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The Interpretation of Dreams

the interpretation of dreams, the interpretation of dreams by sigmund freud
The Interpretation of Dreams German: Die Traumdeutung is an 1899 book by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, in which Freud 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"1

The book was first published in an edition of 600 copies, which did not sell out for eight years The Interpretation of Dreams later gained in popularity, and seven more editions were published in Freud's lifetime2

Because of the book's length and complexity, Freud also wrote an abridged version called On Dreams The original text is widely regarded as one of Freud's most significant works

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 Overview
    • 21 On Dreams
  • 3 Contents
  • 4 Influence and reception
  • 5 Translations
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 Further reading
  • 9 External links

Backgroundedit

Freud spent the summer of 1895 at Schloss BelleVue3 near Grinzing in Austria, where he began the inception of The Interpretation of Dreams In a 1900 letter to Wilhelm Fliess, he wrote in commemoration of the place:

"Do you suppose that some day a marble tablet will be placed on the house, inscribed with these words: 'In this house on July 24, 1895, the secret of dreams was revealed to Dr Sigm Freud' At the moment I see little prospect of it" — Freud in a letter to Wilhelm Fliess, June 12, 1900

While staying at Schloss Bellevue, Freud dreamed his famous dream of 'Irma's injection'4 His reading and analysis of the dream allowed him to be exonerated from his mishandling of the treatment of a patient in 18955 In 1963, Belle Vue manor was demolished, but today a memorial plaque with just that inscription has been erected at the site by the Austrian Sigmund Freud Society

Overviewedit

Dreams, in Freud's view, are all forms of "wish fulfillment" — attempts by the unconscious to resolve a conflict of some sort, whether something recent or something from the recesses of the past later in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud would discuss dreams which do not appear to be wish-fulfillment Because the information in the unconscious is in an unruly and often disturbing form, a "censor" in the preconscious will not allow it to pass unaltered into the conscious Freud introduced the term 'manifest content' to describe what the dream recalled6

During dreams, the preconscious is more lax in this duty than in waking hours, but is still attentive: as such, the unconscious must distort and warp the meaning of its information to make it through the censorship As such, images in dreams are often not what they appear to be, according to Freud, and need deeper interpretation if they are to inform on the structures of the unconscious

Freud used to mention the dreams as "The Royal Road to the Unconscious" He proposed the 'phenomenon of condensation'; the idea that one simple symbol or image presented in a person's dream may have multiple meanings For this very reason, Freud tried to focus on details during psychoanalysis and asked his patients about things they could even think trivial ie while a patient was describing an experience in their dream, Freud could ask them: "was there any sign upon the walls What was it"

As Freud was focusing upon the biologic drives of the individual a fact that alienated him from several colleagues of his like Breuer, Jung and Adler, he stated that when we observe a hollow object in our dreams, like a box or a cave, this is a symbol of a womb, while an elongated object is a symbol for penis Due to these statements, Freud attracted much criticism from those who believed him a "sexist" or "misanthrope", as he was alleged to have overemphasised the role of instinct, as though he believed people were "wild beasts" Michael Jacob's later research into dreams has indicated that the manifest content may be more important than Freud allowed for and that such scientific study of dreams is more suited to the scientific study of dreams7

On Dreamsedit

An abridged version called On Dreams was published in 1901 as part of Lowenfeld and Kurella's Grenzfragen des Nerven und Seelenlebens It was re-published in 1911 in slightly larger form as a book8 On Dreams is also included in the 1953 edition and the second part of Freud's work on dreams, Volume Five, The Interpretation of Dreams II and On Dreams It follows chapter seven in The Interpretation of Dreams and in this edition, is fifty three pages in length9 There are thirteen chapters in total and Freud directs the reader to The Interpretation of Dreams for further reading throughout On Dreams, in particular, in the final chapter Immediately after its publication, Freud considered On Dreams as a shortened version of The Interpretation of Dreams The English translation of On Dreams was first published in 1914 and the second English publication in the James Strachey translation from 195210 Freud investigates the subject of displacement and our inability to recognize our dreams In chapter VI, page 659, he states: "It is the process of displacement which is chiefly responsible for our being unable to discover or recognize the in the dream-content" and he considers the issue of displacement in chapter VIII, page 671 as: "the most striking of the dream-work"11

Contentsedit

The first edition begins:

"In the following pages, I shall demonstrate that there exists a psychological technique by which dreams may be interpreted and that upon the application of this method every dream will show itself to be a senseful psychological structure which may be introduced into an assignable place in the psychic activity of the waking state I shall furthermore endeavor to explain the processes which give rise to the strangeness and obscurity of the dream, and to discover through them the psychic forces, which operate whether in combination or opposition, to produce the dream This accomplished by investigation will terminate as it will reach the point where the problem of the dream meets broader problems, the solution of which must be attempted through other material"12

Freud begins his book in the first chapter titled "The Scientific Literature on the Problems of the Dream" by reviewing different scientific views on dream interpretation, which he finds interesting but not adequate13 He then makes his argument by describing a number of dreams which he claims illustrate his theory

Freud describes three main types of dreams: 1 Direct prophecies received in the dream chrematismos, oraculum; 2 The foretelling of a future event orama, visio 3 The symbolic dream, which requires interpretation Interpretation of Dreams 5

Much of Freud's sources for analysis are in literature Many of his most important dreams are his own — his method is inaugurated with an analysis of his dream "Irma's injection" — but many also come from patient case studies

Influence and receptionedit

Memorial plate in commemoration of the place where Freud began The Interpretation of Dreams, near Grinzing, Austria

The Interpretation of Dreams was first published in an edition of only 600 copies, and these took eight years to sell The work subsequently gained popularity, and seven more editions were printed in Freud's lifetime, the last in 19292 Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler wrote to Freud in October 1905 that he was convinced of the correctness of The Interpretation of Dreams as soon as he read it14

Otto Rank read The Interpretation of Dreams in 1905 and was impressed by the work Rank was moved to write a critical reanalysis of one of Freud's own dreams, and perhaps partly for this reason came to Freud's attention It was with Rank's help that Freud published the second edition of The Interpretation of Dreams in 190915 Max Schur, Freud's physician and friend, has provided evidence that the first dream that Freud analyzed, his so-called "Irma dream" was not very disguised, but actually closely portrayed a medical disaster of Emma Steinbeck, one of Freud's patients16 The psychologist Hans Eysenck argued in Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire 1985 that the dreams Freud cites do not really support his theories, and that Freud's examples actually disprove his dream theory17

The philosopher Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen and the psychologist Sonu Shamdasani argued that Freud's analysis of the dream of Irma's injection was partly based on Belgian psychologist Joseph Delboeuf's analysis of the "dream of lizards and of the asplenium ruta muraria" in Sleep and Dreams In their view, Freud's work should be placed in the context of the "introspective hypnotism" practiced by figures such as Auguste Forel, Eugen Bleuler, and Oskar Vogt Borch-Jacobsen and Shamdasani charged Freud with selectively citing some authors on dreams including Marie-Jean-Léon, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint Denys and Louis Ferdinand Alfred Maury, passing over others including Jean-Martin Charcot, Pierre Janet, and Richard von Krafft-Ebing in silence, and with systematically avoiding "citing the passages in the works of his predecessors which came closest to his own theories"18

Translationsedit

The first translation from German into English was completed by A A Brill, a Freudian psychoanalyst Years later, an authorized translation by James Strachey was published The most recent English translation was performed by Joyce Crick

See alsoedit

  • Freud, Biologist of the Mind

Referencesedit

  1. ^ SE iv p xxiii
  2. ^ a b "Freud's book, "The Interpretation of Dreams" released 1900" A Science Odyssey: People and Discoveries PBS 1998 Retrieved August 21, 2012 
  3. ^ Storr, Anthony 1989 Freud: A Very Short Introduction Oxford: Oxford University Press p 41 ISBN 978-0-19-285455-1 While staying at the Schloss Bellevue 
  4. ^ Storr, Anthony 1989 Freud: A Very Short Introduction Oxford: Oxford University Press p 41 ISBN 978-0-19-285455-1 While staying at the Schloss Bellevue Freud had dreamed his famous dream of 'Irma's Injection' 
  5. ^ Storr, Anthony 1989 Freud: A Very Short Introduction Oxford: Oxford University Press p 41 ISBN 978-0-19-285455-1 "Freud had dreamed his famous dream of 'Irma's Injection' "Freud's reading of the dream was that it was an attempt to absolve him from the responsibility of mishandling the treatment of a particular patient" 
  6. ^ Storr, Anthony 1989 Freud: A Very Short Introduction Oxford University Press p 45 ISBN 978-0-19-285455-1 Freud introduced the term 'manifest dream' to describe what the dreamer recalled 
  7. ^ Jacobs, Michael 1992 Sigmund Freud London: Sage Publication p 35 ISBN 0-8039-8464-2 "the manifest content may be more important than Freud allowed for" and "that such scientific study of dreams as appears in that books is more suited to the scientific study of dreams than to dream work in psychoanalytic therapy itself" Jacobs 35 
  8. ^ Gay, Peter edit Freud, Sigmund author The Freud Reader WW Norton New York 1989 pages 142-142
  9. ^ Freud, Sigmund 1953 The Interpretation of Dreams Second Part and On Dreams London: The Hogarth Press pp Introduction 686 633 ISBN 0-7012-0067-7 
  10. ^ Freud, Sigmund 1953 The Interpretation of Dreams Second Part and On Dreams London: The Hogarth Press pp 631–633 contents page 659 671 686 ISBN 0-7012-0067-7 "It is the process of displacement which is chiefly responsible for our being unable to discover or recognize the dream-thoughts in the dream-content" page 659 "The heart of the problem lies in displacement" page 671 
  11. ^ Freud, Sigmund 1953 The Interpretation of Dreams Second Part and On Dreams London: The Hogarth Press pp 659 671 ISBN 0-7012-0067-7 
  12. ^ Freud, Sigmund The Interpretation of Dreams the Illustrated Edition, Sterling Press 2010, page 9
  13. ^ Freud, Sigmund The Interpretation of Dreams the Illustrated Edition, Sterling Press, 2010, pages 9-68
  14. ^ Borch-Jacobsen, Mikkel; Shamdasani, Sonu 2012 The Freud Files: An Inquiry into the History of Psychoanalysis Cambridge: Cambridge University Press p 58 ISBN 978-0-521-72978-9 
  15. ^ Lieberman, E James; Kramer, Robert 2012 The Letters of Sigmund Freud & Otto Rank: Inside Psychoanalysis Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press pp 1–2, 4 ISBN 978-1-4214-0354-0 
  16. ^ Schur, M 1972 Freud: Living and Dying New York: International Universities Press
  17. ^ Eysenck, Hans 1986 Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire Harmondsworth: Pelican Books pp 35, 119 ISBN 0-14-022562-5 
  18. ^ Borch-Jacobsen, Mikkel; Shamdasani, Sonu 2012 The Freud Files: An Inquiry into the History of Psychoanalysis Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp 43, 111 ISBN 978-0-521-72978-9 

Further readingedit

  • Marinelli, Lydia and Andreas Mayer A 2003 Dreaming by the Book: Freud's 'The Interpretation of Dreams' and the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement, New York: Other Press ISBN 1-59051-009-7 Mayer and Marinelli explore textual changes in different versions of The Interpretation of Dreams and offer an historical account of how the book became the founding text of the psychoanalytic movement
  • The Language of Psycho-Analysis by Jean Laplanche and Jean-Bertrand Pontalis; trans Donald Nicholson-Smith W W Norton & Company, 1974, ISBN 0-393-01105-4
  • Blechner, M 2001 The Dream Frontier New York: Routledge

External linksedit

  • The full text of The Interpretation of Dreams at Wikisource
  • The Interpretation of Dreams A A Brill, trans, 1913
  • E-text version of the 3rd edition of The Interpretation of Dreams English
  • Google Book Search digitized reproduction of the 3rd edition of The Interpretation of Dreams trans A A Brill
  • The original text in German
  • The Interpretation of Dreams LibriVox Free Audio

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