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John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

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Freud on Dreams  

2009-02-25 19:14:48|  分类: +短篇小说第二课 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Trans. A. A. Brill. Intro. Stephen Wilson. Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth, 1997.

“Structure of the dream” – condensation and displacement

Condensation – “the construction of collective and composite persons in the dream-content.”

172-3

       “Now, if we consider that of the dream-thoughts ascertained only the most restricted number are represented in the dream by [173] means of one of their conceptual elements, we might conclude that the condensation is accomplished by means of omission, inasmuch as the dream is not a faithful translation or projection, point by point, of the dream-thoughts, but a very incomplete and defective reproduction of them… If only a few of the elements of the dream-thoughts make their way into the dream-content, what are the conditions that determine their selection?”

180

       About one of his own dreams:

       “The chief person in the dream-content is my patient Irma, who is seen with the features which belong to her in waking life, and who therefore, in the first instance, represents herself. But her attitude…is taken from a recollection of another person, of the lady for whom I should like to exchange my patient… Owing to her unwillingness to open her mouth, the same Irma constitutes an allusion to another lady who was once examined by me, and, also in the same connection, to my wife. Further, in the morbid changes which I discover in her throat I have summarized allusions to quite a number of other persons.”

       “All these people whom I encounter as I follow up the associations suggested by ‘Irma’ do not appear personally in the dream; hey are concealed behind the dream-person ‘Irma,’ who is thus developed into a collective image, which, as might be expected, has contradictory features. Irma comes to represent these other persons, who are discarded in the work of condensation, inasmuch as I allow anything to happen to her which reminds me of these persons, trait by trait.”

180-81

       “For the purpose of dream-condensation I may construct a composite person in yet another fashion, by combining the actual [181] features of two or more persons in a single dream-image… Dr R., in my dream about my uncle, is a similar composite person. But here the dream-image is constructed in yet another fashion. I have not united features peculiar to the one person with the features of the other, thereby abridging by certain features the memory-picture of each; but I have adopted the method employed by Galton in producing family portraits; namely, I have superimposed the two images, so that the common features stand out in stronger relief, while those which do don t coincide neutralise one another and become indistinct. In the dream of my uncle the fair beard stands out in relief, as an emphasized feature, from a physiognomy which belongs to two persons, and which is consequently blurred; further, in its reference to growing grey the beard contains an allusion to my father and to myself.”

       “The construction of collective and composite persons is one of the principal methods of dream-condensation.”

183

       “The study of the dream of Irma’s injection has now enabled us to obtain some insight into the process of condensation which occurs in the formation of dreams. We perceive, as peculiarities of the condensing process, a selection of those elements which occur several times over in the dream-content, the formation of new unties (composite persons, mixed images), and the production of common means.”

 

Displacement – disparity between the dream-content and the nucleus of the dream-thoughts, “a distorted form of the dream-wish in the unconscious.”

 

190

       Another and probably no less significant relation must have already forced itself upon our attention while we were collecting examples of dream-condensation. We may have noticed that these elements which obtrude themselves in the dream-content as its essential components do not by any means play this same part in the dream-thoughts. As a corollary to this, the converse of this statement is also true. That which is obviously the essential content of the dream-thoughts need not be represented at all in the dream. The dream is, as it were, centred elsewhere; its content is arranged about elements which do not constitute the central point of the dream-thoughts.”

191-92

       “… in the dream of my uncle, the fair beard, which seems to be its central point, appears to have no rational connection with the desire for greatness which we have recognised as the nucleus of the dream-thoughts. Such dreams very naturally give us an impression of a ‘displacement.’ In complete contrast to these examples, the dream of Irma’s injection shows that individual elements may claim the same place in dream-formation as that which they occupy in the dream-thoughts. The recognition of this new and utterly inconstant relation between the dram-thoughts and the dream-content will probably astonish us at first… In dream-formation the essential elements, those that are emphasized by intensive interest, may be treated as though they were subordinate, while they are replaced in the dream by other elements, which were certainly subordinate in the dream-thoughts. It seems at first as though the psychic intensity of individual ideas were of no account in their selection for dream-formation, but only their greater or lesser multiplicity of determination. One might be inclined to think that what gets into the dream is not what is important in the dream-thoughts, but what is contained in them several times over; but our understanding of dream-formation is not much advanced by this assumption; to begin with, we cannot believe that the two motives of multiple determination and intrinsic value can influence the selection of the dream otherwise than in the same direction. Those [192] ideas in the dream-thoughts which are most important are probably also those which recur most frequently, since the individual dream-thoughts radiate from them as centres. And yet the dream may reject these intensively emphasized and extensively reinforced elements, and may take up into its content other elements which are only extensively reinforced.”

192

              … “We are thus led to the conclusion that multiple determination, decisive as regards the selection made by the dream, is perhaps not always a primary factor in dream-formation, but is often as secondary product of a psychic force which is as yet unknown to us. Nevertheless, it must be of importance for the entrance of the individual elements into the dream, for we may observe that in cases where multiple determination does not proceed easily from the dream-material it is brought about with a certain effort.”

192-93

       It now becomes very probable that a psychic force expresses itself in the dream-work which, on the one hand, strips the elements of the high psychic value of their intensity and, on the other hand, by means of over-determination, creates new significant values from elements of slight value, which new values than make [193] their way into the dream-content. Now if this is the method of procedure, there has occurred in the process of dream-formation a transference and displacement of the psychic intensities of the individual elements, from which results the textual difference between the dream-content and the thought-content. The process which we here assume to be operative is actually the most essential part of the dream-work; it may fitly be called dream-displacement. Dream-displacement and dream-condensation are the two craftsmen to whom we may chiefly ascribe the structure of the dream.”

193

       “The result of this displacement is that the dream-content no longer has any likeness to the nucleus of the dream-thoughts, and the dream reproduces only a distorted form of the dream-wish in the unconscious. But we are already acquainted with dream-distortion; we have traced it back to the censorship which one psychic instance in the psychic life exercises over another. Dream-displacement is one of the chief means of achieving this distortion.”

194

       “Besides the two factors of condensation and displacement in dreams, which we have found to be at work in the transformation of the latent dream-material into the manifest dream-content, we shall, in the course of this investigation, come upon two further conditions which exercise an unquestionable influence over the selection of the material that eventually appears in the dream.”

212

       “It might be expected that the sensory intensity (vividness) of single dream-images is in proportion to the psychic intensity of the elements corresponding to them in the dream-thoughts. In the latter, intensity is identical with psychic value; the most intense elements are in fact the most significant, and these constitute the central point of the dream-thoughts. We know, however, that it is precisely these elements which are usually not admitted to the dream-content, owing to the vigilance of the censorship…. A complete ‘transvaluation of all psychic values’ takes place between the dream-material and the dream. The very element of the dream which is transient and hazy, and screened by more vigorous images, is often discovered to be the one and only direct derivative of the topic that completely dominates the dream-thoughts.”

 

Dream Images

233-34

       “The Emperor and the Empress (King and Queen) in most cases really represent the dreamer’s parents; the dreamer himself or herself is the prince or princess. But the high authority conceded to the Emperor is also conceded to great men, so that in some dreams, for example, Goethe appears as a father-symbol (Hitschmann). - All elongated objects, sticks, tree-trunks, umbrellas (on account of the opening, which might be likened to an erection), all sharp and elongated weapons, knives, daggers, and pikes, represent the male member. A frequent, but not very intelligible symbol for the same is the nail-file (a reference to rubbing and scraping?). – Small boxes, chests, cupboards, and ovens correspond to the female organ; also cavities, ships, and all kinds of vessels. – A room in a dream [234] generally represents a woman; the descriptions of its various entrances and exits is scarcely calculated to make us doubt this interpretation. The interest as to whether the room is ‘open’ or ‘locked’ will be readily understood in this connection…. There is no need to be explicit as to the sort of key that will unlock the room…. The dream of walking through a suite of rooms signifies a brothel or a harem. But, as H. Sachs has shown by an admirable example, it is also employed to represent marriage (contrast)…. Steep inclines, ladders, and stairs, and going up or down them, are symbolic representations of the sexual act.”

235

       “Smooth walls over which one climbs, facades of houses, across which one lets oneself down – often with a sense of great anxiety – correspond to erect human bodies, and probably repeat in our dreams childish memories of climbing up parents or nurses. ‘Smooth walls are men; in anxiety dreams one often holds firmly to ‘projections’ on houses. Tables, whether bare or covered, and boards, are women, perhaps by virtue of contrast, since they have no protruding contours. “Wood,’ generally speaking, seems, in accordance with its linguistic relations, to represent feminine matter (Materie)…. Since ‘bed and board’ (mensa et thorus) constitute marriage, in dreams the latter is often substituted for the former, and as far as practicable the sexual representation-complex is transposed to the eating-complex. – Of articles of dress, a woman’s hat may very often be interpreted with certainty as the male genitals. In the dreams of men one often finds the necktie as a symbol for the penis; this is not only because neckties hang down in front of the body, and are characteristic of men, but also because one can select them at pleasure, a freedom which nature prohibits as regards the original of the symbol. Persons who make use of this symbol in dreams are very extravagant in the matter of ties, and possess whole collections of them. [Note: “the drawing of a nineteen-year-old manic patient: a man with a snake as a neck-tie, which is turning toward a girl.”] All complicated machines and appliances are very probably the genitals – as a rule the male genitals – in the description of which the symbolism of dreams is as indefatigable as human wit. It is quite unmistakable that all weapons and tools are used as symbols for the male organ….”

236

       “Again, many of the landscapes seen in dreams, especially those that contain bridges or wooded mountains, may be readily recongnised as descriptions of the genitals…. To play with or to beat a little child is often the dream’s representation of masturbation. The dream-work represents castration by baldness, hair-cutting, the loss of teeth, and beheading. As an insurance against castration, the dream uses one of the common symbols of a penis in double or multiple form; and the appearance in a dream of a lizard – an animal whose tail, if pulled off, is regenerated by a new growth – has the same meaning. Most of those animals which are utilised as genital symbols in mythology and folklore play this part also in dreams: the fish, the snail, the cat, the mouse (on account of the hairiness of the genitals), but above all the snake, which is the most important symbol of the male member…. To be infected with vermin is often the equivalent for pregnancy. – As a very recent symbol of the male organ I may mention the airship, whose employment is justified by its relation to flying, and also, occasionally, by its form.”

238

       “The genitals may even be represented in dreams by other parts of the body: the male member by the hand or the foot, the female genital orifice by the mouth, the ear, or even the eye.”

245

        Two pears “are the breasts of the mother who nursed him; the window-sill is the projection of the bosom, analogous to the balconies in the dream of houses.”

247

       “… the table, with the flowers in the centre, is symbolic of herself and her genitals.”

248

       “The occasion of the present of flowers during the day is employed to express the thought of a sexual present and a return present. She gives her virginity and expects in return for it a rich love-life. But the words: ‘expensive flowers; one has to pay for them’ may have a real, financial meaning – The flower-symbolism in the dream thus comprises the virginal female, the male symbol, and the reference to violent defloration. It is to be noted that sexual flower-symbolism, which, of course, is very widespread, symbolises the human sexual organs by flowers, the sexual organs of plants, indeed, presents of flowers between lovers may perhaps have this unconscious significance.”

256

       Dreams of flying or hovering – sexual intercourse (in a female dreamer)

       - “Sensual significance” in a male dreamer (257).

261

       “There are dreams of landscapes and locations in which emphasis is always laid upon the assurance: ‘I have been here fore.’ But this ‘déja vu’ has a special significance in dreams. In this case the locality is always the genitals of the mother; of no other place can it be asserted with such certainty that one ‘has been here before.’

262

       “A large number of dreams, which are frequently full of anxiety, and often have for content the traversing of narrow spaces, or staying long in the water, are based upon fantasies concerning the intra-uterine life, the sojourn in the mother’s womb, and the act of birth.”

266

       “The robbers were always the father; the ghosts more probably corresponded to female persons in white nightgowns,”

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