Cover image for On dreams
Title:
On dreams
Author:
Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Über den Traum. English
Publication Information:
Mineola, N.Y. : Dover, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
ix, 45 pages ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: London : Heinemann, 1914. With new introd.
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Electronic Access:
Publisher description http://www.loc.gov/catdir/description/dover031/00065776.html
ISBN:
9780486415956
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library BF1078 .F77313 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library BF1078 .F77313 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis, simultaneously a theory of personality, a therapy, and an intellectual movement. He was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Freiburg, Moravia, now part of Czechoslovakia, but then a city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At the age of 4, he moved to Vienna, where he spent nearly his entire life. In 1873 he entered the medical school at the University of Vienna and spent the following eight years pursuing a wide range of studies, including philosophy, in addition to the medical curriculum. After graduating, he worked in several clinics and went to Paris to study under Jean-Martin Charcot, a neurologist who used hypnosis to treat the symptoms of hysteria. When Freud returned to Vienna and set up practice as a clinical neurologist, he found orthodox therapies for nervous disorders ineffective for most of his patients, so he began to use a modified version of the hypnosis he had learned under Charcot. Gradually, however, he discovered that it was not necessary to put patients into a deep trance; rather, he would merely encourage them to talk freely, saying whatever came to mind without self-censorship, in order to bring unconscious material to the surface, where it could be analyzed. He found that this method of free association very often evoked memories of traumatic events in childhood, usually having to do with sex. This discovery led him, at first, to assume that most of his patients had actually been seduced as children by adult relatives and that this was the cause of their neuroses; later, however, he changed his mind and concluded that his patients' memories of childhood seduction were fantasies born of their childhood sexual desires for adults. (This reversal is a matter of some controversy today.) Out of this clinical material he constructed a theory of psychosexual development through oral, anal, phallic and genital stages.

Freud considered his patients' dreams and his own to be "the royal road to the unconscious." In The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), perhaps his most brilliant book, he theorized that dreams are heavily disguised expressions of deep-seated wishes and fears and can give great insight into personality. These investigations led him to his theory of a three-part structure of personality: the id (unconscious biological drives, especially for sex), the superego (the conscience, guided by moral principles), and the ego (the mediator between the id and superego, guided by reality). Freud's last years were plagued by severe illness and the rise of Nazism, which regarded psychoanalysis as a "Jewish pollution." Through the intervention of the British and U.S. governments, he was allowed to emigrate in 1938 to England, where he died 15 months later, widely honored for his original thinking. His theories have had a profound impact on psychology, anthropology, art, and literature, as well as on the thinking of millions of ordinary people about their own lives. Freud's daughter Anna Freud was the founder of the Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic in London, where her specialty was applying psychoanalysis to children. Her major work was The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (1936).

(Bowker Author Biography)


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