Blogs > Cliopatria > Biographers beware?

Jun 30, 2005 8:03 am

Biographers beware?

Terry Teachout calls our attention to this astonishing example of a biographical subject's heirs taking their objections to new heights.  According to the author, Deirdre Bair:

This is a chilling moment in the annals of Jungian scholarship. The heirs of C.G. Jung, led by their spokesperson Ulrich Hoerni, have raised objections concerning the alleged invasion of their privacy that, due to German law, has forced Knaus Verlag [the publishers of the German edition of Jung: A Biography] to include their opinions of Jung's life and work within the pages of my book. These will appear as annotations to my extensive notes that follow the text. This unprecedented invasion of my book by the Jung heirs is an appalling act and is happening against my will.

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Jonathan Dresner - 6/30/2005

Given the expansion of privacy laws and intellectual property laws, I think it's going to happen more and more often.

Eventually, with trademark and copyright law expansions, you won't actually be able to mention anyone of any importance without a signed waiver from their incorporated heirs.... much less do critical scholarship.

Oscar Chamberlain - 6/30/2005


This really does sound horrid. Do you know any more about the German law under which this was done? The implication is that she violated the privacy of the people she interviewed, but the "remedy" does not seem to match that.