Allison Parrish

very annoyed that the quote "Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled
with in vain" can't be reliably attributed to anyone, let alone Jung (to whom it is often attributed). even in scholarly articles, when they bother to attribute the quote at all, cite to Jung's _Memories, Dreams, Reflections_ which doesn't (as far as I can tell) contain those words.

I mean, it's a good quote that compactly expresses an important idea, which it does even if Jung didn't say it. but annoying because without an actual attribution I can't in good conscience use it as like... a quote on a slide or a chapter epigraph or something. (or I can but if I attribute it to "anonymous?" or "carl jung supposedly" then people will want to argue about the attribution and not the idea)

@aparrish what about putting it in italics with no quotation marks or attribution

@martensitingale then someone will come up to me and say "I believe that's a Jung quote, why didn't you attribute it to Jung"

@aparrish This whole predicament seems very Jungian idk

@aparrish Fight sexism by wrongly attributing it to a woman for once. Margaret Mead sounds truthy.

@aparrish spitballing here, but maybe if you said something like "attribution unknown" or "attribution contested" instead of "anonymous", it might get your point across and also be less distracting (especially for those who would jump in and tell you it's Jung)

@xor I think the annoyance isn't just that I can't use the *text* of the quote, it's that I can't use the quote and also borrow the connotations and authority of Jung (specifically) while I do so. I mean, I can express that same idea with my own words, I don't really need the quote.

@aparrish oh yeah, that's a good point. I can see why that would lead you to the second option, maybe worded something like "traditionally attributed to Jung"

@aparrish or I guess "frequently attributed" might be better

@aparrish you could attribute it to a fictional author like Kilgore Trout. Or sign it “Disputed Attribution”.

@aparrish Attribute it to Bodhidharma or Dogen, since it sounds so Zen.


"Blah blah blah"
-- attributed to Julius Caesar

(to be clear, I'm giving my opinion that that's the classiest way to frame such quotes.)

@aparrish the whole attribution thing is a murky business; suppose you found it word for word in the contested posthumous english translation of the contested german text of erinnerungen, träume, gedanken heavily rewritten by jaffé and censored by his family ... would you really be happier attributing that to jung?

@aparrish never mind, just looked in the version, the passage does not appear:

@aparrish ...which I guess means the misattribution is so engrained, even the google algorigthms believe it despite data to the contrary.

@jboy yeah! you can also see that people writing scholarly articles have obviously just copied the attribution and the citation without bothering to actually check that the cited work has the quote. the super ironic thing is that it's very easy to imagine Jung saying something like this quote, so it might even be a faithful paraphrase of some paragraph or other in one of these books. (maybe someone's paraphrase of Jung in English before the corresponding work was "officially" translated?)

@aparrish that was my hunch, too – that this is ultimately a translation issue.

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