’s omissions.
On the one hand, Jung was much criticized for the absence of any mention of his lifelong extramarital affair with Toni Wolff, of figures such as Eugen Bleuler and Pierre Janet, and the vexed issue of his alleged collaboration with the Nazis.
It has been argued that Jung’s omissions, for a psychologist who made the issue of subjective confession into the cornerstone of his psychology, were the mark of bad faith and intellectual dishonesty.
Seriously, this charge continues to be used as an indictment of the Jungian movement.
On the other hand these self-same omissions have not only been defended but given a profound rationale.
Aniela Jaffé writes:
In Jung’s memoirs the personalia are almost entirely lacking, to the disappointment of many readers…. This criticism and the charge of Jung’s “unrelatedness” were beside the point. His eye as always turned to the impersonal, the hidden archetypal background which he was willing to reveal only so far as it concerned his own life.
Some have argued that such omissions are justified because Memories inaugurated nothing less than a new chapter in the history of autobiography and of Western self-understanding—that of the new, “inner” form of modern psychological autobiography, and that Memories is historically as significant as the Confessions of St Augustine or of Rousseau.
This reading, which can be conveniently called the canonization of Jung, is brought out by Kathleen Raine in her review, “A Sent Man,” in which she simply states:
Jung’s life, even so fragmentarily revealed, invites comparison not with profane autobiography, but with the lives of Plotinus and Swedenborg, the lives of the saints and sages, interwoven with miracle.
Raine was not the only one to make the comparison with the lives of saints. The same analogy was made by the psychologist Hans Eysenck, though with a characteristically different slant.
In his review, he writes:
Acolytes writing hagiographies are seldom fortunate enough to have the assistance of the saint himself in their endeavours; Aniela Jaffé had the benefit of extensive discussion with Jung…. It may therefore be regarded as representing the kind of picture Jung wished to give of himself.
In the prologue to Memories, Jung writes:
“I have now undertaken…to tell my personal myth [den My thus meines Lebens].”
Thus the text itself was taken as a paradigmatic example of what such a myth might look like.
In this way, it was not only taken as the definitive account of Jung’s life, but also of the form that a psychologically individuated life should take.
Edward Edinger comments:
just as Jung’s discovery of his own mythlessness paralleled the mythless condition of modern society, so Jung’s discovery of his own individual myth will prove to be the first emergence of our new collective myth…. Almost all the important episodes of Jung’s life can be seen as paradigmatic of the new mode of being which is the consequence of living by a new myth.
In her introduction to the book, Aniela Jaffé states that its genesis determined its eventual form.
Hence a word or two is necessary concerning Aniela Jaffé and her relationship with Jung.
Jaffé first encountered Jung in 1937 and subsequently went into analysis with him.
Twenty years later, she became his secretary.
It was a job she would be well suited to, as she had already worked as a freelance secretary for Professors Gideon and von Tsharner.
In 1947 she became Secretary of the Jung Institute in Zürich.
In an interview, she recalled that after his wife’s death, Jung did not feel like answering his correspondence, and that she answered many letters in his name, reading him her replies, to which he at times made minor corrections.
This astonishing statement leaves unclear precisely how many of Jung’s letters during this period were written in this fashion.
Jung’s late letters, which make up the bulk of the second volume of his selected letters, which Aniela Jaffé edited with Gerhard Adler, are commonly held to have his wisest and most humane statements.
How many of these were actually the work of Aniela Jaffé?
This working arrangement shows the initial level of trust that Jung showed in Jaffé, allowing her to “write in his name.”
It further helps us understand how Memories was composed.
At the outset, Jung trusted her ability to “assume his ‘I,’” and to represent it to the outer world.
In her introduction to Memories, Aniela Jaffé states, “Jung read through the manuscript of this book and approved it.”
Hence it has generally been taken that Jung was ultimately responsible for any omissions in the text.
However, from the start, there were rumours of another order of omissions.
This question was put to Jaffé in an interview with Suzanne Wagner which took place in 1977:
Wagner: I heard that there were parts of his autobiography that were not allowed to be published—ideas about reincarnation for example.
Jaffé: No, we published everything I thought could be published. What I cut were parts of the chapter he had written on Africa.
It was simply too long. It would have taken the whole book.
But I discussed it with him and he was very glad.
The only significant omission in the text would thus seem to be a book length account of Jung’s travels in Africa, which would be a lost continent of Jung’s work, which has subsequently never surfaced.
Be that as it may, what is crucial here is her statement that Jung approved of the changes that were made.
In a conversation in 1988 with Michael Fordham that was the instigation of my research, he spoke of his impressions of an early draft of Memories that he had read.
He stated that the early chapters were greatly different and “far madder” than the published version.
I subsequently located an editorial typescript at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard, and found not only whole chapters that were not published—such as an account of Jung’s travels in London and Paris, and a chapter on William James—but also significant editing on almost every page.
I then contacted Aniela Jaffé concerning my research project. She informed me that not all of the material upon which the book was based went into the published text, and that she had planned to use some of the further material at a later date, but that permission was denied by the Jung heirs.
She informed me that the transcripts of the interviews were at the Library of Congress, which I subsequently consulted.
I will first deal with some general features of the texts.
While the Countway manuscript is recognizable as an extended version of the published text, the same is not true concerning the unpublished transcripts.
Jaffé herself deals with the difference between the published texts and the actual interviews.
Some had claimed that as she had been Jung’s secretary, her task in compiling Memories had simply been to take down Jung’s dictation.
This claim incensed her, and led her to reveal the active role she had in fact had.
In a letter, Jaffé noted that it was completely ridiculous to claim, as many did, that Jung had merely dictated to her.
She noted that Jung spoke in something like a Freudian free association, and that his mode of speaking was not suitable for print.
She noted that she had to do a great deal of work untangling these associations into a coherent narrative.
Hence the view that the text was simply dictated represented a great compliment to her work.
This statement reveals her active hand in the text, and suggests that the whole narrative structure of the book, which has been taken not only as the quintessence of Jung’s life, but the exemplar of the new myth of individuation that the latter represented, was largely her construction.
The typescripts themselves give a completely different impression.
They usually begin with Jaffé posing specific questions and Jung associating freely in reply, following no chronological pattern.
In a passage from the Countway typed manuscript that was omitted, Jung said that the frequent repetitions in the text were an aspect of his circular mode of thinking.
He described his method as a new mode of Peripatetics.
This suggests that in terms of narrative structure at least, something rather central to Jung’s self-understanding landed up on the cutting floor.
In the published version, the paucity of any mention of figures in Jung’s life is taken by some as the mark of his individuation or self-realization, and by others as a symptom of a quasi-autistic withdrawal from the world, or of an extreme degree of narcissism.
However, in the typescripts of the interviews, there are many passages on figures as varied as Adolf Hitler, Billy Graham, Eugen Bleuler and Sabina Spielrein, not to mention a lengthy passage on the uncanny and suggestive resemblance between
Jung’s sister and Goethe’s sister.
I will first take up one such omission, as an example.
Many have waited with bated breath concerning Jung’s lifelong extramarital affair with Toni Wolff; and yes, the transcripts do indeed contain material on this affair. Laurens van der Post justifies its omission as follows:
She [Toni Wolff] is not mentioned in Jung’s Memories, and one understands the omission in measure, because the book is a record only of quintessence. Jung’s own personal relationships are deliberately not a part of it.
Van der Post provides the following account of her role in his life:
She was the only person capable of understanding, out of her own experience and transfiguration, what Jung was taking upon
himself. This world of the unconscious which he was entering as a man, she had already endured as a woman. Thanks to Jung’s guidance she had re-emerged, an enlarged and re-integrated personality.
In this view, she plays the role of Beatrice in the Dantesque Vita Nuova that was Jung’s myth.
In the transcripts of Jaffé’s interviews with Jung, he said that at the beginning of her analysis, Toni Wolff had incredible wild and cosmic fantasies, but because he was so preoccupied with his own, he was unable to deal with hers.
He said that he was faced with the problem of what to do with Toni Wolff after her analysis, which he ended, despite feeling involved with her.
A year later, he dreamt that they were together in the Alps in a valley of rocks, and that he heard elves singing in a mountain into which she was disappearing, which he dreaded.
After this, he contacted her again, as he knew that it was unavoidable, and because he felt in danger of his life.
On a later occasion, while swimming, he found himself with a cramp, and vowed that if it receded, and he survived, he would give in to the relationship—which he then embarked upon.
He said that he had infected her with his experience, which was awful and terrible, and that she got drawn into it and was equally helpless.
He said that he became her centre, and through his insights, she found her centre.
However, she needed him to play this role too much, which meant that he couldn’t be himself, and she got lost.
He felt as if he were being torn apart and often had to hold onto the table to keep together.
In this instance, one perhaps can understand the omission for reasons of propriéty, but this is by no means so concerning the following omission.
To contextualize it, I will address some critical differences between the published version and the Countway manuscript.
In Memories the only section that is named after an individual is that on Freud, leaving the impression that the two most important figures in Jung’s life were Freud and God, which has left commentators disputing which of these two came first.
This impression is strengthened in the American and English editions, as the appendices on Théodore Flournoy and Heinrich Zimmer which are in the German edition are absent.
This strengthens the Freudocentric reading of Jung, which to date has been the prime manner that Jung and the development of Analytical Psychology have been understood.
The Countway manuscript presents a radically different organization.
This version shows variant chapter arrangements that considerably alter the structure of the narrative.
The section following the chapter on Freud is headed “Memories. Flournoy—James—Keyserling—Crichton-Miller—
Zimmer.”This heading is then crossed out by hand, and replaced by
“Théodore Flournoy and William James.”
These variations in arrangement alone show the contingency of the arrangement in Memories.
Further, in this arrangement, the tributes to Flournoy and James directly follow the section on Freud.
In the chapter on Freud in Memories, Jung diagnoses Freud as suffering from a serious neurosis and claims that his followers have not grasped the significance of their founder’s neurosis.
For Jung, the universal claims made by Freud’s psychology are invalid due to Freud’s neurosis.
The chapter that immediately follows portrays Jung’s heroic “confrontation with the unconscious” and his discovery of archetypes, and through the discovery of his own myth, a means for “modern man to find his soul.”
Memories furthers the myth of Jung’s heroic descent and self-generation, after he has freed himself from the shackles of Freudian psychology (founding a foundling psychology, without antecedents, with no prior model to follow, only counter exemplars).
The Countway typed manuscript presents a very different version.
In the sections on Flournoy and James, which immediately follow the chapter on Freud, the problems as to how one could found a non-neurotic psychology, on which Jung claims Freud foundered, already appear to have been answered in the affirmative before Freud, by Flournoy and James.
Further, Jung portrays the positivity of the mentoring relationship, through which no breaks were necessary.
Jung credits their significance in helping him to formulate his criticisms of Freud and furnish the methodological presuppositions for his formulation of a post-Freudian psychology.
In the chapter on James, Jung gives an account of their contact and attempts to spell out his intellectual debt to James.
Jung recounts that he met James in 1909 and paid him a visit the following year.
He said that James was one of the most outstanding persons that he ever met.
He found him aristocratic, the image of a gentleman, yet free of airs and graces.
He spoke to Jung without looking down on him; Jung felt that they had an excellent rapport.
He felt that it was only with Flournoy and James that he could talk so easily, that he revered James’ memory, and that he was a model.
He found that both of them were receptive and of assistance with his doubts and difficulties, which he never found again.
He esteemed James’ openness and vision, which was particularly marked in his psychical research, which they discussed in detail, as well as his seances with the medium Mrs. Piper.
He saw the far-reaching significance of psychical research as a means of access to the psychology of the unconscious. Jung said that he was also very influenced by James’ work on the psychology of religion, which also became for him a model, in particular by the way in which he managed to accept and let things stand, without forcing them into a theoretical bias.
These two omissions concern the large scale deletion of several critical figures in Jung’s life.
The third omission consists simply in a small detail, yet its implications for the understanding of the genesis of Jung’s thought is perhaps no less significant.
In a passage in Memories that has attracted much attention, Jung describes his experience of hearing the voice of a female patient speak within him, informing him that his activities were in fact art, and which he famously christened as the voice of the anima.
Subsequent to the publication of Aldo Carotenuto’s A Secret Symmetry, it has generally been assumed that this patient was none other than Sabina Spielrein.
The most extended argument for this occurs in John Kerr’s A Most Dangerous Method, where it forms a crucial part of a thesis that the most important intellectual and emotional influences on Jung were Freud and Spielrein. Kerr states: “The first mention of the ‘anima’ to occur in Jung’s writings came in his 1920 tome Psychological Types.”
(However, as noted long ago by the editors of the collected works, Jung had already treated of the anima in his 1916 “The Structure of the Unconscious” and Psychological Types was actually published in 1921.) Kerr claims that
Jung “immortalised” Spielrein under the name of the anima, arguing that two clues Jung gave as to the woman’s identity—that he had been in correspondence with her, and that he broke with her in 1918–19, point to Spielrein.
However in the transcripts, where he actually speaks of Spielrein by name, Jung simply implies that he lost touch with her when she went to Russia. Kerr claims that: “Perhaps the biggest clue…is the debate on science versus art.”
However, to make this last clue point to Spielrein, Kerr claims, without any textual support, that the voice had actually said, “It is not science. It is poetry.”
Kerr’s supposition that the voice was Spielrein leads him to “correct” the historical record so that it supports his claim, forming a circular argument. Kerr also claims that Jung’s stone
carving at Bollingen of a bear rolling a ball represents Spielrein, and concludes that “Jung’s ‘anima,’ the ‘she who must be obeyed’ finished her career as a Freudian,” thus substantiating his Freudocentric reading of the genesis of Jung’s psychology. However, there are grounds for asserting that the stone carving does not represent Spielrein.
Roger Payne notes that “Franz [Jung] said that the often discussed bear which ‘sets the ball rolling’ in his Bollingen carving was actually Emma [Jung].”
In the transcripts, Jung adds a small but telling detail—that the woman in question was Dutch.
The one Dutch woman in Jung’s circle at this time was Maria Moltzer.
The closeness of her relationship to Jung is attested to by Freud. On 23 December 1912, in reply to Jung’s letter of 18
December in which Jung claimed that he had been analyzed, and hence was not neurotic, unlike Freud who hadn’t been, Freud wrote to Ferenczi:
“The master who analyzed him could only have been Fräulein Moltzer, and he is so foolish as to be proud of this work of a woman with whom he is having an affair.”
Freud’s claim is substantiated by Jolande Jacobi, who claimed in an interview:
“I heard from others, about the time before he met Toni Wolff, that he had had a love affair there in the Burgholzli with a girl—what was her name? Moltzer.”
In an unpublished letter of 1 August 1918, Moltzer wrote to Fanny Bowditch Katz, who had been her patient:
Yes, I resigned from the Club. I could not live any longer in that atmosphere. I am glad I did. I think, that in time, when the Club really shall become something, the Club shall be thankful I did. My resignation has its silent effects. Silent, for it seems that it belongs to my path, that I openly don’t get the recognition or the appreciation for what I do for the development of the whole analytic movement. I always work in the dark and alone. This Is my fate and must be expected.
Jung subsequently made an acknowledgement to her, tucked away in a footnote in Psychological Types, where he states: “The credit for having discovered the existence of this type [the intuitive] belongs to Miss M. Moltzer.”
Given that Jung regarded himself as of this type, this statement is telling.
Taken together, I would claim that the case for the voice having been that of Moltzer is significantly stronger than for it having been Spielrein’s.
At the current time, it is unclear who in a particular instance was responsible for a specific omission.
However, one might counter, that if Jung approved the changes, as Jaffé leads us to believe, these questions are not of great import.
Crucial light on Jung’s attitude to the text is shed by an unpublished memo written by Richard Hull, entitled, “A record of Events preceding Publication of Jung’s Autobiography, as seen by R.F.C.Hull.”
Hull narrates that in February 1960, Jaffé informed him that Jung wanted to see him at the end of the month.
The old man turned up…said he wanted to talk, and talked solidly for over an hour about the autobiography. I gathered that there was some controversy going on as to the “authentic” text. (At this time I had seen no text at all.) He impressed upon me, with the utmost emphasis, that he had said what he wanted to say in his own way—“a bit blunt and crude sometimes”—and that he did not want his work to be tantifiziert (“auntified” or “oldmaidified,” in Jack’s felicitous phrase). “You will see what I mean when you get the text,” he said. As he spoke at some length about the practice of “ghost-writing” by American publishers, I inferred that the “Tantifierung” would be done by Kurt. I thereupon asked Jung whether I would have the authority to “de-oldmaidify” the text supplied to me by Kurt. “In those cases,” he said, “the big guns will go into action,” pointing to himself. I found all this rather puzzling, because Kurt had said earlier that, especially in the first three chapters, the impact lay precisely in the highly personal tone and unorthodox outspokenness, which should at all costs be preserved.
Hull then read the text and began revising the translation.
It soon became apparent that the alterations were all of a kind which toned down and “old-maidified” Jung’s original written text.
As some of the deleted passages seemed to me extremely
important for a proper understanding of the subsequent narrative, I restored them from Winston’s version, together with a number of critical references to Jung’s family, and some remarks which couldn’t shock anyone, except the Swiss bourgeoisie, including a highly dramatic use of the word “shit.” I suspected that the “auntie” was to be found not at the Hotel Esplanade in Locarno but nearer home in Küsnacht, and that it was Aniela Jaffé.
It seems that before Jung, the “big gun,” could go into action, he died.
After his death, Hull took up this issue directly with Jaffé.
In reference to a proposed excision, he writes:
I would call the excision—and I choose my word very carefully—censorship, a thing that Jung would have despised and detested….
Four times you have said that you are no longer capable of being objective.
In a matter of such vital importance, dear Mrs. Jaffé, it is your duty to regain your objectivity: it was in your hands and no one else’s, that Jung entrusted the responsibility for the final version of his life’s testimony…. Do you imagine that if Pantheon are compelled to bring out an expurgated edition, all this explosive evidence is going to lie idle?… All my arguments pale and diminish beside the one dominant thought: why did the old man take the trouble to come to see me, and talk so earnestly about the book, and why did he entrust it into your hands? I must leave you to find the answer.
However, Hull himself was reticent in how far he was willing to go to “deauntify” the text.
In one section, Jung diagnosed his mother as hysterical. This was omitted.
In a letter to Gerald Gross, Hull writes:
Aniela wrote that Mrs. Niehus would insist on its removal, and that this was Mrs. N.’s condition for Aniela’s final placet…. I felt that it would be a blunder to antagonize her by fighting for the word “hysterical.”
To be frank, I am not willing to jeopardize my relations with her, as regard future work, for its sake.
I therefore suggested “nervous” by way of a compromise, and Aniela gladly accepted this.
At the same time, I have pointed out yet again that this little piece of family censorship will in all probability come to light in the end….
The significance of these changes is that they concern the manuscripts of the sections of Memories that Jung actually wrote—and which have been the basis of an endless stream of psychobiographies.
The final issue is that of the book’s billing as Jung’s autobiography.
Hull highlighted the significance of this issue:
there is all the difference in the world between a book advertised as “The Autobiography of C.G. Jung” and a book of Jung’s memoirs edited by Aniela Jaffé (of whom few have heard).
One is an automatic bestseller, the other is not.
As one would expect, Jung’s English publisher, Routledge, clearly wanted to publish the book.
In a letter of 18 December 1959, Cecil Franklin wrote to Jung:
I believe that the history of this book is that it started as a work by Aniela Jaffé which she would have written with your close help; but that it grew out of that and far beyond it until it became in fact your autobiography…. We have looked into our agreement for 1947 and find that if this is indeed your autobiography…publishing rights would be with us…. We have looked forward to the time when we might publish your autobiography…. It would worry us very much and might harm our reputation over here to be considered the publishers only of your more strictly technical books….
However, Jung never regarded the book as his autobiography. On 5 April 1960, Jung wrote to Walter Niehus-Jung, his son-in-law and literary executor:
I want to thank you for your efforts on behalf of my so-called “Autobiography” and to confirm once more that I do not regard this book as my undertaking but expressly as a book which Frau Jaffé has written…. The book should be published under her name and not under mine, since it does not represent an autobiography composed by myself.56
On 25 May 1960, Herbert Read wrote to John Barrett concerning the book:
It now appears it will have some such title as:
Aniela Jaffé “Reminiscences, Dreams, Thoughts” with contributions from C.G.Jung.
Following these negotiations, a resolution of the Editorial Committee of the Collected Works of Jung was drawn up, allowing the book to be published outside of the exclusive contracts with the Bollingen Foundation and Routledge and Kegan Paul.
It contains the following statement:
C.G. Jung has always maintained that he did not consider this book as his own enterprise but expressly as a book written by
The chapters written by C.G. Jung were to be considered as his contributions to the work of Mrs. Jaffé.
The book was to be published in the name of Mrs. Jaffé and not in the name of C.G. Jung, because it did not represent an autobiography composed by C.G. Jung (letter of C.G. Jung to Walter Niehus dated 5th April 1960).
On a conference held on the 26th August between Prof.
C.G. Jung, Mr. John Barrett, Miss Vaun Gillmor, Sir Herbert Read, Mr. and Mrs. W. Niehus-Jung and Mrs. Aniela Jaffé, C.G. Jung confirmed again that he did strictly consider this book as an undertaking of Mrs. A. Jaffé to which he had only given his contributions…. The Editorial Committee decides hereby formally that it will not approve any decision of the Executive Subcommittee which would add the book of Mrs. A. Jaffé to the Collected Works.
From this, it appears that it was a precondition for the contractual release of the book that it appeared as Aniela Jaffé’s biography of Jung, rather than as Jung’s autobiography.
In July, 1960, Kurt Wolff resigned from Pantheon, which was subsequently bought by Random House.
On 6 June 1961, Jung died.
The following year, extracts from Memories appeared in Die Weltwoche and the Atlantic Monthly.
The first extract in Die Weltwoche was simply titled, “The Autobiography of C.G. Jung.”
The book itself appeared in 1962 in English and German.
In October of that year, Kurt Wolff died in a car crash.
A French edition appeared in 1966, entitled, My Life: Memories, Dreams and Thoughts.
What was indeed a remarkable biography has been mistakenly read as an autobiography.
Unfortunately, it seems that when some grasped the significance of the confession of Jung’s “personal equation,” their efforts were in part directed towards determining the form it should take, and which of his memories and dreams to omit—fashioning Jung in their own likeness, making him the bearer of their “personal myths.”
Might it now be time for a de-auntification?
1 I am grateful to Michael Whan for this title.
2 Richard Hull to John Barrett, 4 May 1960, Bollingen Archive, Library of Congress. Hull’s letters have been cited with the permission of Mrs. Birte-Lena Hull.
3 Gerhard Adler, “The Memoirs of C.G. Jung,” The Listener, 18 July 1963, p. 85.
4 Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and Work, A Biographical Memoir (London: Michael Joseph, 1976) p. 7.
5 Ibid., p. 8.
6 Jung, “Freud and Jung: Contrasts,” CW 4, p. 336.
7 Jung, Analytical Psychology: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1925, CW Supplementary Volume.
8 Ibid., pp. 32–3.
9 Henri Flournoy to Jung, 8 February 1953, Jung archives, E.T.H., Zürich.
10 Jung to Henri Flournoy, C.G. Jung Letters, vol. 2:1951–1961, ed. Gerhard Adler and Aniela Jaffé (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976), p. 106, translation modified. In a dedicatory note to a collection of his offprints for Jürg Fierz, Jung simply wrote: “I myself have a distaste for autobiography.”
21 December 1945, C.G. Jung Letters, vol. 1:1906–1950 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973), p. 404.
11 Jung to Gustave Steiner, 30 December 1957, C.G .Jung Letters, vol. 2:1951–1961, p. 406, trans. modified.
12 Jung to J.M.Thorburn, 6 February 1952, C.G. Jung Letters, vol. 2:1951–1961, pp. 38–9.
13 Kurt Wolff, “On Luring Away Authors, or How Authors and Publishers Part Company,” Kurt Wolff: A Portrait in Essays and Letters, ed. M. Ermarth (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), p. 21.
14 Richard Hull, “A record of events preceding the publication of Jung’s autobiography, as seen by R.F.C.Hull,” 27 July 1960, Bollingen archive, Library of Congress. Cited with permission, Mrs. Birte-Lena Hull. In her introduction to Memories, Aniela Jaffé states that it was Jolande Jacobi who suggested her for
this role. The Eckermann—Goethe analogy was not lost on Jung; in a letter to Kurt Wolff, he wrote, “God help me, when I read Eckermann’s Conversations even Goethe seemed to me like a strutting turkey-cock.” Jung to Kurt Wolff, 1
February 1958, C.G. Jung Letters, vol. 2:1951–1961, p. 453.
15 Kurt Wolff to Herbert Read, 27 October 1959, Bollingen archive, Library of Congress.
16 Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (London: Flamingo, 1983), p. 7.
17 Henri Ellenberger, “La Psychologie de Carl Gustav Jung: à Propos de son Autobiographie,” L’Union Médicale du Canada, vol. 93, August 1964, p. 993, trans. mine.
18 Aniela Jaffé, From the Life and Work of C.G. Jung (Einsielden: Daimon, 1989), p. 133.
19 One of the first to make these analogies was Arthur Calder-Marshall, in his review, “Jung: the Saint of Psychology,” Time and Tide, 11–17 July 1963, in which he stated: “This volume…is destined to be as much a classic as Rousseau’s Confessions” (p. 24).
20 Kathleen Raine, “A Sent Man,” The Listener, 22 August 1963, p. 284.
21 Hans Eysenck, “Patriarch of the Psyche,” The Spectator, 19 July 1963, p. 86.
22 E. Edinger, The Creation of Consciousness: Jung’s Myth for Modern Man (Toronto: Inner City Books, 1984), pp. 12–13.
23 Aniela Jaffé, interview with Gene Nameche, Jung oral history archive, Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical Library, Boston, p. 11.
25 Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 9.
26 Suzanne Wagner, “Remembering Jung: Through the Eyes of Aniela Jaffé,” Psychological Perspectives, vol. 26, 1992, p. 109.
27 Dr Richard Wolff, whom I would like to thank for facilitating my research, informed me that one of the editors involved in the publication sold it to a bookseller. It was then purchased by Dr James Cheatham and donated to the Harvard Medical Library in May 1979. It bears corrections by several hands, some of which were identified by Alan Elms: Gerald Gross, Aniela Jaffé
(through Richard Winston), Richard Hull, Wolfgang Sauerlander, Richard Winston, together with notes labelled ‘CGJ,’ though not in Jung’s hand.
28 Aniela Jaffé to the author, letter dated January 1991. All statements from her letters and from the manuscripts, drafts and transcripts are given in paraphrase, as permission to quote has not been granted by the executor of the Jaffé estate.
29 The transcripts, together with some correspondence concerning their fate, were officially restricted until 1993; I thank William McGuire and Princeton University Press for allowing me to consult them in the Easter of 1991.
30 Aniela Jaffé to William McGuire, 1981, Bollingen archive, Library of Congress.
31 Countway ms., p. 1.
32 Laurens van der Post, Jung and the Story of our Time (London: Penguin, 1976), p. 172.
33 Ibid., p. 176.
34 Jung’s tribute to Flournoy is published in English in Théodore Flournoy, From India to the Planet Mars: A Case of Multiple Personality with Imaginary Languages, ed. Sonu Shamdasani (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996). Jung’s tributes to Flournoy and Zimmer were also published in
the French edition of Memories.
35 Countway ms., p. 197.
36 For Jung’s relation to James, see Eugene Taylor, “William James and C.G. Jung,” Spring, 1980; for a complementary critique of the Freudocentric reading of Jung, see his “Jung in his Intellectual Setting: The Swedenborgian Connection,” Studia Swedenborgiana, vol. 7, 1991.
37 John Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud and Sabina Spielrein (New York: Knopf, 1993), p. 503. It is curious that Kerr did not draw upon Spielrein’s case history, despite the fact that it has been in the public domain since 1992 in Bernard Minder’s “Sabina Spielrein: Jungs Patientin am Burghoelzli,” (Ph.D., University of Bern, 1992). (I thank Han
Israëls for alerting me to this, and supplying a copy.) Needless to say, this material, together with the letters between Bleuler, Jung and Spielrein’s family that Minder has retrieved, occasions a complete re-evaluation of the Jung—Spielrein relationship. The draft letter of referral from Jung to Freud concerning Spielrein in 1905 that Minder has retrieved (“Jung an Freud
1905: Ein Bericht über Sabina Spielrein,” Gesnarus, vol. 50, 1993), brilliantly confirms Peter Swales’s reconstruction in “What Jung Didn’t Say,” Harvest: Journal for Jungian Studies, vol. 38, 1992. For further new material on Spielrein, see my “Spielrein’s Associations: A Newly Identified Word Association Protocol,” Harvest: Journal for Jungian Studies, vol. 39, 1993.
38 CW 7, p. 295, n. 21.
39 Op. cit., p. 506.
40 Op. cit., p. 507.
42 Roger Payne, “A Visit to 228 Seestrasse,” Harvest: Journal for Jungian Studies, vol. 39, 1993, p. 137.
43 William McGuire provides the following biographical information on Moltzer: “Mary or Maria Moltzer (1874–1944), daughter of a Netherlands distiller, became a nurse as a protest against alcoholic abuse. Had Psycho-analytic training with Jung and after 1913 continued as an analytical psychologist.” Ed.
William McGuire, The Freud/Jung Letters (London: Hogarth/Routledge, 1974),
- 351–2. For Moltzer’s role as Jung’s assistant, see Eugene Taylor, “C.G. Jung and the Boston Psychopathologists, 1902–1912,” Voices, vol. 21, 1985. 44 Ibid., p. 535.
45 Ed. E. Brabant, E. Falzeder and P. Giampieri-Deutsch, The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi, vol. 1, 1908–1914 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 446. 46 Jolande Jacobi, interview with Gene Nameche, Jung oral history archive, Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical Library, Boston, Box 3, p. 110.
47 Maria Moltzer to Fanny Bowditch Katz, 1 August 1918, Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical Library, Boston, cited with permission.
48 CW 6, p. 454.
49 This issue has been explored in an excellent piece by Alan Elms, “The Auntification of Jung,” in Uncovering Lives: the Uneasy Alliance of Biography and Psychology (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994, pp. 51–70), which complements the discussion here.
50 Hull, “A record of events,” pp. 1–2.
51 Ibid., p. 2.
52 Richard Hull to Aniela Jaffé, 9 September 1961, Bollingen archive, Library of Congress.
53 Richard Hull to Gerald Gross, Bollingen archive, Library of Congress.
54 Hull, “A record of events,” p. 4.
55 Cecil Franklin to C.G. Jung, 19 December 1959, Bollingen archive, Library of Congress.
56 Jung to Walther-Niehus Jung, 5 April 1960, C.G. Jung: Letters, vol. 2:1951–1961, p. 550, trans. modified.
57 Herbert Read to John Barrett, 25 May 1960, Bollingen archive, Library of Congress.
58 “Resolution of the Editorial Committee for ‘The Collected Works’ of Prof. C.G. Jung,” Bollingen archive, Library of Congress, signed by Jung on 29 November 1960, and by John Barrett on 13 December 1960.
59 “Die Autobiographie von C.G. Jung,” Die Weltwoche, 31 August 1962. The German title differs from the English: Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken von C.G. Jung, aufgezeichnet und herausgegeben von [recorded and edited by] Aniela Jaffé (Olten: Walter Verlag, 1988). Other items in the German edition
that were missing in the English editions were a letter by Jung to a ‘young student,’ Jung’s postscript to his Red Book and “Details about C.G. Jung’s family” by Aniela Jaffé. The latter item was published in English in Spring, 1984. There are many discrepancies between the German and English
editions, notably numerous passages in the former that are missing from the latter. Some, but by no means all, were published in English by Shoji Muramoto, “Completing the Memoirs: The Passages Omitted or Transposed in the English and Japanese Versions of Jung’s Autobiography,” Spring,
- However, given that the text was being translated into English as it was being compiled, it is not possible to consider one or the other as the original version. The French edition was Ma vie. Souvenirs, rêves et pensées, recueillis et publiés par Aniela Jaffé (Paris: Gallimard, 1966), trans. Roland Cahen and Yves Le Lay. Details concerning Kurt Wolff are from William
McGuire, Bollingen: An Adventure in Collecting the Past (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), pp. 273–4 (I thank Charles Boer for recalling this to my attention).