Widely considered to be his most important contribution to psychology, Freud said of this work, "Insight such as this falls to one's lot but once in a lifetime." The publication of this work inaugurated the theory of Freudian dream analysis.
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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 aboutmore
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.more
I read this book for a literary criticism class -- rather than psychology -- so I actually enjoyed it. Freud may have been a nutter, but he had some interesting ideas. His dream interpretations are a just another fun way of looking at information. If you don't take this book too seriously, and remind yourself that there's never a single right answer, you'll find it falls under that "good to know" category, regardless of whether or not you ever use his techniques.more
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