Abstracts of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung

Abstracts of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung

Abstracts of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung

Abstracts of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung

Synopsis

The publication will be gratifying to disciples of Jung, agreeably provocative to followers of other theoretical persuasions, and useful to all graduate psychoanalysts as a general reference tool.

Excerpt

When Cesare Sacerdoti, Managing Director of Karnac Books, asked me to write an Introduction to the re-publication of the Abstracts of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung, I must confess that my heart sank. As a good 'Jungian', I experienced a feeling of dismay, almost of revulsion, at the very idea of there being Abstracts of Jung's texts, fearing that compression would ruin the subtlety of Jung's writing and that a spurious clarity would render his thought meaningless. I have to say that I muttered, "Let them eat cake" -- meaning that people wanting to know Jung's ideas should read Jung's books. At the same time -- and this is also part of the self-critical heritage of being a Jungian analyst -- I have been aware for many years of the enormous difficulties many people experience on reading Jung. The difficulties are with the voluptuousness of his style (at least as this comes over in the English translations of R. F. C. Hull), with his tendencies to generalize and to contradict himself, and with the unavoidable vagueness that attaches itself to the communication of concepts that often began life as personal experiences of Jung's, stemming from dreams, visions, and relationships.

I was surprised and relieved to find that these Abstracts really do work. I use "work" deliberately because Abstracts are nothing if not tools. (Of what trade they are the tools, I shall discuss shortly.) The abstracters have been given sufficient space for each summary to enable a degree of differentiated expression. In particular, it seems to me to be perfectly possible to use the Abstracts in conjunction with a reading of one section of a longer text of Jung's. The reader is therefore enabled to place a passage of Jung's that he or she may have been studying in its correct textual setting. I tested this proposition for myself by consulting the Abstracts to see, first, how well the abstract of the Two Essays on Analytical Psychology (Volume 7) had been done, and, second, to see whether, had I been studying the first part of The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious, I would have found the abstract of the second part helpful. In my view, the abstract is accurate, and it is indeed possible to use the relevant part of the abstract to flesh out a reading of the . . .

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