Article: “Italy and ‘the problem of the unconscious’: the first Italian translation of a book by C. G. Jung”

The article “Italy and ‘the problem of the unconscious’: the first Italian translation of a book by C. G. Jung“, written by M. Fiorani and M. Innamorati, could be of interest to h-madness readers. It appeared in the latest issue of the History of Psychology.

The abstract reads: “l problema dell’inconscio nella psicologia moderna [The problem of the unconscious in modern psychology], published in 1942, was the first of Jung’s books translated into Italian. The original German title was Seelenprobleme der Gegenwart [Soul’s problems of the future], a collection of previously-issued short essays. The present paper reconstructs the story of how the book was chosen and eventually published, describing the historical and personal context surrounding the protagonists (translators and publisher) of the volume. The political and cultural situation of the time in Italy is presented: the country was dominated by Catholic culture and Idealism, both obstacles to the spread of psychology. The condition of Italy is compared with that of Germany with respect to the possibility of Freud’s and Jung’s ideas circulating. Then the paper describes the specific context in which Giovanni Bollea, who had the idea of translating Jung’s book in Italy, worked. The role of Bollea’s wife, Renata Jesi, is also highlighted. Bollea’s relationship with the Einaudi publishing house and with Jung is also explained. Finally, an attempt is made to show the relevance of this episode in the history of Italian culture and its consequences”.

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