The letters run from 1933, when the two first met, to 1959, shortly before Neumann’s death in 1960. Neumann proves an able interlocutor of his famous correspondent, critically engaged with both theory and practice while thoughtfully reconsidering the relation of Jung’s thought to Jewish identity.
Editor Liebscher’s introduction sees Neumann’s theories as realigning familiar Jungian archetypes, in particular that of the Great Mother, which Neumann positions as a counterweight against the “Platonic-Christian hostility toward the body and sexuality.”
The correspondences also illuminate institutional politics among Jung’s disciples, exploring issues of anti-Semitism (of which Jung was accused) and Zionism (Neumann left Germany for Palestine in 1934). Perhaps most importantly, these letters allow us to see a mutually enriching exchange of ideas that formed a significant, though underappreciated, passage of intellectual history. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the theoretical origins of psychoanalysis. (Apr.)