A good biography offers insight into the times as well as the subject. This account leaves the man isolated from events. World War 1 passes almost without notice and World War 2 comes and goes without much disturbance beyond problems with the mail and rationing while living a life in isolation in Switzerland. All the while this association or that is being formed around Jung, the leadership of each bickering about the purpose of the group and all hoping to find favor with Jung.
In short, Jung becomes famous, analyzes a great many people only a few of whose cases are described, using a method only touched upon, is adored by the rich and famous who flit back and forth across continents to see him and even pay for him to do the same for them. He then loses interest in individuals, passes analysis on to apt patients, who then sanction their patients to analyze others. The master then wants only to be left to his work on such very questionable things like alchemy, astrology, and UFO's all the while seeking a grand scheme to tie things together. Like Freud he constructs an edifice of his own design that claims to explain how our minds work. Unlike Freud he isn't fixated on sex and childhood mentality. Like Freud he is awed by his own creation. Unlike Freud he is willing to admit modifications to his thoughts, but only if these are framed in a way to make it appear he had the modification in mind first.
You will get chapters of details about who thought what about whom, who was thought to be closest to Jung, how the minutiae of daily life was handled at the homestead. I got excited upon beginning a chapter titled "The Solar Phallus Man" but it went nowhere. A Jung family member would love this book about a famous relative, but I kept wondering why I was reading.
You'll get little about Jung's concepts on psychology. His differences with Freud are mildly interesting but not examined more than briefly. Jung's school of thought, called Analytical Psychology, hangs in the background. We get a vague idea about what a "complex" is, we find out that he pioneered the division of personalities into introverts and extroverts and there is mention of archetypes with no definition of the term. The "collective unconscious" is mentioned many times with no explanation of what it is.
When I finished I felt I had read an account of what I would call The Jung Societythose who fluttered around him, dedicated their lives to him like his wife and Toni Wolff, and a host of eminently forgettable others. Just as when I started, I remain unenlightened on his school of psychology. There are other biographies of Jung. I recommend giving one a try. Jung A Biography Livres NotRetrouvez Jung A Biography Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D OccasionJung A Biography Bair, Deirdre Livres NotRetrouvez Jung A Biography Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D OccasionJung A Biography Bair, Deirdre Livres A Significant Read If One Is To Understand Jung Jung Was Brave Enough To Consciously Unconsciously Portray His Shadow For Critics, Skeptics And Initiates To Reflect Upon Jung Was Full Of Contradictions , Some Obvious Hypocrisies Yet It Is The Beauty Of This Paradox That Gives Veracity To His Body Of Work He Practiced What He Preached He Gave To Us The Notion That To Be In This Human Experience Is To LiveCarl Gustav Jung A Biography McLynn, FJNotRetrouvez Carl Gustav Jung A Biography Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D OccasionJung, A Biography Wehr, Gerhard, Weeks, DMNotRetrouvez Jung, A Biography Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D OccasionCarl Gustav Jung A Biography By FJ McLynnNotRetrouvez Carl Gustav Jung A Biography By FJ McLynnet Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D Occasion Carl Gustav Jung Biographie Et Uvre De Jung Doctissimo Biographie De Jung Le Petit Carl Est Un Enfant Introverti Et Une Enfance Relativement Solitaire Lui Donnera Une Grande Capacit D Introspection La Famille S Est Installe Ble Ds , Ville O Jung Effectuera Ses Tudes De Mdecine L Universit Il Choisit De Devenir Interne En Psychiatrie Au Burghlzli De Zurich Sa Thse De Mdecin S Intitule Psychologie EtJung A Biography By Deirdre Bair Goodreads This Is A Detailed Biography Of Carl Gustav Jung, Founder Of Analytical Psychology, Not An Exposition Of His Theoretical Development There S A Lot Of Name Dropping, Particularly Of His Colleagues, Professional Acquaintances And Analysands, Not Much Insight Into His Central Beliefs The One Notable Exception, However, Is As Regards His Attitudes About Race, The Jewish Race Especially, Given The Allegations That Jung, A Biography Wehr, Gerhard Free Download, Jung, A Biography By Wehr, Gerhard Publication DateTopics Psychoanalysis Biography, Psychoanalysts Biography, Switzerland, Jung, Carl Gustav,, Jung, C G Carl Gustav ,, Jung, Carl G, Psychoanalysts Switzerland Biography, Jung, C G Carl Gustav, Psychoanalysts, Psychanalystes Suisse Biographies Publisher Boston Shambhala Carl Gustav Jung Wikipdia Le Livre Rouge Biography
What a big disappointment. I spent lots of time researching to find the best book about Jung, by the most qualified biographer/writer. Despite the author's sterling credentials, and a wasted week of reading the 640 pages (the rest being notes and an index), for the most part, I still don't have a clue about:
1. Jung's thought processes about "the collective unconscious", how he arrived at his conclusions about introvert/extrovert types, what he thought about an individual's unconscious mind, and so much more of many tidbits I've read about over the years attributed to Jung. It was never made clear in what order Jung arrived at the above major ideas of his, and which theories led him to the next possible theory.
The book made clear Jung was wildly jumbled with his ideas, notes, theories, research into complex topics (alchemy, archetypes, religion, psychic phenomenon), and would, at the drop of a hat, abandon a theory or area of research and take off investigating a different area. Sometimes years or decades would pass before he got back into working on the original theory.
Still, for a book about Jung with no definition of "the collective unconscious", or many of the other major theories attributed to him, is ridiculous.
What the book does provide is a brainnumbingly detailed record of various meetings, none of which gave me one iota of information about Jung.
It was clear that Jung was usually not a very nice person. He was routinely arrogant, proud, lived only for his career and what he wanted to do, with no regard for others. Toward the end of his career, if everyone in a psychological society that he was a member of offered new ideas, Jung would force them out of the group. People had to base their entire idea of psychology using only his own ideasnothing more, nothing less.
For decades he was married but carried on an affair with another woman, who came to the house many times per week, while his wife and children were home, to enjoy dinner, or meet with him privately in his office in the home.
Repeated mentions of Jung's lifelong interest in "alleged mystical, mythological and religious underpinnings of his theories" (page 433), along with a lifelong fascination and investigations into alchemy, make me wonder if Jung is the brilliant father of many psychological theories, or just a nut.
Jung claimed to have "visions" and dreams that he would explore to the degree that, to me, made him seem to be unstable at times.
After slogging thru this book, I am no longer interested in reading more about this man or his supposed theories. Deidre Bair claims in her introduction that her biography will be different because of her unique access to materials via Jung's heirs, who approved of her project. She also claims that as a professional biographer and not a psychologist she has less bias.
While it's true Bair does rather well exposing her materials, her desire to present them objectively overwhelms the project of their interpretation. Jung's thoughts and ideas recede behind clashes of personalities and petty squabbles. Too much attention is given to wartime Zurich, a playground for spies and largely irrelevant intrigue. Bair attempts to defend Jung from the worst accusations of antisemitism and Nazi collaboration, but the facts as she presents them are too ambiguous to make the case decisive. Instead, despite her ministrations, Jung appears to be swept up by his own Germanic pride and unable to publicly apologize for his ugly moments as an early Nazi apologist.
Only those with a scholarly interest in Jung's life need read this book, as anyone looking to better understand his intellectual development would be better served elsewhere. I didn't finish Bair's biography of Jung. My surrender should say nothing about the quality of Bair's research; it's a doozy. I got as far as 300ish pages before the breadth of names, concepts, and aside biographies (context to help the reader understand Jung's environment) convinced me I'd have to devote more time to finish the book. I'm eager to move on to other texts, so Bair and I will have to part company prematurely.
I "did" get far enough in to see Jung through middleage. (I would have liked to have moved into his alchemical studies...maybe some other time.) I tracked this awardwinning biography down in the hopes that it could reinforce what I read in Jung's own Dreams, Memories, Reflections and provide some measure of the man's shortcomings. Dreams, Memories, Reflections was, even by Jung's admission, a story of his innerlife. It was purposely and admirably onesided. Bair provides a comprehensive reiteration of Jung's autobiography in modern, untranslated parlance, as well as an outside perspective of who he was, the significance of what he did, and how his (many) contemporaries regarded him. Take Toni Wolff for example. She doesn't figure into Dreams, Memories, Reflections at all; however, Wolff was perhaps closer to Jung than his wife Emma, personally and professionally. She was his mistress and his intellectual partner. Sabina Speilrein tooBair gives us information Jung was too proud or ashamed to include in his life story.
It's probably a sin to write more than one paragraph about a book you haven't and likely won't finish, so I'm now exiting stage left. Jung is a tremendous biographyI can't imagine organizing a book like this. Bair must be a robot or something. Props, kudos, etc. A thoroughly researched and for the most part well written biography. Bair did tend to go too heavily into the machination of the Psychoanalytical Clubs. Her indepth delving into the politics of the writing and publications of Jung's "so called autobiography" did veer off into the realm of the mindnumbing. Otherwise a very worthwhile read. This is a fascinating look at a complicated man. Deidre Bair has managed to show him as a flawed man whose curiosity helped him create psychology as we know it. His relationships are fraught with difficulty. He is inconsistent and hates criticism. He is constantly searching for the connection between our interior world and the exterior world of both mythology and dreams.
The description of getting "Memories, Dreams, Reflections" published will resonate with anyone who has worked in publishing. The author's wishes, the editors' wishes, the translators...the family. It is a publishing nightmare, yet somehow the book got published. It is certainly the one with which I first became familiar with Jung. Time to read it again. This is a detailed biography of Carl Gustav Jung, founder of analytical psychology, not an exposition of his theoretical development. There's a lot of name dropping, particularly of his colleagues, professional acquaintances and analysands, not much insight into his central beliefs. The one notable exception, however, is as regards his attitudes about race, the Jewish 'race' especially, given the allegations that he was antiSemitic or proNazi.
On the matter of race, and on the equally controversial matter of Jung's adulteries, the author appears to fairly present the evidence behind the arguments without herself adopting a stance except in such cases which are amply documented. Thus while Jung certainly did say and write about such things as a 'racial' unconscious before the war, while emphasizing a 'collective' specieswide unconscious after it, matters he might well have been more careful about with benefit of hindsight, he was certainly not proNazi. Indeed, he was never much interested in or informed about politics beyond the politics within his various psychological/medical associations.
As regards his sex life, the author mentions some of the gossip within the Jungian community but only certifies one affair, that being with his longterm mistress Toni Wolff. In terms of his marriage to Emma, thisincluding, of course, the rumorswas quite enough, she, the source of his material fortune, being represented as a longsuffering and neglected (as their children appear to have been neglected) wife and, ultimately, colleague.
Not enough treated, in my view, is how important the wealth Emma brought into their marriage was to Jung's life. Although brought up himself in meagre, but respectable, circumstanceshis father being a parson and some notable figures appearing in his family treeJung entered into the reaches of cosmopolitan elites as he entered into his professional maturity during his thirties. This wealth and those associations allowed him the freedom to go his own way both in his personal and in his professional life, the freedom to represent himself as a very private introvert, on the one hand, while being an extremely public person on the other. This sudden attainment of wealth has likely relevance to his relations with Freud as well as to his personal development and the particular orientation of his psychological practice, implications barely explicated by the author.
This is not the book for anyone interested in analytical psychology. For persons already familiar with it, and with, it may be noted, his pseudoautobiography, 'Jung' serves as a substantial contribution. A wonderfully thorough and balanced portrait of an immensely complex man. Walt Whitman, with your contradictions and multitudes: Jung is the proof of your pudding. And Deirdre Bair serves that pudding up as a scrumptious and filling dish.
My one major concern with the book is that it doesn't delve as deeply into Jung's psychology as I'd have liked. Perhaps I've been spoiled by recently reading James Gleick's meticulous scientific treatment of Richard Feynman's life (Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman). This book, in contrast, is heavier on the purely biographical details than on the ideas, and there are portions that focus overly on names, dates, and other minutiae.
That said, there are plenty of references in the appropriate places, along with the background behind the theories as Bair mines it. She accomplishes well the primary task of the biographer: to retract the curtain of mystery so we can glimpse the human behind.
For a man with such a thick curtain, Bair presents a breathtaking view. It's important to understand the mortality of great thinkers, especially those with a seemingly immortal aura. For those looking to achieve such an understanding of Jung, this is the place to begin.