Memories, Dreams, Reflections

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Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Mem dream reflec Jung.jpg
Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Fontana edition
Author Carl Jung and Aniela Jaffé
Original title Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken
Translator Richard and Clara Winston
Language German
Subject Autobiography
Published 1963 (Pantheon Books)
Media type Print
Pages 447 (Fontana Press edition)
ISBN 0-00-654027-9 (Fontana Press edition)

Memories, Dreams, Reflections (German: Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken)[1] is a partially autobiographical book by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and an associate, Aniela Jaffé.


In 1956 Kurt Wolff, publisher and owner of Pantheon Books, expressed a desire to publish a biography of Jung's life. Dr. Jolande Jacobi, an associate of Jung, suggested that Aniela Jaffé be the biographer.[2]

At first, Jung was reluctant to cooperate with Jaffé, but because of his growing conviction of the work's importance, he became engrossed in the project and began writing some of the text himself. Jung wrote the first three chapters (about his childhood and early adulthood), part of the chapter titled "Travels," (the part about his travels to Kenya and Uganda), and the chapter titled "Late Thoughts." The rest of the text was written by Jaffé in collaboration with Jung.[3]

The content and layout of the book was much disputed. Jung's family, in the interest of keeping Jung's private life from the public eye, pushed for deletions and other changes. The publisher demanded that the text be greatly shortened to keep the price of printing down. Jaffé was accused of practicing censorship when she began to exercise her Jung-appointed authority to reword some of his thoughts on Christianity, which she deemed to be too controversial.[4]

Eventually, the disputed text (including a chapter entitled "Encounters" detailing some of Jung's friendships and acquaintanceships) was integrated into other chapters. Pantheon Books dropped its demand for further deletions after protests from Jaffé and others.[5]

The book was finally published in English by Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, in 1963 two years after Jung's death. It has remained in print ever since.


Memories, Dreams, Reflections details Jung's childhood, his personal life, and his exploration of the psyche.

[W]here the interviewer and the interviewee confine themselves to the strictly personal picture of a rich life, the reader may perceive a wide panoramic vision of a devoted student of the humanities,....[6]


Historian Peter Gay comments in his Freud: A Life for Our Time (1988) that Memories, Dreams, Reflections is well-titled, given that it emphasizes dreams. Gay comments that, "Like many autobiographies, it is more revealing than the author meant it to be."[7]


  1. ^ First published in German in 1962; English translation, 1963. See John K. Roth, Christina J. Moose, Rowena Wildi: World Philosophers and Their Works: Freud, Sigmund – Oakeshott, Michael, Salem Press, 2000, p. 970.
  2. ^ Jung, C.G.; Aniela Jaffé (1965). Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Random House. p. v. 
  3. ^ Memories, Dreams, Reflections. vii. 
  4. ^ Bair, Deirdre (2003). Jung: A Biography. New York: Back Bay Books. pp. 633–4. ISBN 978-0-316-15938-8. 
  5. ^ Jung: A Biography. pp. 638–9. 
  6. ^ Illing, Hans A. (December 1, 1963). "The American Journal of Psychiatry" 120 (6). p. 616. 
  7. ^ Gay, Peter (1995). Freud: A Life for Our Time. London: Papermac. p. 759. ISBN 0-333-48638-2.