RETURN TO "SHADOWS" PAGE
RETURN TO HOME PAGE

 

 

OUT OF THE SHADOWS:

A STORY OF TONI WOLFF AND EMMA JUNG

By Elizabeth Clark-Stern

 

CHARACTERS:

EMMA JUNG (1882) ages from 26 to 71 years

TONI WOLFF (1888) ages from 22 to 65 years

SETTING:

The Jung family home, Switzerland: Kitchen, Garden, Carl Jung’s Study

Hotel Room Ravenna, Italy

Outside Jung’s hospital room, Zurich

Gemeindestrasse, home of the C.G. Jung Institute

TIME: 1910 - 1953

ACT ONE: 1910 – 1918

ACT TWO: 16 years later 1934 – 1953

ACT ONE

MUSIC in the darkness.

LIGHTS UP on EMMA , looking out at the audience as she addresses her memory of Toni.

EMMA

How many times did I see you, Toni Wolff, whispering up the path, the pearl buttons of your lace blouse catching the morning sun? At first I saw a face, a voice, a turn of the chin, bemusement in those eyes. I remember the slenderness of your body, your hair sculpted in waves beneath a stylish French hat. Sometimes you wore it pulled into a tight knot like a coiled snake.  You came laden with books, or your father's chess set, a flutter of sweat and cigarettes. I carried the roses. Remember? In the beginning, you looked up to me with the eyes of a child, that first morning in the moist summer of 1910.

MUSIC.

EMMA exits.

TONI enters The Garden. 

EMMA (off stage)

Franzlie, please do not eat them all! I need one full pail for the raspberry pie

EMMA enters, flowers in her apron.
EMMA   

Eck! You gave me such a fright.

TONI  

Forgive me.

EMMA  

My husband's new analysand.

TONI  

Is that a term coined by Dr. Sigmund Freud?

EMMA  

No, but my husband is a close professional colleague of Dr. Freud's. (extending her hand) I am Emma Jung.

TONI (shaking hands)

Antonia Wolff.

EMMA  

A firm grip for one so young.

TONI  

I am twenty-two.

EMMA  

Are you married?

TONI  

"It is an honor that I dream not of."

EMMA  

Shakespeare! Be careful what you denounce. Juliet was soon "fast married."

TONI  

I longed to go to University. My father forbade it. I was sent to England to be "finished" in a school of manners for fine ladies. Now, he is dead and there is nothing left for me.

EMMA  

I grieved to hear of his passing. One of the finest families in Switzerland You and your mother, your sisters, must be quite distraught.

TONI  

My sisters will marry. They know their course. I rage at my father. I alone was allowed into his study. He opened for me the world of the Greeks, Shakespeare. But I was born female. A son he would have sent to University: What am I to do now, Papa, with this mind you tended?

EMMA  

Did my husband agree to treat you?

TONI  

I have not seen him yet. This is my mother's idea.

EMMA  

Dr. Jung will not bite your head off.

TONI  

I was told he would—is that not the heart of analysis?

EMMA  

Perhaps, for Dr. Freud. My husband believes in sitting closer to his analysands, out from behind the couch, as it were.

TONI  

I will never see my father again, sit with him in the twilight, hear his voice reading Schiller, Strindberg. We took the part of each character in A DOLLS HOUSE. His mind, Ibsen's, and mine There is nothing for me now but marriage to some dreary man I will despise—as if I would ever give over the legal ownership of my fortune to such a husband. Wretched Swiss law.

EMMA  

Come, my dear. Dr. Jung's study is straight up the path. (offering a cutting from her apron) Rosemary.

TONI  

"For remembrance"?

EMMA  

I predict no watery grave, for you, Ophelia.

TONI  

Why not?

EMMA  

The vigor of your handshake, my dear, your ruthless mind. You are too curious to commit suicide.

TONI  

Pardon me, Frau Jung, but I believe you have not read sufficient Nietzsche. Have you a cigarette?

EMMA  

With four children? I do not have sufficient time to smoke.

TONI  

I will not endure this "talking cure"!

EMMA is silent.

I am leaving now

EMMA waits. 

TONI

There is nothing before me but darkness--

EMMA holds her ground, waiting.

MUSIC.

EMMA exits.

TONI steps forward, facing the audience as she speaks to 'lung."

TONI

With all due respect, Dr. Jung, Plato did not say that, it was Heraclitis. You certainly do care who said it. That is plainly evident by the riot of books surrounding you like a great tidal wave. Outstrips my father's library by a league. Heraclitis? I am proved correct. I must admit I am intrigued by your concept of the "psyche," Greek for soul. Your notion of the "Unconscious" as a vast undiscovered country within each of us. Seems quite fantastic, frankly, but you claim there is empirical evidence such a place exists? My father? What about him? My dreams? Of course I remember them! "And in dreaming, the clouds methought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me, that when I waked, I cried to dream again." My father read it to me. One of his favorite passages. He came to me last night in a dream so real I could feel the soft texture of his hospital gown. "Give me a cigarette," he said. I lighted it for him He took the smoke deep into his lungs, whispering, "My Antonia, people when they live on this earth, they don't know what they have." What did he mean by that, Dr. Jung? You know the answer, but you believe I must discover it for myself. I have trespassed too long on your valuable time. Good day. What? For me? A smooth stone from your Lake? How will this ease my mourning? That too I must discover for myself. You are not at all what I expected.

MUSIC.

TONI exits.

EMMA enters, sits at her table, holds up a letter, from which she reads aloud.

EMMA

Dear Professor Freud. Usually I am quite at one with my fate, and see very well how lucky I am. But from time to time I am tormented by the conflict of how I can hold my own against Carl. I find I have no friends. All the people who associate with us really only want to see Carl, except for a few quite uninteresting persons. I am instantly cordoned off as "the wife" and begin to doubt that I have any existence of my own, apart from the aura of Dr. Jung. I write to you because I know I have not come into my own. Carl has conducted an analysis of me, and trained me in his method, but I cannot begin my own practice with four children and a household to manage. I wonder if there is not something I can contribute to this burgeoning field that is my own.

(aside)

Eck, I am a whining haus frau—"Please great Dr. Freud, tell me I am important!"—Surely I ascribe too much greatness to this man, who towers like the Alps, so inflexible is his countenance. I see him with Carl, they are like a mountain and a river. Freud seemingly made of stone, yet one senses a hidden fluid nature underground. Carl is a rushing torrent that roars over hills and valleys, flowing beyond the solid rock of custom and country at his very core. And what am I? A pleasant meadow strewn with white daisies? Why is it not enough, to be Carl's wife, mother of his children, baker of his bread? I have a fine mind. Freud sees it. Why not my husband? Why can I not be Carl's Intellectual Muse?

RETURN TO "SHADOWS" PAGE
RETURN TO HOME PAGE