chapter  5
20 Pages

You must overcome (destroy) yourself

ByMichael Gerard Plastow

Sabina Spielrein’s work suffers the effect of her relationship with Carl Jung and is overshadowed by his opus, explaining in part the paucity of translations and interest in her writings. Given all of the ways in which Spielrein and her productions had been identified with Jung it remained extremely difficult for her to disentangle herself from their liaison. At the end of 1910, at the time she was sitting her final medical exams, Spielrein was already working on her second study that had as its provisional title, “On the Death Instinct”. Particularly given the use of some of Jung’s terminology, Spielrein’s work might appear derivative of Jung’s elaborations of the time. If Spielrein was caught in Jung’s fantasm, it was only through writing that she was able to effect a destruction of it for her, which then permitted a new coming-into-being. Spielrein uses a number of terms and conceptualisations for the unconscious of which the type-psyche is but one.