Jung's family forces his biographer to 'correct' sex claims

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The Independent Online

Jung: A Biography by the award-winning American biographer Deirdre Blair has also upset Jung's family with what relatives claim is an unfair description of his wife Emma and what they claim is an array of other mistakes. The book was pusblished to considerable acclaim in the US last year and is due to be published in German in October. But this week, publisher Knaus Verlag announced that the family's objections were so great that it had been obliged to add more than two pages of "corrections" to the German-language version, drawn from 12 pages of disputed facts.

"If we had done nothing, we could have been sued by the heirs," Rainer Dresen, a spokesman for Knaus Verlag, said. "But if we had done something, we could have been sued by the author. It was a question of who would attack us, so we thought we would reach a compromise."Objections drawn up by family representatives of the Jung estate in Switzerland cover scores of apparently trivial yet disputed facts in Blair's book. They range from the colour of a boat's sail to the exact moment when the Roman numeral II was added to Jung's name to give him the title Carl Gustav II Jung.

More seriously, the family objects to the diaries quoted in the book which suggest that Jung may have had sexual liaisons with some of his patients. They also take issue with a description of Jung's young wife, Emma, which claims she never showed warm feelings to her children.

Ulrich Hoerni, Jung's grandson, said: "People who knew her, myself included, experienced without any doubt that Emma did show her feelings. Furthermore, Blair interviewed at the most only three of five children. She can hardly have a clear idea of the situation."

Although the author conducted interviews with at least 10 relatives for her research, the family were furious that she did not let them see quotes before using them. "This resulted in a false and misleading presentation of some of these statements," Mr Hoerni said. "We feel obliged to draw the publisher's attention to the shortcomings of this book without commenting on the author's interpretations."

Blair said this week: "I feel as if someone has broken into my house and tried to rearrange my furniture. Anyone could say an author didn't get it right and demand to include their own version," she added.

Professor Andrew Samuels, a Jungian specialist at Essex University, said he had seen the Jung family's corrections and concluded that there was "nothing there that undermines the conclusion of the book in any way".