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On defining words, some scenarios and vectors in the ‘autobiography’ of C. G. Jung1


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    This article is a largely faithful transcript of an address given at a Day Conference of the International Association for the History of Psychoanalysis, on the theme of ‘The Failed Encounter between Freud and Jung – a Reading of Two Autobiographies’, held in Paris on 2 February 2002. The paper was especially intended for an audience of Freudian psychoanalysts. It was published in the original French in the journal, Topique-Revue Freudienne, 79, 2002.


Abstract:  Having first considered recent research into the circumstances surrounding the production and publication of the ‘autobiography’ of Jung, the author concludes that in spite of its being the work of several authors, it nevertheless constitutes a whole. Taken from whichever angle, they all point to Jung's particular inquiry into the unconscious, as it emerges through Jung's own words. The author goes on to suggest both a lateral and a structural reading of MDR (Memories, Dreams, Reflections) which in turn reveals, on the basis of the several dreams reported, the central ‘fantasy’ which inspired Jung's research and his oeuvre. Finally, he discusses the idea of the collective or impersonal unconscious and highlights the emphasis Jung places on processes which unfold according to rhythms which are associated with distinct scales, depending on whether they are those of the individual, the clan or the culture.