Sunday, January 29, 2017

by Catrine Clay 

When one thinks of psychoanalysis the person who comes to mind is Sigmund Freud. In 1907 it was considered this new and shocking movement that everybody was talking about. Freud wanted to reach a wider audience so that the entire world would know about psychoanalysis. So he decided to name Carl Jung as his heir to take over the movement, which really annoyed Freud's colleagues. Carl was a young, Swiss, charismatic doctor who would be just perfect in the leadership role. Freud felt that because Carl was a Gentile more people would be interested in psychoanalysis. Being Jewish, as Freud was, actually hampered the movement as there was so much anti-Semitism. 
Before Carl was introduced to Freud, he was working in a lunatic asylum and didn't have much money. That all changed when he met Emma Rauschenbach whose family were wealthy industrialists, which then made her fabulously rich. They fell in love and got married. Now Carl was no longer poor. By marrying Emma he inherited all of her money and possessions. It would turn out to be a trying marriage at least on Emma's side. Carl was a complicated man. He actually had two personalities and was known as "Split Carl." He had "infatuations" that drove Emma crazy. Women just adored him. Emma learned to deal with it and Carl encouraged her to "individuate," to take classes, study, and be her own person. Eventually she would become a famous analyst herself and her career helped her in finally understanding Carl.
Labyrinths is an amazing book about two very interesting individuals. The title itself is brilliant. Labyrinth has several different meanings, but the one that applies to this story would be tortuous. Author Catrine Clay has done a terrific job in bringing Emma and Carl to such vivid life. The writing is wonderful. It was fascinating to read about psychoanalysis, Carl's patients, the Freuds, and the labyrinthine relationship between Emma and Carl. I loved it.
Very highly recommended.