1st Edition

The Correspondence of Victoria Ocampo, Count Keyserling and C. G. Jung Writing to the Woman Who Was Everything

By Craig Stephenson Copyright 2023
    262 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Winner of the 2023 Gradiva Award for 'Best Book'!

    The Correspondence of Victoria Ocampo, Count Keyserling and C. G. Jung centres on two pivotal meetings: Victoria Ocampo and Hermann von Keyserling’s in 1929, and Ocampo and Carl Gustav Jung’s in 1934. The first section of the book chronicles these encounters, which proved to be key moments in the lives of the players and had repercussions both private and public. The later sections consist of the correspondence and other writings that preceded and followed these meetings, translated from French, German, and Spanish, much of it for the first time. 

    Jung framed Keyserling’s account of the encounter with Ocampo as "one of the most beautiful animus-anima stories I have ever heard." But that story, told here from the three points of view of the pioneering Argentine intellectual, the Baltic German philosopher, and the Swiss founder of analytical psychology, can also be read in the contexts of early-twentieth-century feminism and of gender and sexual politics, of the colonizing European gaze on the Americas, of Argentina and its cultural complexes, of typological impasses, and of Eros and the power of words. 

    The fraught relationships and power dynamics among three influential figures will be of interest to analytical psychologists, historians of psychological disciplines and of South America, as well as general readers.

    Part One: Introductory Essay;  Part Two: Ocampo and Keyserling, 1927–1929;  Part Three: Keyserling and Jung, 1929–1932;  Part Four: Ocampo and Jung, 1934–1943;  Part Five: Ocampo and Jung Meet, 1934;  Part Six: Ocampo and Keyserling Meet Again, 1939;  Part Seven: Keyserling on Jung (1944) and Ocampo (1936, 1941);  Part Eight: Ocampo Rebuts Keyserling (1951);  Bibliography


    Craig E. Stephenson is a Jungian analyst in private practice. His books include Anteros: A Forgotten Myth, Jung and Moreno, and Possession: Jung’s Comparative Anatomy of the Psyche. He edited On Psychological and Visionary Art: Notes from C. G. Jung’s Lecture on Gérard de Nerval’s Aurélia.

    'A work of scholarship and erudition, and an engrossing investigation into three extraordinary minds. Stephenson has unearthed a trove of fascinating documents, but it is their treatment that enthralls the reader: the mysteries they reveal, the personalities they unveil, and their vindication of Victoria Ocampo – feminist, South American, cultural icon – as a woman for our times.'
    Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling

    'Victoria Ocampo comes alive in these pages. A long-overdue recognition of Ocampo's immense influence on the literary culture of Argentina and the rest of the world. What Craig Stephenson has accomplished in this remarkable and deeply researched book is nothing less than an act of restoration. It is also a celebration of a brilliant South American writer, editor, and critic pushing back against a society still unprepared for her.'
    Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King, shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize

    'Craig Stephenson has the rare knack of taking a singular, often forgotten moment in history and mining it for unexpected riches. In this early 20th century "whodunit", Stephenson shows himself to be a master psychological detective in his use of primary sources to uncover the unconscious dynamics of a fateful encounter between the animus of a wealthy, South American heiress and the anima of a powerful, cultured, European aristocrat. Although the story unfolds almost one hundred years ago and is filled with dated ways of communicating (they actually write letters to one another) and the luxuries only afforded the most wealthy, it has strangely contemporary resonances that are all the more poignant in their stylized setting of the era between two world wars.'
    Tom Singer, co-author/editor of The Cultural Complex, Psyche and the City, and Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche