JUNG, VICTOR WHITE & JOHN LAYARD, Papers and correspondence of the anthropologist and psychologist John Layard, including correspondence with Carl Gustav Jung, Victor White and members of their circle, and his own working papers
Lot 202
Papers and correspondence of the anthropologist and psychologist John Layard, including correspondence with Carl Gustav Jung, Victor White and members of their circle, and his own working papers
Sold for £ 11,250 (US$ 14,796) inc. premium

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Papers and correspondence of the anthropologist and psychologist John Layard, including correspondence with Carl Gustav Jung, Victor White and members of their circle, and his own working papers, comprising:

(i) File of correspondence with Carl Gustav Jung and his associates, nearly all in English, including (in chronological order): (a) typed letter signed by Jung, hoping to see Layard in London, 15 June 1936; (b) typed letter signed by Jung, fixing up Layard's course of analysis ("...I usually work for two and a half month in one stretch, my term expires about December 15th..."), 12 November 1936; (c) autograph letter signed by Jung, deferring a later visit ("...I should be very interested indeed to hear about your anthropological material. But I must unfortunately excuse Mrs Jung as well as myself... I am a victim of senile fatigue from the exertions of the Eranos meeting which I stupidly enough have attended. Moreover I have been pestered by many visitors this summer... There are a lot of obvious reasons so that you don't need to assume any personal resistances on my part. My wife as well myself are in dire need of a period of rest before the writer's work begins again..."), 10 September 1952; (d) autograph letter signed by Jung, commiserating with Layard over his failure to gain a Bollingen grant and touching on the devastation that the death of Toni Wolff has caused him ("...The sudden and unexpected death of Toni Wolff was a great shock. There were no warning signs. My precarious state of health was rather badly upset. I am just beginning to feel a bit better again, but I can do only a limited amount of work..."); (e) typed letter signed by Jung, giving Layard permission to use illustrations from Psychology and Alchemy, responding to news of Victor White's terminal cancer ("...It is an awful fate..."), and discussing his own work ("...Being as old as I am. I am easily tired and everything has to be done very slowly, also my memory is not good anymore. I am very grateful to you for you interesting ideas about the 'double brother-in-law'. With the aid of your reprint I am trying to get more deeply into this idea. Everything that concerns the structure of the mandala is very interesting to me, but the concentrated thinking, it affords, tires me. I have always to wait for a favourable moment, in which circumstances allow me to give concentrated thought to a subject..."), and telling him not to worry about imaginary numbers which "is a mere side-issue to the problem of whole numbers in general", 27 May 1959; (f) typed letter signed by Jung, to Mrs C.K. Ginsberg, about Father Victor White, OJ [see below] ("...Sie sind mir eine wertvolle Ergänzung zu den Gedanken, die mich bewegt haben von dem Momente an, wo ich sah, dass unser Weg sich teilte. Mein Möglichkeiten waren erschöpft und ich musste ihn nolens volens der Entscheidung seines Schicksals Überlassen. Ich habe das mit Schweigen angenommen, den man kann solche Gründe nur respektieren, auch wenn man Überzeugt ist, dass man darüber – wenn die Umstände günstig wären – noch hinausgehen könnte. In solchen Fällen pflege ich meinen Patienten zu sagen: hier kann nur noch das Schicksal entscheiden. Das ist für mich persönlich jedesmal eine Frage von Leben und Tod, wo nur der Betroffene selber das Wort hat..."), 3 June 1960; (g) a photograph of pipe-smoking Jung standing in a stone arched doorway, signed and inscribed by him on the reverse ("Instead of myself in persona, I come at least in effigie! C.G."); together with an autograph letter signed by Emma Jung ("...Dr Jung is indeed willing to discuss the material of the Lady of the Hare or what you have in mind, with you, but he would'nt want to do analytical work, as Mrs Layard will have told you... Dr Jung, your wife & I feel, that this would be by far the best way to start establishing contact again. I hope you will understand & agree...") [Layard's The Lady of the Hare was claimed as the first attempt to describe what happens in Jungian analysis and has been adapted by David Harsnet for Harrison's Birtwhistle's The Woman and the Hare]; plus a group of letters by Aniela Jaffé ("...I wonder, if I have to return your paper on 'Homo-eroticism...' to you? I don't think Dr Jung will read it. He got a whole bunch of papers... I am very sorry for you, but poor Dr Jung is always inundated with material. And that takes him all courage to be in at all... Please let me know, whether you want the MS back, of if I can leave it on the desk of Dr Jung?..."), Jolande Jacobi ("...I imagine the problem of homosexuality in general and particularly its phenomena and interpretation in the primitive would interest our students very much..."), and others; plus copies of letters by Layard ("...Dear Professor Jung...I have never been analysed to my satisfaction, though you and Homer Lane had provided the two poles on which my life has since hung, he providing the Tree of Life which has run wild for lack of control, and you providing the elements of the tree of Knowledge which, in spite of all troubles, et my feet on the way of control..."), telegrams from Jung, the family's printed death-notice for Emma Jung, etc.

(ii) File of correspondence with the Dominican brethren at Blackfriars, Oxford, comprising nearly thirty letters, the majority by Layard's analysand Victor White (one with dream-analysis attached), but also by Martin D'Arcy, Richard Kehoe, Conrad Pepler, and Ruth Baldwin of the Sacred Heart Convent

(iii) File of six typed letters by Gerhard Adler to Layard ("...I can state my position very plainly. I have no intention to be drawn into your projections. You have shot that arrow against each of your analysts – and unfortunately you have never realised that it always turns into a boomerang. Apart from this I cannot see why we should not continue co-operation in normal activities which do not involve me in this spider-web of projection..."); with Layard's retained draft replies ("...The curtain rang down on a relationship..."), 1942

(iv) File of nine typed and autograph letters signed by Edmund Leach, discussing Layard's Stone Men of Malekula and other work ("...Of the paper itself I found it particularly illuminating with regard to the light it throws on the mystical evaluation of virginity. I have personally long had an interest in the symbolism of the paradise garden with its virgin-witch, the tree and the treasure, and the guardian snake. Have you ever followed up the Medea story along these lines Medea (Eve) daughter of Aeetes (God) lives in Colchis (Eden) where grows a tree on which is the Golden Fleece (the Apples) guarded by a Serpent. Jason (Adam) in order to win Medea has to 'harness the two brazen footed bulls and plough the virgin field' in which are sown the dragon teeth..."), 1954-58

(v) Long typed letter signed by Ananda Coomaraswamy, to Layard, opening: "I must say that your letter both surprised and saddened me, in fact it brought tears to my eyes. Yours is a personal instance of the state of the whole modern world of impoverished reality. I find my own way slowly, but always surely; surely, because it has been charted, and all one has to do is to follow up the tracks of those who have reached the end of the road...", from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 11 August 1947

(vi) File of some thirty letters, mostly typed and signed, by William P. Kraemer of the Davidson Clinic, Edinburgh, covering matters both personal and professional, some written when acting as Layard's secretary and typing The Fisherman's Daughter for him ("...If I may make a suggestion, I should leave out the last dream. I don't think it would make a very suitable ending. Don't you agree? I shall wait until I have your opinion on this, before I send a copy to Schweitzer... I had many hours of talk with Friedel Schweitzer. Extremely interesting. The Jungian and Layard 'scheme' all your thoughts actually seem to have come to life in him. I drew many diagrams and at once found myself faced with the problems of the quaternity (the Devil). During my presence there the patient was in bed and for many hours refused to talk..."); with letters by other correspondents, 1941-44

(vii) File relating to the Jungian Godwin ('Peter') Baynes, including letters by him and correspondence relating to Layard's obituary of him

(viii) Furious correspondence with the head of his department, Professor E.E. Evans-Prichard of the Institute of Social Anthropology ("...Last Saturday you planted yourself in my room, although you had been told that I did not wish to see you, and thereby forced me to choose between giving you an interview of attempting to throw you out...")

(ix) Layard's autograph manuscript of The Oresteian Trilogy by Aeschylus: Significance of the Number 3, comprising 72 numbered pages [no publication traced]

(x) Boxfile, containing extensive notes, typescripts (some heavily revised) for Layard's The Psychology of a Fisherman's Daughter; together with a file containing the revised typescript with the names unaltered (1938)

(xi) Revised typescript of Abraham and a heavily worked typescript of Rebekah's Choice

(xii) Revised carbon of his review Homer Lane [Layard's quondam analyst] as Psychotherapist and the Paradox of his Downfall, and his article 'A Criticism of Freud's Oedipus Complex as the Underlying Motive of Human Culture'

(xiii) Revised typescript of his review of G.R. Levy, The Gate of Horn [1948] ("...The cultures described have now all had their day. 2,000 years have passed since a new phase of history began. But the spiral has once more come round, and now we stand at a new threshold. History, including mystical history, repeats itself. The past has more to teach us than we often think..."), with letters by the author to Layard expressing her admiration ("...Your great book, published after mine was in typescript, deeply moved me, because it seemed to confirm, out of the mouths of people still practising Megalithic rites, much of what I had deduced from similar monuments...")

(xiv) 'Scrap Book' containing clippings of Layard's reviews written between 1934 and 1943

(xv) A large quantity of photocopies and roneo'd material


  • 'EVERYTHING THAT CONCERNS THE STRUCTURE OF THE MANDALA IS VERY INTERESTING TO ME, BUT THE CONCENTRATED THINKING, IT AFFORDS, TIRES ME' -- PAPERS OF THE PIONEERING ANTHROPOLOGIST AND PSYCHOLOGIST, JOHN LAYARD, including correspondence with Carl Gustav Jung and his circle, one of Jung's letters written in the aftermath of "the sudden and unexpected death of Toni Wolff".

    John Willoughby Layard (1891-1974) established his reputation as a pioneering anthropologist when, at the suggestion of W.H.R.Rivers (of Craiglockhart fame), he travelled to Malekula in the New Hebrides – now Malakula, Vanuatu – where he lived alone with the indigenous people for a year and so became 'one of the earliest intensive fieldworkers in British anthropology' (Jeremy MacClancy, ODNB). This eventually gave rise to what is probably his best known work, Stone men of Malekula (1942). On his return to England he underwent analysis with Rivers and Homer Lane, and then settled in Berlin among the largely homosexual ex-patriot community – although heterosexual and married several times himself – and where he became a guru to Auden and Isherwood. After a failed suicide attempt, he returned to London where, in 1936, he met Carl Gustav Jung who first treated him and then collaborated with him. In the post war years, he practised as a Jungian psychologist in Oxford and London: 'Layard's original and imaginative interpretations failed to sway his anthropological contemporaries, who promoted other approaches and regarded psychological explanations as over(ly) speculative. Since Layard himself never held an academic post, he had no students to further his work and thus his unique, if somewhat eccentric, contribution to the history of British anthropology has not won the attention it deserves. However, his indirect contribution to English literature has been much more clearly demonstrated. Layard had a profound effect on Auden's development during his Berlin period, especially in his long poem The Orators; Isherwood based one of the key characters of The Memorial (1932) on Layard; T. S. Eliot acknowledged his debt to Layard's ideas about his Malakulan material in his essay on 'Cultural forces in the human order' (1952) while the influence of Stone Men of Malekula on Eliot's The Cocktail Party has been discerned' (MacClancy, op. cit.).

    One file of particular interest is that containing, inter alia, the correspondence with Victor White of the Oxford Benedictine Community, who entered Jung's circle through the mediation of John Layard: 'The outbreak of the Second World War coincided with a period of doubts about his Dominican vocation... In this period of turmoil he engaged in an intense analysis with John Layard and thus began that immersion in the work of C. G. Jung that preoccupied him until his death. White sent some of his publications to Jung in October 1945. They met with an enthusiastic response and in August 1946 he made the first of his visits to Jung's retreat at Bollingen on Lake Zürich, and in 1947 White was invited to be a founder member of the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich... Jung found in White a possible bridge to the Catholic world and someone with whom he could discuss on equal terms matters of vital importance to him' (Adrian Cunningham,ODNB). It was the debate between White and Jung which gave rise to what many consider one of Jung's greatest works, the Answer to Job (1952).

    In our papers are both sides of the correspondence between White and Layard (Layard's letters in the form of retained copies or drafts). In 1941, White sends Layard what he describes as "last night's crop of dreams", adjoining his own interpretations; in one dream "I am in the sacristy of a Dominican church, preparing to say a private mass"; the word "mass" inspiring Layard's interpretation, which he had written in the margin: "= Masturbation (selfish) = Abuse Insisted on by whole Catholic Church", adding that "V.W. reacted strongly against this". In another letter dating from 1946 and written from Bollingen, White tells Layard that he is "having good time here & am being most marvellously received. Mrs Jung & T. Wolff are both here: many hours of most fruitful disscussion [sic], reminiscing – & argument – with C.G. He reciprocates your greetings very warmly. But he is quite definite that he would not himself be able to undertake a pukka analysis with you... I have of course told C.G. much about my analysis with you, & he has had some very interesting things to say about it". In a letter of 1948 from New York, White tells Layard, then in Zurich, that he hopes to get to Bollingen in September and subscribes himself "Every very best wish to you: for Ascona, for Italy – and for eternity"; which stings Layard into replying: "I'm not at all pleased with your bright and breezy effort of Aug. 6th, in which you airily ignore everything but dates. Oh, yes, you do send best wishes 'for eternity', which is nice and convenient, forgetting that 'eternity' is the depths of 'Now' – and then forget to sign your letter! I'm not surprised that you are 'stuck', and that the work hangs fire. Matters here don't stand a wee bit as you apparently think they do. If you have any feeling of friendship or loyalty (or even real self-interest) left, will you please see me before seeing Jung".
    The majority of Layard's papers are preserved at the Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego (MS 84).
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  1. Simon Roberts
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