Jung in Contexts: A Reader

Jung in Contexts: A Reader

Jung in Contexts: A Reader

Jung in Contexts: A Reader

Synopsis

Jung in Contexts is a unique collection of the most important essays on Carl Jung and analytical psychology over the past two decades. Paul Bishop's comprehensive introduction traces the growth and development of analytical psychology and its institutions. The essays which follow place Jung's life and work in three important contexts: historical, literary and intellectual.

Contributors explore diverse issues such as Jung's attitude towards National Socialism and his reading of E.T.A. Hoffman. His work is also viewed in terms of the traditions of German and French thought which influenced him. This compilation is an indispensable introduction for all those interested in Jung.

Excerpt

This collection of papers bears witness to Jung’s fertility and originality, and also demonstrates that his thought is still influential in a variety of scholarly fields. Freud and Jung have both come under fire from psychologists and psychiatrists during the last three decades, and it may be that, in years to come, their ideas will be better remembered and acknowledged by philosophers and literary scholars than by psychiatrists. Since psychiatry became primarily concerned with biochemistry and genetics, no doctor specializing in psychiatry need read the works of Freud or Jung, and some young psychiatrists have hardly heard of either. It is therefore appropriate that a foreword to a collection of papers primarily concerned with Jung in historical, literary and intellectual contexts should remind the reader that his medical and psychiatric training and experience were the background from which his later views of the mind developed.

Jung started work at the Burghölzli mental hospital in Zurich in December 1900 and remained there until 1909 when he resigned his post in favour of his growing private practice. The Director of the Burghölzli was Eugen Bleuler whose monograph Dementia Praecox or The Group of Schizophrenias made him famous. Jung’s first published work was his dissertation for his medical degree, On the Psychology and Pathology of So-called Occult Phenomena, which was based on his observation of a 15-year-old cousin, Hélène Preiswerk, who claimed to be a medium. She said that she received messages from the dead and other spirits who spoke through her; but Jung interpreted these voices as alternate personalities, aspects of the girl herself which had become dissociated from her normal ego.

Jung’s interest in dissociation and splitting was reinforced by his daily encounters with chronic schizophrenics whose personalities, he concluded, were fragmented; that is, disintegrated into many parts rather than merely dissociated into two or three recognizable subsidiary personalities. John R. Haule’s paper in the present collection demonstrates that Freud’s idea that neurosis came about because the child’s sexuality had become arrested at some immature stage was an attempt to replace the spatial metaphor of

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