One hundred years ago Sigmund Freud published The Interpretations of Dreams, a book that, like Darwin's The Origin of Species, revolutionized our understanding of human nature. Now this groundbreaking new translation--the first to be based on the original text published in November 1899--brings us a more readable, more accurate, and more coherent picture of Freud's masterpiece.
The first edition of The Interpretation of Dreams is much shorter than its subsequent editions; each time the text was reissued, from 1909 onwards, Freud added to it. The most significant, and in many ways the most unfortunate addition, is a 50-page section devoted to the kind of mechanical reading of dream symbolism--long objects equal male genitalia, etc.--that has gained popular currency and partially obscured Freud's more profound insights into dreams. In the original version presented here, Freud's emphasis falls more clearly on the use of words in dreams and on the difficulty of deciphering them. Without the strata of later additions, readers will find here a clearer development of Freud's central ideas--of dream as wish-fulfillment, of the dream's manifest and latent content, of the retelling of dreams as a continuation of the dreamwork, and much more. Joyce Crick's translation is lighter and faster-moving than previous versions, enhancing the sense of dialogue with the reader, one of Freud's stylistic strengths, and allowing us to follow Freud's theory as it evolved through difficult cases, apparently intractable counter-examples, and fascinating analyses of Freud's own dreams.
The restoration of Freud's classic is a major event, giving us in a sense a new work by one of this century' most startling, original, and influential thinkers.
Published in 1899 but ignored for several years, THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS eventually came to be seen as a breakthrough in the understanding the human mind. Freud himself considered it his seminal work. In his treatise, Freud introduced the then unknown concept of the unconscious, which was to become the basis for all Freudian theory and a major influence on subsequent research. Underlying his analysis of dream theory--a mixture of historical approaches, case studies, and his own methodology--is Freud's belief that dreams have literal meanings that can reveal the structure of psychic life. He differentiates between the "manifest content" of the actual dream and dream's "latent content," which is a window into the unconscious. He also postulates the existence of a universal symbolic language of dreams, explores his theory of wish-fulfillment, and formulates for the first time the then-shocking concept of childhood sexuality. THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS was a major force in dispelling the combination of ignorance, confusion, and superstition with which the human mind was regarded, and, though advances in neurology have cast doubts on some of Freud's conclusions, many of his insights are still regarded with respect.
- Health + Wellness, Self Improvement, Body + Mind + Spirit, Psychology
- Dreams, Sleep + Sleep Disorders, Movements / Psychoanalysis, Movements / General, History
- September 15, 2008
- September 15, 2008
- Sigmund Freud