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Sur Le Reve

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Among the first of Sigmund Freud's many contributions to psychology and psychoanalysis was The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900, and considered his greatest work — even by Freud himself. Aware, however, that it was a long and difficult book, he resolved to compile a more concise and accessible version of his ideas on the interpretation of dreams. That shorter Among the first of Sigmund Freud's many contributions to psychology and psychoanalysis was The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900, and considered his greatest work — even by Freud himself. Aware, however, that it was a long and difficult book, he resolved to compile a more concise and accessible version of his ideas on the interpretation of dreams. That shorter work is reprinted here. Since its publication, generations of readers and students have turned to this volume for an authoritative and coherent account of Freud's theory of dreams as distorted wish fulfillment. After contrasting the scientific and popular views of dreams, Freud illustrates the ways in which dreams can be shown to have been influenced by the activities or thoughts of the preceding day. He considers the effect on dreams of such mental mechanisms as condensation, dramatization, displacement, and regard for intelligibility. In addition, the author offers perceptive insights into repression, the three classes of dreams, and censorship within the dream. Students and psychologists will welcome this inexpensive edition of an always-relevant work by the father of modern psychoanalysis. This volume will also appeal to anyone interested in dreams of the workings of the unconscious mind.


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Among the first of Sigmund Freud's many contributions to psychology and psychoanalysis was The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900, and considered his greatest work — even by Freud himself. Aware, however, that it was a long and difficult book, he resolved to compile a more concise and accessible version of his ideas on the interpretation of dreams. That shorter Among the first of Sigmund Freud's many contributions to psychology and psychoanalysis was The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900, and considered his greatest work — even by Freud himself. Aware, however, that it was a long and difficult book, he resolved to compile a more concise and accessible version of his ideas on the interpretation of dreams. That shorter work is reprinted here. Since its publication, generations of readers and students have turned to this volume for an authoritative and coherent account of Freud's theory of dreams as distorted wish fulfillment. After contrasting the scientific and popular views of dreams, Freud illustrates the ways in which dreams can be shown to have been influenced by the activities or thoughts of the preceding day. He considers the effect on dreams of such mental mechanisms as condensation, dramatization, displacement, and regard for intelligibility. In addition, the author offers perceptive insights into repression, the three classes of dreams, and censorship within the dream. Students and psychologists will welcome this inexpensive edition of an always-relevant work by the father of modern psychoanalysis. This volume will also appeal to anyone interested in dreams of the workings of the unconscious mind.

30 review for Sur Le Reve

  1. 4 out of 5

    Justin Tate

    Whew! A daunting classic with plenty of awkward moments, but absolutely worth reading. Bucketlist material, for sure. Special thanks to Michael Page who narrated the unabridged audio version. His narration is absolutely pitch-perfect, the total embodiment of an analytical psychologist. Without the audio I probably wouldn't have read it, and that would be a shame. What I love most is the endless analysis. Yes, some of Freud's theories are pretty wild--and I'll get to that--but there's a lot to Whew! A daunting classic with plenty of awkward moments, but absolutely worth reading. Bucketlist material, for sure. Special thanks to Michael Page who narrated the unabridged audio version. His narration is absolutely pitch-perfect, the total embodiment of an analytical psychologist. Without the audio I probably wouldn't have read it, and that would be a shame. What I love most is the endless analysis. Yes, some of Freud's theories are pretty wild--and I'll get to that--but there's a lot to learn about the human condition, both in its sleeping and waking states. Freud analyzes every possible dream from so many angles it boggles the mind. But, being a constant dreamer, his theories kept me in rapt attention. My dreams are often varying and multi-faceted. Freud talks about them all and many others. The examples he gives of dreams that manifest out of reality are particularly interesting. This happens to me often. I’ll dream an elaborate story, with characterization, rising plot, mystery and intrigue, and right at the climax, when the protagonist is about to get hit by a train, there's a real-world blaring sound. Only the real sound isn't a train, it happens to be my alarm clock. How the hell is that possible? My dreaming state can plot itself out to the millisecond so that the climax coincides with my alarm ringing? It's miraculous, unexplainable. And yet, Freud explains it. Or tries to at least. Even after 600+ pages--or 21 hours on audio--there's room left for mystery, I think. And Freud himself says that two people can dream the exact same thing and it have completely different meanings based on context. For example, falling. If you've dreamed of falling from a large height, it could be a bodily reaction to a foot hanging loose off the mattress. Or, surprise surprise, it could be about sex. According to Freud, a woman may manifest a dream of falling as a symbolic reflection of her unconscious feeling of being--or desiring to be--a "fallen woman." Spoiler alert: Freud basically concludes that all of your dreams are about sex. There's his expected theory on phallic symbolism, of course. If you dream about corn stalks or cucumbers, we all know what you're really dreaming about. But objects that pun with sexual objects are also in play. Such as the "fallen woman." The most bizarre example Freud uses is dreaming of children. Because it was in vogue to refer to the male member as 'little man,' Freud concludes that dreaming of a child is often the subconscious using symbolism. And if you dream of beating the child? Well, obviously that must mean your subconscious is expressing a wish to masturbate. Freud is a controversial figure because of ideas like these, but it would be loss to not recognize how many of this theories are crucial to understanding psychology. And for those who accuse him of being a sex-obsessed maniac, we should remember that all living things are sex-obsessed maniacs. From the trees who fill the spring air with their pollen, to the male black widow who gives up his life for the sake of biological need. And yes, humans too. Whether or not you want to admit it, we're built to think like that, and Freud's continual return to sex comes across less like the cocaine-loving ramblings of a nympho, and more like someone who understands what makes a human tick. At the very least, all of the passages about medicinal cocaine and sex symbolism makes this an infinitely more entertaining read than it might be otherwise. Overall, I would easily mark this as a must-read classic. Where else can you find a thick textbook that's actually engaging? It will make you think, question yourself, and understand yourself. If nothing else, it's made me hyper aware of my dreams. I remember ALL OF THEM now. Instead of waking up and shaking them away, I'm immediately replaying them in my mind and thinking, "Oh God, what would Freud say about THAT?"

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alok Mishra

    I have read various editions of various books claiming to interpret the dreams we see while we are unconscious or subconscious. However, the book by Freud is different. Being a psychologist and a famous one, his interpretations are mostly based on popular beliefs, culture and analysis. In the Indian context, much of it cannot be exemplified. Still, the book is fine and noteworthy even today.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Die Traumdeutung = The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud The Interpretation of Dreams (German: Die Traumdeutung) is an 1899 book by the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, in which the author introduces his theory of the unconscious with respect to dream interpretation, and discusses what would later become the theory of the Oedipus complex. Freud revised the book at least eight times and, in the third edition, added an extensive section which treated dream symbolism very literally, following the Die Traumdeutung = The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud The Interpretation of Dreams (German: Die Traumdeutung) is an 1899 book by the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, in which the author introduces his theory of the unconscious with respect to dream interpretation, and discusses what would later become the theory of the Oedipus complex. Freud revised the book at least eight times and, in the third edition, added an extensive section which treated dream symbolism very literally, following the influence of Wilhelm Stekel. Freud said of this work, "Insight such as this falls to one's lot but once in a lifetime." عنوانها: تفسیر خواب؛ تعبیر خواب و بیماریهای روانی؛ نویسنده: زیگموند فروید؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه آگوست سال 1974 میلادی عنوان: تفسیر خواب؛ نویسنده: زیگموند فروید؛ مترجم: محمد خاور؛ تهران، کانون شهریار، 1328؛ در 55 ص موضوع: روانکاوی خواب دیدن - قرن 19 م عنوان: تعبیر خواب و بیماریهای روانی؛ نویسنده: زیگموند فروید؛ مترجم: ایرج پورباقر؛ تهران، نشر آسیا، 1342؛ در 462 ص ؛ چاپ پنجم 1378؛ چاپ هتم 1382؛ شابک: 9649067981؛ عنوان: تفسیر خواب؛ نویسنده: زیگموند فروید؛ مترجم: شیوا رویگردان؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، 1382؛ در 885 ص شابک: 9643056732؛ چاپ دوم 1383؛ چاپ سوم 1384؛ پنجم 1386؛ ششم 1387؛ هفتم و هشتم 1388؛ نهم و دهم 1389؛ چاپ پانزدهم 1393؛ شابک: 9789643056735؛ عنوان: تفسیر خواب؛ نویسنده: زیگموند فروید؛ مترجم: احسان لامع؛ تهران، پارسه، 1393؛ در 436 ص ؛ شابک: 9786002531810؛ عنوان: تفسیر خواب؛ نویسنده: زیگموند فروید؛ مترجم: عفت السادات حق گو؛ تهران، شباهنگ، 1394؛ در 567 ص ؛ شابک: 9786001301100؛ بیش‌از یک‌ سده پیش از امروز، فروید، با نوشتن همین‌ کتاب، برای تفسیر خواب و رؤیا، که پیش‌ از آن موضوع حدس و گمان‌های عوامانه و سطحی بود، پایه و اسلوبی‌علمی، و نظام‌مند، فراهم‌ کرد، و گامی‌ بزرگ در زمینه‌ ی جست‌جوی علمی در ذهن انسانی، و فهم پدیده‌ ها، و مسائل ذهنی، برداشت. با این‌ حال در آغاز کتاب، پیش‌ از ارائه‌ ی نظریه‌ ی خویش، یعنی تلقّی خواب‌ دیدن، به‌ منزله‌ ی تحقّق آرزو، سابقه‌ ی تحلیل علمی رؤیاها را، به‌ تفصیل بررسی‌ کرد، که آن‌ نیز نمونه‌ ای از کار دقیق پژوهش‌گرانه، و ارج‌شناسی تلاش‌های دیگران، به‌ شمار می‌آید. فروید خواب‌ها را «بزرگراهی به‌ درون ناخودآگاه» می‌دانست، و عالمان پس‌ از او نیز، همچون‌ خود او، از این‌ بزرگراه، برای راه‌ یافتن به‌ جهان پیچیده‌ ی ذهن انسانی، بهره‌ های بسیار بردند. روان‌کاوی و روان‌ درمانی امروز، بی‌تردید به‌ کار پیشاهنگ و پیشتاز فروید؛ بسیار وامدار است. ا. شربیانی

  4. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    This was a much more interesting book than I thought it might be. The nature of dreams is something that is hard not to find fascinating. The thing is that we spend quite a bit of time dreaming – not the third of our lives we spend sleeping, but enough time to make us wonder why we dream at all. It seems incomprehensible that our dreams would be completely meaningless. But then, they can be so bizarre it is hard to know just what they might mean. Freud starts with a quick run through how dreams This was a much more interesting book than I thought it might be. The nature of dreams is something that is hard not to find fascinating. The thing is that we spend quite a bit of time dreaming – not the third of our lives we spend sleeping, but enough time to make us wonder why we dream at all. It seems incomprehensible that our dreams would be completely meaningless. But then, they can be so bizarre it is hard to know just what they might mean. Freud starts with a quick run through how dreams have been interpreted in the past – from Aristotle on. Aristotle is a good place to start, as he says we dream about things that have been left unresolved from the day – and this is a core idea that Freud also includes in his theory of dreams. Essentially, Freud sees dreams as playing a key role in helping us to process stuff that happened during the day. But dreams are a truth that likes to hide. Their meaning covers itself in remarkable allusions and images that are often amusingly apt, but sometimes it is as if we are determined to hide the true meaning of our dreams even from ourselves. Freud makes it clear that this will not be a book of off-the-shelf interpretations – ‘oh, you dreamt of a lion last night, that means you should have been born Leo and spent time chasing gazelle’. To Freud it is impossible to understand and interpret dreams from a list of standard symbols. This doesn’t mean that if you are going to interpret dreams you don’t have to know a lot about symbols and their common meanings – but this knowledge is never enough. Symbols develop their own meanings within the text that is the dream. Just as in Blake’s The Sick Rose the rose can be read to mean anything from nature, to the Christian Church, to female genitalia, so in dreams the interpretation is meaningful within the context of the dream and to the life of the dreamer. And the dream is relevant to the immediate life of the dreamer. It is generally a response to what happened that day – even if the imagery used may well refer back to the childhood of the dreamer so that the deeper significance is a life's work. The other remarkable conclusion Freud draws is that dreams are wish fulfilments. Now, this seems anything but obvious. Sure, when we have dreams we are having sex with super-models it is pretty obvious that Freud is onto something. But these aren’t the only dreams he sees as being wish fulfilments. Even dreams where loved ones die are seen by Freud as being fundamentally the realisations of wishes – but again, the dream isn’t always as easy to interpret as it might initially seem and the wish may not be as easy to understand as might be immediately apparent from what happens in the dream. The fact we wake screaming and shaking from a dream may not mean there is no wish involved in the thing that terrifies us – although, I would have to say I don’t think he dealt with nightmares nearly as well as he ought to have. It is here that Freud discusses the Oedipal Complex – how our first sexual attraction is toward the parent of the opposite sex to ourselves and therefore we desire to remove one parent from the scene so as to take their place. While we are children the full implications of this desire are obscure to us – but as we grow older the taboo associated with this desire helps suppress our recognition of these desires, or repress them, rather – but only from the conscious mind. The subconscious mind still remembers what we might prefer to forget and so uses these images, as the first images of our awakening desires, as potent images in our dreams. The meaning of the image may not be anything like that we want to kill our father and have sex with our mother – it might actually refer to an awakening of sexual interest in someone else we have only recently meet – but the dream uses this ‘primal’ image as something to help it make sense of our current world and desires, even if the image then goes on to confuse the hell out of us. Time for a story. I once worked with a woman called Frances Nolan. She was really lovely, one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with, but I didn’t really fancy her. I mean, she was pretty and incredibly nice, but she was quite a bit younger than me and I just wasn’t really all that interested in her in that way. But every morning I would be walking to the train station and when I got to a certain part of Church Street she would suddenly jump into my head as large as life. I was starting to think that I must have been starting to fall for her – it was the strangest feeling, and quite confusing. Until one day I realised that there is a shoe shop in Church Street that is called Frances Nolan Shoes – and the sign is huge and I would walk under it every day. I really struggle to believe I didn’t consciously notice this sign in all the time I had walked up that street and imagined I was falling for poor Frances. This book is interesting as I had assumed it would be a much harder read than it turned out to be – I also thought it would be a much sillier book than it turned out too. It is extremely well written. I don’t think I agree entirely with Freud, but he makes a very strong case. My main problems with his theory have to do with Sherlock Holmes. Because that’s what a lot of this sounded like to me. Someone has a dream and Freud does the whole ‘Elementary, my dear Watson’ thing. It even gets to the stage where he says that sometimes things mean the opposite of what they seem to mean in the dream. When that is the case then any interpretation is basically about imposing ones preconceptions on the meaning of the symbols in the dream. I tend to think that dreams probably don’t mean nearly as much as we like to think they do – but what they do do is throw up lots of random images, images which we try to make sense of and it is that ‘making of sense’ that says interesting things about us. And whether it is dream images or tarot cards or ink dots on paper – our making sense of random images says interesting things about us. But we should go gently into this stuff. We should go on tip-toes. Because stories have lives of their own and we are weaker than a good story and always will be. I once read a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I think in that book she says that lines have a momentum that is very hard to control – but controlling the momentum of lines is a large part of what drawing is about. Stories also have a momentum that is very hard to control. The narratives we tell about ourselves are one thing – the narrative we tell about our dreams are quite another. Personally, I think I prefer Freudian readings of novels to Freudian readings of people – but I can certainly see why this book made such an impact. If the problem with the book is Freud playing Holmes, it is only a problem because he is so damn clever he gets away with it. I’m surprised I’m going to do this – I would never have thought I would have when I started reading - but I think I would recommend this book. It is a fascinating read, even if it has left me somewhat less than convinced.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Russell

    I enjoyed reading Freud’s book. When he speaks about dreams and their interpretation, I am reminded of a microfiction I had published years ago where the editor told me it was the weirdest story he has ever read and that a Freudian psychoanalyst would have a field day interpreting. Here it is below. If anyone would care to offer an interpretation according to Freud or any other school of psychoanalysis, I'm sure you could have some fun. The Roof Dancer Sidney and Sam, identical twins, crackerjack I enjoyed reading Freud’s book. When he speaks about dreams and their interpretation, I am reminded of a microfiction I had published years ago where the editor told me it was the weirdest story he has ever read and that a Freudian psychoanalyst would have a field day interpreting. Here it is below. If anyone would care to offer an interpretation according to Freud or any other school of psychoanalysis, I'm sure you could have some fun. The Roof Dancer Sidney and Sam, identical twins, crackerjack roofers, started work up on a roof one sultry July morning when Sam tripped on a piece of tar at the roof’s peak and slid down head first. He would have plunged straight to the ground if Sidney hadn’t reached over at the last moment and snatched him by his boots. Hanging over the side upside-down, Sam had a view through a second floor bedroom window. The lady of the house was completely naked. Her ample rear end was bobbing and swinging to a polka playing on an enormous ancient phonograph. Sidney yanked Sam back up to the roof but Sam became so excited in the process, he ejaculated his semen seed. By the time the seed popped out of the bottom of his dungarees, rolled off the roof and landed in the yard, it was the size of a cantaloupe. From all corners of the yard kids skipped over and began frolicking with the seed. Its round contour grew to the size of a watermelon in their hands. Sam stared down at the kids. He began a high-step gleeful dance, part mazurka, part gavotte, part rumba, part hornpipe right there on the roof, bottom to top, edge to edge, twirling like some enchanted wood nymph, his pot belly jiggling in pure ecstasy. It wasn’t long before the man of the house, a bald, mustachioed Mr. Verea, made his way up the ladder. “What’s all this racket I’m hearing?” he asked, scanning the roof. Sam pirouetted daintily at the peak, doffing his baseball cap. Mr. Verea grabbed Sidney by the suspenders and yelled, “Do you guys think I hired you to put a new roof on my house or perform ballet?” “Yes, sir, right away, sir,” Sidney stammered, beads of sweat pouring off his forehead and bulbous nose. Mr. Vera pushed Sidney rudely. “Now, I say, do it now!” Sidney wobbled backwards, nearly toppling over the edge but regained his balance and shoved Mr. Verea back. A rapid-fire shoving match ensued along the entire length of the roof. At the same time Sam fluttered down on tiptoe, scooped up an armful of shingles and started putting them in place. A fully-dressed Mrs. Verea made her appearance at the head of the ladder. “Get back down here,” she railed at her husband. “Let those men finish their work.” “Nobody is going to push me on my own roof,” he replied. “I say come down,” insisted Mrs. Verea. “Come down yourself,” said Mr. Verea. Stepping up from the ladder to the roof Mrs. Verea kicked her husband in the pants. He stopped shoving Sidney, turned around and started shoving her, whereupon she too started shoving him furiously. Sidney fanned himself with his baseball cap and looked over at his brother – just now, between acrobatic leaps of a saltarello, Sam placed the last of the shingles on the tar. As if he were at the court of Louis XIV, Sidney curtsied gracefully, then pointed to the ladder before climbing down himself. Sam followed, hips swinging but fell between the rungs. There was nothing for Sidney to do but guide the ladder, with his brother stuck in it, to the van. The kids approached; they held the distended seed, the shape and length of a garden hose now: translucent with flecks of gold, sparkling, radiating light in their hands. When Sam jiggled and kicked down the driveway, the kids shook the magnificent seed, each shake casting out fine gold dust that turned to streams of water when it touched the earth.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    What a trick goes on to make us aware of what is not. Not to the taste of all scientists certainly, but you had to have them to try it. Hats off to the artist because we leave the Cartesian "I think so I am" to go towards Spinozism "it thinks in me". Which is more of a Philo than a psycho? Scientists certainly, but you had to have them to try it. I really liked this book that only a cocaine psychiatrist could write.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Warwick

    I dreamt that I had written a huge modern rewrite of Moby-Dick, except instead of a whale they were hunting a badger. It was full of gothic scenes of Ahab staring moodily into some light woodland, reminiscing about how the white beast had bitten his foot once, and how he would ultimately ‘earth the hated brock in his dank and stinking sett, and finish him utterly’. Instead of the Pequod, Ahab and the narrator cycled through the forest on a tandem bicycle, studying tracks and peering through the I dreamt that I had written a huge modern rewrite of Moby-Dick, except instead of a whale they were hunting a badger. It was full of gothic scenes of Ahab staring moodily into some light woodland, reminiscing about how the white beast had bitten his foot once, and how he would ultimately ‘earth the hated brock in his dank and stinking sett, and finish him utterly’. Instead of the Pequod, Ahab and the narrator cycled through the forest on a tandem bicycle, studying tracks and peering through the shrubs. Every now and then, one of them would point through the branches and shout, ‘Lo! The white badger!’, and they would pedal off. In my mind this was a serious literary project. Unfortunately I have never finished Moby-Dick, and so the book just devolved into chapters full of interminable facts about badger biology, lifestyle and cultural history, and the foundational role they play in the mythology of countless woodland societies (which is not true). I remember copying out a quote from King Lear where someone is said to be ‘like unto the brindl'd baddger’, but sadly upon waking I have discovered that this line does not exist. On the other hand, I also remember repeatedly using the adjective ‘meline’ which does, in fact, exist and is not a word I knew that I knew. If anyone can interpret this for me, I am all ears. In the meantime, if you'll excuse me I now have 200,000 words to write about badger-hunting.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Owlseyes

    A major book (of 1900) as one of the possible approaches to the world of dreams. Freud starts with Aristotle (and the demoniac view); then, the (biblical) approach viewing dreams as "Divine inspiration". Next, he proceeds with a very exhaustive sample of dreams of his own, of historical characters (Napoleon I, Xerxes....) or from his patients (or friends) to illustrate/prove his point: dreams are the fulfillment of (unconscious) desires. Though "absurd" they may look, they are A major book (of 1900) as one of the possible approaches to the world of dreams. Freud starts with Aristotle (and the demoniac view); then, the (biblical) approach viewing dreams as "Divine inspiration". Next, he proceeds with a very exhaustive sample of dreams of his own, of historical characters (Napoleon I, Xerxes....) or from his patients (or friends) to illustrate/prove his point: dreams are the fulfillment of (unconscious) desires. Though "absurd" they may look, they are meaningful, they can be interpreted. This absurdity is due to unconscious mechanisms which disguise the true meaning of the dream, namely, via "displacement" and "condensation". Our language is also an obstacle: due to its inaccuracy.Yet language is paramount for the interpretation démarche. And Freud was good at it. (Tom Paine's nightly pest) It's a pity he ends the last paragraph* of the book considering the value of dreams regarding the future (should have written: prophetic aspect) concluding: "that we cannot consider". Curiously, he took some lines on this woman telling his mother about how a "great man" he would become; he speculated about a "minister"... . ('The Interpretation of Dreams' by Rod Moss) The fact is that this "wish-fulfillment" approach proved not to be totally true. With the great war (1914-1918), Freud had patients/soldiers who suffered from recurrent dreams /war-traumas...and he concluded later on, that these types of dreams [nightmares!] had no relation to the Eros impulse, rather to Thanatos: a destructive force/drive operating within the psyche. So he made some changes on his model of the psyche. (Hypnos and Thanatos: Sleep and His Half-Brother Death, by John William Waterhouse, 1874) Today [15th of June] I was listening to someone** speaking about dreams of the "USA in flames...and riots in the streets". Those dreams happened to people before the 2012 Obama election. They perceived a link between the re-election and the feared "upcoming events". Surely, those were dreams of the future; no pleasure-principle operating. I'm glad they didn't "materialize". UPDATE: I would be glad to hear of any help (interpretation) on Chief Golden Light Eagle's dream about Obama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sywLXE... *"And how about the value of the dream for a knowledge of the future? That, of course we cannot consider. One feels inclined to substitute:”for a knowledge of the past”. For the dream originates from the past in every sense. To be sure the ancient belief that the dream reveals the future is not entirely devoid of truth. By representing a wish as fulfilled the dream leads us into the future; BUT THIS FUTURE, TAKEN BY THE DREAMER AS PRESENT, HAS BEEN FORMED INTO THE LIKENESS OF THAT PAST BY INDESTRUCTIBLE WISH”. **http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zZSJ7...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Is it just me, or was ol' Mr. Freud the biggest perv in the world of psychology? Don't get me wrong, this is an interesting read from a historical perspective, but it's so difficult to take seriously! It's also very dated and seems to follow the average family of the time, without taking into account anyone who doesn't fit into what was "proper" back then.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alexia

    Written with scientific denseness, but lacks scientific rigor or clarity. Can be tedious, vague and confusing. Freud will say he's going to do something (like not use personal examples) only to forget he said that and do it anyway. Or he'll acknowledge the flaw with his approach and then do nothing to correct it (which is better than not admitting it, I guess). For example, he uses his patients, "neurotics", for analysis and comments on how how that makes his conclusions not drawn from a Written with scientific denseness, but lacks scientific rigor or clarity. Can be tedious, vague and confusing. Freud will say he's going to do something (like not use personal examples) only to forget he said that and do it anyway. Or he'll acknowledge the flaw with his approach and then do nothing to correct it (which is better than not admitting it, I guess). For example, he uses his patients, "neurotics", for analysis and comments on how how that makes his conclusions not drawn from a representative sample. But that comment is where it stops, there's no correction or real analysis on how that impacted his conclusions. Or he'll start out with a clear sentence and then explain it until it descends into an illogical jumble. Or he'll refer to something not obvious as something obvious. Or he'll say there's numerous instances of something and then not list them. I could go on. He gives too many examples, belabors the points he does end up making, references confusing German word play... I'm not going to make the same mistake as Frued. I'm going to stop talking once my point is made. And I think it's made.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dimitri

    Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud is filled with Freud’s theories about the connections between dreams and real life that he has discovered through his research. Freud covers everything from the content within dreams to the strategies needed to interpret them, as well as diving in to the finer aspects such as memory in dreams and connections to everyday life. Freud often quotes the extensive research that has already been done in the field of the analysis of dreams but points out that Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud is filled with Freud’s theories about the connections between dreams and real life that he has discovered through his research. Freud covers everything from the content within dreams to the strategies needed to interpret them, as well as diving in to the finer aspects such as memory in dreams and connections to everyday life. Freud often quotes the extensive research that has already been done in the field of the analysis of dreams but points out that all of the work so far has been inconclusive and in essence raised more questions than it answered. In this work Freud does his best to definitively answer the questions that we still had about interpreting our dreams. I thought that this book was really fascinating because it answered many of my research questions about the way our subconscious mind is connected to the events of our everyday lives and our memories. The most interesting part to me was the chapter entitled “Memory in Dreams” because he answered so many questions about different obscurities that appear not to be connected to any singular event. He pointed out that people often have dreams about some finite detail that they would never have expected to remember. This passage was so striking because he answered some of my questions about whether our subconscious thoughts are connected to our everyday life. It also made me realize how powerful our mind is and the fact that we actually pick up so many details in everyday life that we might toss away as insignificant but arise in our dreams.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    This was one of those books I tried to read on my own back as a young college student. It wasn't a part of any coursework, so I didn't have anyone to help tie it to larger ideas. If I remember, I think I ended up making my own wacky meaning out of it... which was some sort of Jungian collective UNCS thing or another. But then I re-read it in grad school in the context of Freud's other work and it began to make a bit more sense. I liked his hypothetical "primal language" because it suggests the This was one of those books I tried to read on my own back as a young college student. It wasn't a part of any coursework, so I didn't have anyone to help tie it to larger ideas. If I remember, I think I ended up making my own wacky meaning out of it... which was some sort of Jungian collective UNCS thing or another. But then I re-read it in grad school in the context of Freud's other work and it began to make a bit more sense. I liked his hypothetical "primal language" because it suggests the existence of symbols as independent of verbal language, which as a visual artist is a notion I'm deeply invested in. This "language" is not then something that is "used" in dreams as a translation from CSNESS, but rather its own more subtle and fluid independent organization of meaning. The "language" is non-linear and non-chronological. When I think about this idea, I'm reminded of Rapael's Transfiguration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfig... This is one of those pieces where the artist is able to represent (in images one above the other) simultaneous occurrences which can only be read in the original text as one after the other (and then reflected upon as simultaneous). This play with time is something I like to do in my own work, especially in pulling stills from time-based media so the viewer can enter the work at will rather than be held captive by it (as in, watching a sequence from beginning to end). Internet media satisfy a similar urge.

  13. 4 out of 5

    SmarterLilac

    This is one of the books that helped me understand Freud's genius, as well as the value of psychoanalysis. It hurts me so that fewer and fewer people want to understand or appreciate Freud. Yes, I realize that the Freudian perspective, especially on things like dream interpretation, has limited value in non-Western cultures, and that for some, dream interpretation itself may not be the most insightful way to understand the subconscious. Still--come on. This book changed Europe, and the course of This is one of the books that helped me understand Freud's genius, as well as the value of psychoanalysis. It hurts me so that fewer and fewer people want to understand or appreciate Freud. Yes, I realize that the Freudian perspective, especially on things like dream interpretation, has limited value in non-Western cultures, and that for some, dream interpretation itself may not be the most insightful way to understand the subconscious. Still--come on. This book changed Europe, and the course of history, as well as humankind's awareness of our inner lives. I love it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amit Mishra

    Freud's treatment of unconsciousness and subconsciousness mind is really different and opens up a long way to explore something new in this field. His ideas provided a fresh new world to explore the opportunity. Before his writings, the unconsciousness mind was just an image that can not be explained by any scientific explanation.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Spies

    Whatever you think of Sigmund Freud's theories, you have to admit that (at least in English translation) he is a very good and persuasive writer. That he was a very important influence on the history of the 20th century is an understatement, particularly since his nephew, Edward Bernays, is known as the Inventor of Advertising. Bernays essentially created the consumer culture that has dominated the US and much of the Western world for the last 80 years or so. He did so by changing the basis by Whatever you think of Sigmund Freud's theories, you have to admit that (at least in English translation) he is a very good and persuasive writer. That he was a very important influence on the history of the 20th century is an understatement, particularly since his nephew, Edward Bernays, is known as the Inventor of Advertising. Bernays essentially created the consumer culture that has dominated the US and much of the Western world for the last 80 years or so. He did so by changing the basis by which consumers judge products. Before Bernays, products were presented in a factual manner, emphasizing their virtues, dimensions, capacities and whatever, allowing the consumer to make a relatively rational and dispassionate choices between the products of different manufacturers. (This manner of product presentation can be found in Sears & Roebuck catalogs of the 19th century.) Bernays, in constant contact with his uncle, saw an opportunity to apply Freud's ideas of the subconscious origins of behavior and the primacy of sexual desires, to essentially change the customer from the rational decision maker of classical economic theory to a malleable zombie, whose decisions are based on the presentation of products as being sexy or assuring popularity and the like--separating the desirability of products from their actual function. This proved to be so highly effective that it has been adopted by virtually all retail sales, turning customers into consumers. In the process, Bernays used Freud's ideas to hand irrational consumers over to wealthy corporations, whose products were no longer judged on their efficacy but on extraneous irrational presentations. This has become most obvious in television, were what is actually happening is that the viewers are the 'product' being sold by various commercial TV outlets, for a great deal of money paid to the TV outlets by advertising agencies, who are in turn paid highly by manufacturers for the attention given to the persuasive 'messages', which are essentially uninformative propaganda having nothing much to do with the virtues of the products or services being shilled. As Noam Chomsky has pointed out, the work of advertising is to destroy markets, which are defined in classical economics as the meeting place of rational sellers and buyers of products at a price that is mutually agreeable. Bernay's application of his uncles theories to manipulate buyers' decisions, puts the buyers at a considerable disadvantage relative to the sellers, as consumers can no longer compare products on their merits on the one hand, as the products have been imbued with many irrational properties, and the considerable costs of all these deceptions is simply added to the price that the consumer must pay. As products cannot be compared on their actual merits, the competition that occurs in real markets is removed; this not only only retards product improvement by sellers, who no longer compete on the actual efficacy of their products, but it cuts loose the pricing of products from the cost of making them, again because real competition is eliminated, and consumer's decision are, by definition, irrational. To return to Freud's book, although it is fascinating reading it is rather feeble scientifically, a problem always faced by visionary prophets whose predispositions often get in the way of a more dispassionate approach. Although Freud and his 'sex symbols' have long been the butt of public derision, their influence on the mid-20th century cannot be easily dismissed, despite their merit as 'science'.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Schaza Askar

    The Interpretation of Dreams stands as a unique and classic work in the history of psychology. Originally published in German under the title ''Die Traumdeutung'' in November of 1899,the book outlines Freud’s belief that dreams are highly symbolic, containing both overt meanings (manifest content) as well as underlying, unconscious thoughts (latent content). Dreams, he suggested, are our unconscious wishes, especially sexual ones, in disguise. Freud's analysis of patients led him to the belief The Interpretation of Dreams stands as a unique and classic work in the history of psychology. Originally published in German under the title ''Die Traumdeutung'' in November of 1899,the book outlines Freud’s belief that dreams are highly symbolic, containing both overt meanings (manifest content) as well as underlying, unconscious thoughts (latent content). Dreams, he suggested, are our unconscious wishes, especially sexual ones, in disguise. Freud's analysis of patients led him to the belief that neuroses evolved from repressed sexual desires, usually going back to distant childhood. He also discussed Sophocles' play 'Oedipus Rex' (and the 'Electra complex') to support his idea of a universal tendency of a child to be sexually attracted to one parent, and to want to defeat the other - was later termed the 'Oedipus complex'. Dreams, in Freud's view, are all forms of "wish fulfillment" — But Freud wondered, why is the wish so wrapped up in strange symbols and images? Why should it need to avoid the obvious? The answer is that many of our wishes are repressed, and may only have a chance of reaching our consciousness if they are somewhat disguised. A dream could seem like the opposite of what we wished for, because many of our wishes we may be defensive about or wish to cover up, so the only way a dream can make an issue known is by raising it in its opposite sense. With dreams, if our psyche wants to give us a message, by showing it plainly , or by dressing it up as something else. The reason why we so easily forget dreams is that the conscious self wants to reduce the impact of the unconscious upon its waking life. It is no surprise that as the day proceeds we are more and more likely to forget what we dreamt. One of Freud's key points is that dreams are always self-centered. "The wishes fulfilled in them", he writes, "are invariably this self's wishes". When other people appear in a dream, often they are merely symbols of ourselves or symbolized what another person means to us. It is one of Freud’s most important works!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    There is an asinine pastime of bloating one’s self-importance by “proving” that Freud was wrong about something. Such disputation regresses behind what it flatters itself as surpassing and rancorously promulgates nothing but its own failure to comprehend the subject matter. Don’t fall for it. All fetishistic factmongering aside, any page of Freud is sufficient to establish that he was and remains incomparably brilliant. The depth and range, scope and penetration are inimitable. His work is There is an asinine pastime of bloating one’s self-importance by “proving” that Freud was wrong about something. Such disputation regresses behind what it flatters itself as surpassing and rancorously promulgates nothing but its own failure to comprehend the subject matter. Don’t fall for it. All fetishistic factmongering aside, any page of Freud is sufficient to establish that he was and remains incomparably brilliant. The depth and range, scope and penetration are inimitable. His work is almost convulsively interesting. This is not slavish idolatry, it is appreciation of an irreplaceable and inexhaustible legacy too commonly travestied, one that labored under the keenest self-consciousness of the limitations of merely beginning something that others would have to continue, if they dared. For all his positivist pretenses, Freud never presents as conclusive that which is incipient and exploratory. Psychoanalysis is not a finished Thing, it is an infinite Act, and The Interpretation of Dreams is its opening fanfare. The book elides any definition: it partakes of nearly every genre theretofore extant, from the scholarly journal to the feverish confessional. It does become tedious and repetitive in the insistent effort to convince by accumulating anecdotes. The entire first chapter does little else than demonstrate Freud’s familiarity with the existing literature on dreams; he is not improvising in a vacuum. The final two chapters, the sixth and seventh, comprise nearly half the bulk of the text, and it is here finally where “Freud becomes Freud,” everything else thus far being largely preparatory. The barrier between our waking rational censorious consciousness and our lurking undisciplined indomitable unconsciousness does not hold. No better invitation and conclusion could there be than Freud’s now famous and summative fighting words: The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shyam

    Imagine I have a picture-puzzle (a rebus) in front of me: a house with a boat on the roof, then a single letter, then a running figure with an apostrophe for a head, and so on. I could drop into a critical stance and say that such a combination and its components are nonsense. A boar does not belong on the roof of a house, and a person without a head cannot run; also, the person is bigger than the house, and if the whole thing is intended to represent landscape, the individual letters do not Imagine I have a picture-puzzle (a rebus) in front of me: a house with a boat on the roof, then a single letter, then a running figure with an apostrophe for a head, and so on. I could drop into a critical stance and say that such a combination and its components are nonsense. A boar does not belong on the roof of a house, and a person without a head cannot run; also, the person is bigger than the house, and if the whole thing is intended to represent landscape, the individual letters do not fit in since they do not occur in nature, Obviously, the correct assessment of the rebus emerges only if I raise no such objection to the overall thing and the details thereof but try to replace each image by a syllable or a word that may, by some link or other, be represented by the image. The words assembled in this way are no longer meaningless; in fact, they can produce the most beautiful and most meaningful poetic aphorism., Well, a dream is a picture-puzzle like that, and our precursors in the field of dream-interpretation made the mistake of judging the rebus as a pictorial composition. As such, it struck them as nonsensical and valueless. In our dream-interpretation hitherto we have so often come across the element of absurdity in dream-content that we are loath to put off any longer investigating where it comes from and what it might mean. Remember, the absurdity of dreams was one of the main arguments put forward by those who, rejecting a positive appraisal of dreams, see them as nothing but the meaningless product of a reduced, fragmented level of mental activity. I begin with a number of examples in which the absurdity of the dream-content is only apparent; on closer examination of the meaning of the dream, it vanishes completely. __________ I do not claim to have uncovered the meaning of this dream in its entirety or that my interpretation of it is complete. I am aware of the problems this causes the reader, yet I see no way of avoiding them. __________ Freud has many thoughts on dreams. Are they all true? ? Does he claim them to be? No. But they are definitely interesting. Freud begins with a current survey of the literature on dreams, which he discusses whilst offering some of his own thoughts, before jumping in to his own theories which have arisen through his years of administering psychoanalytical treatment. His central idea is that dreams serve as wish-fulfilment. And from here, he goes into a range of topics, ideas, and theories: dream-distortion, the material and sources of dream (trivial events from preceding days, childhood memories, the importance of association . . .), somatic sources of dream (external sensory, internal sensory, internal physical, purely physical), typical dreams, the process(es) of dream-work (compression, displacement, representation, speech, absurdity . . .) finishing with some (relatively complex) further processes. I personally found many of his theories plausible. Take one theory for a dream which many of us have no doubt experienced: we are about to (re)sit an exam. Freud proposes that this dream only occurs for people who have passed the exam in question, and that the purpose of the dream is to relieve stress about an upcoming event towards which the dreamer is harbouring anxiety, by reminding them that they have nothing to worry about: "Don't worry about tomorrow, think how anxious you were before your exam, and nothing happened to you.” Reasonable, no? Whilst reading, I did not attempt to apply any of this to my own dreams. However, this may be something I will not be able to avoid doing . . . Also, in all people an interest in dreaming is known to increase substantially the number of dreams remembered on waking. Although Freud does warn his reader: Let me put forward at this point something that I need to say about interpreting dreams and that may possibly give some guidance to any reader wishing to verify my contentions by working on his own dreams. No one should expect the interpretation of his dreams t fall into his lap effortlessly. __________ I was re-listening to the In Our Time episode on Proust recently, and one of the guests said something to the effect “that it was remarkable that Freud and Proust never read a word of each other, as they were thinking and writing about the same things.” I noticed two similarities upon my first Freudian foray: 1) The recognition of the latent memories of times past And the value of dream as regards knowing the future? That, of course, is quite out of the question. Better to say: as regards knowing the past. 2) The ability to form and recognise complex associations in everyday life However, not only the composite idea ‘botanical monograph’ but also its separate elements ‘botanical’ and ‘monograph’ penetrate more and more deeply, as a result of multiple associations, into the jumble of the dream-thoughts. Belonging to ‘botanical’ are memories of the person of Professor Gärtner, of his wife, who looked blooming, of my patient, named Flora, and of the lady who had told me the story of the flowers that had been forgotten. Gärtner leads in turn to the laboratory and the conversation with Königstein; mention of the two patients belongs to the same conversation. From the woman with the flowers, a train of thought forks off to my wife’s favourite flower, the other exit of which lies in the title of the monograph glimpsed briefly during the day. ‘Botanical’ further recalls an episode at secondary school and an examination during my university years, and another topic touched on in that conversation (my hobbies) links up, through the medium of what is jokingly referred to as my ‘favourite flower’, the artichoke, with the train of thought proceeding from the flowers the had been forgotten; behind ‘artichoke’ is my memory of Italy on the one hand and, on the other, of a scene from my childhood with which I began what has since become an intimate relationship with books. So ‘botanical’ is the real nodal point at which numerous trains of thought pertaining to the dream come together—trains of thought that, as I can confirm, were with full justification connected up with one another in that conversation. Being an ardent admirer of Proust, I look forward to my journey with Freud. __________ It is not, as in waking life, only the most significant things that are regarded as worth remembering but on the contrary also the most trivial and unprepossessing. Hildebrandt was undoubtedly right to say that all dream-images would be explicable to us genetically if on each occasion we spent sufficient time and concentration on tracing their origins. He admittedly calls this ‘an extremely laborious and thankless task. Because it would mostly come down to flushing out all manner of psychically quite worthless things in the remotest corners of memory, disinterring all manner of entirely indifferent m moments from times long forgotten that the very next hour may have buried, and returning them to the light of day.’ However, I have to say how sorry I am that this astute writer allows himself to be prevented from pursuing an avenue that starts so unprepossessingly; it would have led him straight to the great of explaining dreams. In our analysis of dream-life, therefore, we get the impression at every step that it is inadmissible to draw up universal rules without allowing for reservations on the form of an ‘often; or ‘in the main’ or ’usually’, and without being prepared for exceptions to have validity. Finally, the forgetting of dreams is favoured by the fact that most people have little interest in their dreams anyway. Someone who does take an interest in dream for a time (as a researcher, for instance) will also dream more than usual during that period, which presumably means that he will remember his dreams more easily and more often. Robert claims that the sole correct position is: things that a person has thought out in full never trigger dreams, only ever things that linger in memory incomplete or that touch the mind briefly in passing. ’That is why one cannot, as a rule, explain a dream to oneself, because it was occasioned precisely by those sense impressions of the bygone day that the dreamer had inadequately apprehended.’ The simple dream is prompted by thirst—the thirst I feel on waking. From this sensation proceeds the desire to drink, and dream shows me this desire fulfilled. In so doing, it serves a function—which I soon detect. I am a sound sleeper, not accustomed to being woken by a need. If I succeed in quelling my thirst by dreaming that I am drinking, I do not have to wake up in order to satisfy it. In other words, it is a comfort dream. If I now consult my own experience with regard to the origin of the elements appearing in dream-content, I must first advance the claim that in every dream it is possible to trace a link to the experiences of the day that has just passed. No matter what dream I take, be it one of my own or someone else’s, I invariably find this fact confirmed. On the basis of many similar experiences I must advance the proposition that dream-work is under a kind of impulsion to combine, in dream, all available sources of dream-stimulus into a single entity. The deeper one allows oneself to become in analysing dreams, the more often one is out on the track of childhood experiences that play a part, as dream-sources, in the latent dream-content. My collection, of course, has an overabundance of such dreams of patients, analysis of which leads back to dimly remembered or wholly forgotten impressions of childhood, often of the first three years of life,. However, it would be unfortunate if, from them, we were to draw conclusions assumed to apply to dream in general; for the most part, after all, these are neurotic and in particular hysteric people, and the role assigned to childhood scenes in their dreams might be governed by the nature of their neurosis rather than by the essence of dream. The old physiologist Burdach [1830] proves to us that even in sleep the mind is quite capable of correctly interpreting the sense impressions that reach it and in reacting in accordance with the correct interpretation. He does so by setting out how certain sense impressions that seem important to the individual can be exempted from neglect during sleep and by showing that a person is far more likely to be woken by his own name than by any old auditory impression, which presupposes that even in sleep the mind distinguishes between sensations. But there is only one objection that would seriously affect Scherner’s theory of the symbolisation of corporeal stimuli by dream. Such corporeal stimuli are present all the time, and the general consensus is that the mind is more accessible too them during sleep than in the waking state. So one fails to understand why the mind does not dream continuously throughout the night, every night, about every single organ. Quite different are the dreams in which the death of a loved relative is portrayed and painful emotion is experienced. Such dreams signify what their content suggests, namely the wish that the person concerned should die, and since I can expect at this point that the feelings of every reader and of every person wh has dreams something similar will rebel against my explanation, I must strive to prove the point on the broadest possible basis . . . When someone dreams, with expressions of pain, that his father or mother or brother or sister is diadem I never use that dream as proof that he wishes them dead now. The theory of dream is not so exigently; it is content to conclude that the dreamer did wish them dead at some time in childhood. One learns in this connection that the child’s sexual desires awaken very early on, and that the girl’s first inclination is towards her father, the boy’s first infantile yearnings are for his mother. I owe further elucidation the examination dream to a comment made by a learned colleague during a scientific discussion once,. He said on that occasion that, son ar as he is aware, the Matura-dream occurs only in persons who passed the examination, never in those who failed it. In other words, the anxious examination dreams that, as is confirmed repeatedly, comes when one faces responsible task next day or is expecting the possibility of disgrace has (it would appear) sought out an occasion in the past when one’s great anxiety turned ut to have been unjustified and was refuted by the result. This would be a very striking example of the dream-content being misunderstood by the waking mind., The kind of indignant objection framed against the dream (‘But I’m already a doctor, I tell you!’) would in reality be the consolation offered by the dream, so would run, ‘Don't worry about tomorrow, think how anxious you were before your Matura exam, and nothing happened to you. Today you’re already a doctor’ (or whatever it might be). ‘Go hang yourself!’ is tantamount to saying ‘Whatever it costs, get a hard-on.’ All dreams dreamed in the same night belong in terms of content to the same whole; their being separated into several fragments and the grouping and number of those fragments are all meaningful and may be regarded as a piece of communication from the latent dream-thoughts. Including a certain content in a ‘dream within a dream’ is this tantamount to wishing that what is described as a dream in this way had not happened. To put it another way: if dream-work itself inserts a particular event into a dream, it implies the most decisive confirmation of the reality of that event, the strongest possible approval of it. Dream-work is using dreaming itself as a form of rejection, thus attesting the conclusion that dreams are wish-fulfilment. Here is the flower dream, recounted by a female patient of mine, that I announced earlier. In the account, I put in contrasting type everything that calls for a sexual interpretation. It is a lovely dream, but once it has been interpreted the dreamer said she no longer liked it. Playing with a small child, slapping a small child, etc. are often dream-representations of masturbation. Moreover, the second dream points to the infantile sexual theory that little girls are made from boys by castration. After I tell her about this childish opinion, it finds instant confirmation in her knowing the story of the boy asking the girl, ‘Cut off?’ to which the girl replies, ’No, it’s always been that way.’ The 'endless extension' of a riding-crop cannot easily signify anything but an erection. Apparently, dream-symbolism has already received direct experimental corroboration. In 1912 encouraged by H. Swoboda, Dr K. Schrötter generated dreams in deeply hypnotised persons by means of suggestive instructions that stablished a large part of the dream-content. When the suggestion instructed the person to dream of normal or abnormal sexual intercourse, dream carried out such instructions by replacing sexual material with the symbols familiar to us from psychoanalytical dream-interpretation. For instance, following the suggestion that the hyptnotised woman dream abut homosexual intercourse with a girlfriend, the girlfriend appeared in the resultant dream carrying a shabby suitcase labelled with the words, ‘Only for ladies’. Allegedly, the woman dreaming had never been told anything about symbolism in dreams and dream-interpretation. It is a pity that evaluation of this important study was interrupted by the unhappy fact that Dr Schrötter committed suicide shortly afterwards. People who frequently dream of swimming are usually former bed-wetters repeating in dream a pleasure from which they long ago earned to abstain. The more time one spends in resolving dreams, the more readily one has to accept that most adult dreams deal with sexual material and voice erotic wishes. Only someone who truly analyses dreams, penetrating from the manifest content of the same through to the latent dream-thoughts, can form an opinion about them, never someone who is content simply to record the manifest content. Let us be clear from the outset that this fact does not in any way surprise us; rather, it accords completely with our principles of dream-elucidation. No other drive has, since childhood, had to undergo so much suppression as the sex drive in its many components; none has left unresolved so many powerful unconscious wishes that now, in the sleeping state, generate dreams. Never, in connection with interpreting dreams, should the importance of sexual complexes be overlooked—but neither of course, should it be exaggerated to the point of excluding all else. The claim that all dreams call for a sexual interpretation, against which a tireless polemic is being inducted in the literature, has no place in my Interpreting Dreams. In fact, it is nowhere to be found in seven editions of this book, and it stands in tangible contradiction to other things contained therein. And believe me: concealed dreams of sexual intercourse with one’s mother are many times more frequent than straightforward ones. There are dreams of landscapes or places in connection with which, in the dream, a certainty (‘I’ve been here before’) is highlighted. In dreams, however, this feeling of déjà vu has particular significance. There, the place is always the mother’s genital region; indeed, of nowhere else can one claim with such certainty to have ‘been here before’. Only once has an obsessional neurotic embarrassed me by recounting a dream in which, so he said, he was visiting a flat where he had already been on two occasions. However, the selfsame patient had told me some time before of an event that had taken place in his sixth year, when he had once shared his mother’s bed and taken improper advantage of the opportunity to insert a finger in the sleeping woman’s sex organ. On the other hand, there are people who very obviously cling, at night, to the knowledge that they are asleep and dreaming—and who appear, therefore, to be possessed of a conscious ability to direct their dream-life. __________ The politeness that I exercise every day is in large part such a disguise. When I became a student, there developed non me a marked predilection for collecting and owning books . . . . . . the same reproach that was levelled at me back then, namely that I indulged my fancies to excess. The female breast is where love and hunger meet. . . . the imbalance of my studies and the expensive nature of my hobbies. . . . shunned every contamination that mixing with people involves. It's nonsense, being proud of one’s ancestors. I prefer to be an ancestor, a forbear, myself. I was surrounded by art objects; in my stylish bookcase stood my timeless Homer, my towering Dante . . . all the great masters, all the immortals. I felt as if I was discovering this idyllic sweetness, this peaceful, metic, brightly cerebral existence in which I had experienced such tranquil human bliss so often and so deeply—I felt as if I was discovering it all over again. —Roosegger, Fremd gemacht [‘Fired'], Waldheimat ['Forest Home'] __________ ‘Lend me something to read.’ I offer her She by Rider Haggard. ‘A strange book but full of hidden meaning,’ I want to explain to her; ’the Eternal Feminine, the immortality of our emotions . . .’ She interrupts me at this point: ‘I know that already. Haven’t you anything of your own?’ ’No, my own immortal works have not yet been written.’ ’So when are they coming out, your so-called “ultimate explanations” that you say we too will be able to read?’

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    Where to begin with Interpreting Dreams? The first hundred pages scrutinizing contemporary scientific literature on dreams is kind of a slog. I don’t think you need to read this section unless you have a strong historical interest in late 19th century medical literature. The concluding paragraphs of each chapter in this part are worth a glance, though, as they thread into Freud’s later descriptive & conceptual appeals. The underlying logic of the text begins here and if nothing else, it Where to begin with Interpreting Dreams? The first hundred pages scrutinizing contemporary scientific literature on dreams is kind of a slog. I don’t think you need to read this section unless you have a strong historical interest in late 19th century medical literature. The concluding paragraphs of each chapter in this part are worth a glance, though, as they thread into Freud’s later descriptive & conceptual appeals. The underlying logic of the text begins here and if nothing else, it demonstrates Freud’s impressive erudition, cogent reasoning & immense gifts as a reader and author of literature. His every appraisal is measured & fair, committed to a thorough scientific positivism. And as a writer, his sentences are an admirable balance of felicitous, pellucid and sophisticated, never sacrificing style in favor of rigor; nor, astonishingly, the other way round. Freud’s winning the Goethe Prize for Literature was richly deserved. Incidentally, I'm reading the new(ish) Penguin translations of Freud, edited by Adam Phillips. They're less punctilious than the Vintage Classics standard editions, more creative and literary. And where they lack in scrupulousness, these more indulgently stylized translations capture the spirit of Freud as a writer much better. But if you prefer a fussy transplant of his syntax, go Vintage. After the initial survey, things get weird. You’ve heard the criticisms. Freud was drunk on his implausible theories’ scandalous iconoclasm; either reckless, stubborn or derivative; an inflexible rationalist, derelict sex maniac or a charlatan mystic. A cocaine addict besieged by a reactionary pessimism about the mind as a profane snake pit. There is at least a grain of truth to each of these vituperations, but none discredit his project or come close to telling the whole story. I think it’s important to understand what Freud was trying to do. Psychoanalysis was unprecedented in many ways & still perches outside the general purview of occidental culture. The human mind is an object as yet untotalizable by any form of inquiry, the pathological mind even moreso, and the mature Freud, the Freud of psychoanalysis, was not a scientist, pathologist or philosopher; he wasn’t testing a hypothesis, administering medicine or doing white gloved speculation. He was trying to heal something that was not, and is not, well understood. This unenviable situation required a method that was hybrid and experimental, with a theoretical animus equally so. The variables of human behavior, the interplay of our idiosyncratic personal histories & temperament, were (and are) too variegated to control for in a traditional laboratory setting. Mental health just isn’t like physical health. But Freud proceeded anyway, abandoning the dominant Cartesian dispositionalist approach to mind which was impossible to square with evidence from his clinical practice. He identified some of the mind’s unconscious congenital patterns, principles and biases, the structuration of which, even today, has a persuasive insight and authority. From his studies a picture of the unconscious, our mind’s subterranean locus of dangerous repressed feelings & libidinal drives, was given shape. Freud didn’t ‘invent the unconscious’, as some claim, but he did formalize the rag-and-bone shop beneath our consciousness into its most resonant account. As Wittgenstein said of Freud, ‘There is an inducement to say, 'Yes, of course, it must be like that.'’ In this system dreams matter because they are the ‘royal road’ to the unconscious. The strangeness of our dreams is an encrypted profundity. Even if we could digitally map or listen to people’s dreams (and I understand this technology is in some stage of development), if we accept the materiality of the unconscious, as most modern neuroscientists do in some shape or another, we could not say prima facie the origin or meaning of the dream work, of its organization and symbology. This is where free association comes in. Our own perspective on our dreams, the particular language we are compelled toward, the associations, affects and memories our dreams spontaneously conjure, will, under the guiding hand of a skilled analyst, produce a strong picture of our unconscious preoccupations, repressions and disturbances. Freud’s meticulousness in developing dream interpretation is entrancing to read. There is much more here than vapid sexual determinism born from century-old analysis of hysterical rich ladies. This book should incite all its readers to begin keeping a dream diary. It did to me. So is it true? Does it meet the criteria of epistemic naturalism? Can it be legitimated beyond the murky subjectivity of hermeneutics and talking therapy? If such things matter to you, there is a growing body of neuropsychoanalysis which tests Freud’s claims against emergent knowledge in neuroscience. Look up Mark Solms. I’m not sure if this is the best way to read Freud, in spite of Freud himself, as codification into scientific fact is what he desired. But it does seem to be important to people; everyone wants to credit or discredit Freud by materialist standards. Knock yourselves out, I guess. Whatever your vantage point, we still have so much to learn from Freud. No matter how many times you read him, he is always dead interesting.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nikolaus Geromont

    The Interpretation of Dream (in this case the eighth and last edition published in 1930), a theory on the possible meaning and construction of dreams written by Sigmund Freud early in 1899, is the first psychological/philosophical book I've read, and it is most definitely the most difficult book I've ever come across in my life... so difficult, in fact, that the author even states that he doesn't expect his readers to understand his theories, and admits to their utter complex nature (Chapter The Interpretation of Dream (in this case the eighth and last edition published in 1930), a theory on the possible meaning and construction of dreams written by Sigmund Freud early in 1899, is the first psychological/philosophical book I've read, and it is most definitely the most difficult book I've ever come across in my life... so difficult, in fact, that the author even states that he doesn't expect his readers to understand his theories, and admits to their utter complex nature (Chapter 7E). This is the only reason why I refrain from giving this book a total of five stars. It is said that Freud wrote this elephantine book (just look at how long it is) mostly for himself, which would explain the major flaws of this book: the manner in which he expresses his theories, the poor arrangement of the book, how he likes to keep the reader in the dark, and leaving off his explanations for (literally) hundreds of pages. You see, the length of Interpreting Dreams has nothing to do with the difficulty of this book; it is only the actual presentation of his theory that causes our frustration at failing to comprehend certain aspects of it. Nonetheless, The Interpretation of Dream is a phenomenal book. Following the previous attempts by different philosophers to interpret the phenomenon of dream, Freud developed the simple theory that dream is nothing other than wish-fulfillment for the individual's unconscious... and somehow managed to develop it into this monster of a book. He provides complicated arguments (and theories) to sustain his belief, countless examples of dreams (including those of the author), and analyses of said dreams. Initially, Freud appears to cover every aspect and type of dream within these pages, judging by the length of his book. This, however, doesn't prove to be the case. In order to understand absolutely everything on Freud's theory, one has to know all the functions and origins of the human psyche, as the author explains. Only after one is familiar with the relations and purposes of consciousness, the pre- and the unconscious; the id, the ego and the superego; his self-developed "psychical apparatus"; the origins of arousal and psychical charges; etc. etc. and etc.; can one fully grasp the concept and full meaning of dream. The Interpretation of Dream is far from complete, as it excludes (thankfully) a lot information about the psyche that Freud would only later voice in subsequent publications. Which leads me to my main point. The highlight of The Interpretation of Dream is not, strangely enough, the phenomenon of dream itself; this book is amazing due to the light it has shed on the human psyche as a whole. As a matter of fact, when I finished Freud's "masterpiece", it felt like the author merely used the dream as a macguffin in order to give us the perfect introduction of the human mind and its functions (see also The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious). Freud was able to explain the phenomenon of dream via observations on his hysterical and neurotic patients (believe it or not), and it is indeed amazing how clearly hysteria and dream relate to each other. You could say that dream is in fact a variation of hysteria (or vice versa, I'm not sure). Via dream and neurosis, Freud was able to penetrate the workings of thought, and give the reader a more comprehensible view not only on the mind, but also on many other philosophical problems. The Interpretation of Dream is thus the perfect introduction to Freud's works, despite its length. Not only does he give us a rough (albeit complicated) draft on the workings of our minds; he also introduces certain theories for the first time (notably the infamous Oedipus Complex), and gives us a foretaste of his subsequent works. Yes, it is a difficult read, and it deserves many re-reads to be fully understood (especially the seventh and last chapter, "On the Psychology of Dream-Processes). This book will, however, change your perspectives not only on dreams, but also, more importantly, on your actions, thoughts, social relations, mind and self. This is a book which will, if its theory does prove true, give you a better understanding of yourself. "Interpreting dreams is the royal road to knowledge of the unconscious in the life of the mind"

  21. 4 out of 5

    Phillip

    while freud certainly broke open the egg of the unconscious for all to marvel, it's probably a cliche these days to say that these early interpretations of various dream states are rather clumsy. nonetheless, that's how i see them. what freud failed to realize is that the author of the dream alone is the one that holds the key to meaning, and that outside sources, while being able to guide the subject to discover their own readings, can never offer a meaning that is free from their own bias and while freud certainly broke open the egg of the unconscious for all to marvel, it's probably a cliche these days to say that these early interpretations of various dream states are rather clumsy. nonetheless, that's how i see them. what freud failed to realize is that the author of the dream alone is the one that holds the key to meaning, and that outside sources, while being able to guide the subject to discover their own readings, can never offer a meaning that is free from their own bias and vision of the world.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma Getz

    hey buddy not everything is about sex

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    I have a fascination with psychoanalysis that borders on tragic romance. As a disaffected teenager, I turned to Wikipedia for the answers to my feelings of alienation, social and existential (though I was never friendless and my anxiety on-being-alive was a space to comfortably brood more so than a pressing inquiry). I learnt about the DSM and Myers-Briggs tests. My passionate madness was revealed by the former, my misunderstood genius acknowledged by the latter. It's a terribly embarrassing I have a fascination with psychoanalysis that borders on tragic romance. As a disaffected teenager, I turned to Wikipedia for the answers to my feelings of alienation, social and existential (though I was never friendless and my anxiety on-being-alive was a space to comfortably brood more so than a pressing inquiry). I learnt about the DSM and Myers-Briggs tests. My passionate madness was revealed by the former, my misunderstood genius acknowledged by the latter. It's a terribly embarrassing thing to self-diagnose 5 contradictory personality disorders as ailments of the soul, but the blunt affect categories allowed me to invent myself, from nothing, through procedure. Psychology is a delicate art, even when it most fervently strives to be recognised as science. Worse still than the possibility of living with burgeoning schizophrenia and secret, undiagnosed autism was to acknowledge the reality of my often mundane sensibility. It was normal to feel abnormal. I was not transgressing any boundaries of human feeling. I was as vulnerable to my unconscious biases as the next man. Embarrassed by my past attempts to systematize my being, I lost interest in psychology, accepting that I was fundamentally regarding it incorrectly. But to accept I'll never know myself (as the Greeks meant it) through lists and quizzes was not to reject the possibilities of psychology entirely. I needed to discard my assumptions. And I had, and have, a lot of them. Lately, I've grown interested in the possibilities implied by Lacanian psychoanalysis. If Lacan advocated 'a return to Freud', I needed to read Freud for myself, shedding as best as one can the prejudices and controversies embedded in my idea of his work. The Interpretation of Dreams is not, to the layman, the skeleton key to understanding the nuances of Freud's psychoanalytic theories. As the title implies, it's about dreams. Characteristic of Freud's work are his examples and case studies, both a boon and a bore for his style. He uses a lot of examples, and as dreams are typically most interesting to their dreamer, they might not be very enlightening, which is a pity as they are, for the most part, the least dry portions of Freud's writing, which is necessarily clinical and utilitarian. I know it's a little ridiculous to claim that a book called The Interpretation of Dreams focused a little too much on dreams, but for the reader looking to read about Freud's key ideas first-hand, this large book is remarkably slight. Wish-fulfillment, the Oedipus complex and the necessity of accepting the importance of sex in our unconscious - and therefore our waking - lives. When Freud writes about the most famous aspects of his work, he is entertaining and persuasive. That this book contains a lot of minutiae vital to conducting a panoramic survey of dream-interpretation means that it is not a cover-to-cover read, unless one is entirely focused on understanding Freud on dreams. The id/ego/superego plays no role here, nor does Freud's theory of psychosexual development. These ideas, along with writing on the death drive, will have to be explored elsewhere. The reader looking to digest Freud's ideas all at once might be better off looking at a reader than by delving through hundreds of pages of primary texts. Freud is fascinating, but I didn't find him that fascinating, and I imagine the sooner the hobbyist reader moves on to Freud's critics and interpreters, the better for understanding what psychoanalysis has to offer. The flaws in Freud's methodology are discernible from reading him, but I do not think he is conclusively 'wrong', and that he has nothing to offer. One must be willing to research, and if you wish to be pragmatic in your research, as I strive to be, you won't study this particular book in close detail.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kolagani Paramahamsa

    This one took me more time than any other book, notwithstanding the fact it is not one of the large books I have read; took me around 4 months reading only a couple of books in the meantime. Yet, this was one of those books where I wanted to read very slowly in the end, just to extend my time with the book. Written in archaic language, complicated sentence formation with intense content in each and every one. This is more close to a scientific publication than a novel. Although I knew that This one took me more time than any other book, notwithstanding the fact it is not one of the large books I have read; took me around 4 months reading only a couple of books in the meantime. Yet, this was one of those books where I wanted to read very slowly in the end, just to extend my time with the book. Written in archaic language, complicated sentence formation with intense content in each and every one. This is more close to a scientific publication than a novel. Although I knew that psychology is a branch of science, I was of the assumption that it was more of a non-exact science, more of calculated predictions, of combination of chances, but was surprised to learn from this book how much of an exact it is, the way Freud zeroed in some certainties deducing from empirical studies. The more complicated a theory looked, the more time it took to grasp the paragraph, there was more hidden in it to learn, to revel. From a writing perspective, it was interesting to read it like reading a scientific paper which has a tinge of storytelling, filled with case studies at appropriate places. There was very less redundancy despite highly intense content in each and every sentence of the more than 500 page book. Since when first writing this book Freud wrote it for himself, it has condensed ideas, and took me to reread several times to grasp what I was reading; loved this since I would prefer rereading than reading ideas spread out into several pages. Looking in a different way, the book doesn't assume the reader to be naive person, there is some level of inherent respect that the reader is treated with. Also, as I went on reading the book, the rate of reading didn't improve like it happens with every other book, since here although you one gets to feel the author's writing style, the level of ideas keep on increasing, so the speed of reading essentially remains the same. Consequently, the rate of rereading also remained the same. It should be mentioned that to read this book one doesn't need to know anything about the field of psychology, but one would need a taste for analytical thinking. On the negative side I was irritated somewhere in the middle of the book when Freud tries to illustrate the significance of symbols in the dreams, he seemed to have consumed a good number of pages which it didn't deserve, and adding to that the over-generalization in it when the point has already been adequately illustrated. Later, I learned that this part of the book was added later after the first edition, probably when he was not in his prime. Like Freud emphasizes in this book, we would do better to analyze our own dreams than to follow the book blindly, it was amazing when I tried that, I am trying that every once in a while, thanks to the help from this book which makes one dwell into the beautiful world of dreams, the royal road to Ucs (Freudian Unconscious).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Don

    Even if many of his theories have been surpassed or discredited by modern psychology, no one can diminish Freud's massive influence on Western culture and literature. Whether are not any of his theories are true or not is besides the point. With this in mind, I decided to read The Interpretation of Dreams in order to experience Freud's work directly. While there were many interesting elements in his work, overall I found it nearly impossible to read. I repeatedly lost the thread of Freud's Even if many of his theories have been surpassed or discredited by modern psychology, no one can diminish Freud's massive influence on Western culture and literature. Whether are not any of his theories are true or not is besides the point. With this in mind, I decided to read The Interpretation of Dreams in order to experience Freud's work directly. While there were many interesting elements in his work, overall I found it nearly impossible to read. I repeatedly lost the thread of Freud's arguments, which is easy to do since he sometimes delays explanations for hundreds of pages. To his credit, Freud often stops and attempts to summarize what he's already discussed, but since these summaries are rarely shorter than the initial presentation, I often lost track of the argument's progress long before the summary was concluded. Much of this is caused by his diligence in not making assertions before he's marshaled all of the evidence and lain it out before the reader, which demonstrates an intellectual honesty but which also requires the reader to reach the end of the work before the big picture is fully unveiled. I suspect that Freud felt that he would receive less resistance to his theories if he walked the reader along his own thought processes, making the final conclusions appear obvious and reasonable, but the arrangement makes it very hard to digest the work. All of these complaints, however, focus only on the presentation of the work. The content itself is very interesting and probably beyond my ability to easily summarize. Dreams are wish fulfillments. Their surreal nature is a result of the mind's attempt to censor dream thoughts that are unacceptable to the conscious mind. The dream content is often a mix of recent events and memories (sometimes repressed and forgotten memories) from early childhood. Overall, however, I could barely finish the book: it was long-winded, repetitive, and poorly organized. So, this may be one of the few cases where I think a summary or an abridged edition might be the better bet.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Whitspren

    Interesting. Less dry than I expected, and I enjoyed the seeing more of Freud's personal side in his anecdotes and dreams.

  27. 4 out of 5

    James Hartley

    Not going to go into the details here except to say that this book is far more readable than you might think and so, if youre wondering about having a go at it, dont be put off by the weight of history and Freuds reputation. What you find between the covers might well put you off, though, as Freuds well-argued, if necessarily bitty and selective thesis, hasnt aged well. Read as a historical piece, though, this is interesting stuff - and reading about the Oedipus Complex as it enters history is Not going to go into the details here except to say that this book is far more readable than you might think and so, if you´re wondering about having a go at it, don´t be put off by the weight of history and Freud´s reputation. What you find between the covers might well put you off, though, as Freud´s well-argued, if necessarily bitty and selective thesis, hasn´t aged well. Read as a historical piece, though, this is interesting stuff - and reading about the Oedipus Complex as it enters history is fascinating and thrilling. As stunning as this book must have been at the time of publication, it is slightly daft to read now.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kyle van Oosterum

    You know, when reading Freud I find I'm slightly on edge. I'm always thinking that I should approach what he says with many a grain of salt, but this book is proof that he wasn't always wrong. The method of interpreting dreams that Freud advances is not at all concerned with looking at symbols behind dreams, but instead, it is concerned with making sense of the apparatuses of the soul. He believes that dreams are manifestations of the unconscious, which is entirely censored throughout the day You know, when reading Freud I find I'm slightly on edge. I'm always thinking that I should approach what he says with many a grain of salt, but this book is proof that he wasn't always wrong. The method of interpreting dreams that Freud advances is not at all concerned with looking at symbols behind dreams, but instead, it is concerned with making sense of the apparatuses of the soul. He believes that dreams are manifestations of the unconscious, which is entirely censored throughout the day via a mechanism of repression. Famously, Freud asserts that: "the dream is the (disguised) fulfillment of a (suppressed) wish." He defends his theory laboriously against objections, but of course anxiety dreams and nightmares are difficult to explain in the context of wish fulfillments. He makes recourse of his theories about how society is fundamentally driven by sex and violence, as well as some, not-so-subtly sexist theories such as "penis envy" (Worth the Wikipedia search). Not to mention, that this book holds the inception of the Oedipus Complex with Freud's justification for this theory. An incredibly well-written testament to the spirit, a book which is almost unparalleled in the way it has shaped our minds. Definitely worth the read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Josh Friedlander

    A century of vituperative backlash - probably peaking in the 80s with charges that Freud ignored his patients' recovered memories of sexual abuse - doesn't take away from the brilliance of this bold, paradigmatic thinker, or from the fascination he continues to wield even as old-fashioned psychoanalysis continues to lose ground to neurobiology. Contemporary Big Data methods might be more helpful for his project of assigning symbolic meanings to dreams - as is, the specifics are a little A century of vituperative backlash - probably peaking in the 80s with charges that Freud ignored his patients' recovered memories of sexual abuse - doesn't take away from the brilliance of this bold, paradigmatic thinker, or from the fascination he continues to wield even as old-fashioned psychoanalysis continues to lose ground to neurobiology. Contemporary Big Data methods might be more helpful for his project of assigning symbolic meanings to dreams - as is, the specifics are a little unconvincing. And yes, it gets a bit boring...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    My serious study of Freud began during the summer of Watergate, when Martin and I were taking care of my little brother Fin at the family cottage in SW Michigan. The Interpretation of Dreams, his most famous work, was disappointing in that there was, with one exception, nothing new to it--so far had his influence extended in popular culture. The exception was his early chapter on the history of dream theory. Later, in 1983, this book was assigned by Richard D. Chessick for his course, Freud and My serious study of Freud began during the summer of Watergate, when Martin and I were taking care of my little brother Fin at the family cottage in SW Michigan. The Interpretation of Dreams, his most famous work, was disappointing in that there was, with one exception, nothing new to it--so far had his influence extended in popular culture. The exception was his early chapter on the history of dream theory. Later, in 1983, this book was assigned by Richard D. Chessick for his course, Freud and Philosophy. I read it again in another, newer, edition, albeit quickly.

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