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May 22, 1988|ELENA BRUNET

THE FREUD/JUNG LETTERS

The Correspondence Between Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung edited by William McGuire; translated by Ralph Manheim and R.F.C. Hull (Harvard University Press: $15.95) An extraordinary record of the extensive correspondence between the founding father of psychoanalysis and his potential disciple, tracing the evolution of their friendship, collaboration and final break--as much over principle and theory as over human pettiness and mutual suspicion. We read Jung's early letters--humble, flattering, expressing a near-worshipful appreciation for the older man's theories--and Freud's responses--pleased, flattered, flattering back.

The friendship flourished for seven years, from 1906 to 1913, then the association degenerated. As Jung augured on Nov. 14, 1911, three years before the final break: "You are a dangerous rival--if we are to speak of rivalry. Yet I think it has to be this way, for a natural development cannot be halted, nor should one try to halt it. Our personal differences will make our work different. You dig up the precious stones, but I have the degree of extension."

CAITLIN

Life With Dylan Thomas

by Caitlin Thomas with George Tremlett (Henry Holt: $8.95) This is a love story, though a very sad one, as Caitlin Thomas says. Caitlin Macnamara met Dylan Thomas (the Welsh poet and playwright) in a London pub in April, 1936, and on that very day "he told me that I was beautiful, that he loved me and that he was going to marry me." They would marry the following year and spend the next 17 years together, until Dylan's death. The two led a sordid, alcoholic life, constantly in debt, relying on the generosity of friends, complicated by Dylan's affairs and her retaliations.

Thirty years after Dylan Thomas' death, and hoping to improve on two previous attempts to describe their life together ("Leftover Life to Kill," 1957, and "Not Quite Posthumous Letters to My Daughter," 1963), Caitlin agreed to George Tremlett's suggestion of tape-recorded interviews, which he would transcribe and edit. Based on 50-hours' worth of interviews, and after 10 years of sobriety, Caitlin Thomas tells her story, which "is not only readable but compelling," Elaine Kendall wrote in her review, "an invaluable record of a life blurred in the living but finally brought into a semblance of focus and order."

WHO KILLED PALOMINO MOLERO?

by Mario Vargas Llosa translated by Alfred MacAdam (Collier Books/Macmillan: $6.95) This work is the renowned Peruvian novelist's first venture into detective fiction. When a young man, Palomino Molero, is found hanged and impaled, the investigating policemen, Lt. Silva and his partner, Lituma, come up against the stonewalling tactics of the military commander of the Air Force base, Col. Mindreau. The colonel's daughter, Alicia, who had fallen in love with Palomino and run away with him to be married (but the priest never arrived), reveals that the murderer was her own father. The case is solved; the colonel shoots his daughter and himself, and no one in the town believes that the detectives found the true culprit, preferring the rumor that a smuggling ring is responsible for the murders.

Vargas Llosa engagingly illuminates the inner workings of a remote Latin American port. "Who Killed Palomino Molero?" is as much about the machinations of power and the inventions and superstitions within this community as it is about truth and its denial.

PERSIAN NIGHTS

by Diane Johnson (Fawcett Crest/Ballantine: $4.50) When a telephone call at London's Heathrow Airport forces Dr. Jeffrey Fowler to return home to San Francisco, he insists that his wife, Chloe, continue on the trip as planned. A political innocent, she arrives alone at the Azami Hospital compound in the city of Shiraz, Iran, in 1978--just as the country is moving to overthrow the shah.

Diane Johnson introduces her fictional characters, whose personal lives are increasingly overshadowed by the political tumult to which they are witness, into actual political sites and events. Chloe's final epiphany takes place in Tehran's Jaleh Square, which was, as reviewer Donne Raffat observed in these pages, "the site of the Black Friday Massacre, which marked the outbreak of the revolution. . . . For Chloe and the country both, (it is) a delayed but sudden coming of age."

BEYOND OUR MEANS

How Reckless Borrowing Now Threatens to Overwhelm Us

by Alfred L. Malabre Jr. (Vintage Books: $6.95) "We are more than $8 trillion in debt . . . and the total keeps soaring. It now approximates $35,000 for each man, woman, and child in the nation . . . more than double the nation's yearly output of goods and services." So warns Alfred L. Malabre Jr., economics editor of the Wall Street Journal, in this sober, devastating analysis of the state of the national economy and of the gathering "economic hurricane"--the first to strike since the Great Depression--which, according to Malabre, cannot, at this late stage, be prevented.

Malabre's thesis is that in spite of appearances, "the profusion of goods and services that most Americans enjoy" is not the product of a "can-do nation . . . quite properly blessed with material benefits unrivaled in the world's less-productive economies," but symptomatic of our national tendency to "live beyond our means." A lucid, convincing work, thus all the more alarming.

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