“THE CASE OF THE QUINCE-WOMAN”

A famous case in the annals of Psychoanalysis is that which, in analytical literature, is known as “the case of the Quince-Woman.” This woman liked the quince very much, nevertheless not to eat it but to wallow in it. Freud liked the taste of quince and was shocked to learn how she wasted such a delicacy. So he transferred the patient to Adler, who did not care about quince. In fact, in his first session with the Quince-Woman, he did not even know what a quince was, but he did not dare to ask and had to pretend to be an expert in quinces. At the end of the session he was convinced that “quince” was a kind of trampoline. However, Adler caused a very good impression on the Quince-Woman, who described him in her diary as “a true sage who has revealed to me the meaning of existence, closely linked (as I already supposed) to the voluble consistency of the quince.” This good impression was confirmed in the successive sessions, although Adler still didn’t know what the hell was a “quince”. He ended each session with a different idea of what a “quince” was. When he finally learned the truth about the quince, he was so amazed that he canceled all his appointments for the week. When Freud was informed that Adler had spent the week crying, he ruled that Adler had suffered severe trauma and offered himself to psychoanalyze him personally. And although Adler refused, he asked Freud to transfer the Quince-Woman to another analyst because he couldn’t stand it anymore. In this way, the Quince-Woman ended up in Jung’s couch.

According to the Quince-Woman’s diary, Jung “limited himself to stare at me with narrowed eyes and puffing on a pipe.” However, Jung knew exactly what a quince was. To tell the truth, he often had quince and toast for breakfast, but he was very careful not to reveal it to his patient. In fact, if we are to believe the Quince-Woman, Jung didn’t address her even once during the three years of her treatment: “He only stares at you as if he were going to pounce on you at any moment.” Actually, Jung was a most enigmatic guy. He was interested in all kinds of mysteries, including quinces. In his house of Lausanne, he had an Alchemy workshop where he carried out experiments with quinces and other kinds of fruit. He was also interested in flying saucers, but he did not think they came from other planets. In fact, on one occasion he had an encounter of some kind with one of these flying objects. While he was thinking with the help of a cigar in his home’s garden, a metallic ship in the shape of a cigar was detained for more than half an hour about thirty feet above him, projecting over the garden a long shadow that at first Jung attributed to his cigar. But when he finally looked up and saw a short turquoise-colored creature with a large triangular head and bulging eyes staring at him, he turned his back on it and went back into the house. He disliked being bothered while thinking.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

Carl Gustav Jung

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