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The Freud/Jung Letters Abridged Paperback Edition

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691036434
ISBN-10: 0691036438
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Editorial Reviews


"The relationship between Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung had its bright beginning in 1906 and came to its embittered end in 1913. Its disastrous course was charted by the many letters the two men wrote each other.... In 1970 the Freud and Jung families made the enlightened decision that this correspondence was to be edited as a unit and published.... In no way does it disappoint the large expectation it has naturally aroused. Both as it bears upon the personal lives of the men between whom the letters passed and upon the intellectual history of our epoch, it is a document of inestimable importance."--Lionel Trilling, The New York Times Book Review

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Product Details

  • Series: Bollingen Series (General)
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Abridged Paperback edition (July 11, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691036438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691036434
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #547,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Neal J. Pollock VINE VOICE on June 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing collection of letters which depict the relationship of two of the greatest psychologists of all time. Naturally, there are people who interpret this relationship in different ways, especially as a very specific situation, peculiar to the development of psychology or otherwise. I think otherwise. Life is rarely linear--it's usually Normally Distributed. Things tend to go in cycles, not straight lines. The relationship between Freud the mentor & Jung the mentee is just not that unusual. In fact, it parallels that of every child (especially males stereotypically seeking independence). There comes a time to leave the nest & for the mentee to strike out on his own--just as there is a time for a new paradigm (per Thomas Kuhn's classic, "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions"). This is precisely what occurred between Freud & Jung. It's almost archetypal. There's even something of a parallel between Jung & Father Victor White in Jung's "Letters." This book has some interesting quotes from each of the two psychologists:

By Freud:

p. 119 Take my urgent advice, arm yourself with ill temper against all unreasonable demands.

p. 121 One must try to learn something from every experience.

p. 169 I have long known that one can't change people. Everyone has something worthwhile in him. We must content ourselves with getting it out of him.

By Jung:

p. 84 What people don't know surpasses the imagination, and what they don't want to know is simply unbelievable.

p. 157 one likes human beings around one and not complex-masks.

And, very apropos: p. 462 Emma Jung: it is always the nearest thing that one sees worst.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
C.G. Jung was once thought of as Freud's chief disciple. These letters cover the period of 1906 (when Jung sent Freud his Studies in Word Association) until their final "break" in 1914. (There is one additional letter from Jung to Freud from 1923, when Jung was referring a patient to Freud for treatment.)

Here are some representative excerpts:

SF: "The leading lights' of psychiatry really don't amount to much; the future belongs to us and our views, and the younger men---everywhere most likely---side actively with us." (1907)
SF: "I regard (for the present) the role of sexual complexes in hysteria merely as a theoretical necessity and do not infer it from their frequency and intensity. Proof, I believe, is not yet possible." (1907)
CG: "(L)ike Herakles of old, you are a human hero and demi-god, wherefore your dicta unfortunately carry with them a semipiternal value. All the weaker ones who come after you must of necessity adopt your nomenclature, originally intended to fit a specific case." (1909)
SF: "It has occurred to me that the ultimate basis of man's need for religion is infantile helplessness, which is so much greater in man than in animals. After infancy he cannot conceive of a world without parents and makes for himself a just God and a kindly nature, the two worst anthropomorphic falsifications he could have imagined." (1910)
SF: "You mustn't suppose that I ever 'lost patience' with you; I don't believe these words can apply to our relationship in any way. In all the difficulties that confront us in our work we must stand firmly together, and now and then you must listen to me, your older friend, even when you are disinclined to.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Diane DeArmond on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book mostly because I have been fascinated by Freud for many years and now I am studying Jung. To have the privilege of reading their letter back and forth is a treat. Also there are insights into current problems that Psychology still grapples over.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Kitt- Amazon Customer on April 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being a layman with no psychological background, one would think "What could possibly be of interest here?"

WELL; for starts- An amazing look at life in the early 20th Century. How people in different cities (countries & continents) communicated. The post was fast & efficient. However, looking at the incredible handwritten letters, one gets an appreciation for the amount of time & thought that went into writing anything that wasn't family news or gossip. Exchanging breakthrough ideas by mail & discussing them was a time & effort consuming undertaking. It made communicating an art that is sadly in short supply today. Even though telephones had been instituted, they were still sparsely available; though the Freuds had one for years, it is known that Professor Freud hated them (and they were only mentioned 3 times in a book that covers a 7 year period). That said, there was very little real theory presented here, which made it extremely accessible to me.

A look at two men, destined to become giants in their fields, as they developed their ideas & fought through the non-acceptance & ridicule that can come along with new ideas. Their determination & belief in what they were doing was enlightening. As they had no real infrastructure in place, it was like watching the birth of any large business or corporation; embracing that which worked, discarding plans that didn't. And gaining acceptance along the way.

A look at the basic history of that time, & the realization that many of the top people in their fields working with them (in Vienna & Austria) would soon die at the hands of the Nazis. The world was changing wholesale; this was a look at a small piece of it.
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