Book Title: Sabina Spielrein: The Woman and the Myth
Publisher: SUNY Press
Year Published: 2017
Pacifica Program: Myth Studies
Graduation Year: 2015
Sabina Spielrein: The Woman and the Myth
Explores the life and work of psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein through a feminist and mytho-poetic lens.
Long stigmatized as Carl Jung’s hysterical mistress, Sabina Spielrein (1885–1942) was in fact a key figure in the history of psychoanalytic thought. Born into a Russian Jewish family, she was institutionalized at nineteen in Zurich and became Jung’s patient. Spielrein went on to earn a doctorate in psychiatry, practiced for over thirty years, and published numerous papers, until her untimely death in the Holocaust. She developed innovative theories of female sexuality, child development, mythic archetypes in the human unconscious, and the death instinct. In Sabina Spielrein, Angela M. Sells examines Spielrein’s life and work from a feminist and mytho-poetic perspective. Drawing on newly translated diaries, papers, and correspondence with Jung and Sigmund Freud, Sells challenges the suppression of Spielrein’s ideas and shows her to be a significant thinker in her own right.
“This book is a major, perhaps a definitive, contribution to the literature. Angela Sells documents both the demonization of a great psychoanalytic theorist—mainly because she was a woman and worse still, was once Carl Jung’s patient. The book’s greatest strength is its power to enlighten and inform and in so doing, to arouse indignation and amazement at Spielrein’s brilliance and tenacity.” — Phyllis Chesler, author of Women and Madness
About Angela Sells
Angela Sells, PhD, is a professor at Meridian University, a musician, and the author of Sabina Spielrein: The Woman and the Myth (SUNY Press, 2017). She is also the co-founder of The Open Book Press, which recently published Beat Generation icon Carolyn Cassady’s illustrated travel memoir. She created Mise en Zine, which has featured interviews with Kelly Carlin, TC Boyle, Caille Millner, and Seattle Black Panther co-founder, Elmer Dixon, among others.