D.S. West's Reviews > Jung

Jung by Deirdre Bair
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Mar 18, 2012

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Recommended to D.S. by: Jesus
Recommended for: Budding Jungians and New Agers with an abundance of free time on their hands
Read from February 21 to March 15, 2012

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 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 middle-age. (I would have liked to have moved into his alchemical studies...maybe 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 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 biography--I can't imagine organizing a book like this. Bair must be a robot or something. Props, kudos, etc.
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