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Sonu Shamdasani is a historian of psychology, and a research associate at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. He is the author of 'Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science' and 'Cult Fictions: C. G. Jung and the Founding of Analytical Psychology', which won the Gradiva Prize of the World Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis in 1999 for the best historical and biographical work. He has also edited several books.
How many "posthumous" lives does a man have to live? Nearly half a century after his death, C. G. Jung is a subject of continual controversies. Every few years, a new life of Jung appears, each promising to provide the missing master key to the mysteries of his life and work, and to lay bare their secrets. However, with every successive "life", Jung becomes shrouded in an ever-increasing web of rumour, gossip, innuendo and fantasy. We may ask why Jung biographies are so filled with shortcomings? How did Jung become a fiction?This book addresses these issues. It demonstrates the pitfalls and fallacies of such works, and sets out how his life and work should be approached on a historical basis, drawing on decades of archival investigation and new documentation. It surveys attempts to write Jung's biography from during his own lifetime until the present; shows how Memories, Dreams, Reflections came to be falsely perceived as his autobiography; and why his Collected Works was never completed. Thus this work lays out an agenda for future studies and discussions of Jung, the reception of his work and its impact on contemporary culture.