The Interpretation of Dreams: The Complete and Definitive Text

The Interpretation of Dreams: The Complete and Definitive Text

by Sigmund Freud

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The standard edition of Sigmund Freud's classic work on the psychology and significance of dreams

What are the most common dreams and why do we have them? What does a dream about death mean? What do dreams of swimming, failing, or flying symbolize?

First published in 1899, Sigmund Freud's groundbreaking book, The Interpretation of Dreams, explores why we dream and why dreams matter in our psychological lives. Delving into theories of manifest and latent dream content, the special language of dreams, dreams as wish fulfillments, the significance of childhood experiences, and much more, Freud offers an incisive and enduringly relevant examination of dream psychology. Encompassing dozens of case histories and detailed analyses of actual dreams, this landmark work grants us unique insight into our sleeping experiences.

Renowned for translating Freud's German writings into English, James Strachey--with the assistance of Freud's daughter Anna--first published this edition in 1953. Incorporating all textual alterations made by Freud over a period of thirty years, it remains the most complete translation of the work in print

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465021116
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 02/23/2010
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 688
Sales rank: 890,050
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a clinical neurologist living and practicing in Vienna. His ground breaking theories of the id, ego, and super-ego of the mind continue to be studied throughout the world.

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In the pages that follow I shall bring forward proof that there is a psychological technique which makes it possible to interpret dreams, and that, if that procedure is employed, every dream reveals itself as a psychical structure which has a meaning and which can be inserted at an assignable point in the mental activities of waking life. I shall further endeavour to elucidate the processes to which the strangeness and obscurity of dream are due and to deduce from those processes the nature of the psychical forces by whose concurrent or mutually opposing action dreams are generated. Having gone thus far, my description will break off, for it will have reached a point at which the problem of dreams merges into more comprehensive problems, the solution of which must be approached upon the basis of material of another kind.

I shall give by way of preface a review of the work done by earlier writers on the subject as well as of the present position of the problems of dreams in the world of science, since in the course of my discussion I shall not often have occasion to revert to those topics. For, in spite of many thousands of years of effort, the scientific understanding of dream has made very little advance--a fact so generally admitted *'in the literature that it seem unnecessary to quote instances in support of it. In these writings, of which a list appears at the end of my work, many stimulating observations are to be found and a quantity of interesting material bearing upon our theme, but little or nothing that touches upon the essential natureof dreams or that offers a final solution of any of their enigmas. And still less, of course, has passed into the knowledge of educated laymen.

It may be asked what view was taken of dreams in prehistoric times by primitive races of men and what effect dreams may have had upon the formation of their conceptions of the world and of the soul; and this is a subject of such great interest that it is only with much reluctance that I refrain from dealing with it in this connection. I must refer my readers to the standard works of Sir John Lubbock, Herbert Spencer, E. B. Tylor and others, and I will only add that we shaft not be able to appreciate the wide range of these problems and speculations until we have dealt with the task that lies before us here---the interpretation of dreams.

The prehistoric view of dreams is no doubt echoed in the attitude adopted towards dream by the peoples Of classical antiquity. They took it as axiomatic that dream were connected with the world of superhuman beings in whom they believed and that they were revelations from gods and daemons. There could he no question, moreover, that for the dreamer dreams had an important purpose, which was as a rule to foretell the future. The extraordinary variety in the content of dreams and in the impression they produced made it difficult, however, to have any uniform view of them and made it necessary to classify dreams into numerous groups and subdivisions according to their importance and trustworthiness. The position adopted towards dreams by individual philosophers in antiquity was naturally dependent to some extent upon their attitude towards divination in general.

In the two works of Aristotle which -deal with dreams, they have already become a subject for psychological study. We are told that dreams are not sent by the gods and are not of a divine character, but that they are 'daemonic,' since nature is 'daemonic' and not divine.

Dreams, that is, do not arise from supernatural manifesta-tions but follow the laws of the human spirit, though thelatter, it is true, is akin to the divine. Dreams are definedas the mental activ ity of the sleeper in so far as he isasleep.'

Aristotle was aware of some of the characteristics of dream-life. He knew, for instance, that dreams give a magnified construction to small stimuli arising during steep. 'Men think that they are walking through fire and are tremendously hot, when there is only a slight heating about certain parts.' And from this circumstance he draws the conclusion that dreams may very well betray to a physician the first signs of some bodily change which has not been observed in waking.

Before the time of Aristotle, as we know, the ancients regarded dreams not as a product of the dreaming mind but as something introduced by a divine agency; and already the two opposing currents, which we shall find influencing opinions of dream-life at every period of history, were making themselves felt. The distinction was drawn between truthful and valuable dreams, sent to the sleeper to warn him or foretell the future, and vain, deceitful and Worthless dreams, whose purpose it was to mislead or destroy him.

The Interpretation of Dreams. Copyright © by Sigmund Freud. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

Note on the Textxxxviii
Note on the Translationxl
Select Bibliographyxlviii
A Chronology of Sigmund Freudlii
The Scientific Literature on the Problems of Dreams7
(a) The Relationship of Dreams to Waking Life9
(b) The Dream-Material—Memory in Dreams12
(c) Dream-Stimuli and Dream-Sources20
(d) Why Do We Forget Our Dreams After We Wake?38
(e) The Distinctive Psychological Features of Dreams42
(f) Ethical Feelings in Dreams55
(g) Theories of Dreams and the Function of Dreams62
(h) The Relations Between Dreams and Mental Illnesses74
II The Method of Interpreting Dreams78
III The Dream is a Wish-Fulfilment98
IV Dream-Distortion106
V The Material and Sources of Dreams126
(a) Recent and Insignificant Material in Dreams127
(b) Material from Infancy as a Source of Dreams144
(c) The Somatic Sources of Dreams169
(d) TypicalDreams185
VI The Dream-Work211
(a) The Work of Condensation212
(b) The Work of Displacement232
(c) The Means of Representation in Dreams236
(d) Regard for Representability254
(e) Examples: Calculating and Speaking in Dreams262
(f) Absurd Dreams. Intellectual Performance in Dreams271
(g) Affects in Dreams298
(h) Secondary Revision318
VII The Psychology of the Dream-Processes330
(a) Forgetting in Dreams332
(b) Regression346
(c) On Wish-Fulfilment359
(d) Arousal by Dreams. The Function of Dreams.
(e) Primary and Secondary Revision. Repression385
(f) The Unconscious and Consciousness. Reality403
Freud's Bibliography413

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The Interpretation of Dreams 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
veroniccamccoy More than 1 year ago
In this book full of the interpretations of dreams, I found it very compelling, some of the facts and studies of why we dream the way we do. Sigmund relates scenarios and dream experiences to his studies. There are plenty of theories from not so well know philosophers that related quite well to what he was talking about. Lots of information covering almost every aspect of dreams... I recommend this book to anybody who would like to study dreams or learn about their dreams.
KatyScarlettDT More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for one of my term papers and I found that even after the research for the paper was done, I wanted to read the rest of the book. This book showcases Freud's innovative technique for psychoanalysis. It was an extremely interesting read, and it gives you something to think about. This book was put together with plenty of background information such as detailed timelines of Freud's life, and an introduction that will help you understand Freud's work before you get to the difficult parts of the reading. This book also has informative footnotes. These added features to the book let you delve into the mind of Freud a little better.
Sir_G More than 1 year ago
Interested in what your dreams may be revealing about your inner being then this book will help to achieve that. It in not an easy read yet it is worth the effort to give the basics to the subconscious revelation in dreams
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book Marty Jenkins has a great astrology,but this book is good for the dream dictionary that Ive wanted for a while
michaelbartley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I discovered that Freud is a excellent writer. This is perhaps the most basic book about his ideas and psychoanalysis. Of course it very dated now, but Freud was trying to understand the mind. I know that one of the criticism of Freud is that he only talked or wrote about sex, but that because that what all patients talked about
decidedlybookish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At a hefty 664 pages, this was hard work at times, and I did skip the last forty pages or so because it was dragging and I was excited about my next book. The bits that dragged for me were the highly theoretical bits. What I liked best were the case histories and the analyses of Freud¿s own dreams and those of his friends and family. This book was most enjoyable when Freud put most of himself into it. He seems to have been a peculiar but ultimately rather endearing man.As the blurb promised, `The Interpretation of Dreams¿ did change the way I think about dreams. I¿ve been able to look over records kept of old dreams with a fresh perspective. What I got most out of it was the idea that dreams are wish fulfilments. I would argue that they are other things too, but I see elements of wish fulfilment in almost all of my dreams. It¿s sort of how we reconcile ourselves to the gap between reality and all that we desire. I didn¿t accept all of Freud¿s claims ¿ I would have been very surprised if I had done. I started the book a bit ironically: Freud is well-known for his theory that everyone wants to shag their parents and pretty much anything else that moves. In short, he¿s known for being obsessed with sex. This element of his thinking wasn¿t really apparent until about half way through through this book, in which there¿s a hilarious chapter on symbolism. Everything represents genitals, apparently: umbrellas, nail-files, boxes, cupboards, ships, keys, staircases, tables, hats, coats, neckties, ploughing, bridges, children, animals, relatives, luggage, all other body parts¿ we had a jolly good laugh about this in bed.
BruderBane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After finishing "The Interpretation of Dreams,¿ I found myself saying ¿wow.¿ Very few authors have really bowled me over with their ability to think and write analytically, I now see with greater clarity why people look on this work with such fondness and verve. If you are like me and want to achieve a greater understanding of the psyche, by all means read Freud. However, be prepared for dense writing and know your literature.
hellbent on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Makes one's dream world more meaningful.
nervenet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Since I am not employed as a therapist of any variety, I found this less useful than Freud's writings on broader topics. Interesting, but not as much as other Freud.
BLUEBELL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not for those who want a book of standardized dream interpretations. If you'd like a taste of Freud's ego run amok: this is for you. Anything in the dream case histories that could possibly be interpreted any other way, isn't. He's looked into *every detail* [excruciatingly] and always finds a way to incorporate that dream into his narrowly defined theories. If any book can be both pedantic and comical, this is it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Very intriquing book.
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