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➸ [Read] ➳ Jung: A Biography By Deirdre Bair ➽ – Cravenjobs.co.uk

  • Paperback
  • 928 pages
  • Jung: A Biography
  • Deirdre Bair
  • English
  • 03 October 2019
  • 9780316159388

10 thoughts on “Jung: A Biography

  1. says:

    Normally, I don t write book reviews until after I ve finished the book, but when a book is over 500 pages long and dense with information, I do status updates as mini reviews The things that impress me at the beginning of a book may not be the same at the end, but I don t want to forget anything This is a biography of Jung, and I was drawn to it because it addresses Jung s Nazi past, claiming that he was not a really a Nazi sympathizer, but an American spy But I m not up to that part yet I m just up to his early life and career.The first thing that impressed me, aside from the coldness and isolation of Jung s childhood, is that he had a cousin who claimed to be a medium, and he and other members of his family had seances with her at the helm regularly The author of the book claims that Helly the cousin had a crush on Carl, which I find easy to believe I was a teenage girl once that s what we re like But the thought that struck me was one I d heard in another book I d heard about recently namely, that in an era when women weren t taken seriously when they spoke for themselves, being possessed or speaking in tongues was an effective way to get heard That book is called Radical Spirits Spiritualism and Women s Rights in Nineteenth Century America To be clear, I don t mean that Helly was being deliberately manipulative She may well have fallen for her own act Presumably, her older cousin Carl did, too.Next, I learned about Eugen Bleuler, who ran the most well reputed psychiatric hospital in Switzerland, the Burgholzi and gave Jung his first medical job His reputation was far eclipsed by Freud s and Jung s, but the book makes him out like a hero Like R.D Laing a century later, he lived alongside his patients, he involved them directly in their own care, and also in the running of the facility It sounded so much like what I ve read about Kingsley Hall, I wondered if Bleuler was an influence, at least in his democratic or egalitarian approach to treatment, but Bleuler is the one who coined the phrase schizophrenia, which Laing said was a myth I m going to have to ask Laing s biographer I ve emailed him once before In any case, to Bleuler s credit, the reason he didn t write as voluminously as Freud and Jung is that he was too busy caring for his patients.The final figure that interested me was Sabina Spielrein Now, I d heard of her before Keira Knightley stars in a biopic about her but this book gave me detail She was Jewish, which of course interested me, and she sounded like Mary Barnes in many ways In parallel to Helly finding her voice indirectly as a medium, the highly intelligent Sabina got as far as medical school, which made her a pioneer, but she broke down in the process Well, breaking barriers is taxing It was her against the world That s a hard place to be in No wonder she fell back into the passive position of patient, but she was willful enough to be a really difficult one at times I want to read of her story There are multiple accounts of it, though As of now, I have no way of knowing whose opinion to trust.Well, that s all for now I guess I ll post again in a few days Be well

  2. says:

    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 anti Semitic or pro Nazi.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 species wide unconscious after it, matters he might well have been careful about with benefit of hindsight, he was certainly not pro Nazi 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 long term mistress Toni Wolff In terms of his marriage to Emma, this including, of course, the rumors was quite enough, she, the source of his material fortune, being represented as a long suffering 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, circumstances his father being a parson and some notable figures appearing in his family tree Jung 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 pseudo autobiography, Jung serves as a substantial contribution.

  3. says:

    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.

  4. says:

    BiographyWhat 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 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 brain numbingly 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 ideas nothing , 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 about this man or his supposed theories.

  5. says:

    I got through it.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 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 Society those 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.

  6. says:

    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 300 ish 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 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 middle age I would have liked to have moved into his alchemical studiesmaybe some other time I tracked this award winning 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 inner life It was purposely and admirably one sided 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 too Bair gives us information Jung was too proud or ashamed to include in his life story.It s probably a sin to write 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 biography I can t imagine organizing a book like this Bair must be a robot or something Props, kudos, etc.

  7. says:

    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 in depth delving into the politics of the writing and publications of Jung s so called autobiography did veer off into the realm of the mind numbing Otherwise a very worthwhile read.

  8. says:

    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 translatorsthe 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.

  9. says:

    Bair gives a great exhaustive history of Jung s life, but as a psych minded person, I wish she would have done on going into the theories which Jung created and how his personal life lead to the development of the collective unconscious, archetypes, etc She goes into detail on Jung s interest in alchemy but mainly as it created and destroyed some of his close relationships Learning about Jung and all of his nuances as a very private man who couldn t help but self promote relentlessly was pretty a great read, but I now want to follow it up with a refresher on his theory and view of humanity in the world.

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About the Author: Deirdre Bair

DEIRDRE BAIR received the National Book Award for Samuel Beckett A Biography Her biographies of Simone de Beauvoir and Carl Jung were finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Simone de Beauvoir biography was chosen by The New York Times as a Best Book of the Year Her biographies of Ana s Nin and Saul Steinberg were both New York Times Notable Books Her most recent book is Al Cap