The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud 9780701200671, 0701200677

Full collection of all 23 volumes in one file.

793 134 465MB

English Pages [7452] Year 1981

Report DMCA / Copyright


Table of contents :
Title Page
Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the Third Edition
Preface to the Fourth Edition
Preface to the Fifth Edition
Preface to the Sixth Edition
Preface to the Eighth Edition
Preface to the Third (Revised) English Edition
CHAPTER VI (continued)
ON DREAMS (1901)
THE PSYCHOPATHOLOGY OF EVERYDAY LIFE Forgetting, Slips of the Tongue, Bungled Actions, Superstitions and Errors (1901)
(A) Misreadings
(B) Slips of the Pen
(A) The Forgetting of Impressions and Knowledge
(B) The Forgetting of Intentions
ON PSYCHOTHERAPY (1905 [1904])
FAMILY ROMANCES (1909 [1908])
Title Page
POSTSCRIPT (1912 [1911])
PAPERS ON TECHNIQUE (1911-1915 [1914])
ON PSYCHO-ANAL YSIS (1913 [1911])
TOTEM AND TABOO Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics (1913 [1912-13])
ON TRANSIENCE (1916 [1915])
PREFACE [1917]
PART I PARAPRAXES (1916 [1915])
PART II DREAMS (1916 [1915-16])
THE 'UNCANNY' (1919)
MEDUSA'S HEAD (1940 [1922])
THE QUESTION OF LAY ANALYSIS Conversations with an Impartial Person (1926)
HUMOUR (1927)
Recommend Papers

The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud
 9780701200671, 0701200677

  • 0 0 0
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview


SIGMUND FREUD Translatedfrom the German under the General Editorship of JAMES S T R A CHEY

In Collaboration with ANNA F REUD


Editorial Assistant: ANGELA RICHARDS



Pre-Psycho-Analytic Publications and Unpublished Drafts













This Editionfirs' Published in ,&printed

I966 I960, I97I, I973, I975, I970 and I90I

ISBN 0 7012 0067 7

All rights reserved. No part of this publica­ tion may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any fonn, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photo­ c opying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of The Hogarth Press Ltd.




















GENERAL PREFACE REPORT ON MY STUDIES IN PARIS AND BERLIN (1956 [1886]) Editor's Note Report on my Studies in Paris and Berlin

3 5



Editor's Note Preface to the Translation of Charcot's Lectures on 1M Diseases of the Nervous System

OBSERVATION OF A SEVERE CASE OF HEMIANAESTHESIA IN A HYSTERICAL MALE (1886) TWO SHORT REVIEWS (1887) Review of Averbeck's Die akuu Neurasthenie Review of Weir Mitchell's Die Behandlung gewisser Formen "on Neurasthenie und Hysterie HYSTERIA (1888) Editor's Note Hysteria Appendix: Hystero-Epilepsy

19 21 23 35 36 39 41 58


(1888-1892) Editor's Introduction




CONTENTS Preface to the Translation of Bernheim's


Appendix: Preface to the Second German Edition REVIEW OF AUGUST FOREL'S HYPNOSIS

page 75 86

HrPNOTISM (1889)

89 103




DAr LECTURES (1892-94)



Editor's Note Preface to Charcot's Tuesday Lectures Extracts from Freud's Footnotes to his Translation of Charcot's Tuuday Lectures

131 133 137

SKETCHES FOR THE 'PRELIMINARY CO�MUNICATION' OF 1893 (1940--41 [1892]) (A) Letter to Josef Breuer (B) 'III' (C) On the Theory of Hysterical Attacks

147 149 151

SOME POINTS FOR A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF ORGANIC AND HYSTERICAL �OTOR PARA­ LYSES (1893 [1888--1893]) Editor's Note Some Points for a Comparative Study of Organic and Hysterical �otor Paralyses

157 160


(1950 [1892-1899]) Editor's Note


Draft A. (Undated. ? End of 1892) Draft B. The Aetiology of the Neuroses (February 8, 1893) Letter 14. (October 6, 1893) Draft D. On the Aetiology and Theory of the Major Neuroses (Undated. ? May 1894) Letter 18. (May 21, 1894) Draft E. How Anxiety Originates (Undated. ? June, 1894) Draft F. Collection III. (August 18 and 20, 1894)

177 179 184 186 188 189 195


2 1.


29, 1894)

Draft G. Melancholia. (Undated. ? January 7, 1895)

page 199 200 206 2 13

Draft H. Paranoia (January 24, 1895) Letter 22 (March 4, 1895) Draft I. Migraine: Established Points. (Undated. ? March,


Draft J. Frau P. J. (aged 27). (Undated. ? Early 1895) Note Draft K. The Neuroses of Defence (A Christmas Fairy Tale) (January I, 1896) Letter 46. (May 30, 1896) Letter 50. (November 2, 1896) Letter 52. (December 6, 1896) Letter 55. (January II, 1897) Letter 56. (January 17, 1897) Letter 57. (January 24, 1897) Letter 59. (April 6, 1897) Letter 60. (April 28, 1897) Letter 61. (May 2, 1897) Draft L. Notes I (May 2, 1897) Draft M. Notes II (May 25, 1897) Letter 64. (May 31, 1897) Draft N. Notes III (May 31, 1897) Letter 66. (July 7, 1897) Letter 67. (August 14, 1897) Letter 69. (September 21, 1897) Letter 70. (October 3 and 4, 1897) Letter 71. (October 15, 1897) Letter 72. (October 27, 1897) Letter 73. (October 31, 1897) Letter 75. (November 14, 1897) Letter 79. (December 22, 1897) Letter 84. (March 10, 1898) Letter 97. (September 27, 1898) Letter 101. (January 3 and 4, 1899) Letter 102. (January 16, 1899) Letter 105. (February 19, 1899) Letter 125. (December 9, 1899)

2 13 215 219 220 229 233 233 240 242 242 244 245 247 248 250 253 254 257 259 259 261 263 266 267 268 272 274 275 276 277 278 279

PROJECT FOR A SCIENTIFIC PSYCHOLOGY (1950 [1895]) Editor's Introduction Key to Abbreviations in the


283 294




GENERAL SCHEME Introduction POCI [1] First Principal Theorem: the Qpantitative Conception [2] Second Principal Theorem: the NeW'One Theory [3] The Contact-Barriers [4] The Biological Standpoint [5] The Problem of Qpantity [6] Pain [7] The Problem of Qpality [8] Consciousness [9] The Functioning of the Apparatus [1 0] The 'I' Paths of Conduction [II] The Experience of Satisfaction [1 2] The Experience of Pain [1 3] Affects and Wishful States [14] Introduction of the 'Ego' [15] Primary and Secondary Process in 'I' [16] Cognition and Reproductive Thought [17] Remembering and Judging [18] Thought and Reality [1 9] Primary Processes-Sleep and Dreams [20] The Analysis of Dreams [21] Dream Consciousness Appendix J\: Freud's Use of the Concept of Regression

[I] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

PART II PSYCHOPATIIOLOGY Psychopathology of Hysteria: Hysterical Compulsion The Genesis of Hysterical Compulsion Pathological Defence The Hysterical Proton Pseudos Determinants of the n¢iT0I' 'Fe6c5� VOT[eelX6v] Disturbance of Thought by Affe ct

295 295 297 298


305 306 307 31 1 31 2 315 31 7 320 321 322 324 327 330 332 335 338 341 344

347 350 351 352 356 357

[PART III] ATTEMPT TO REPRESENT NORMAL 'I' PROCESSES Appendix B: Extract from Freud's Letter 39 to Fliess of 388 . January 1, 1896 392 Appendix C: The Nature oC Q.









ILL USTRATIONS frontispiece Sigmund Freud in 1885 (aet. 29) Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Fliess in the early Nineties facing p. 175 The first page (written in pencil) of Freud's manu­ script of the Project II II 283 By pennisis on of Sigmund Freud Copyrigkts

We are most grateful to Dr. Sabina Strich, Senior Lecturer in Neuropathology, University of London, for reading the proofs of the present volume and providing invaluable help in translating the neurological material.

GENERAL PREFACE (1) THE SCOPE OF THE Standard Edition THE ground covered by this edition is shown by its title- The Complete Psychological Works ofSigmund Freud; but it is right that

I should begin by indicating its contents more explicitly. My aim has been to include in it the whole of Freud's published psychological writings-that is, both the psycho-analytic and the pre-psycho-analytic. It does not include Freud's numerous publications on the physical sciences during the first fifteen years or so of his productive activity.l I have been fairly liberal in drawing the line here, for I have found a place for two or three works produced· by Freud immediately after his return from Paris in 1886. These, dealing chiefly with hysteria, were written under the influence of Charcot, with scarcely a reference to mental processes; but they provide a real bridge between Freud's neurological and psychological writings. The Standard Edition does not include Freud's correspondence. This is of enormous extent and only relatively small selections from it have been published hitherto. Apart from 'Open Letters' and a few others printed with Freud's assent during his lifetime, my main exception to this general rule is in the case of his correspondence with Wilhelm Fliess during the early part of his career. This is of such vital importance to an understanding of Freud's views (and not only of his early ones) that much of it could not possibly be rejected. The first volume of the edition accordingly contains the Project of 1895 and the series of 'Drafts' sent by Freud to Fliess between 1892 and 1897, as well as such portions of the letters themselves as are of definite scientific interest. Nor, again, does the Standard Edition contain any reports or abstracts, published in contemporary periodicals, of the many lectures and papers given by Freud in early days at meetings of various medical societies in Vienna. The only exceptions here are the rare cases in which the report was made or revised by Freud himself. On the other hand, the whole contents of the Gesammelte Werke (the only approximately complete German edition) appear in 1 Freud's own abstractS of the majority of these (they numbered some twenty-five in all, of varying length and importance) will be found in Volume III of the Standard Edition, pp. 223-57.



the Standard Edition, besides a number ofworks which have either come to light since the completion of the Gesammelte Wer!e, or were, for various reasons, omitted by its editors. It has also seemed essential to include in Volume II Josef Breuer's share of the Studien aber Hysterie, which was left out of both the German collected editions.




The first problem for an editor faced by a total of some two million words was to decide how best to present them to his readers. Was the material to be arranged on a classificatory or a chronological basis? The first German collected edition (the Gesammelte Schriften, issued during Freud's life) attempted a division according to subject-matter; the more recent Gesammelte Werke aimed at being strictly chronological. Neither plan was satisfactory. Freud's writings would not fit comfortably into cate· gories, and strict chronology meant interrupting close sequences of his ideas. Here, therefore, a compromise was adopted. The arrangement is in the main chronological, but I have disregarded the rule in certain cases--where, for instance, Freud wrote an addendum many years after the original work (as with the Autobiographical Study in Volume XX) or where he himself grouped together a set of papers of various dates (as with the papers on technique in Volume XII). In general, however, each volume contains all the works belonging to a specified span of years. The contents of each volume (except of course where a single long work is concerned) are grouped in three classes: first I have placed the major work (or works) belonging to the period-which gives the volume its title; next come the more important writings on a smaller scale; and lastly come the really short (and usually relatively unimportant) productions. The chronology is so far as possible determined by the date of the actual composition of the work in question. Often, however, the only certain date is that of publication. Each item is consequently headed by the date of publication in round brackets, followed by the date of composition in square brackets, where this may reasonably be held to differ from the former. Thus the two last Cmetapsychological' papers in Volume XIV, though published in 1917, were almost certainly written at the same time as their three predecessors, in 1915. These last two are accordingly included in the same volume as the rest, and are headed '(1917 [1915])' Incidentally, each volume contains its own bibliography and index, though a complete bibliography and an index to the whole series are planned for Volume XXIV. •





T he translations in this edition are in general based on the last German editions published in Freud's lifetime. One of my main difficulties, however, has been the unsatisfactory nature of the German texts. The original publications, brought out under Freud's immediate supervision, are as a rule trustworthy; but, as time went on and responsibility was delegated to other hands, errors began to creep in. This even applies to the first collected edition, published in Vienna between the Wars and destroyed by the Nazis in 1938. The second collected edition, which was printed in England under the greatest difficulties during the Second War, is largely a photo-copy of its predeces­ sor, but naturally shows signs of the circumstances in which it was produced. This, howeve�, remains the only obtainable German edition of Freud's works with any claim to complete­ ness.I From 1908 onwards, Freud preserved his manuscripts; but in the case of works published in his lifetime I have not consulted them except in a few cases of doubt. Where writings have been published posthumously the position is different, and, in a few instances, especially in the case of the Project (as will be seen from the Editor's Introduction to that work), the translation has been made direct from a photostat of the manuscript. A serious defect in the German editions is the absence of any attempts at dealing with the very numerous changes in the text made by Freud in successive editions of some of his books. This applies in particular to The Interpretation of Dreams and the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, both of which were to a very considerable extent recast in their later editions. For a serious student of the development of Freud's ideas it is of great interest to have the stratification of his views laid bare.Here, accord­ ingly, I have endeavoured to note, for the first time, the dates at which the various alterations were made and to give the earlier versions in footnotes.



It will be gathered from what has just been said that from first to last I have framed this edition with the 'serious student' in mind. The result has inevitably been a large amount of com­ mentary, by which many readers will be irritated. Here I am inclined to quote Dr. Johnson:1 1 It is DOW (1966) sold by S. Fischer Verlag of Frankfurt, but is I From his Preface to Shakespeare. entirely unrevised.


'I t is impossible for an expositor not to write too little for some, and too much for others. He can only judge what is necessary by his own experience; and how long so-ever he may deliberate, will at last explain many lines which the learned will think impossible to be mistaken, and omit many for which the ignorant will want his help. These are censures merely relative, and must be quietly endured.' The commentaries in the Standard Edition are of various kinds. Firstly there are the purely textual notes to which I have re­ ferred just above. Next come elucidations of Freud's very numer­ ous historical and local allusions and literary quotations. Freud was a striking example of a man equally at home in both of what have been called the 'two cultures'. He was not only an expert neuro-anatomist and physiologist; he was also widely read in the Greek and Latin classics as well as in the literatures of his own language and in those of England, France, I taly and Spain.1 Most of his allusions may have been immediately intelligible to his contemporaries in Vienna, but are quite beyond the range of a modern English-speaking reader. Often, however, especi­ ally in The Interpretation ojDreams, these allusions play an actual part in the line of argument; their explanation could not be neglected, though it has called for considerable, and sometimes unsuccessful, research. Another class of annotations is constituted by the cross­ references. These should be of special value to a student. Freud has often dealt with the same topic several times, and perhaps in different ways, at various widely separated dates. Cross­ references between these occasions over the whole range of the edition should help to overcome the objection to the general chronological treatment of the material. II Lastly, and more rarely, there are notes explanatory of Freud's remarks. These, however, are usually only extended examples of the cross­ references; more elaborate discussions of Freud's meaning are usually reserved to yet another category of comment. For, quite apart from these running explanations in the foot­ notes, each separate work without exception is provided with an introductory note. This varies in length according to the importance of the work. It opens in every case with a biblio­ graphy of the German text and of all its English translations. 1 Many passages in his works give evidence ofrus interest in the visual arts; nor perhaps was his attitude to music quite so negative as he liked it to be believed. I Needless to say, these cross-references make no pretence at being exhaustive. They are only intended as occasional sign-posts to suggest to the student possible lines of further research.



(No notice is taken of translations into other languages; and no attempt has been made to give a complete list of reprints sub· sequent to Freud's death in 1939.) This is followed by an account of what is known of the date and circumstances of the composi. tion and publication of the work. After this comes some indica. tion of its topic and of its place in the main current of Freud's thought. It is here, of course, that differences will be found. In the case of a short work of slight interest, there will be only a sentence or two. In the case of a major work, there may be an introductory essay covering several pages. All these various kinds of editorial intervention have been governed by a single principle. I have aimed, consistently I hope, at allowing Freud to be his own expositor. Where there are obscurities I have looked for explanations in Freud's own writings; where there seem to be contradictions I have been content with laying the fact before the reader and enabling him to form a judgement of his own. I have done my best to escape being didactic, and have avoided any claim to ex cathedra authority. But, if I have withheld my own opinions, especially on matters of theory, it will be found that I have equally with· held all later commentaries and elaborations and criticisms from any source whatever. So that, almost without exception, this edition contains no references at all to other writers, however distinguished-apart, of course, from those quoted by Freud himself. (The immense proliferation of psycho-analytic litera­ ture since his death would in any case have imposed this de­ cision.) The student should thus be able to approach Freud's writings uninfluenced by extraneous opinions. It is in the matter of commentaries that I am most aware of the deficiencies of this edition, many of them irremediable. The numerous misprints and minor slips may be corrected, I hope, in Volume XXIV; but the faults I have in mind cannot so easily be put right. They spring in the main from the unripeness of the material. This is exemplified by what I have already mentioned-the absence of any really trustworthy German edition. But in fact, when work was starting on this edition more than fifteen years ago, the whole region was unexplored and unmapped. The publication of ErnestJones's life of Freud had not even begun; the correspondence with Fliess and the very existence of the Project were unsuspected by most people. It is true that I received assistance from many quarters,l especially from ErnestJones, who kept me abreast of his discoveries as he made them. Nevertheless, the Standard Edition is a piece of 1 This was not universally true. In 1954 I was refused free access to the Minutes of the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society •

.... 1-.



wit h all the inevitable errors and blunders that that involves. I myself became better educated in Freud's ideas as time went on, and it is likely that the later-published volumes give evidence of this.l Two handicaps in particular may be mentioned. It was of course impossible to realize the ideal situation of keeping the whole edition set up in print but open to correction till the last volume was finished. But it followed that a whole number of fundamental decisions had to be made before the first volume was published. These decisions included both questions of for­ mat and of the choice of technical terms, and, once made, they had in general to be adhered to throughout the edition. And some of them, of course, were likely to be regretted later.2 Another source of deficiency, which the charitable critic will bear in mind, is that the Standard Edition has been in many ways an amateur production. I t has been the work of a few individuals usually engaged in other occupations, and it has been without the background of any established academic machine ready to provide either personnel or accommodation.

pioneering work,

(5) THE TRANSLATIONS In considering a revised translation of Freud, the primary aim was bound to be the rendering of his meaning with the greatest possible accuracy. But another, and perhaps more difficult, problem could not be evaded: the problem of style. The literary merits of Freud's writing cannot possibly be dismissed. Thomas Mann, for instance, spoke of the 'purely artistic' qualities of Totem and Taboo-'in its structure and literary form a master­ piece related and allied to all the great examples of German essay-writing'.8 These merits could scarcely be expected to survive translation, but some effort had to be made in that direction. When the Standard Edition was first planned, it was considered that it would be an advantage if a single hand were responsible for shaping the whole text; and in fact a single hand has carried out the greater part of the work of translation, and even where a former version has been used as a basis it will be 1 It may be worth recording the actual order of their appearance. 1953: IV, V, VII. 1955: X, XVIII, XIII, II, XVII. 1957: xi, XIV. 1958: XII. 1959: IX, XX. 1960: VIII, VI. 196 1: XIX, XXI. 1962: III. 1963: XV, XVI. 1964: XXII, XXIII. 1966: I. 2 To mention a very trivial example, I think that if I were starting on the Standard Edition to-day I should probably suppress the tiresome hyphen in the word 'psycho-analysis'. • Thomas Mann, 1929, p. 3.


found that a large amount of remodelling has been imposed. This unfortunately has involved the discarding, in the interests of this preferred uniformity, of many earlier translations that were excellent in themselves. The imaginary model which I have always kept before me is of the writings of some English man of science of wide education born in the middle of the nineteenth century. And I should like, in an explanatory and no patriotic spirit, to emphasize the word 'English'. If! turn now to the primary question of the correct rendering of Freud's meaning, I must come into conflict with what I have just said. For wherever Freud becomes difficult or obscure it is necessary to move closer to a literal translation at the cost of any stylistic elegance. For the same reason, too, it is necessary to swallow whole into the translation quite a number of technical terms, stereotyped phrases and neologisms which cannot with the best will in the world be regarded as 'English'. There is also the special difficulty, which arises, for instance, in The Interpre­ tation ofDreams, The Psychopathology ofEveryday Life, and the book onjokes, of the appearance of material involving untranslatable verbal points. Here the easy alternatives are denied us of making a cut or of substituting some equivalent English material. We must fall back on square brackets and footnotes, for we are bound by the fundamental rule: Freud, the whole of Freud, and nothing but Freud. N; regards technical vocabulary, I have in general adopted the tenns suggested in A New German-English Psycho-Analytical Vocabulary by Alix Strachey (1943), which was itself based on the suggestions of a 'Glossary Committee' set up by ErnestJones twenty years earlier. In only a few instances have I departed from these authorities. Some individual words which raise con­ troversial points are discussed in a separate note below (p. xxiii). I have tried so far as possible to keep to the general rule of invariably translating a Gennan technical tenn by the same English one. Thus, 'Unlust' is always translated 'unpleasure' and 'Schmerz' is always translated 'pain'. It should be noticed, how­ ever, that this rule is liable to lead to misunderstandings. For instance, the fact that 'psychisch' is usually translated 'psychical' and 'seelisch' 'mental' may lead to the notion that these words have different meanings, whereas I believe they are synonymous. The rule of uniform translation has, however, been carried further and extended to phrases and indeed to whole passages. When, as so often happens, Freud puts forward the same argu­ ment or tells the same anecdote on more than one occasion (sometimes at long intervals) I have tried to follow him, and to use, if he does, identical words, or, if he varies them, to do the


same. Some not uninteresting points are in this way preserved translation. I ought to say explicitly here that all additions to the text, however small, and all additional footnotes are indicated by square brackets.

in the

(6) ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Recognition must be paid, before anything else, to the ex­ ceedingly generous support to the scheme in its primordial stages by the members of the American Psychoanalytic Associa­ tion (of which I am now proud to count myself an honorary member), on the initiative, in particular, of Dr. John Murray of Boston, with the support of Dr. W. C. Menninger, at that time President of the Association. Every previous attempt to raise the necessary capital had failed, and the whole project would have been abandoned without the magnificent gesture from America in subscribing in advance for some five hundred sets of the proposed edition. The sum was subscribed as an act of pure and indeed unreasonable faith, at a time when no con­ crete evidence existed of any such thing as the Standard Edition, and the patient subscribers were obliged to wait for as much as four or five years before the first volumes were delivered to them. From that time onward, American support has been un­ swerving and has reached me from many quarters. I have enjoyed constant consultations throughout the years with Dr. K. R. Eissler, who has put all the resources of the Sigmund Freud Archives at my disposal, besides giving me the friendliest personal reinforcement. Through him, too, I have had 'the benefit of access to the valuable material in the Library of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. I have, of course, been constantly indebted to Dr. Alexander Grinstein and his Index of Psychoanalytic Writings. Before leaving the help I have had from America, I must mention two men, from widely separated re­ gions, each of whom gave their support long ago to the dream of a complete Freud in English, but neither of whom lived to see its fulfilment: Otto Fenichel and Ernst Kris. If I come now nearer home, my principal support has of course been from the Institute of Psycho-Analysis and in par­ ticular from its Publications Committee which, under changing names, has backed me through thick and thin from the earliest times, and in spite of what must often have seemed the most exorbitant financial demands. I t seems a distortion to mention individual names, but I must recall once more my voluminous and instructive correspondence with ErnestJones. I have special


grounds for gratitude to Dr. Sylvia Payne who was for a long time Chairman of the Publications Committee. Turning to the actual germination of the Standard Edition, it goes without saying that my first acknowledgements must be to the collaborator and assistants whose names will be found on the title page of each volume: Miss Anna Freud, my wife and Dr. Alan Tyson. Miss Freud, in particular, has been ungrudg­ ing in devoting her precious leisure hours to reading through the whole of the translation and providing invaluable criticisms. The name of Miss Angela Richards (now Mrs. Angela Harris) also appears on the title page of the present volume. In recent years she has, indeed, been my principal assistant and has taken charge of much of the editorial side of my work. My gratitude is also due to Mrs. Ralph Partridge, who has prepared most of the indexes to the individual volumes, and to Mrs. Ambrose Price and Mrs. D. H. O'Brien, who between them typed out the whole of the material in the edition. The difficulties in the preliminary preparations for the edition were exacerbated by the complications arising from Freud's completely unbusinesslike handling of the copyrights in his translations. These troubles, particularly in regard to the American copyrights, were only solved by the energetic inter­ vention of Mr. Ernst Freud over a period of several months. The English side of this question was handled by the Hogarth Press and especially by Mr. Leonard Woolf. Mr. Woolf, who has been publishing the English translations of Freud for some forty years, himself took an active share in the evolution of this edition. I feel that my special, and somewhat guilty, thanks are due to the publishers and to the printers for their tolerance in meeting my requirements. I t is right for me to add that, though I have received and profited immeasurably from the advice of many helpers, yet the final decision upon every point whether of the translation or the commentary was bound ultimately to rest with me, and it is therefore upon me that the sole responsibility must rest for the errors which time will no doubt bring to light in plenty. Finally, perhaps I may be allowed a more personal acknow­ ledgement-of my debt to the companion who has shared my task as a translator for so long. It is nearly half a century now since we spent two years together in Vienna in analysis with Freud, and since, after only a few weeks of our analysis, he suddenly instructed us to make a translation of a paper he had recently written-' "Ein Kind wird geschlagen" '-a trans­ lation now imbedded here in Volume XVII. In the present


enterprise she has given me constant help by her impartiality both in approval and criticism, and she alone carried me through some periods of physical difficulty when it seemed absurd to imagine that the Standard Edition could ever be brought to completion. JAMES STRACHRY MARLOW, 1966


Abwehr. I have accepted the established translation 'defence', though this gives a more passive impression than the Ger­ man. The true sense is given better by 'to fend off ', which I have used for the cognate verbal form 'abwehren'. 4ffekt, Empfindung, Gefuhl. These three words have different meanings when they are used strictly: 'affect' (not an every­ day English word), 'sensation', and 'feeling' (or 'emotion'). The trouble here is that all these words in both languages cover very uncertain ground, and that the meanings of the Gennan and English words do not coincide but overlap. In particular, the Gennan 'Empfindung' can represent both 'sensation' and 'feeling' in English. Enquirers may be re­ ferred to the two main passages where these difficulties arise: in Section III of the metapsychological paper on 'The Unconscious', Standard Ed., 14, 177-8 (G.W., 10, 275-7), and in Lecture XXV of the Introductory Lectures, Standard Ed., 16, 395 (G.W., 11, 410). In these passages, and especially in the second one, it seems necessary to translate 'Empfindung' by 'feeling'. (Similarly at the begin­ ning of Chapter VIII of Inhibitions, Symptoms and AnxieV', Standard Ed., 20, 132, G.W., 14, 162.) But, if so, 'Gefiihl', in these same passages, cannot be translated 'feeling'. I have therefore rendered it by 'emotion' instead. That Freud himself had flexible views on the use of these words is shown, among other things, by the fact that in his early French paper on 'Obsessions and Phobias' he regularly uses 'Itat Imotif' as equivalent to the Gennan 'Affekt' (e.g. G. W., 1, 346). Angst. 'Anxiety' is the conventional translation of the tenn. This is discussed in a special Editor's Appendix to Freud's first paper on anxiety neurosis in Standard Ed., 3, 116. Anlehnungsrypus. 'Anaclitic (or attachment) type' (of object­ choice). This tenn is discussed in an Editor's footnote to the paper on narcissism, Standard Ed., 14, 87n. Besetzung. 'Cathexis.' The origin of this tenn is explained in a footnote to the Editor's Appendix to the first paper on the neuro-psychoses of defence, Standard Ed., 3, 63 n. lnstanz. 'Agency.' The Gennan tenn seems to have made its first appearance in Chapter IV of The Interpretation of xxiii



Dreams, G.W., 2-3. 149 (Standard Ed., 4. 144). There, and in many other places in the same work, 'Instanz' is equated with 'System'. It seems probable that Freud derived the metaphor from legal terminology, where it refers to the power or jurisdiction of a court or, more loosely, to the court itself. Actually (as is shown by the Oxford Dic­ tionary) a similar usage of the word 'instance' exists in English. It has become almost obsolete, however, except in the one phrase 'a court of first instance'. The English word has, on the other hand, a multiplicity of common modem usages, and as a translation of'Instanz' could lead to noth­ ing but confusion. Hence I have introduced the indeter­ minate word 'agency', which seems to cover the essence of the German concept. Phantasie. 'Phantasy.' The spelling of this word causes a good deal of annoyance. The 'ph' form is adopted here on the basis of a discussion in the large Oxford Dictionary (under 'Fantasy'), which concludes: 'In modern use fantasy and phantasy, in spite of their identity in sound and in ultimate etymology, tend to be apprehended as separate words, the predominant sense of the former being "caprice, whim, fanciful invention", while that of the latter is "imagina­ tion, visionary notion".' Accordingly, the 'ph' form is used here for the technical psychological phenomenon. But the of ' form is also used on appropriate occasions (see, for instance, Standard Ed., 17, 227 and 2 30) Psyche-psychisch; Seele (or Seelenleben)-seelisch. 'Psyche', 'psychi­ cal'; 'mind', 'mental'. Though I have as a rule used the English equivalent forms, I believe that Freud uses the two alternatives as precise synonyms. This is shown in many places. For instance, in Chapter VII (B) of The Interpretation of Dreams, though 'psychischer Apparat' is more common, 'seelischer Apparat' occurs more than once (G.W., 2-3, 541-3; Standard Ed., 5, 536-8). So, too, in the first of the Introductory Lectures (G.W., 1 1. 14-15; Standard Ed., 16. 21-2) 'psychisch' and 'seelisch' are constantly used inter­ changeably. And, indeed, at the beginning of his con­ tribution to Die Gesundheit (G.W., 5. 290; Standard Ed., 7, 283) he explicitly asserted the synonymous character of the two terms. Trieb. 'Instinct.' My choice of this rendering has been attacked in some quarters with considerable, but, I think, mistaken severity. The term almost invariably proposed by critics as an alternative is 'drive'. There are several objections to this. First, I should like to remark that 'drive', used in this .



sense, is not an English word and, as I have explained in my preface, this translation aims at being a translation into English. This use of the word 'drive' is not to be found in the large Oxford dictionary, or in its first supplement of 1933 (though this was sufficiently up to date to include 'cathexis'). And it wi.ll English text-books of psychology. The critics obviously choose it because of its superficial resemblance to the Ger­ man 'Trieb', and I suspect that the majority of them are in fact influenced by a native or early familiarity with the German language. It would, however, be absurd to reject the word on that account, if its introduction promised to result in substantial gains. There seems little doubt that, from the standpoint of modem biology, Freud used the word 'T rieb' to cover a variety of different concepts. The number of terms now employed in this connection to de­ note an equally numerous assembly of distinct but related notions is clearly shown in a contribution of some twenty­ five pages by R. A. Hinde on 'Some Recent Trends in Ethology' in Volume II of Koch's Psychology: a Study of a Science (New York, 1959). In the course of his elaborate analysis he shows that the word 'drive' itself is 'used in at least three ways' (p. 585). It requires, I think, a very brave man seriously to argue that rendering Freud's 'Trieb' by 'drive' clears up the situation. I t is not the business of a translator to attempt to classify and distinguish between Freud's different uses of the word. This job can safely be left to the reader, provided only that the same English word is invariably used for the German original. (Inciden­ ally, Freud himself explains pretty clearly what he means by it in one at least of its senses at the beginning of his metapsychological paper on 'Triebe und Triebschicksale', C.W., 10, 211 ff. and Standard Ed., 14, 118 ff.) The only rational thing to do in such a case seems to me to be to choose an obviously vague and indeterminate word and stick to it. Hence my choice of 'instinct'. The only slight complication is that in some half-dozen instances Freud himself uses the German '[nstinkt', always, perhaps, in the sense of instinct in animals.l In every such case, however, attention has been drawn to this fact in a footnote. Another consideration, comparatively unimportant except to a translator, is the impossibility of finding an adjectival form 1 Though in one of these instances at least, in a letter to Fliess (No. 7 1, of October 15, 1897, p. 266 below), he uses 'Instinlct' as an apparently complete synonym for 'Trieb' in a human being.



for 'drive'. How do the critics propose to translate ' Trieb­

regu ng '? I have seen it given as 'instinctual drive', which is

a mistranslation as well as a surrender. 'Drive impulse'? confess to preferring my own 'instinctual impulse'. Unbewusst. 'Unconscious.' Some discussion of the translation of this term appears in a footnote to the Editor's Note to 'The Unconscious', Standard Ed., 14, 165 n. Unlust. 'Unpleasure.' Here the critics come from this side of the ocean and it is they who declare that this is not an English word. Earlier editors gave way to these cries and, in the Collected Papers, for instance, translated 'Schmer� by 'pain' , and 'Unlust' by ' "pain" (in inverted commas). The reductio ad absurdum of this subterfuge was the passage in 'Mourning and Melancholia' (G. W., 10, 430; Standard Ed., 14, 245) where we find 'Schmerzunlust', which would have to be translated 'pain-"pain" '. Fortunately the Oxford Dic­ tionary comes to our help once more, this time in the opposite direction. For it tells us that 'unpleasure' was used by the poet Coleridge in 1814-a revelation by which, no doubt, everyone will be satisfied. I have invariably trans­ lated 'Unlust' by 'unpleasure', 'Schmerz' by 'pain' and 'peinlich' by 'distressing'. I


(1956 [1886])


(a) GERMAN EDmON: (1886 Date of composition.) 1960 In J. and R. Gicklhorn's Sigmund Freuds akademiscM Lauflahn im Lichte der Dokumente, 82, Vienna. (b) ENGLISH TRANSLATION:


'Report on my Studies in Paris and Berlin' Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 37 (1), 2-7. (Tr. James Strachey.)

The present translation is a slightly corrected reprint of the one published in 1956. The Report with which the Standard Edition of Freud's Psycho­ logical Works appropriately opens is a contemporary account by its protagonist of a historic event: the diversion of Freud's scientific interests from neurology to psychology. The circumstances in which Freud obtained a travelling bur­ sary from Vienna University in 1885 are related in detail by ErnestJones (1953, 82-4). The grant, which was for 600 florins (worth at that time something under £50 or $250) and intended to cover a period of six months, was allotted by the College of Professors in the Faculty of Medicine; and to them he was ex­ pected to make a formal report on his return to Vienna. He spent about ten days in writing it almost immediately after his arrival back, and had finished it on April 22, 1886. Oones, ibid., 252.) On the initiative of Siegfried Bernfeld, this report was un­ earthed in the University Archives by Professor Josef Gickl­ horn, and it became possible to publish it-in English first­ seventy years after it was written, through the kindness of Dr. K. R. Eissler, Secretary of the Sigmund Freud Archives in New York. The original, which remains in the Archives of the Uni­ versity of Vienna, consists of twelve manuscript sheets, of which the first contains only the title. The high importance which Freud himself always attributed to his studies under Charcot is a matter of common knowledge. 3


This report marks his experience at the Salpetriere with the utmost clarity as a turning point. When he arrived in Paris, his 'chosen concern' was with the anatomy of the nervous system; when he left, his mind was filled with the problems of hysteria and hypnotism. He had turned his back on neurology and was moving towards psychopathology. It would even be possible to assign a precise date to the change-in early December, 1885, when he ceased his work in the pathological laboratory of the Salpetriere; but the inconvenient arrangements at that labora­ tory, which he himself puts forward as the explanation, were, of course, no more than a precipitating cause of the momentous shift in the direction of Freud's interests. Other and deeper factors were at work, and among them, no doubt, the great personal influence which Charcot evidently exercised on him. He expressed his sense of that influence most fully in the obituary which he wrote on his teacher's death a few years later (1893J).1 Much, indeed, of what he says of Charcot in his present report found a place in his later study. A more personal account of Freud's stay in Paris will be found in the series of lively letters written by him to his future wife, many of which are included in the volume of his corre­ spondence edited by Ernst Freud (1960a). 1 Though perhaps the most emotional expression of his feelings is to be found in his preface to the translation of the Tuesday Lectures





To the Most Honourable College of Professors in the Faculty of Medicine in Vienna. In my application for the award of the Travelling Bursary from the University Jubilee Fund for the year 1885-6, I ex­ pressed my intention of proceeding to the Hospice de la Sal­ petriere in Paris and of there continuing my studies in neuro­ pathology. Several factors had contributed to this choice. In the first place, there was the certainty of finding collected together in the Salpetriere a large assemblage of clinical material such as exists in Vienna only dispersed in various departments and therefore not easily accessible. Then there was the great name of J.-M. Charcot,l who has now been working and teaching in his hospital for seventeen years. And lastly, I was bound to re­ flect that I could not expect to learn anything essentially new in a German University after having enjoyed direct and indirect instruction in Vienna from Professors T. Meynert and H. Nothnagel. 2 The French s�hool of neuropathology,8 on the other hand, seemed to me to promise something unfamiliar and char­ acteristic in its mode of working, and moreover to have embarked on new fields of neuropathology, which have not been similarly approached by scientific workers in Germany and Austria. In consequence of the scarcity of any lively per­ sonal contact between French and German physicians, the 1

[Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-93).] [Theodor Meynert ( 1833-92) was Professor of Psychiatry in Vienna and Hermann Nothnagel (1841-1905) Professor of Medicine.] a [This term covered a wider field in French and German usage than the equivalent English one.] I




findings of the French school-some of them (upon hypnotism) highly surprising and some of them (upon hysteria) of practical importance-had been met in our countries with more doubt than recognition and belief; and the French workers, and above all Charcot, were obliged to submit to the charge of lacking in critical faculty or at least of being inclined to study rare and strange material and to dramatize their working-up of that material. Accordingly, when the honourable College of Pro­ fessors distinguished .me by the award of the Travelling Bur­ sary, I gladly seized the opportunity which was thus offered of forming a judgement upon these facts based on my own ex­ perience, and I was happy, at the same time, to be in a position to realize the suggestion that had been made to me by my revered teacher, Professor von Brticke.1 While I was on a visit to Hamburg during the vacation, I was very kindly received by Dr. Eisenlohr, well known as the representative of neuropathology in that city. 2 He enabled me to examine a considerable number of nerve patients in the General Hospital and the Heine Hospital8 and also gave me access to the Mental Hospital of Klein-Friedrichsberg. But the studies with which I am concerned in the present Report began only with my arrival in Paris in the first half of October, at the commencement of the academic year. The Salpetriere, which was the first place I visited, is an extensive set of buildings which, with its two-storey houses standing in quadrangles, as well as its courtyards and gardens, vividly recalls the General Hospital in Vienna. It has been put to many different uses during the course of years and its name (like that of our own 'Gewehrfabrik') points to the first of these.' The buildings were finally converted into a home for aged 1 [Ernst Wilhelm von Briicke (1819-92) was Professor of Physiology, and Director of the Institute of Physiology, Vienna, in which Freud had worked from 1876 to 1882.] I [Freud spent six weeks during the autumn of 1885 at Wandsbek ( just outside Hamburg), the home of his fiancee, Martha Bernays.­ Dr. C. Eisenlohr ( 1847-96) was director of the Hamburg General Hospital. Freud speaks of him in his book on Aphasia (1891b, 50) as 'one of the soundest Gennan neurologists'.] • [TheJewish hospital.] • ['Salpetrnre' means a factory or store-home for saltpetre. It was built as an arsenal in the reign of Louis XIII in the early part of the seventeenth century. Similarly 'Cewehrfabrik' means an ordnance factory. This had been the original use of the building which housed Briicke's Institute of Physiology in Vienna.]



women ('Hospice pour la vieillesse (femmes)' [1813]) and pro­ vide a refuge for five thousand persons. It followed from the nature of the conditions that chronic nervous diseases were bound to figure in this clinical material with particular fre­ quency; and former 'mldecins des hOpitaux'l at the institution (Briquet,S for instance) had started on a scientific review of the patients. But the work could not be systematically pursued, on account of the custom among French mldecins des h6pitaux of fre­ quently changing the hospital in which they work and at the same time the special branch of medicine which they are study­ ing, until their career carries them to the great clinical hospital of the Hotel-Dieu. But J.-M. Charcot, when he was an 'interne' at the Salpetriere in 1856, perceived the necessity of making chronic nervous diseases the subject of constant and exclusive study, and he determined to return to the Salpetriere as a mldecin des hOpitaux and never thereafter to leave it. Charcot declares in his modesty that his only merit lies in his having carried out this plan. He was led by the favourable character of his material to the study of the chronic nervous diseases and their pathological anatomical basis; and for some twelve years he delivered clinical lectures as a voluntary worker without holding any official post,S till at last, in 1881, a Chair ofNeuro­ pa,thology was instituted at the Salpetriere and assigned to


This appointment involved far-reaching changes in the con­ ditions under which Charcot and his pupils (who had mean­ while become numerous) were working. An essential comple­ ment was added to the permanent material present in the Sal­ petriere by opening a clinical section in which male as well as female patients were admitted for treatment and which was recruited from weekly consultations in an out-patient depart­ ment ('consultation externe'). Further, there were placed at the disposal of the Professor of Neuropathology a laboratory for anatomical and physiological studies, a pathological museum, a studio for photography and the preparation of plaster casts, an ophthalmological room, and an electrical and hydropathic institute. These were situated in various portions of the great hospital and made it possible for the Director to secure the 1 [' Mldecin des Mpitaux' corresponds roughly to a senior physician, and interne to a junior or house-physician.] I [Paul Briquet ( 1 796-1881), author of a monumental treatise on hysteria.] I [During this time he held the Chair of Pathological Anatomy at the College de France, but worked at the Sa1petriere on a voluntary basis.] •••• r-a



permanent co-operation of some of his pupils, who were put in charge of these departments.1 The man who is at the head of all these resources and auxiliary services is now sixty years of age. He exhibits the live­ liness, cheerfulness, and formal perfection of speech which we are in the habit of attributing to the French national character; while at the same time he displays the patience and love of work which we usually claim for our own nation. The attrac­ tion of such a personality soon led me to restrict my visits to one single hospital and to seek instruction from one single man. I abandoned my occasional attempts at attending other lectures after I had become convinced that all they had to offer were for the most part well-constructed rhetorical performances. The only exceptions were Professor Brouardel's forensic autopsies and lectures at the Morgue, which I rarely missed. 2 My work in the Salpetriere itself took on a different shape from what I had originally laid down for myself. I had arrived with the intention of making one single question the subject of a thorough investigation; and since in Vienna my chosen con­ cern had been with anatomical problems, I had selected the study of the secondary atrophies and degenerations that follow on affections of the brain in children. Some extremely valuable pathological material was put at my disposal; but I found that the conditions for making use of it were most unfavourable. The laboratory was not at all adapted to the reception of an extraneous worker, and such space and resources as existed were made inaccessible owing to lack of any kind of organiza­ tion. I thus found myself obliged to give up anatomical workS and rest content with a discovery concerned with the relations of the nuclei of the posterior column in the medulla oblongata. Later, however, I had an opportunity of resuming some similar investigations with Dr. von Darkschewitsch (of Moscow); and our collaboration led to a publication in the NeuTologisches Gen1 [The history of these changes and the extent of the reorganization of the Salpetriere were described in detail by Charcot himself in the first of the lectures translated by Freud in 1886 (see footnote.p. 21 below). Freud's account is largely based on this.] I [Po C. H. Brouardel ( 1 837-1906) was a name famous in medical jurisprudence. Freud wrote appreciatively of him in a preface which he contributed nearly thirty years later (191 3k) to a German translation of Bourke's Scatalogic Rites of all Nations. He quoted there one of Brouardel's sayings which had struck him: 'Les genoux sales sont Ie signe d'une fille honnete.' ('Dirty knees are the sign of a respectable girI.')] • [This was at the beginning of December, 1 885 (Jones. 1 953.23 1 )] .



tralblatt (1886, 5, 212), bearing the title 'Dber die Beziehung des Strickkorpers zum Hinterstrang und Hinterstrangskern nebst Bemerkungen fiber zwei Felder der Oblongata".1 In contrast to the inadequacy of the laboratory, the clinic at the Salpetriere provided such a plethora of new and interesting material that it needed all my efforts to profit by the instruction which this favourable opportunity afforded. The weekly time­ table was divided as follows. On Mondays Charcot delivered his public lecture, which delighted its hearers by the perfection of its form, while its subject-matter was familiar from the work of the preceding week. What these lectures offered was not so much elementary instruction in neuropathology as information, rather, on the Professor's latest researches; and they produced their effect primarily by their constant references to the patients who were being demonstrated. On Tuesdays Charcot held his 'consultation externe', at which his assistants brought before him for examination the typical or puzzling cases among the very large number attending the out-patient department. It was sometimes discouraging when the great man allowed some of these cases, to use his own expression, to sink back 'into the chaos of a still unrevealed nosography'; but others gave him the opportunity of using them as a peg for the most instructive remarks on the greatest variety of topics in neuropathology. s Wednesdays were partly devoted to ophthalmological examina­ tions, which Dr. Parinaud3 carried out in Charcot's presence. On the remaining days of the week Charcot made his rounds of the wards, or continued whatever researches he was engaged in at the time, examining patients for this purpose in his consulting-room. In this way I had an opportunity of seeing a long series of patients, of examining them myself and of hearing Charcot's opinion on them. But what seems to me to have been of greater value than this positive gain in experience was the stimulus which I received during the five months I spent in Paris from 1 ['On the relation of the restiform body to the posterior colunm and its nucleus, with some remarks on two fields of the medulla oblongata.' (Freud, 1886b.) The paper is dated 'Paris, January 23, 1886'. For its contents and some remarks on L. O. von Darkschewitsch (1858-1925), see Jones, 1 953, 205 and 225-6, and Freud's own abstract of the paper (1897b), Staru/Q.rd Ed., 3, 237.] . senes I [These discussions formed the material of Charcot's famous of volumes, Lefons du Mardi ( Tuesday Lessons), one ofwh!ch (for the year 1887-8) was later translated into German by Freud himself under the title Polilclinische Vortrage (Out-patient Lectures), Vienna, 1892-4.] • [Henri Parinaud (1844- 1905), a well-known eye-specialist.]



my constant scientific and personal contact with Professor Charcot. As regards scientific contact I was scarcely given preference over any other foreigner. For the clinic was accessible to any physician who presented himself; and the Professor's work pro­ ceeded openly, surrounded by all the young men acting as his assistants as well as by the foreign physicians. He seemed, as it were, to be working with us, to be thinking aloud and to be ex­ pecting to have objections raised by his pupils. Anyone who ventured might put in a word in the discussion and no comment was left unnoticed by the great man. The informality of the prevailing terms of intercourse, and the way in which everyone was treated on a polite footing of equality-which came as a surprise to foreign visitors-made it easy even for the most timid to take the liveliest share in Charcot's examinations. One could see how, to begin with, he would stand undecided in the face of some new manifestation which was hard to interpret, one could follow the paths along which he endeavoured to arrive at an understanding of it, one could study the way in which he took stock of difficulties and overcame them, and one could observe with surprise that he never grew tired of looking at the same phenomenon, till his repeated and unbiased efforts allowed him to reach·a correct view of its meaning.1 When, in addition to all this, the complete sincerity is borne in mind which the Profes­ sor displayed during these sessions, it will be understood how it is that the writer of this report, like every other foreigner in a similar position, left the Salpetriere as Charcot's unqualified admirer. Charcot used to say that, broadly speaking, the work of anatomy was finished and that the theory of the organic diseases of the nervous system might be said to be complete: what had next to be dealt with was the neuroses. This pronouncement may, no doubt, be regarded as no more than an expression of the tum which his own activities have taken. For many years now his work has been centred almost entirely on the neuroses, and above all on hysteria, which, since the opening of the out­ patient department and of the clinic, he has had an opportunity of studying in men as well as women. I will venture to sum up in a few words what Charcot has achieved in the clinical study of hysteria. Up to now, hysteria can scarcely be regarded as a name with any well-defined mean­ ing. The state of illness to which it is applied is only character1 (This was based on Charcot's own words, often quoted by Freud See the obituary (1893f), Standard Ed., 3, 12 n. 1.]



ized scientifically by negative signs; it has been studied little and unwillingly; and it labours under the odium of some very wide­ spread prejudices. Among these are the supposed dependence of hysterical illness upon genital irritation, the view that no definite symptomatology can be assigned to hysteria simply because any combination of symptoms can occur in it, and finally the exaggerated importance that has been attributed to simula­ tion in the clinical picture of hysteria. During the last few decades a hysterical woman would have been almost as certain to be treated as 'a malingerer, as in earlier centuries she would have been certain to be judged and condemned as a witch or as possessed of the devil. In another respect there has, if anything, been a step backward in the knowledge of hysteria. The Middle Ages had a precise acquaintance with the 'stigmata' of hysteria,l its somatic signs, and interpreted and made use of them in their own fashion. In the out-patient department in Berlin, however, I found that these somatic signs of hysteria were as good as unknown and that in general, when a diagnosis of 'hysteria' had been made, all inclination to take any further notice of the patient seemed to be suppressed. In his study of hysteria Charcot started out from the most fully developed cases, which he regarded as the perfect types of the disease. 2 He began by reducing the connection of the neuro­ sis with the genital system to its correct proportions by demon­ strating the unsuspected frequency of cases of male hysteria and especially of traumatic hysteria. In these typical cases he next found a number of somatic signs (such as the character of the attack, anaesthesia, disturbances of vision, hysterogenic points etc.), which enabled him to establish the diagnosis of hysteria with certainty on the basis of positive indications. By making a scientific study of hypnotism-a region of neuropathology which had to be wrung on the one side from scepticism and on the other from fraud-he himself arrived at a kind of theory of hysterical symptomatology. These symptoms he had the courage to recognize as for the most part real, without neglecting the caution demanded by the patients' disingenuousness. Rapidly increasing experience with the most excellent material soon enabled him to take into account as well the deviations from the typical picture. At the time when I was obliged to leave the clinic, he was passing on from the study of hysterical paralyses

[ef. 'The Aetiology of Hysteria' (1896c) , StaruJo.rd Ed., 3, 192 n. 2.] [Charcot's use of the 'type' as a starting-point for forming a clinical picture of an illness was explained at some length by Freud in his preface to the Lefons du Mardi (see below, p. 1 34) and, more shortly, in his Charcot obituary (1893!), Standard Ed., 3, 12.] 1 I



and arthralgias to that of hysterical atrophies, of whose existence he was able to convince himself only during the last few days of my visit. The enormous practical importance of male hysteria (which is usually unrecognized) and particularly of the hysteria which follows upon trauma was illustrated by him from the case of a patient who for nearly three months formed the centre-point of all Charcot's studies. Thus, by his efforts, hysteria was lifted out of the chaos of the neuroses, was differentiated from other con­ ditions with a similar appearance, and was provided with a symptomatology which, though sufficiently multifarious, never­ theless makes it impossible any longer to doubt the rule of law and order. I had a lively interchange of opinions with Professor Charcot (both by word of mouth and in writing) on the points of view arising from his investigations. This led to my preparing a paper which is to appear in the Archives de Neurologie and is entitled 'Vergleichung der hysterischen mit der organischen Symptomatologie' .1 I must remark here that the proposal to regard neuroses arising from trauma ('railway spine' 2) as hysteria has met with lively opposition from German authorities, especially from Dr. Thomsen and Dr. Oppenheim, assistant physicians at the Charite3 in Berlin. I made the acquaintance of both these gentlemen later in Berlin and hoped to seize the opportunity of ascertaining whether this opposition was justified. But unluckily the patients concerned were no longer at the Charite. I formed the opinion, however, that the question is not ripe for decision, but that Charcot had rightly begun by considering the typical and simpler cases, whereas his German opponents had started on the study of the indeterminate and more complicated ex­ amples. The assertion that such severe forms of hysteria as those 1 ['A Comparison between Hysterical and Organic Symptomato­ logy.' The paper was only published seven years later and with a different title: 'Quelques considerations pour une etude comparative des paralysies motrices organiques et hysteriques' ('Some Points for a Comparative Study of Organic and Hysterical Motor Paralyses') ( 1893c). It appeared in French in the Archives de Neurologie in July I 893, just before Charcot's death. For a full account of the circumstances see pp. 157-9 below.] • [In English in the original. The term (and similarly 'railway brain') had been introduced by Sir John Erichsen (1818-1896).] a [The great teaching hospital attached to the University of Berlin. Robert Thomsen (1858-1914) and Hermann Oppenheim (1858-1919) were assistants of Westphal, Professor of Nervous and Mental Diseases. Oppenheim, later Professor of Neurology in Berlin, became one of the most vehement opponents of psycho-analysis.]



on which Charcot based his work did not occur in Gennany was disputed in Paris; attention was drawn to the historical accounts of similar epidemics, and the identity of hysteria at every time and place was insisted upon. Nor did I neglect the opportunity of acquiring a personal acquaintance with the phenomena of hypnotism, which are so astonishing and to which so little credence is attached, and in particular with the 'grand hypnotisme' ['major hypnotism'] des­ cribed by Charcot. I found to my astonishment that here were occurrences plain before one's eyes, which it was quite impos­ sible to doubt, but which were nevertheless strange enough not to be believed unless they were experienced at first hand. I saw no sign, however, that Charcot showed any special preference for rare and strange material or that he tried to exploit it for mysti­ cal purposes. On the contrary, he regarded hypnotism as a field of phenomena which he submitted to scientific description, just as he had done many years before with multiple sclerosis or pro­ gressive muscular atrophy. He did not seem to me to be at all one of those men who marvel at what is rare rather than what is usual; and the whole trend of his mind leads me to suppose that he can find no rest till he has correctly described and classi­ fied some phenomenon with which he is concerned, but that he can sleep quite soundly without having arrived at the physio­ logical explanation of that phenomenon. I have given considerable space in this Report to remarks on hysteria and hypnotism because I had to deal with what was completely novel and the subject of Charcot's own particular studies. If I have said less on the organic diseases of the nervous system, I should not like it to be supposed that I saw little or nothing of them. I will only mentioJl some of the specially in­ teresting cases among the wealth of notable material presented. Such, for instance, were the fonns of hereditary muscular atrophy recently described by Dr. Marie;l though these are no longer to be counted among diseases of the nervous system, they are still under the care of neuropathologists. Again, I may mention cases of Meniere's disease, of multiple sclerosis, of tabes, with all its complications and particularly accompanied by the disease of the joints described by Charcot, of partial epilepsy, and of other fonns of illness that go to make up the stock material of clinics and out-patient departments for nervous diseases. Among functional illnesses (apart from hysteria), chorea and the various 1 [Pierre Marie (1853- 1940) became editor of the Paris ReVill Neurologique, to which Freud later contributed some papers in French. He succeeded Charcot at the Salpetriere.]



forms of 'tic' (e.g. Gilles de la Tourette's disease) were receiving special attention during the time of my attendance. When I heard that Charcot was intending to bring out a fresh collection of his lectures, I offered to make a German transla­ tion of it; and thanks to this undertaking I came into closer personal contact with Professor Charcot and was also able to prolong my stay in Paris beyond the period covered by my Travelling Bursary. This translation is to be published in Vienna in May of this year by the firm of Toeplitz and Deuticke.1 Finally I must mention that Professor Ranvier 2 of the College de France was kind enough to show me his excellent prepara­ tions of nerve-cells and neuroglia. My stay in Berlin, which lasted from the first of March to the end of that month, fell during the vacation period. Nevertheless I had ample opportunities for examining children suffering from nervous diseases in the out-patient clinics of Professors Mendel and Eulenburg and of Dr. A. Baginsky, and I was everywhere most politely received.8 Repeated visits to Professor Munk and to Professor Zuntz's agricultural laboratory (where I met Dr. Loeb of Strassburg') enabled me to form my own judgement on the controversy between Goltz and Munk on the question of the localization of the visual sense in the cortex of the brain.1; Dr. B. Baginsky,6 of the Munk laboratory, was kind enough to 1 [The book's publication seems to have been delayed for some months; it appeared under the title NelJ£ Vorlesungen fiber die Krankheiten des Nervensystems insbesontkre fiber Hysterie (New Lectures on the Diseases of the Nervous System, particularly on Hysteria). Freud's preface was dated July 18, 1886. For fuller information see p. 19 below, where Frel,ld's Preface is translated.] I [Louis-Antoine Ranvier (1835-1922), the famous histologist.] a [Emanuel Mendel, Professor of Psychiatry, edited the Neurologisches Centralblatt, to which Freud made many contributions and for which he undertook to abstract neurological literature published in Vienna.---' Albert Eulenburg (1840-1917) was Professor of Neurology and Electro­ therapy.-Adolf Baginsky (1843-1918) was author of an important textbook on paediatrics and editor of the Archiv for Kinderheilkunde, for which Freud also undertook to abstract the neurological literature.] , [This was no doubt Jacques Loeb (1859-1924) the celebrated biologist, who took his medical degree at Strassburg in 1885.] I [Friedrich Goltz (1834-1902) and Hermann Munk (1839-1912) had a long and acrimonious controversy on this subject. Freud's interest in the question of the localization of function was shown soon afterwards in his book on aphasia (1891b).] • [Benno Baginsky (1848-1919) was assistant to Professor Hermann Munk in the physiological laboratory of the Berlin Veterinary College.]



demonstrate to me his preparations of the course of the acoustic nerve and to ask my opinion of them. I regard it as my duty to offer my warmest thanks to the College of Professors in the Faculty of Medicine in Vienna for selecting me for the award of the Travelling Bursary. In doing so, the College (among whom are numbered all my much respected teachers) have given me the possibility of acquiring valuable knowledge, of which I hope to make use as Dozent1 in nervous diseases as well as in my medical practice. VmNNA,



1 [Freud had been appointed a 'Privat-Dozent' (roughly equivalent to a university lectureship) at about the same time as he had been granted the travelling bursary (see Jones, 1953, 76 fT.).]






InJ.-M. Charcot,

Neue Vorlesungen fiber die Krankheiten des Nervensystems insbesondere fiber Hysterie [New Lectures on

the Diseases of the Nervous System, particularly on Hysteria], iii-iv, Leipzig and Vienna, Toeplitz and Deuticke.

The preface has not been reprinted in German. The present translation of it (the first into English) is by James Strachey. Freud's translation of two of the lectures (XXIII and XXIV) was published in advance in the Wien. med. Wochenschr., 36 (20), 711-15 and (21), 756-9 (May 15 and 22, 1886), under the title 'Ober einen Fall von hysterischer Coxalgie aus trauma­ tischer Ursache bei einem Manne' ('On a case of hysterical coxalgia in a man, resulting from an accident') (Freud, 1886e). The publication of the book itself cannot have been earlier than July, 1886 (the date of Freud's preface); but it took place in any case before the French original (Paris, 1887), as Freud mentions in his preface.

A more detailed account of how Charcot gave Freud the commission to make the German translation of this book was given iIi his Autobiographical Study (1925d), Standard Ed., 10, 12, and also in a contemporary letter of Freud's to his future wife (December 12, 1885), printed in Freud, 1960a (Letter 88). Freud's half-dozen footnotes, as he himself indicates in the preface, merely record later developments in one or two of the case histories reported in the text and in one instance a recent change of opinion by Charcot on a minor point of diagnosis. Three of the lectures (XI, XII and XIII) deal with aphasia. A short comment by Freud shows that he was already speci­ ally interested in the subject, on which he was to write his monograph five years later. He gave a short account there of




Charcot's views (18916, 100-2), and referred back to the present work. Jones (1953, 230) tells us that Charcot rewarded Freud for the translation by the gift of a complete set of his works bound in leather, with the inscription: 'A Monsieur Ie Docteur Freud, excellents souvenirs de la Salpetriere. Charcot.'


EASES OF THE NERVOUS SrSTEM AN undertaking such as the present one, which aims at intro­ ducing the teachings of a master of clinical medicine to wider medical circles, surely calls for no justification. I propose, therefore, to say only a few words on the origin of this transla­ tion and on the contents of the lectures contained in it. When in the winter of 1885 I arrived at the Salpetriere for a stay of almost haIf a year, I found that Professor Charcot (then working in his sixties with all the freshness of youth) had turned away from the study of the nervous diseases that are based on organic changes and was devoting himself exclusively to research into the neuroses-and particularly hysteria. This change was related to the alterations (described in the opening lecture in this volume) which had taken place in the conditions of Char­ cot's work and teaching in 1882.1 After I had overcome my initial bewilderment at the findings of Charcot's new investigations, and after I had learnt to appre­ ciate their great importance, I asked Professor Charcot's per­ mission to make a German translation of the lectures in which these new theories are contained. And here I have to thank him not only for the readiness with which he gave me his permission, but also for his further assistance, which made it possible for the German edition actually to be published several months before the French one. By the author's instructions I have added a small number of notes-mostly addenda to the histories of the patients dealt with in the text. The core of this book lies in the masterly and fundamental lectures on hysteria, which, along with their author, we may ex­ pect to open a new epoch in the estimation of this little known and, instead, much maligned neurosis. For this reason, with Professor Charcot's assent, I have altered the book's title, which is in French: 'Lefons sur les maladies du systeme nerveux, Tome troisieme', and brought hysteria into prominence among the subjects with which it deals. Anyone who is encouraged by these lectures to enter further 1 [As explained in the Paris Report (p. 7 above), a Chair of Neuro­ pathology had been established for Charcot at the Salpetriere and facilities there for the study of the neuroses had been greatly extended.)




into the French school's researches on hysteria may be referred to P. Richer's Etudes cliniques sur La grande hysterie, of which a second edition appeared in 1885 and which is in more than one respect a noteworthy volume. VIENNA, July 18, 1886





(a) GERMAN EDITION: 1886 Wien. med. Wschr., 36 (49), 1633-38. (December 4.) This paper seems never to have been reprinted. The present translation, by James Strachey, is the first into English. It was apparently intended that this should be the first of a series of papers, since there is a superscription which reads 'Beitriige zur Kasuistik der Hysterie, l' (Contributions to the Clinical Study of Hysteria, I). But the series was not continued. On October 15, 1 886, some six months after his return from Paris, Freud read a paper before the Vienna 'Gesellschaft der Aerzte' (Society of Medicine) with the title ''Ober mannliche Hysterie' (On Male Hysteria). The text of this paper has not survived, though reports of it appeared in the Vienna medical periodicals: for instance, in the Wien. med. Wochenschr., 36 (43), 1444-6 (October 23). It is also shortly summarized by Ernest Jones ( 1953, 252). Freud himseJf gives an account of the occa­ sion in his Autobiographical Study ( 1925d), Standard Ed., 20, 15. The paper was badly received, and Meynert challenged Freud to present a case of male hysteria before the society. He met with some difficulty in finding one, since the senior physicians of the departments in the General Hospital refused to allow him to use their material. Eventually, with the help of a young laryngo­ logist, he found a suitable patient elsewhere, and presented him before the 'Gesellschaft der Aerzte' on November 26, 1886. The case was demonstrated by Freud and by his friend Dr. Konig­ stein, the ophthalmic surgeon, who had made an examination of the patient's eye symptoms. The latter's paper was printed in the Wochenschrift a week later than Freud's-in the issue of December 11 (1674-6). Freud tells us that the present paper met with a better reception than its predecessor, but. nevertheless failed to arouse interest. The greater part of the paper, it will be seen, is concerned with the physical phenomena of hysteria, on the lines character­ istic of Charcot's attitude to the condition. There are only some very slight indications of an interest in psychological factors.

O B SERVATION OF A SEVERE CASE OF HEMI-ANAE S THE SIA I N A HYS TERICAL MALE GENTLEMEN,-When, on October 15, I had the honour of claim­ ing your attention to a short report on Charcot's recent work in the field of male hysteria, I was challenged by my respected teacher, Hofrat Professor Meynert, to present before the society some cases in which the somatic indications of hysteria-the 'hysterical stigmata' by which Charcot characterizes this neuro­ sis-could be observed in a clearly marked form. I am meeting this challenge to-day-insufficiently, it is true, but so far as the clinical material at my disposal permits-by presenting before you a hysterical man, who exhibits the symptom of hemi­ anaesthesia to what may almost be described as the highest degree. Before beginning my demonstration, I will merely re­ mark that I am far from thinking that what I am showing you is a rare or peculiar case. On the contrary, I regard it as a very ordinary case of frequent occurrence, though one which may often be overlooked. For this patient I have to thank the kindness of Dr. von Beregszaszy, who sent him to me for confirmation of his diagno­ sis. The patient is a 29-year-old engraver, August P., now before you: an intelligent man, who readily offered himself for my examination in the hope of an early recovery. Allow me to begin with an account of his family history and of his life story. The patient's father died, at the age of 48, of Bright's disease; he was a cellar-man, a heavy drinker and a man of violent temper. His mother died, at the age of 46, of tuber­ culosis. She is said to have suffered much from headaches in earlier years; the patient has nothing to say of attacks of con­ vulsions or anything of the sort. This couple were the parents of six sons, of whom the first led an irregular life and succumbed to a syphilitic cerebral affection. The second son is of special interest for us; he plays a part in the aetiology of his brother's illness and seems to have been a hysteric himself. For he told our patient that he had suffered from attacks of convulsions; and, by a strange coincidence, this very day I met a Berlin colleague who treated this brother in Berlin during an illness and had diagnosed him as suffering from hysteria-a diagnosis which was also confirmed in a hospital there. The third son is a deserter from the army and has since disappeared; the fourth 25



and fifth died at an early age, and the last is our patient him­ self. Our patient developed normally in his childhood, he never suffered from infantile convulsions and went through the usual children's diseases. In his eighth year he had the misfortune of being run over in the street; he sustained a rupture of the right ear-drum, with permanent impairment of hearing in the right ear, and he fell sick of an illness which lasted for several months, during which he suffered frequently from fits, the nature of which it is no longer possible to discover to-day. These fits con­ tinued for some two years. To this accident dates back a slight intellectual dullness which the patient claims to have noticed in his progress at school, and a tendency to feelings of giddiness whenever he was unwell for any reason. Later, he completed his schooling and, after his parents' death, was apprenticed to an engraver; and it speaks very favourably for his character that he remained as journeyman with the same master for ten years. He pictures himself as a person whose thoughts were wholly and solely directed to perfection in his skilled craft, who with that end in view did much reading and drawing and denied himself all social intercourse and all entertainments. He was obliged to reflect a great deal about himself and his ambition, and in doing so often fell into a state of an excited flight of ideas, in which he became alarmed about his mental health; his sleep was often disturbed, his digestion was slowed down by his sedentary way of life. He has suffered from palpitations for the last nine years; but otherwise he was healthy and never inter­ rupted in his work. His present illness dates back for some three years. At that time he fell into a dispute with his dissolute brother, who refused to pay him back a sum of money he had lent him. His brother threatened to stab him and ran at him with a knife. This threw the patient into indescribable fear; he felt a ringing in his head as though it was going to burst; he hurried home without being able to tell how he got there, and fell to the ground unconscious in front of his d90r. It was reported afterwards that for two hours he had the most violent spasms and had spoken during them of the scene with his brother. When he woke up, he felt very feeble; during the next six weeks he suffered from violent left-sided headaches and intra-cranial pressure. The feeling in the left half of his body seemed to him altered, and his eyes got easily tired at his work, which he soon took up again. With a few oscillations, his condition remained like this for three years, until, seven weeks ago, a fresh agitation brought on a change for the worse. The patient was accused by a woman of a theft,



had violent palpitations, was so depressed for about a fortnight that he thought of suicide, and at the same time a fairly severe tremor set in in his left extremities. The left half of his body felt as though it had been affected by a slight stroke; his eyes became very weak and often made him see everything grey; his sleep was interrupted by terrifying apparitions and by dreams in which he thought he was falling from a great height; pains started in the left side of his throat, in his left groin, in the sacral region and in other areas; his stomach was often 'as though it was blown out', and he found himself obliged to stop working. A further worsening of all these symptoms dates from the last week. In addition, the patient is subject to violent pains in his left knee and his left sole if he walks for some time; he has a peculiar feeling in his throat as though his tongue was fastened up, he has frequent singing in his ears, and more of the same sort. His memory is impaired for his experiences during his ill­ ness, but is good for earlier events. The attacks of convulsions have been repeated from six to nine times during the three years; but most of them were very slight; only one attack at night last August was accompanied by fairly severe 'shaking'. And now to consider the patient-a rather pale man of mediumly powerful development. The examination of his in­ ternal organs reveals nothing pathological apart from dull cardiac sounds. If I press on the point of exit of the supra­ orbital, infra-orbital or mental nerves on the left side, the patient turns his head with an expression of severe pain. There is therefore, we might suppose, a neuralgic change in the left trigeminal. The cranial vault too is very susceptible to per­ cussion in its left half. The skin of the left half of the head behaves, however, quite differently to our expectation: it is com­ pletely insensitive to stimuli of any kind. I can prick it, pinch it, twist the lobe of the ear between my fingers, Without the patient even noticing the touch. Here, then, there is a very high degree of anaesthesia; but this affects not merely the skin but also the mucous membranes, as I will show you in the case of the patient's lips and tongue. If I insert a small roll of paper into his left external auditory meatus and then through �s left nostril, no reaction is produced. I now repeat the experunenll on the right side and show that there the patient's sensibility is normal. In accordance with the anaesthesia, the sensory reflexes, too, are abolished or reduced. Thus I can introduce my finger and touch all the pharyngeal tissues on the left side without the result being retching; the pharyngeal reflexes on the right side are, however, also reduced; only when I reach the epiglottis on the right side is there a reaction. Touching the



left conjunctiva palpebrarum and bulbi produces scarcely any closure of the lids; on the other hand, the corneal reflex is present, though very considerably reduced. Incidentally, the conjunctival and corneal reflexes on the right side are also re­ duced, though only to a lesser degree; and this behaviour of the reflexes is enough to enable me to conclude that the disturbances of vision need not be limited to the one (left) eye. And in fact, when I examined the patient for the first time, he exhibited in both eyes the peculiar polyopiamonocularisof hysterical patients and disturbances of the colour-sense. With his right eye he recognized all the colours except violet, which he named as grey; with his left eye he recognized only a light red and yellow, while he regarded all the other colours as grey if they were light and black if they were dark. Dr. Konigstein was kind enough to submit the patient's eyes to a thorough examination and will himself report later on his findings. [See p. 24 above.] Turning to the other sense organs, smell and taste are entirely lost on the left side. Only hearing has been spared by the cerebral hemi­ anaesthesia. It will be recalled that the efficiency of his right ear has been seriously impaired since an accident to the patient at the age of eight; his left ear is the better one; the reduction in hearing present in it is (according to a kind communication from Professor Gruber) sufficiently explained by a visible mater­ ial affection of the tympanic membrane. If we now proceed to an examination of the trunk and ex­ tremities, here again we find an absolute anaesthesia, in the first place in the left arm. As you see, I can push a pointed needle through a fold of the skin without the patient reacting against it. The deep parts-muscles, ligaments, joints-must also be insensitive to an equally high degree, since I can twist the wrist­ joint and stretch the hgaments without provoking any feeling in the patient. It tallies with this anaesthesia of the deep parts that the patient, if his eyes are bandaged, also has no nption of the position of his left arm in space or of any movement that I perform with it. I bandage his eyes and then ask him what I have done with his left hand. He cannot tell. 1 tell him to take hold of his left thumb, elbow, shoulder, with his right hand. He feels about in the air, will perhaps take my hand, which I offer him, for his own, and then admits that he does not know whose hand he has hold of. I t must be especially interesting to find out whether the patient is able to find the parts of the left half of his face. One would suppose that this would offer him no difficulties, since, after all, the left half of his face is, so to speak, firmly cemented to the intact right half. But experiment shows the contrary. The patient



misses his aim at his left eye, the lobe of his left ear, and so on; indeed he seems to find his way about worse in groping with his right hand for the anaesthetic parts of his face than ifhe were touching a part of someone else's body. The blame for this is not a disorder in his right hand, which he is using for feeling1about, for you can see with what certainty and speed he finds the spot when I tell him to touch places in the right half of his face. The same anaesthesia is present in his trunk and left leg. We observe there that the loss of sensation has its limit at the mid­ line or extends a trace beyond it. Special interest seems to me to lie in the analysis of the dis­ turbances of movement which the patient exhibits in his anaes­ thetic limbs. I believe that these disturbances of movement are to be ascribed wholly and solely to the anaesthesia. There is certainly no paralysis--of his left arm, for instance. A paralysed arm either falls limply down or is held rigid by contractures in forced positions. Here it is otherwise. If I bandage the patient's eyes, his left arm remains in the position it had taken up before. The disturbances of mobility are changeable and depend on several conditions. At first, those of you who noticed how the patient undressed himself with both hands and how he closed his left nostril with the fingers of his left hand, will not have formed an impression of any serious disturbance of movement. On closer observation it will be found that the left arm, and in particular the fingers, are moved more slowly and with less skill, as though they are stiff, and with a slight tremor. But every movement, even the most complicated, is performed and this is always so if the patient's attention is diverted from the organs of movement and directed solely to the aim of the movement.1 It is quite otherwise if! tell him to carry out separate movements with his left arm without any remoter aim-for instance, to bend his arm at the elbow-joint while he follows the movement with his eyes. In that case his left arm appears much more inhibited than before, the movement is performed very slowly, incompletely, in separate stages, as though there were a great resistance to be overcome, and is accompanied by a lively tre­ mor. The movements of the fingers are extraordinarily weak in these circumstances. A third kind of disturbance of movement, and the severest, is exhibited, finally, if he is expected to carry out separate movements with closed eyes. Something results, to be sure, with the limb which is absolutely anaesthetic, for, as you see, the motor innervation is independent of any sensory information such as normally flows in from a limb that is to be 1 [Cf. in this connection a footnote to Appendix C to the Project, p. 394 below.]



moved; this movement, however, is minimal, not in any way directed to a particular segment, and not determinable in its direction by the patient. Do not assume, however, that this last kind of disturbance of movement is a necessary consequence of anaesthesia; precisely in this respect far-reaching individual differ­ ences are to be found. We have observed anaesthetic patients at the Salpetriere who, if their eyes were closed, retained a much more far-reaching control over a limb that was lost to conscious­ ness. l

The same influence of qiverted attention and of looking applies to the left leg. For a good hour to-day the patient walked along the streets with me at a rapid pace, without looking at his feet as he walked. And all I could notice was that he put his left foot down turning it rather outwards and that he often dragged it along the ground. 2 But if I order him to walk, then he has to follow every movement of his anaesthetic leg with his eyes, and the movement occurs slowly and uncertainly and tires him very soon. Finally, with his eyes closed he walks altogether uncer­ tainly, and he pushes himself along with both feet staying on the ground, as one of us would do in the dark on unknown terri­ tory. He also has great difficulty in remaining upright on his left leg only; if he shuts his eyes in that position, he immediately falls down. I will go on to describe the behaviour ofhis reflexes. They are in general brisker than the normal, and moreover show little consistency with one another. The triceps and flexor reflexes are decidedly brisker in the right, non-anaesthetic extremity. The patellar reflex seems brisker on the left; the Achilles tendon reflex is equal on both sides. It is also possible to elicit a slight patellar response which is more clearly observable on the right. The cremasteric reflexes are absent; on the other hand the ab­ dominal reflexes are brisk, and the left one immensely increased, so that the lightest stroking of an area of the abdominal skin provokes a maximal contraction of the left rectus In accordance with a hysterical herni-anaesthesia, our patient exhibits, both spontaneously and on pressure, painful areas on what is otherwise the insensitive side of his body-what are known as 'hysterogenic zones', 8 though in this case their con-

I cr. Charcot, 1886. [The reference is to a case reported in Lecture XXII of the volume of Charcot's lectures which Freud had just trans­ lated; see in particular page 295 of the German version (Freud, 1886f).] I [This characteristic is the subject of a footnote in Freud's French paper on organic and hysterical paralyses (1893c), p. 163 below.] • [See the account of these in the article on 'Hysteria' (1888b), p. 43 below.]



nection with the provoking of attacks is not marked. Thus the trigeminal nerve, whose terminal branches, as I showed you earlier, are sensitive to pressure, is the seat of a hysterogenic zone of this kind; also a narrow area in the left medial cervical fossa, a broader strip in the left wall of the thorax (where the skin too is still sensitive) , the lumbar portion of the spine and the middle portion of the os sacrum (the skin is sensitive over the former of these as well) . Finally, the left spermatic cord is very sensitive to pain, and this zone is continued along the course of the spermatic cord into the abdominal cavity to the area which in women is so often the site of 'ovaralgia'. I must add two remarks relating to deviations of our case from the typical picture of hysterical hemi-anaesthesia. The first is that the right side of the patient's body is also not free from anaesthesia, though this is not of a high degree and seems to affect only the skin. Thus there is a zone of reduced sensitivity to pain (and feeling of temperature) over the dome of the right shoulder, another passes in a band round the peripheral end of the lower arm; the right leg is hypaesthetic on the outer side of the thigh and on the back of the calf. A second remark relates to the fact that the hemi-anaesthesia in our patient exhibits very clearly the characteristic of in­ stability. Thus, in a test for electrical sensitivity, contrary to my intention, I made a piece of skin at the left elbow sensitive; and repeated tests showed that the extent of the painful zones on the trunk. and the disturbances of the sense of vision oscillated in their intensity. It is on this instability of the disturbance of sen­ sitivity that I found my hope of being able to restore the patient in a short time to normal sensitivity.





REVIEW O F AVERBECK'S DIE AKUTE NEURASTUENIE2 How little the so-called clinical education acquired in our hos­ pitals suffices for the needs of practical physicians is most strikingly shown, perhaps, from the example of 'neurasthenia'. That pathological condition of the nervous system may com­ fortably be described as the commonest of all the diseases in our society : it complicates and aggravates most other clinical pic­ tures in patients of the better classes and it is either still quite unknown to the many scientifically educated physicians or is regarded by them as no more than a modern name with an arbitrarily compounded content. Neurasthenia is not a clinical picture in the sense of textbooks based too exclusively on patho­ logical anatomy : it should rather be described as a mode of reaction of the nervous system. It would deserve the most general attention on the part of physicians who are working scientifically-no less attention than it has already found among physicians who are working as therapists, among directors of sanatoria, etc. A recommendation to wider circles is therefore the due of the present short work, with its felicitous, though intentionally high-pitched, descriptions and its proposals and observations touching on social conditions. These, as its author suspects, will not always meet with his colleagues' agreement, though it will everywhere arouse their interest. His remark on compulsory military service as a cure for the evils of civilized life and his proposal that periodic recuperation should be made possible for the working middle-class in times of good health by State assistance-these are open to manifold objections. It must be admitted, however, that the booklet treats of important questions of medical care in an imaginative manner. DR. SIGM. FREUD 1 [During the period after Freud's return to Vienna from Paris he did a certain amount of reviewing for medical periodicals. The two reviews whiclt are translated here are, however, the only ones that have been found which deal with pSychopathology; the remainder are of a neurological character. They seem never to have been reprinted in German, and the two present translations (by James Strachey) are probably the first into English.] a [ Wiener med. Wochenschr., 37 (5), 138. (January 29, 1887.) Die akute Neurosthenie, ein iirztliches Kulturbild (Acute neurasthenia, a medical social picture) by Dr. med. Averbeck. (Offprint from Deutsche Medi2;inaZ· and "p. He then found that 1 A qualification is called for here in the case of' W' and 'Er'. l t will be found that these sometimes stand respectively for 'Wahnzehmungsbild' ('perceptual image') and 'Erinnerungsbild' ('nmemic image') instead of for' Wahrnehmung' and 'Erinnerung'. The only way of deciding for certain on the correct expanded version depends on the fact that the longer terms are of neuter gender whereas the shorter ones are feminine. There is usually an article or an adjective to make the decision possible; but this is one of those cases in which the reader must depend on the editor's judgement, and it is also one in which differences sometimes arise between the present version and the Arif"dnge.



he required a symbol for a third system of neurones, concerned with perceptions. Now, on the one hand, another Greek letter would be appropriate-like the other two, perhaps, from the end of the Greek alphabet. On the other hand, some allusion to perception was desirable. As we have seen, a capital 'W' stands for 'perception' ('Wahrnehmung') and the Greek omega looks very much like a small 'w'. So he chose '00' for the perceptual system. The joke, or at all events half of it, disappears in English; but nevertheless it seemed best to keep here to the '00' rather than adopt the 'pcpt', which is the name given to the system in all the later volumes of the Standard Edition. The distinction between 'W' and '00' is quite unmistakable in Freud's manuscript; but it is perhaps the most serious defect in the 4nfange that it very often fails to observe it, sometimes with unfortunate results to the meaning. Last of all among these alphabetic signs come Q and its mysterious companion Q~. Both of them undoubtedly stand for 'quantity'. But why this difference between them? and, above all, why the Greek eta with the smooth breathing? There is no question that the difference is a real one, though Freud nowhere explicitly announces it or explains it. There is a place (on p. 320) where he began by writing 'Qf}' and then scratched out the '~', and there is another passage (p, 363) where he speaks of 'a quantity composed of Q, and QfJ'. But in fact, only a page before these words (p. 362), he does seem to explain the difference himself. Q, so he seems to say, is 'external quantity' and Q,1j 'psychical quantity'-though the wording is not totally unambiguous. It must be added that Freud himself sometimes seems inconsistent in his use of the signs, and very often indeed he uses the word 'Quantitat' written out in full or slightly abbreviated. Evidently the reader must be left to find his own solution for this enigma, and we therefore scrupulously follow the manuscript in printing 'Q; or 'Q~' or 'quantity'. In general, indeed, as we have said, we keep as close as possible to the original: wherever we diverge in important respects, and whenever we are in serious doubts, we register the fact either by square brackets or by a footnote. It is here that we differ fundamentally from the editors of the Anfange, who make all their changes without any indication whatever. In view of this fact, we have thought it necessary, where our version diverges substantially from that in the Anfdnge, to adduce the German original in a footnote. Minor inaccuracies, such as the frequent mistakes over Q,and Q~, have been passed over in silence; but, even so, the necessity for correcting the numerous errors in the printed German version has involved



us in a plethora of footnotes. Many readers will no doubt be irritated by this; but it will enable those who possess the German edition to bring it more closely into line with Freud's original manuscript. The unusual circumstances may thus justify our apparent pedantry.

(3) The Significance of the Work Has it been worth while to take such elaborate measures over the text of the Project? Freud himself would very probably have said 'no'. He dashed it off in two or three weeks, left it unfinished, and criticized it severely at the time of writing it. Later in life he seems to have forgotten it or at least never to have referred to it. And when in his old age he was presented with it afresh) he did his best to destroy it.! Can it, then, be of any value? There are grounds for thinking that its author took a jaundiced view of it, and its value can be defended along two very different lines. Anyone who examines the bibliographical indexes to the later volumes of the Standard Edition will be surprised to find in every single one of them references, and often very many references, back to the Fliess letters and to the Project. And, as a corollary, he will find in the footnotes to the pages that follow very many references forward to the later volumes of the Standard Edition. This circumstance is an expression of the remarkable truth that the Project, in spite of being ostensibly a neurological document, contains within itself the nucleus ofa great part of Freud's later psychological theories. In this respect its discovery was not only of historical interest; it actually threw light for the first time on some of the more obscure of Freud's fundamental hypotheses. The help given by the Project towards an understanding of the theoretical seventh chapter of The Interpretation ofDreams is discussed in some detail in the Editor's Introduction to that work (Standard Ed., 4, xv ff.), But in fact the Project, or rather its invisible ghost, haunts the whole series of Freud's theoretical writings to the very end. I 1 For an account of this see Chapter XIII of the first volume of Jones's biography (1953, 316-18). I The curious student may follow this lengthy trail more particularly through the letters to Fliess ofJanuary 1 and December 6, 1896 (pp. 388 below and 233 above), Chapter VII of The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), 'The Two Principles of Mental Functioning' (1911h), the meta..



The fact that there are many evident lines of connection between the Project and Freud's later views must not, however, lead us to overlook the basic differences between them. In the first place, it will be immediately obvious that there is very little indeed in these pages to anticipate the technical procedures of psycho-analysis. Free association, the interpretation of unconscious material, the transference-these are barely hinted at. Only in the passages on dreams is there any anticipation of later clinical developments. Clinical material is indeed largely restricted to Part 11, which deals with psychopathology. Parts 1 and III are in the main built up on theoretical and a priori foundations. In this connection a further contrast is apparent. Whereas in the largely disconnected clinical portion (Part 11) sexuality figures very prominently, in the theoretical portions (Part I and Ill) it plays only a small part. Actually, at the very time at which Freud was composing the Project, his clinical researches into the neuroses were chiefly focused on sexuality. It may be recalled that on the very same day (January 1, 1896) on which he sent Fliess his long letter revising some of the theoretical foundations of the Project (p. 388 below), he also sent him the 'Christmas Fairy Tale' (p. 220), which was a preliminary study for his second paper on the neuro-psychoses of defence (1896b) and centred round the effects of sexual experiences. This uncomfortable divorce between the clinical and theoretical significance of sexuality was only to be resolved a year or two later by Freud's self-analysis, which led to his recognition of infantile sexuality and to the basic importance of unconscious instinctual impulses. This brings us to another major difference between Freud's theories in the Project and his later ones. All the emphasis in the picture here is upon the environment's impact upon the organism and the organism's reaction to it. It is true that, in addition to external stimuli, there are endogenous excitations; but their nature is hardly considered. The 'instincts' are only shadowy entities, with scarcely even a name. The interest in the endogenous excitations is restricted in the main to 'defensive' operations and their mechanisms. It is a curious fact that what was later to be the almost omnipotent 'pleasure principle' is here regarded solely as an inhibiting mechanism. Indeed, even in The Interpretation of Dreams, published four years later, it is still always called the 'unpleasure principle'. Internal forces are psychological papers of 1915, Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920g), The Ego and the Id (1923b), the 'Mystic Writing-Pad' (1925a), and, finally, the Outline ofPsycho-Analysis (1940a [1938]).



scarcely more than secondary reactions to external ones. The id, in fact, is still to be discovered.' Bearing this in mind, we can perhaps arrive at a more general view of the development of Freud's theories. What we have in the Project is a pre-id-a 'defensive'-description of the mind. With the recognition of infantile sexuality and the analysis of the sexual instincts Freud's interests were diverted from defence and for some twenty years he devoted himself largely to the study of the id. I t was only when that study seemed more or less exhausted that he returned, in the last period of his work, to a consideration of defence. It has often been pointed out that it is in the Project that we can find a foretaste of the structural ego which emerges in The Ego and the Id. But this is quite naturally so. There were bound to be similarities between a pre-id and a post-id picture of psychological processes. Reflection upon these aspects of the Project is likely to suggest another possible source of interest in the work-one which is remote from psycho-analysis and which cannot be dealt with adequately here. Freud's attempted approach seventy years ago to a description of mental phenomena in physiological terms might well seem to bear a resemblance to certain modern approaches to the same problem," It has been suggested latterly that the human nervous system may be regarded in its workings as similar to or even identical with an electronic computer-sboth of them machines for the reception, storage, processing and output of information. I t has been plausibly pointed out that in the complexities of the 'neuronal' events described here by Freud, and the principles governing them, we may see more than a hint or two at the hypotheses of information theory and cybernetics in their application to the nervous system. To take a few instances of this similarity of approach, we may note first Freud's insistence on the prime necessity for providing the machine with a 'memory'; again, there is his system of 'contactbarriers', which enables the machine to make a suitable 'choice', based on the memory of previous events, between alternative lines of response to an external stimulus; and, once more, there is, in Freud's account of the mechanism of perception, the introduction of the fundamental notion offeed-back as a means 1 The general account of the workings of the mind in Chapter VII (B) of The Interpretation of Dreams still shows much resemblance to the Project, especially in its stress on the mind as a receiving apparatus: 'all our principal activity starts from stimuli (whether internal or external) and ends in innervations' (Standard Ed., 5, 537). I Cf., in particular, the very elaborate and detailed examination, along such lines, of the earlier edition of the Project by Pribram (1962).



of correcting errors in the machine's own dealings with the environment. Such resemblances, and others, if they were confirmed, would no doubt be fresh evidence of the originality and fertility of Freud's ideas, and it may be an alluring possibility to see him as a precursor of latter-day behaviourism. At the same time there is a risk that enthusiasm may lead to a distortion of Freud's use of terms and may read into his sometimes obscure remarks modem interpretations that they will not bear.! And after all we must remember that Freud himself ultimately threw over the whole neurological framework. Nor is it hard to guess why. For he found that his neuronal machinery had no means of accounting for what, in The Ego and the Id (1923b, Standard Ed., 19, 18), he described as being 'in the last resort our one beacon-light in the darkness of depth-psychology'-namely, 'the property of being conscious or not'. In his last work, the posthumous Outline of Psycho-Analysis (1940a [1938], ibid., 23, 157), he declared that the starting-point of the investigation into the structure of the psychical apparatus 'is provided by a fact without parallel, which defies all explanation or descriptionthe fact of consciousness', and he adds this footnote: 'One extreme line of thought, exemplified in the American doctrine of behaviourism, thinks it possible to construct a psychology which disregards this fundamental fact!' I t would be perverse indeed to seek to impute a similar disregard to Freud himself. The Project must remain a torso, disavowed by its creator. The editor has had the advantage of discussing some parts of the translation with Professor Merton M. Gill, of the State University of New York, and of adopting a number of his valuable suggestions. It must not be supposed, however, that he is in any way responsible for the final text or commentary. 1 See some comments in Appendix C, p. 393 below, on a supposed reference to electricity in the Project.


Q = Quantity (in general, or of the order of magnitude in the external world)-See p. 362


= Quantity (of the intercellular order of magnitude)-See


4> 'P ea

= system of permeable neurones = system of impermeable neurones = system of perceptual neurones

W = perception (Wahrnehmung) V = idea (Vorstellung) M = motor image


[PART I] GENERAL SCHEME Introduction THE intention is to furnish a psychology that shall be a natural science: that is, to represent psychical processes as quantitatively determinate states of specifiable material particles, thus making those processes perspicuous and free from contradiction. Two principal ideas are involved: [1] What distinguishes activity from rest is to be regarded as Q,l subject to the general laws of motion. (2) The neurones- are to be taken as the material particles. N and Q~-Similar experiments are now frequent. 8

[1] (a) First Principal Theorem The Quantitative Conception This is derived directly from pathological clinical observation especially where excessively intense ideas were concerned-in hysteria and obsessions, in which, as we .shall see, the quantitative characteristic emerges more plainly than in the normal.s Processes such as stimulus, substitution, conversion and discharge, which had to be described there [in connection with 1 [In a footnote to his contribution to Studies on Hysteria (1895d), Standard Ed., 2, 195 n., Breuer remarks that 'the conception of the

energy of the central nervous system as being a quantity distributed over the brain in a changing and fluctuating manner is an old one'. He goes on to quote from the early nineteenth century French physician, Georges Cabanis (1824, 3, 153). A discussion of Q will be found in Appendix C, p. 392 below.] I [The term 'neurone', as a description of the ultimate unit of the nervous system, had been introduced by W. Waldeyer in 1891. Freud's own histological researches had led him towards the same finding. See especially Freud (1884f) and a note on this in Standard Ed., 3,230 n.] a [Cf., for instance, Exner (1894), with a similar title and a similar programme, very differently carried out.] , ['Excessively intense ideas' are discussed in Section 1 of Part 11, p. 347 below.] 5.F.I-J;


those disorders], directly suggested the conception of neuronal excitation as quantity in a state offlow. It seemed legitimate to attempt to generalize what was recognized there. Starting from this consideration, it was possible to lay down a basic principle of neuronal activity in relation to Q, which promised to be highly enlightening, since it appeared to comprise the entire function. This is the principle of neuronal inertia: that neurones tend to divest themselves of Q. On this basis the structure and development as well as the functions [of neurones] are to be understood.' In the first place, the principle of inertia explains the structural dichotomy [of neurones] into motor and sensory as a contrivance for neutralizing the reception of QIj by giving it off. Reflex movement is now intelligible as an established form of this giving-off: the principle provides the motive for reflex movement. Ifwe go further back from here, we can in the first instance link the nervous system," as inheritor of the general irritability of protoplasm, with the irritable external surface [of an organism], which is interrupted by considerable stretches of non-irritable surface. A primary nervous system makes use of this QI] which it has thus acquired, by giving it off through a connecting path to the muscular mechanisms, and in that way keeps itself free from stimulus. This discharge represents the primary function of the nervous system. Here is room for the development of a secondary function. For among the paths of discharge those are preferred and retained which involve a cessation of the stimulus:jlightfrom the stimulus. Here in general there is a proportion between the Qof excitation and the effort necessary for the flight from the stimulus, so that the principle of inertia is not upset by this. The principle of inertia is, however, broken through from the first owing to another circumstance. With an [increasing] 1 [In the extended form described below (p. 297), this is what was later known as the 'principle of constancy' and attributed by Freud to Fechner, This is by no means Freud's first mention of it. A discussion of its significance and of its many occurrences throughout Freud's writings will be found in an Editor's Appendix to the first paper on the neuro-psychoses of defence (1894a), Standard Ed., 3, 65. It has been suggested that the concept may be equated with that of homoeostasis.] I [Here and elsewhere this stands for 'Nsy' in the MS. It seems on the whole probable that Freud was using this as an abbreviation for the ordinary 'Nervensystem' and not for 'Neuronensystem' (as expanded in Anf., passim). The former is in fact written out in full in the MS. on pp. 314 and 324 below.]



complexity of the interior [of the organism], the nervous system receives stimuli from the somatic element itself-endogenous stimuli-which have equally to be discharged. These have their origin in the cells of the body and give rise to the major needs: hunger, respiration, sexuality.! From these the organism cannot withdraw as it does from external stimuli; it cannot employ their Qfor flight from the stimulus. They only cease subject to particular conditions, which must be realized in the external world. (Cf., for instance, the need for nourishment.) In order to accomplish such an action (which deserves to be named 'specific'S), an effort is required which is independent of endogenous Q/j and in general greater, since the individual is being subjected to conditions which may be described as the exigencies of life.3 In consequence, the nervous system is obliged to abandon its original trend to inertia (that is, to bringing the level [of Q~] to zero). It must put up with [maintaining] a store of Qfj sufficient to meet the demand for a specific action. Nevertheless, the manner in which it does this shows that the same trend persists, modified into an endeavour at least to keep the Q/j as low as possible and to guard against any increase of itthat is, to keep it constant.! All the functions of the nervous system can be comprised either under the aspect of the primary function or of the secondary one imposed by the exigencies of life. [2] [h] Second Principal Theorem

The Neurone Theory The idea of combining with this Q?i theory the knowledge of the neurones arrived at by recent histology is the second pillar of this thesis. The main substance of these new discoveries is 1 [These 'endogenous stimuli' are thus the precursors ofthe 'instincts'. Cf. the Editor's Note to 'Instincts and their Vicissitudes' , Standard Ed., 14, 114 fI: See also below, p. 316.] 2 [The 'specific' action reappears, under other names, in (for instance) 'Repression' (1915d), ibid., 14, 147 and in CiviliZAtion and its Discontents (1930a), ibid., 21, 67. But it had been mentioned earlier than this in Part III of the first paper on anxiety neurosis (1895b), ibid., 3, 108 (where it was termed 'the specific or adequate action') and earlier still in Draft E, p. 192 above ('the specific reaction').] a [This phrase, too, occurs regularly in other works, e.g. in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), ibid., 5, 565, though Freud later pre.. ferred the Greek word 'Ananke', Cf. Civilization and its Discontents (1930a), ibid., 21, 139~] & [See footnote 1, p. 296 above.]



that the nervous system consists of distinct and similarly constructed neurones, which have contact with one another through the medium of a foreign substance, which terminate upon one another as they do upon portions of foreign tissue, [and] in which certain lines ofconduction are laid down in so far as they [the neurones] receive [excitations] through cell-processes [dendrites] and [give them off]! through an axis-cylinder [axon]. They have in addition numerous ramifications ofvarying calibre. If we combine this account of the neurones with the conception of the Q~ theory, we arrive at the idea of a cathected neurone filled with a certain Q1] while at other times it may be empty.s The principle of inertia [pe 296] finds its expression in the hypothesis of a current passing from the cell's paths of conduction or processes [dendrites] to the axis-cylinder. A single neurone is thus a model of the whole nervous system with its dichotomy of structure, the axis-cylinder being the organ of discharge. The secondary function [of the nervous system], however, which calls for the accumulation of Q~ [pe 297], is made possible by the assumption of resistances which oppose discharge; and the structure of neurones makes it probable that the resistances are all to be located in the contacts [between one neurone and another], which in this way assume the value of barriers. The hypothesis of contact-barriers is fruitful in many directions. 8

[3] The Contact-Barriers The first justification for this hypothesis arises from the consideration that there the path of conduction passes through undifferentiated protoplasm instead of (as it otherwise does, within the neurone) through differentiated protoplasm, which is probably better adapted for conduction. This gives us a hint that conductive capacity is to be linked with differentiation, so that we may expect to find that the process of conduction itself will create a differentiation in the protoplasm and 1 [The MS. has 'abnehmen (take off)', probably a slip of the pen and emended in Anf., 382, to 'abgeben (give off)'.] • [TIle notion of 'cathexis' ('Besetz.ung') had been used by Freud already, but not much earlier, in Studies on Hysteria (1895d), ibid., 2, 89. A full discussion of its use is given in the Editor's Appendix referred to in footnote 1 on p. 296 above, ibid. ,3, 65.] 8 [The term 'synapse' was not introduced in this sense (by Foster and Sherrington) till 1897, two years after Freud wrote this.-Mter this point the MS. ceases to be written in pencil, and the abbreviations become far less drastic (see above, p, 288).]



consequently an improved conductive capacity for subsequent conduction. Furthermore, the theory of contact-barriers can be turned to advantage as follows. A main characteristic of nervous tissue is memory: that is, quite generally, a capacity for being permanently altered by single occurrences-which offers such a striking contrast to the behaviour of a material that permits the passage ofa wave-movement and thereafter returns to its former condition. A psychological theory deserving any consideration must furnish an explanation of 'memory'. Now any such explanation comes up against the difficulty that it must assume on the one hand that neurones are permanently different after an excitation from what they were before, while nevertheless it cannot be disputed that, in general, fresh excitations meet with the same conditions of reception as did the earlier ones. It would seem, therefore, that neurones must be both influenced and also unaltered, unprejudiced. We cannot off-hand imagine an apparatus capable of such complicated functioning; the situation is accordingly saved by attributing the characteristic of being permanently influenced by excitation to one class of neurones, and, on the other hand, the unalterability-the characteristic of being fresh for new excitations-to another class.! Thus has arisen the current distinction between 'perceptual cells' and 'mnemic cells'-a distinction, however, which fits into no other context and cannot itself appeal to anything in its support. The theory of contact-barriers, if it adopts this solution, can express it in the following terms. There are two classes of neurones: .[1] those which allow Q~ to pass through as though they had no contact-barriers and which, accordingly, after each passage of excitation are in the same state as before, and (2) those whose contact-barriers make themselves felt, so that they only allow Q~ to pass through with difficulty or partially. The latter class may, after each excitation, be in a different state from before and they thus afford a possibility of representing memory. Thus there are permeable neurones (offering no resistance and 1 [TIle incompatibility between the functions of perception and memory had been remarked on by Breuer in a footnote to his theoretical contribution to Studies on Hysteria (1895d), ibid., 2, 188-9 n. Freud returned to the subject in his letter to Fliess of December 6, 1896 (p. 234 above). He dealt with it often in his published writings: in Chapter VII (B) of The Interpretation ofDreams (1900a), ibid., 5, 538 ft, and again, much later. in Chapter IV of Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920g), ibid., 18, 25 and in his paper on the 'Mystic Writing-Pad' (1925a), ibid., 19, 228.]



retaining nothing), which .serve for perception, and impermeable ones (loaded with resistance, and holding back Q~), which are the vehicles of memory and so probably of psychical processes in general. Henceforward I shall call the former system of neurones! f/J and the latter "PIt will be well now to clear our mind as to what assumptions about the 1jJ neurones are necessary in order to cover the most general characteristics of memory. This is the argument. They are permanently altered by the passage of an excitation. If we introduce the theory of contact-barriers: their contact-barriers are brought into a permanently altered state. And since psych[ological] knowledge shows that there is such a thing as a relearning" on the basis of memory, this alteration must consist in the contact-barriers becoming more capable of conduction, 3 less impermeable, and so more like those of the 4> system. We shall describe this state of the contact-barriers as their degree of facilitation [Bahnung].' We can then say: Memory is represented by the facilitations existing between the 1jJ neurones. If we were to suppose that all the 1p contact-barriers were equally well facilitated, or (what is the same thing) offered equal resistance, then the characteristics of memory would evidently not emerge. For, in relation to the passage of an excitation, memory is evidently one of the powers which determine and direct its pathway, and, if facilitation were everywhere equal, it would not be possible to see why one pathway should be preferred. We can therefore say still more correctly that memory is represented hy the differences in the Jacilitations between the "p neurones. What, then, does the facilitation in the V' neurones depend on? According to psych [ological] knowledge, the memory of an experience (that is, its continuing operative power) depends on a factor which is called the magnitude of the impression and on the frequency with which the same impression is repeated. Translated into theory: Facilitation depends on the Q~ which passes through the neurone in the excitatory process and on the number -of repetitions of the process. From this we see, then, that QI} is the operative factor and that quantity plus Jacilitation ['System von Neuronen' in the MS., not 'Xsy'. Cf. p. 296, n.2.] ['Ein Oher Erlemen;' Cf: below, pp. 335 and 379.] • ['Leitungsfiihiger' in the MS. Anf., 384, prints this as 'leistungsfdhiger' (more efficient).] • [The word 'facilitation' as a rendering of the German 'Bahnung' seems to have been introduced by Sherrington a few years after the Project was written. The German word, however, was already in use (cf. p, 361, n, 1).] 1 I



resulting from Q~ are at the same time something that can replace Q~.l Here we are almost involuntarily reminded of the endeavour of the nervous system, maintained through. every modification, to avoid being burdened by Q~ or to keep the burden as small as possible. Under the compulsion of the exigencies of life, the nervous system was obliged to lay up a store of Q~ [pe 297]. This necessitated an increase in the number of its neurones and these had to be impermeable. It now avoids, partly at least, beingfilled with Q~ (cathexis), by setting upfacilitations. It will be seen, then, that facilitations serve the primary Junction [of the nervous system]. The necessity for finding a place for memory calls for something further from the theory of contact-barriers. Every 1p neurone must in general be presumed to have several paths of connection with other neurones-that is, several contactbarriers. On this, indeed, depends the possibility of the choice that is determined by facilitation [pe 300]. It now becomes quite clear that the state of facilitation of one contact-barrier must be independent of that of all the other contact-barriers of the same 1p neurone, otherwise there would once again be no preference and thus no motive. From this we can draw a negative conclusion about the nature of the 'facilitated' state. If we think of a neurone filled with Q1j-that is, cathectedwe can only assume that this Q [sic] is uniform over all the regions of the neurone, and therefore over all its contactbarriers as well. On the other hand, there is no difficulty in imagining that, in the case of Q~ in a state of flow, only one particular path through the neurone is taken; so that only one contact-barrier is subject to the action of the Q1j in flow and has facilitation left over from it afterwards. Therefore facilitation cannot have its basis in a cathexis that is held back, for that would not produce the differences in the facilitations of the contact-barriers of the same neurone. 2 It remains to be seen in what else facilitation consists. A first idea might be: in the absorption of Q~ by the contact-barriers. Perhaps light will be thrown on this later. [Cf. p. 316f.] The Q1j which has left the facilitation behind is no doubt dischargedprecisely as a result of the facilitation, which, indeed, increases permeability. a Moreover, it is not necessarily the case that the facilitation which remains after a passage of Q~ is as great as it had to be during the passage. [See p. 316.] Possibly only a [This point is developed further below on p. 319.] [Since, see above, the quantity is uniform over the whole neurone.] • [Cl: the first paragraph of this section.]

1 I



quotient of it is left as a permanent facilitation. Similarly it is also impossible to tell yet whether the passage of Q,:3~ once is equivalent to the passage of one Q,~ 3 times.! All this remains to be considered in the light of later applications of the theory to the psychical facts.

[4] The Biological Standpoint The hypothesis of there being two systems of neurones, ep and 1p, of which ep consists of permeable elements and "p of impermeable, seems to provide an explanation of this one of the peculiarities of the nervous system2-that of retaining and yet of remaining capable ofreceiving [pe 299]. All psychical acquisition would in that case consist in the organization of the "p system through partial and locally determined lifting of the resistance in the contact-barriers which distinguishes ep and 1/'. With the advance of this organization the nervous system's capacity for fresh reception would literally have reached a barrier. Anyone, however, who is engaged scientifically in the construction of hypotheses will only begin to take his theories seriously if they can be fitted into our knowledge from more than one direction and if the arbitrariness of a constructio ad hoeS canbe mitigated in relation to them. It will be objected against our hypothesis of contact-barriers that it assumes two classes of neurones with a fundamental difference in their conditions of functioning, though there is at the moment no other basis for the differentiation. At all events, morphologically (that is, histologically) nothing is known in support of the distinction. Where else are we to look for this division into classes? If possible in the biological development of the nervous system, which, in the eyes of natural scientists, is, like everything else, something that has come about gradually. We should like to know whether the two classes of neurones can have had a different significance biologically, and, if so, by what mechanism they may have developed characteristics so different as permeability .and impermeability. What would be most satisfactory, of course, would be if the mechanism we are in search of should itself arise out of the primitive biological part played [by the two classes]; if so, we should have a single answer to both questions. [This last question is answered on p. 321 below.] [The MS. reads 'des Nsy' (singular) not "der' (plural), as implied by Anf., 387.] a [Translator's italics.] 1




Let us recall, then, that from the first the nervous system had two functions: the reception of stimuli from outside and the discharge of excitations of endogenous origin [pe 297]. It was from this latter obligation, indeed, that, owing to the exigencies of life, a compulsion came about towards further biological development [pe 301]. We might then conjecture that it might actually be our systems cP .and "p each of which had assumed one of these primary obligations. The system cP would be the group of neurones which the external stimuli reach, the system 1jJ would contain the neurones which receive the endogenous excitations. In that case we should not have invented the two [classes], eP and tp, we should have found them already in existence.' It still remains to identify them with something known to us. In fact we know from anatomy a system of neurones (the grey matter of the spinal cord) which is alone in contact with the external world, and a superimposed system (the grey matter of the brain) which has no peripheral connections but to which the development of the nervous system and the psychical functions are attached. The primary brain fits pretty well with our characterization of the system 1p, if we may assume that paths lead directly, and independently of ef>, from the brain to the interior of the body. Now, the derivation and original biological significance of the primary brain, are not known to anatomists; according to our theory, it would, to put it plainly, be a sympathetic ganglion. Here is a first possibility of testing our theory upon factual material. 2 We will provisionally regard the 1p system as identified with the grey matter of the brain. I t will now easily be understood from our introductory biological remarks [pe 301] that it is precisely V' that is subjected to further development through an increase in the number of neurones and an accumulation of Q. And it will now be realized how expedient it is that 'fJJ should consist of impermeable neurones, since otherwise it would be unable to meet the requirements of the specific action [pe 297]. But how did 1jJ arrive at the characteristic of impermeability? After all, cP too has contact-barriers; if they play no part whatever, why should 1p'S contact-barriers? To assume that there is an ultimate difference between the valence of the contact-barriers of ef> and of 1p has once more an unfortunate tinge of arbitrariness [cf p. 301], though it would be possible to follow a Darwinian line of thought and to appeal to the fact of impermeable neurones being indispensable and to their surviving in consequence. 1 [' I

Erfunden' and 'vorgefunden'.]

[A second such possibility is mentioned below, p. 305.]



Another way out seems more fruitful and more modest. Let us recall that the contact-barriers of the tp neurones too are in the end subjected to facilitation and that it is Q~ that facilitates them [pe 300]. The greater the QI} in the passage of excitations the greater the facilitation: that means, however, the closer the approach to the characteristics of q, neurones [pe 300]. Let us therefore attribute the differences not to the neurones but to the quantities with which they have to deal. It must then be supposed that quantities pass on to the ~ neurones against which the resistance of the contact-barriers does not come into account, but that only such quantities reach the 1p neurones as are of the same order of magnitude as that resistance." In that case a q, neurone would become impermeable and a "p neurone would become permeable-if we could exchange their locality and connections; they retain their characteristics, however, because the eP neurone is linked only with the periphery and the "p neurone only with the interior of the body. A difference in their essence is replaced by a difference in the environment to' which they are destined. Now, however, we must examine our assumption-whether we may say that the quantities of stimulus reaching the neurones from the external periphery are of a higher order than those from the internal periphery of the body. There is in fact much that speaks in favour of this. In the first place there is no question but that the external world is the origin of all major quantities of energy, since, according to the discoveries of physics, it consists of powerful masses which are in violent motion and which transmit their motion. The system ep, which is turned towards this external world, will have the task of discharging as rapidly as possible the Ql]s penetrating to the neurones, but it will in any case be exposed to the effect of major Qs. To the best of our knowledge, the system 1p is out of contact with the external world; it only receives Q on the one hand from the ~ neurones themselves, and on the other from the cellular elements in the interior of the body, and it is a question now of making it probable that these quantities of stimulus are of a comparatively Iow order of magnitude. We may be disturbed at first by the fact of having to attribute to the 1p neurones two such different sources of stimulus as ep and the cells of the interior of the body; but it is precisely here that we receive conclusive assistance from the recent histology of the nervous system. This shows that the termination of a neurone and 1

[Le, as the resistance of the contact-barriers. Cf. p. 306.]



the connection between neurones are constructed on the same type, and that neurones terminate on one another as they do on somatic elements [cf p. 298]; probably, too, the functional side of the two processes is of the same kind. It is likely that similar quantities are dealt with at the nerve-endings and in the case of intercellular conduction. We may also expect that endogenous stimuli are of this same intercellular order of rnagnitude.! Incidentally, we have here a second opportunity for testing the theory [pe 303]. I

[5] The Problem of Q,uantiV' I know nothing about the absolute magnitude ofintercellular stimuli; but I will venture on the assumption that they are of a comparatively small order of magnitude and of the same order as the resistances of the contact-barriers. This, ifit is so, is easily understandable. With this assumption, the essential sameness of the cl> and "p neurones is saved, and their difference in respect of permeability is explained biologically and mechanically," Here there is a lack of evidence; all the more interesting are certain perspectives and conceptions which arise from' this assumption. In the first place, if we have formed a correct impression of the magnitude of the 0 in the external world, we shall ask ourselves whether, after all, the original trend of the nervous system to keep Q,~ at [the level of] zero [pp. 296 and 1 [This was re-stated by Freud in Beyond thePleasure Principle (1920g). ibid., 18,29. The whole of Chapter IV of that work seems to look back to this section of the Project.] I [The whole question of the special characteristics of that portion of the mental apparatus which is in contact with the external world continued to interest Freud throughout his life. But the most elaborate of his later discussions of the question is once more in Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920g), ibid., 18, 26, where the treatment verges on the physiological and is distinctly reminiscent of the present passage. The topic is, of course, closely related to that of reality-testing, which is reached in Section 15, p. 324 below.] 8 [' Und mechanisch' in the MS. These last two words are omitted in Anf., 390.-lt is worth noticing that all through the present work Freud groups the explanations of the phenomena he is studying under two headings: 'mechanical' and 'biological'. The distinction has already appeared above on p. 302. It is discussed on p. 322 below, and is exemplified later, for instance, on pp. 360-62. By 'mechanical' (for which he sometimes uses 'automatic' as a synonym) he means that the phenomenon in question is determined directly by contemporary physical events; by 'biological' he means that it is determined genetically -by its survival value for the species.]





297] is satisfied with rapid discharge-whether it is not already at work during the reception of stimuli. We discover, in fact, that the eP neurones do not terminate at the periphery freely [i.e, without coverings] but in cellular structures which receive the exogenous stimulus in their stead. These 'nerve-ending apparatuses', [using the term] in the most general sense, might well have it as their purpose not to allow exogenous Qc; to make an undiminished effect upon eP but to damp them down.! They would then have the significance of Q;scrcens, through which only quotients of exogenous Qc; will pass. This accordingly tallies with the fact that the other kind of nerve-ending, the free ones, without end-organs, are by far the more common in the internal periphery of the body. No Q;screens seem to be needed there, probably because the Q,~s which have to be received there do not require to be reduced first to the intercellular level, but are at that level from the start. Since the Qc; which are received by the endings of the ep neurones can be calculated, this perhaps gives us a means of forming some idea of the magnitudes that pass between 1jJ neurones, these being, as we know, of the same kind as the resistances of the contact-barriers [p. 304]. Here, furthermore, we have a glimpse of a trend which may perhaps govern the construction of the nervous system out of several systems: an ever-increasing keeping-off of Q,fJ from the neurones. Thus the structure of the nervous system would serve the purpose of keeping off Q,t/j from the neurones and its function would serve the purpose of discharging it.

[6] Pain2 All contrivances of a biological nature have limits to their efficiency, beyond which they fail. This failure is manifested in phenomena which border on the pathological-which might be described as normal prototypes of the pathological. We have found that the nervous system is contrived in such a way that the major external Qs are kept offfrom ~ and still more from 1p: [by] 8 the nerve-ending screens, [and by] the merely indirect 1 [This precise point is once more made in Beyond thePleasure Principle, ibid., 18, 28.] I [Not long before, perhaps early in January, 1895, Freud had given another, and somewhat cryptic, explanation of pain. See Draft G (p. 205 above).] • [This clause, which is much abbreviated in the MS., is filled in in Anj., 368, by the words 'dienen diesem stimulus excites the nervous system's! trend to discharge, by transforming itself into a proportionate motor excitation. The apparatus of motility is attached directly to q,. The quantities which are translated in this way produce an effect far superior quantitatively to themselves, by entering the muscles, glands, etc.,-acting there, that is, by a release [ofquantity] , whereas between neurones only a transference taker place. In the eP neurones, furthermore, the VJ neurones terminate. To the latter a part of the Q.1} is transferred, but only a part-a quotient, perhaps, corresponding to the magnitude of an intercellular stimulus. At this point the question arises whether the Q.'1J transferred to 1p may not increase in proportion to the Q. flowing in 4>, so that a greater stimulus produces a stronger psychical effect. Here a special contrivance seems to be present, which once again ~ keeps off Q from VJ. For the sensory path of conduction in cl> is constructed in a peculiar fashion. It ramifies


[Fig. 13]

continually and exhibits thicker and thinner paths, which end in numerous terminal points-probably with the following significance: a stronger" stimulus follows different pathways from a weaker one. [Cf Fig. 13.] For instance, [1] Q./j will pass only along pathway I and will transfer a quotient to 1jJ at ter1 I

[Here 'Nervensystem' is written out in full in the MS. Cf. p. 296.] ['Starkerer' in the MS. Anf., 399, has 'starker' ('strong').]



minal (l. 2 (QI}) I will not transfer a double quotient at c(, but will be able to pass also along pathway 11, which is narrower, and to open up another terminal point to VJ [at P]. 3(Q~) will open up the narrowest path [Ill] and will transfer through" as well. This is how the single eP path is relieved of its burden; the larger quantity in eP will be expressed by the fact that it cathects several neurones in 'tjJ instead of a single one. The different cathexes of the VJ neurones may in this case be approximately equal. If Q~ in cl> gives rise to a cathexis in 'P, then 3(Q~) is expressed by a cathexis in 'PI + 'fJJ2 + 'Ps. Thus quantity in 4> is expressed by complication in 1jJ. By this means the Qis held back from 1p, within certain limits at least. This is very reminiscent of the conditions of Fechner's law, which might in this way be localized. 2 In this manner 1jJ is cathected from cl> in Qs which are normally small. The quantity of the cl> excitation is expressed in VJ by complication, its quality is expressed topographically, since, according to their anatomical relations, the different senseorgans are in communication through cl> only with particular 1p neurones. But "p receives cathexis as well from the interior of the body; and it is probable that the "p neurones should be divided into two groups: the neurones of the pallium 8 which are cathected from

3 and through endogenous paths of conduction; but the different 1p neurones [E.g. by the child's screaming.] [This account of the 'experience of satisfaction' is repeated very closely in Chapter VII (C) of The Interpretation ofDreams (1900a), ibid., 5, 565-6, and again, though more shortly, in the paper on the two principles of mental functioning (191Ib), ibid., 12, 220 n. and 221. Much of this is already foreshadowed in Freud's first paper on anxiety neurosis (1895b), ibid., 3, 108, and in the no doubt earlier Draft E, p. 192 above.] 8 [So in the MS. Anf., 403, has c~-Neuronen'.] 1 t



were cut off from one another by contact-barriers with strong resistances. Now there is a basic law of association hy simultaneity, l which operates in the case of pure 1jJ activity, of reproductive remembering, and which is the foundation of all links between the tp neurones. We find that consciousness-that is, the quantitative cathexis of a "p neurone, cx,2-.passes over to another, {J, if (l and {J have at some time been simultaneously cathected from cl> (or from elsewhere). Thus a contact-barrier has been facilitated through the simultaneous cathexis a.-p. It follows in the terms of our theory that a Q1} passes more easily from a neurone to a cathected neurone than to an uncathected one." Thus the cathexis of the second neurone operates like the increased cathexis of the first one. Once again, cathexis is here shown to he equivalent, as regards the passage of Q,IJ, tofacilitation. [Cf. pp. 30D-1.] Here, therefore, we become acquainted with a second important factor in directing the course taken by the passage of Q,~. A Q,1j in neurone ex will go not only in the direction of the barrier which is best facilitated, but also in the direction of the barrier which is cathected from the further side. The two factors may support each other or may in some cases operate against each other. Thus, as a result of the experience of satisfaction, a facilitation comes about between two mnemic images and the nuclear neurones which are cathected in the state of urgency. No doubt, along with the discharge of satisfaction the Q,1j flows out of the mnemic images as well. Now, when the state of urgency or wishing re-appears, the cathexis will also pass over on to the two memories and will activate them. Probably the mnemic image of the object will be the first to be affected by the wishful activation. I do not doubt that in the first instance this wishful activation will produce the same thing as a perception-namely a hallucination. If reflex action is thereupon introduced, disappointment cannot fail to occur. [Cf. p. 340.] 1 [Usually known under the more comprehensive name of 'association by contiguity'.] ,. [It is surprising to find consciousness thus defined, apparently without reference to w.] 8 [This is referred to at several points below, e.g, on pp. 329 and 338. It re-appears twenty years later in the metapsychological paper on dreams (1917d [1915], ibid., 14,227 and 234 n, where it is named 'the principle of the insusceptibility to excitation of uncathected systems'. It is referred to again still later, in Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920g), ibid., 18, 30 and in the 'Mystic Writing Pad' (1925a), ibid., 19, 231.]


[12] The Experience ofPain is exposed to Q, from the endogenous paths of

Normally, 1jJ conduction, and abnormally, even though not yet pathologically, in cases where excessively large 0 break through the screening contrivances in c/>--that is, in cases of pain [pe 307]. Pain gives rise in 1p (1) to a large rise in level, which is felt as unpleasure by (J) [pe 312],1 (2) to an inclination to discharge, which can be modified in certain directions, and (3) to a facilitation between the latter [the inclination to discharge] and a mnemic image of the object which excites the pain. Moreover, there is no question but that pain has a peculiar quality, which makes itself felt along with the unpleasure. If the mnemic image of the (hostile) object is freshly cathected in some way-for instance, by a fresh perception-a state arises which is not pain but which nevertheless has a resemblance to it. It includes unpleasure and the inclination to discharge which corresponds to the experience of pain. Since unpleasure signifies a rise in level, it must be asked where this Q,f} comes from. In the actual experience of pain it was the irrupting external Q,2 that raised the "p level. In the reproduction of the experience -in the affect 3 - t h e only additional Q,is that which cathects the memory, and it is clear that this is in the nature of any other perception and cannot have as a result a general raising of Q,~. It only remains to assume, therefore, that owing to the cathexis of memories unpleasure is released from the interior of the body and freshly conveyed up. The mechanism of this release can only be pictured as follows. Just as there are motor neurones which, when they are filled to a certain amount, conduct Q,1j into the muscles and accordingly discharge it, so there must be 'secretory' neurones which, when they are excited, cause the generation in the interior of the body of something which operates as a stimulus upon the endogenous paths of conduction to 1p-neurones which thus influence the production of endogenous Q,~, and accordingly do not discharge Q,~ but supply it in roundabout ways. We will call these [secretory]' neurones 'key neurones'. Evidently they are only excited when [Cf. Inhibitions, Symptoms and AnxielY (1920g), ibid., 20, 171-2.] [It is of interest to note that in the MS. Freud first wrote 'Q1}' here, and afterwards crossed out the '1}t.] a [Cf. footnote 4, p. 321 below.] , [The MS. has 'motorischen', It seems likely that this was a slip for 'sekretorischen'-since the point of the term 'key' is that they 'release' Q~. 'Motor' and 'key' neurones seem to be distinguished in a passage on p. 334 below. A reference to this view of motor and secretory innervation occurs in Chapter VI (H) of The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), ibid., 5,467-8.] 1 I



a certain level in 1jJ has been reached. As a result of tne experience of pain the mnemic image of the hostile object has acquired an excellent facilitation to these key neurones, in virtue ofwhich [facilitation] unpleasure is now released in the affect," Support is lent to this puzzling but indispensable hypothesis by what happens in the case of sexual release. At the same time a suspicion forces itself on us that in both instances the endogenous stimuli consist of chemical products, of which there may be a considerable number." Since the release of unpleasure can be an extremely big one when there is quite a trivial cathexis of the hostile memory, we may conclude that pain leaves behind specially abundant facilitations. In this connection we may guess that facilitation depends entirely on the Q~ reached; so that the facilitating effect of 3Q~ may be far superior to that of 3 X Q~.8 [13] Affects and Wishful States The residues of the two kinds of experiences [of pain and of satisfaction] which we have been' discussing are affects' and 1 [These consequences of an experience of pain are described in The Interpretation ofDreams, ibid., 5, 600.] :3 [Throughout his life Freud was interested in the possible chemical basis of the instincts, and especially of the sexual instincts. Some remarks on this will be found in the Editor's Note to the Three Essays, ibid., 7, 126-7 and ibid., 216. Freud associated these ideas in particular with suggestions from Fliess, as is shown by a later passage in this work (p. 342, below). The earliest reference to the question in the Fliess papers appears in Draft D (p. 187 above). Cf. also an allusion in Letter 52 (p. 238). A very late mention of the subject occurs in the paper on 'Female Sexuality' (1931b), ibid., 21, 240. In this last passage he refers back (only to dismiss it) to the theory of there being several sexual chemical substances.] 3 [Here '3 Q~' stands for a quantity 3 times as large as Q~, and '3 x Q~' stands for a quantity Q~ 3 times repeated. Freud seems to have been in some doubt as to how the fanner of these should be written. The MS. shows that in the present passage he began by writing '3(Q~)' and then corrected it to '3 Q~'. In another passage (on p. 315) he had used the first of these forms, '3(Q~)', but in a still earlier passage, to which the present one in fact refers back (p. 302) he wrote 'Q: 3~'. The German editors have altered the earlier versions in different ways (AnJ., 386 and 399).] 6 [It might be thought from some passages here (see e.g. pp. 320 and 335) that Freud was using the term 'affect' in relation to the reproduction only of disagreeable experiences. This is disproved entirely by a statement in connection with dreams on p. 340 below. Some discussion of Freud's use of the term will be found in Standard Ed., 3, 66-8.]



wishful states. These have in common the fact that they both involve a raising of Q~ tension in 1p-brought about in the case ofan affect by sudden release and in that ofa wish by summation. Both states are of the greatest importance for the passage [of quantity] in 1p, for they leave behind them motives for it which are of a compulsive kind. The wishful state results in a positive attraction towards the object wished-for, or, more precisely, towards its mnemic image; 1 the experience of pain leads to a repulsion, a disinclination to keeping the hostile mnemic image cathected. Here we have primary wishful attraction and primary defence [fending off]. Wishful attraction can easily be explained by the assumption that the cathexis of the friendly mnemic image 2 in a state of desire greatly exceeds in Q~ the cathexis which occurs when there is a mere perception, so that a particularly good facilitation leads from the 1p nucleus to the corresponding neurone of the pallium. I t is harder to explain primary defence or repression-the fact that a hostile mnemic image is regularly" abandoned by its cathexis as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the explanation should lie in the fact that the primary experiences of pain were brought to an end by reflex defence. The emergence of another object in place of the hostile one was the signal for the fact that the experience of pain was at an end, and the 1p system, taught biologically, seeks to reproduce the state in "p which marked the cessation of the pain. With the expression taught biologically we have introduced a new basis of explanation, which should have independent validity, even though it does not exclude, but rather calls for, a recourse to mechanical principles (quantitative factors)," In the instance before us it may easily be the increase of Q'fj, invariably occurring with the cathexis of a hostile memory, which forces an increased activity of discharge and thus a flowing away from the memory as well.

[14] Introduction of the (Ego' In fact, however, with the hypotheses of 'wishfulattraction' and of the inclination to repression we have already touched on a state of 1p which has not yet been discussed. For these two processes [Cf. The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), ibid., 5, 546.] [In the MS.: 'die Besetzg des freundlichen Er[innerungsbildes]'. Arif., 406, reads 'der • • • Erinnerung' ('of the memory'), having misread the gender of the definite article.] a [CSteLf' in the MS. Omitted in Anf., 406.] • [Cf. footnote 3, p. 305 above.] 1 I



indicate that an organization has been formed in 11' whose presence interferes with passages [of quantity] which on the first occasion occurred in a particular way [i.e, accompanied by satisfaction or pain]. This organization is called the 'ego'. It can easily be depicted if we consider that the regularly repeated reception of endogenous Q~ in certain neurones (of the nucleus) and the facilitating effect proceeding thence will produce a group of neurones which is constantly cathected [pp. 317 and 369] and thus corresponds to the vehicle of the store required by the secondary function [pe 297]. Thus the ego is to be defined as the totality of the 'P cathexes, at the given time, in which a permanent component is distinguished from a changing one [pe 328 below]. It is easy to see that the facilitations between 1jJ neurones are a part of the ego's possessions, as representing possibilities, if the ego is altered, for determining its extent in the next few moments. While it must be the endeavour of this ego to give off its cathexes by the method of satisfaction, this cannot happen in any other way than by its influencing the repetition of experiences ofpain and of affects, and by the following method, which is described generally as inhibition. A Q~ which breaks into a neurone from anywhere will pro-

ceedin the direction of the contact-barrier with the largest facilitation and will set up a current in that direction. To put this more accurately: the Q~ current will divide up in the direction of the various contact-barriers in inverse ratio to their resistance; and, in that case, where a contact-barrier is impinged upon by a quotient which is inferior to its [the contact-barrier's] resistance, nothing will in practice pass through there. This relation may easily turn out differently in the case of each Q~ in the neurone, for quotients may then arise which are superior to the threshold at other contact-barriers as well. Thus the course taken is dependent on Q~ and the relation of the facilitations. We have, however, come to know the third powerful factor [pe 319]. If an adjoining neurone is simultaneously cathected, this acts like a temporary facilitation of the contactbarrier lying between the two, and modifies the course [of the current], which would otherwise have been directed towards the one facilitated contact-barrier. A side-cathexis thus acts as an inhibition ofthe course ofQIj. Let us picture the ego as a network ofcathected neurones well facilitated in relation to one another, thus: [see Fig. 14]. If we suppose that a 0..,,,, enters a neurone a from outside (c/», then, ifit were uninfluenced, it would pass to neurone b; but it is so much influenced by the side-cathexis a-(J. that it gives off only a quotient tob and may even perhaps



not reach b at all. Therefore, if an ego exists, it must inhibit psychical primary processes.

Inhibition of this kind is, however, a decided advantage to "p. Let us suppose that a is a hostile mnemic image and b a keyneurone to unpleasure [pe 320]. Then, if a is awakened, primarily unpleasure would be released, which would perhaps be pointless and is so in any case [if released] to its full amount. With an inhibitory action from ex the release of unpleasure will turn out very slight and the nervous system will be spared the development and discharge of Q without any other damage. It is easy now to imagine how, with the help ofa mechanism which draws the ego's attention- to the imminent fresh cathexis of the hostile mnemic image, the ego can succeed in inhibiting the passage [of quantity] from a mnemic image to a release of unpleasure by a copious side-cathexis which can be strengthened according to need. Indeed, if we suppose that the original Q~ release of un pleasure is taken up by the ego itself we shall have in it itself the source of the expenditure which is required by the inhibiting side-cathexis from the ego. In that case, the stronger the unpleasure, the stronger will be the primary defence.

[15] Primary and Secondary Process? in tp It follows from what has developed so far, that the ego in 'If, which we can treat as regards its trends like the nervous system as a whole," will, when the processes in 1p are uninfluenced, be made helpless and suffer injury under two conditions. . That is to say, this will happen in the first place i~ while it is ['Attention' is discussed on p. 360 fr. below.] • [This fundamental distinction makes its first appearance at the end of this section. Some discussion of it will be found in Appendix C, p. 392 below.] a ['Gesamtnerven.rystem', written out in full in the MS. (0£ p. 296, n. 2.)] 1



in a wishful state, it newly cathects the memory of an object and then sets discharge in action; in that case satisfaction must fail to occur, because the object is not real but is present only as an imaginary idea. 1p is not in a position, to begin with, to make this distinction, since it can only work on the basis of the sequence of analogous states between its neurones.> Thus it requires a criterion from elsewhere in order to distinguish between perception and idea. On the other hand, VJ is in need of an indication that will draw its attention to the re-cathexis of a hostile mnemic image and enable it to obviate, by means of side-cathexis, the consequent release of unpleasure. If 'fJJ is able to put this inhibition into operation soon enough, the release ofunpleasure, and at the same time the defence, will be slight; otherwise there will be immense unpleasure and excessive primary defence. Both wishful cathexis and release of unpleasure, where the memory in question is cathected anew, can be biologically detrimental. This is true of a wishful cathexis whenever it exceeds a certain amount and so acts as an enticement to discharge; and it is true of a release of unpleasure, at least whenever the cathexis of the hostile mnemic image results not from the external world but from 1jJ itself (by association). Here once again, then, it is a question of an indication to distinguish between a perception and a memory (idea}," It is probably the w neurones which furnish this indication: the indication ofreality. 8 In the case of every external perception a qualitative excitation occurs in to [pe 309], which in the first instance, however, has no significance for 1jJ. It must be added that the eo excitation leads to eo discharge, and information of this, as of every discharge [pe 318], reaches "p. The information of the discharge from (JJ is thus the indication ofquality or ofrealityfor tp. If the wished.. .for object is abundantly cathected, so that it is activated in a hallucinatory manner, the same indication of discharge or of reality follows too as in the case of external perception. In this instance the criterion fails. But if the wishful 1 [Le, the sequence between a wish and a hallucination, as described in the later part of Section 11.] I [In the MS. 'W (Wahmehmg) von Er (Vorstellg) zu unterscheiden.'The present discussion is perhaps Freud's earliest attempt to grapple with the problem of 'reality-testing' (of how we decide whether a thing is real or not), to which he returns at several points below and which occupied him constantly over the years. See Appendix C, p. 394 below.] a [' Realitiitszeichen.' The almost identical term, 'Kennzeichm der Realitat', appears in the metapsychological paper on dreams (1917d), Standard Ed., 14, 232.]



cathexis takes place subject to inhibition, as becomes possible when there is a cathected ego, a quantitative instance can be imagined in which the wishful cathexis, not being intense enough, produces no indication of quality, whereas the external perception would produce one. In this instance, therefore, the criterion would retain its value. For the difference is that the indication ofquality follows, ifit comes from outside, whatever the intensity of the cathexis, whereas, if it comes from "P, it does so only when there are large intensities. It is accordingly inhibition by the ego which makes possible a criterion for distinguishing between perception and memory. Biological experience will then teach that discharge is not to be initiated till the indication of realiry has arrived, and that with this in view the cathexis of the desired memories is not to be carried beyond a certain amount. On the other hand, the excitation of the t» neurones can also serve to protect the "p system in the second case: that is, by drawing the attention of VJ to the fact of a perception being present or absent. For this purpose it must be assumed that the w neurones are originally linked anatomically with the paths of conduction from the various sense-organs and that they [the Q) neurones] direct their discharge back to the motor apparatuses belonging to those same sense organs. In that case the information of the latter discharge (the information of reflex attention) will act to 1p biologically as a signal! to send out a quantity of cathexis in the same directions. So then: if there is inhibition by a cathected ego, the indications of Q) discharge become quite generally indications ofreality, which 1p learns, biologically, to make use of. I~ when an indication ofreality of this kind emerges, the ego is in a state of wishful tension, it will allow discharge towards the specific action to follow [pe 318]. If an increase of unpleasure coincides with the indication of reality, then 1p will, by means of a side-cathexis of suitable magnitude, institute a defence of normal magnitude at the point indicated. If neither of these is the case," the cathexis will be allowed to proceed unhindered according to the circumstances of the facilitations." Wishful cathexis to the point of hallucination [and] complete generation of unpleasure which involves a complete expenditure of defence are described by us 1 [This is perhaps a first hint at the much later theory of anxiety as a signal. See the Editor's Introduction to Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxie& (1926d), ibid., 20, 83. ce also pp. 358, 359 and 382 below.] 2 [Le, ifneither a wishful state nor an increase ofunpleasure is present when the indication of reality is received.] 8 [The relative distribution of quantities and contact-barriers (p.323).]


as psychical primary processes; by contrast, those processes which are only made possible by a good cathexis of the ego, and which represent a moderation of the foregoing, are described as Pvchical secondary processes. It will be seen that the necessary precondition of the latter is a correct employment of the indications of realiry, which is only possible when there is inhibition by the ego.

[16] Cognition and Reproductive Thought» We have brought forward the hypothesis that, during the process of wishing, inhibition by the ego brings about a moderated cathexis of the object wished-for, which allows it to be cognized as not real; and we may now proceed with the analysis of this process. Several possibilities may occur. In the first case: simultaneously with the wishful cathexis of the mnemic image, the perception of it is present. If so, the two cathexes coincidewhich cannot be made use of biologically-but, in addition, the indication of reality arises from 00, after which, as experience shows, the discharge is successful [pe 326]. This case is easily dealt with. In the second case: 2 the wishful cathexis is present and along with it a perception which does not tally with it wholly but only in part. For the time has come to remember that perceptual cathexes are never cathexes of single neurones but always of complexes. So far we have neglected this feature; it is time to take it into account. Let us suppose that, quite generally, the wishful cathexis relates to neurone a+ neurone 1 [In the MS. the title of this section reads 'Das Erkennen u[nd] reproduzirende Denken'.) AnI., 411, alters this to 'Das erkennende undreproduzierende Denken' ('Cognitive and Reproductive Thought').-Sections 16, 17 and 18 of Part I, as well as almost the whole of Part Ill, are concerned with the classification and analysis of processes of thought. In the discussion in Part I the main distinction drawn is between, on the one hand, the very closely related and possibly identical concepts of 'cognition' and 'judgement' and, on the other hand, that of 'reproductive thought', which covers such functions as remembering, wishing) desiring and expecting. In Part III the same points are reviewed, but with much deeper penetration. 'Reproductive thought' disappears almost completely from view, and fresh terms are introduced, such as 'practical thought', 'observant thought', 'theoretical thought' and 'critical thought'. It will be found that these very difficult discussions become a little easier to follow when both those in Part III and Part I are taken into account, since they often cover the same ground and throw light on each other.] I [A third case is discussed on p. 330 ft] I.P.I-Z



b, and the perceptual cathexis to neurone a + c. Since this will be the commoner case, commoner than that of identity, it calls for more exact consideration. Biological experience will teach here once again [pe 326] that it is unsafe to initiate discharge if the indications of reality do not confirm the whole complex but only a part of it. A way is now found, however, of completing the similarity into an identity. The perceptual complex, if it is compared with other perceptual complexes, can be dissected into a component portion, neurone a, which on the whole remains the same, and a second component portion, neurone b, which for the most part varies. Language will later apply the term judgement to this dissection and will discover the resemblance which in fact exists between the nucleus of the ego and the constant perceptual component [on the one hand] and between the changing cathexes in the pallium [pp. 315 and 323] and the inconstant component [on the other]; it [language] will call neurone a the thing and neurone b its activity or attribute-in short, its predicate. [Cf. pp. 331-2, 366 and 383.] Thus judging is a tp process which is only made possible by inhibition by the ego and which is evoked by the dissimilarity between the wishful cathexis of a memory and a perceptual cathexis that is similar to it. It can be inferred from this that coincidence between the two cathexes becomes a biological signal for ending the act of thought and for allowing discharge to begin. Their non-coincidence gives the impetus for the activity of thought, which is terminated once more with their coincidence. 1 The process can be analysed further. If neurone a coincides [in the two cathexes] but neurone c is perceived instead of neurone b, then the activity of the ego follows the connections of this neurone c and, by means of a current- of Q~ along these connections, causes new cathexes to emerge until access is found to the missing neurone h. As a rule, the image of a movement [a motor image] arises which is interpolated between neurone , and neurone b; and, when this image is freshly activated through a movement carried out really, the perception of neurone b, and at the same time the identity that is being sought," are established. Let us suppose, for instance, that the mnemic image wished for [by a child] is the image of the mother's breast and a front view of its nipple, and that the first 1 [Cf. the similar account ofjudgement in 'Negation' (1925h), ibid., 19, 238.] I [Freud originally wrote 'Besetz[un]g' ('cathexis') here, but crossed it out and put 'Striim[un]g' ('current') instead.] 8 [See footnote 5, p. 332 below.]


perception is a . side view of the same object, without the nipple. In the child's memory there is an experience, made by chance in the course of sucking, that with a particular head-movement the front image turns into the side image. The side image which is now seen leads to the [image of the] head-movement; an experiment shows that its counterpart must be carried out, and the perception of the fron t view is achieved.! There is not much judgement about this as yet; but it is an example of the possibility of arriving, by a reproduction of cathexes, at an action which is already one of the accidental offshoots of the specific action. There is no doubt that it is QIj from the cathected ego which underlies this travelling along the facilitated neurones and that this travelling is dominated not by the facilitation but by an aim. What is this aim and how is it reached? The aim is to go back to the missing neurone b and to release the sensation of identity-that is, the moment at which only neurone b is cathected, at which the travelling cathexis debauches into neurone h. [Cf pp. 332 and 378.] It is reached by means ofan experimental displacement of Q~ along every pathway, and it is clear that for this purpose sometimes a larger and sometimes a smaller expenditure of side-cathexis is necessary, according to whether one can make use of the facilitations that are present or whether one has to work against them. The struggle between the established facilitations and the changing cathexes is characteristic of the secondary process of reproductive thought, in contrast to the primary sequence of association. What is it that directs this travelling? The fact that the wishful idea of the memory" [i.e, of neurone h] is kept cathected while the association is followed from neurone c. As we know [pe 319], a cathexis like this of neurone b makes all its possible connections themselves more facilitated and accessible. In the course of this travelling it may happen that the Q~ 1 [The hungry baby is used as an illustration in similar conditions on pp. 297 and 318 above, but also in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), ibid., 5, 565.] 2 [The text is uncertain here. Anf., 414, reads 'die WunsduorstellungsErinnerung', which makes poor sense and is certainly not given by the MS. The word begins with 'Wunrch' but what follows is doubtful and there is neither an's' nor a hyphen at the end of the first part; the second part is quite clearly 'Er[innerong]'. What one would expect might possibly be 'die Wunschoorstellung tier Erinnerung' (as conjectured in the translation above); but this again is certainly not given by the MS. The general sense is, in any case, clear. Cf. the similar passage on p. 376 below.]



comes upon a memory which is connected with an experience of pain and thus gives occasion for a release of unpleasure. Since this is a sure sign that neurone b is not to be reached along that pathway, the current is at once diverted from the cathexis in question. Unpleasurable paths, however, retain their great value in directing the current of reproduction.

[17] Remembering andJudging Thus reproductive thought has a practical aim and a biologically established end-namely, to lead a Q~, which is travelling from the superfluous [unwanted] perception, back to the cathexis of the missing neurone. With this, identity! and a right to discharge are achieved, if in addition the indication of reality appears from neurone b. The process can, however, make itself independent of this latter aim and strive only for identity. If so, we have before us a pure act of thought, though this can in any case be put to practical use later. Here, moreover, the cathected ego is behaving in exactly the same way. We now come to a third possibility that can arise in a wishful state: 2 when, that is, there is a wishful cathexis and a perception emerges which does not coincide in any way with the wished-for mnemic image (mnem. +). 8 Thereupon there arises an interest for cognizing this perceptual image, so that it may perhaps after all be possible to find a pathway from it to mnem. + . It is to be assumed that, with this aim in view, the perceptual image is again hypercathected 4 from the ego, as happened in the previous case with only a component part ofit, neurone c. If the perceptual image is not absolutely new, it will now recall and revive a mnemic perceptual image with which it coincides at least partly.' The previous process 9£ [Cf. footnote 5, p. 332 below.] [For the first two, see p. 327.] • [The 'plus' sign seems to indicate cwished-for'. It appears again later on-on p. 376 1: below.] 4 [I.e, receives an extra amount of cathexis. A list of some late occurrences of the term is given in a footnote to Lecture XXIII of the Introductory Lectures (1916-17), Standard Ed., 16, 374, n. 2. See also Appendix C, p. 393, n. 2 below.] 6 [In the last sentence, Anf., 415, systematically alters the gender of cW' from the neuter 'Wahrnehmungsbild' 'perceptual image' (of the MS.) to the feminine 'Wahrnehmung' ('perception'), and in the sentence before, expands 'W' into 'die Wahrnehmung' instead of into the more probable ,Wahmehmungsbild' -l 1




thought is now repeated in connection with this mnemic image, though to some extent without the aim which was afforded previously! by the cathected wishful idea [pe 329]. In so far as the cathexes coincide, they give no occasion for activity of thought. On the other hand, the non-coinciding portions 'arouse interest' and can give occasion for activity of thought in two ways. The current is either directed on to the aroused memories and sets an aimless activity of memory at work, which is thus moved by differences and not by similarities, or it [the current] remains in the components [of the perception] which have newly emerged and in that case exhibits an equally aimless activity ofJ·udging. 2 Let us suppose that the object which furnishes the perception resembles the subject-aftllow human-being. If'so, the theoretical interest [taken in it] is also explained by the fact that an object like this was simultaneously the [subject's] first satisfying object and further his first hostile object, as well as his sole helping power. For this reason it is in relation to a fellow human-being that a human-being learns to cognize. Then the perceptual complexes proceeding from this fellow human-being will in part be new and non-comparable-his features, for instance, in the visual sphere; but other visual perceptions-e.g. those of the movements of his hands-will coincide in the subject with memories of quite similar visual impressions of his own, of his own body, [memories] which are associated with memories of movements experienced by himself: Other perceptions of the object too--if, for instance, he screams-will awaken the memory of his [the subject's] own screaming and at the same time of his own experiences of pain. Thus the complex of the fellow human-being falls apart into two components, of which one makes an impression by its constant structure and stays together as a thing, while the other can be understood by the activity of memory-that is, can be traced back to information from [the subject's] own body. 3 This dissection ofa perceptual complex is described as cognizing it; it involves a judgement and when this last aim has been attained it comes to an end. 1 [There is a second 'vorhin' in the MS. at this point in the sentence. Omitted in Arif., 415.] sa [The italicizing in this paragraph follows the underlining in the MS. One would have expected 'activity of memory' to be stressed rather than 'aroused', in contrast to 'activity ofjudging"] a [As the editors of the Anflinge point out, a distant approach to this idea may be seen in a passage in Chapter V~I of Freud's book on jokes (1905c), in which he discusses 'ideational mimetics', Standard Ed., 8, 192 fr.]



Judgement, as will be seen, is not a primary function;' but presupposes the cathexis from the ego of the disparate [non-comparable] portions [of the perception]; in the first instance it has no practical 'purpose and it seems that during the process of judging the cathexis of the disparate components is discharged, for this would explain why activities, 'predicates' [pe 328], are separated from the subject-complex by a comparatively loose pathway. 2 It would be possible from this point to enter deeply into the analysis of the act ofjudgement; but this would divert us from our topic. Let us content ourselves with bearing firmly in mind that it is the original interest in establishing the situation of satisfaction that has led, in the one case to reproductioe considerations and in the other tojudging, as a method of proceeding from the perceptual situation that is given in reality to the situation that is wished-for," The necessary precondition for this remains that the "p processes should not pursue their passage uninhibited but in conjunction with an active ego. The eminently practical sense of all thought-activity would in this way seem to be demonstrated.

[18] Thought and Reality The aim and end of all thought-processes is thus to bring about a state of identity, the conveying of a cathexis Q~ [sic], emanating from outside, into a neurone cathected from the ego.! Cognitive ot judging thought seeks an identity with a bodily cathexis, reproductive thought seeks it with a psychical cathexis of one's own 8 (an experience of one's own). Judging thought 1 [In the MS.: 'Primarf? 'Primdrfunktion' in Anf., 416~-This in no way conflicts with the distinction drawn in the next section between primary and secondary judging.] I [This is made more intelligible later: see pp. 366 and 383.] 8 ['Reproduzirendes Nachdenken;' Everywhere else here the word used is 'Denken'.-The alternative cases recall those mentioned on p. 331 of 'an aimless activity of memory' and 'an aimless activity of judging'.See also p. 358, n. 2 below.] , [The subject of judgement was discussed by Freud on quite similar lines thirty years later, in his paper on the 'Mystic Writing-Pad' (1925a), ibid., 19, 238.] I [Cf. p. 329. A similar line of thought is developed in Chapter VII (0) and (E) of The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), ibid., 5, 566-7 and 602-3, where Freud speaks of 'perceptual identity' and 'thought identity' -l • ['Eigenen' in the MS. Omitted in Anf., 417. For this rather obscure sentence, cl: the discussion of cognizing on p. 331 above.]



operates in advance of reproductive thought by furnishing it with ready-made faciIitations for further associative travelling. If after the conclusion of the act of thought the indication of reality reaches the perception.! then a judgement of reality, belief, has been achieved and the aim of the whole activity attained. As regards judging, there is further to be remarked that its basis is obviously the presence of bodily experiences, sensations and motor images of one's own. So long as these are absent, the variables portion [pe 328] of the perceptual complex remains ununderstood-that is, it can be reproduced but does not point a direction for further paths of thought. Thus, for instance, and this will become important in what follows [in Part 11], no sexual experiences produce any effect so long as the subject is ignorant of all sexual feeling-in general, that is, till the beginning of pu berry, Primary judging seems to presuppose a lesser influence by the cathected ego than do reproductive acts of thought. In this [in primary judging] it is a matter of pursuing an association which is due to partial coincidence [between the wishful and perceptual cathexes]-an association to which no modification is applied.s And indeed, cases also occur in which the associative process ofjudging is carried out with a full [amount of] quantity. The perception may correspond to an object-nucleus + a motor image. While one is perceiving the perception, one copies the movement oneself-that is, one innervates so strongly the motor image of one's own which is aroused towards coinciding [with the perception], that the movement is carried out. Hence one can speak of a perception having an imitation-ualuer Or the perception may arouse the mnemic image ofa sensation of pain of one's own, so that one feels the corresponding unpleasure and repeats the appropriate defensive movement. Here we have the sympathy-value of a perception. In these two cases we must no doubt see the primary process in [An}:, 417, adds the word 'hinzu' ('as well') (not in the MS).] ['Variable' in the MS. Arif., 417, has, inexplicably, 'verarbeiteruk' ('modifying').] a [This is incorrectly printed in Anf., 417, which has a comma at this point, followed by a 'JO' with small initial. Actually the MS. shows a plain full stop, and the next word begins with a capital 'S'-a letter which in the Gothic hand cannot possibly be confused with a small cs'. The emendation of this very difficult passage was perhaps made because the sentence ending here does not read grammatically in the original.] • [Cf. p. 367 below, and also footnote 3, p. 331 above.] 1 I



respect of judging," and we may assume that all secondary judging has come about through a mitigation of these purely associative processes. Thus judging, which is later a means for the cognition of an object that may possibly be of practical importance, is originally an associative process between cathexes coming from outside and arising from one's own body-an identification of information or cathexes from ep andfrom within. It is perhaps not wrong to suspect that it [judging] at the same time represents a method by which Qs coming from q, can be transmitted and discharged. What we call things are residues which evade being judged. The example ofjudgement gives us for the first time a hint of the difference in their quantitative characteristic which is to be discovered between thought and the primary process. It is justifiable to suppose that during thought a slight curnent of motor innervation passes from 1p-onIy, of course, ifduring the process a motor or key neurone [pe 320] has been innervated. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to take this discharge for the process of thought itself of which it is only an unintended subsidiary effect. The process ofthought consists in the cathexis of"Pneurones, accompanied by a change, brought about by side-cathexis from the ego, in what is imposed by the facilitations. It is intelligible from the mechanical point of view- that here only a part of the Q~ is able to follow the facilitations and that the magnitude of this part is constantly regulated by the cathexes. But it is also clear that at the same time enough QIJ is economized by this to make the reproduction profitable as a whole. Otherwise, all the Q,~, which is finally needed for discharge, would be given off at the points of motor outlet during the course of its passage. Thus the secondary process is a repetition ofthe original "P passage [of quanti ty], at a lower level, with smaller quantities. 8 'With Q,~s even smaller', it will be objected, 'than those that ordinarily pass through in 1p neurones? How can it be arranged that such small Q?is shall have open to them pathways which, after all, are only traversable by larger ones than 1p as a rule receives?' The only possible reply is that this must be a mechanical result of the side-cathexes. We must conclude that matters stand in such a way that when there is a side-cathexis small Q,1}s flow through facilitations which would ordinarily be [I.e. in the cases of imitation and of sympathy.] [Cf footnote 3, p. 305.] 8 [This theory of the economics of thought is another basic idea running through all Freud's later writings. See the long list of references in a footnote to Lecture XXXII of the New Introductory Lectures (1933a), ibid., 22, 89.] . 1 I



traversed only by large ones. The side-cathexis as it were binds a quota of the Q~ flowing through the neurone," There is a further condition that thought must satisfy. It must make no essential change in the facilitations created by the primary processes; otherwise, indeed, it would falsify the traces of reality. Of this condition it is enough to remark that facilitation is probably the result ofa single [passage of a] major quantity and that cathexis, though very powerful at the moment, nevertheless does not leave any comparable lasting effect behind it. The small ~ that pass during thought cannot in general prevail against the facilitations. There is no doubt, however, that the process of thought does leave lasting traces behind it, since a second thinking, a rethinking.P calls for so much less expenditure [of energy] than a first. In order that reality shall not be falsified, therefore, special traces are needed, signs of the processes of thought, 'constituting a thought-memory which it is not yet possible to shape. We shall hear later by what means the traces of thought-processes are distinguished from those of reality. a

[19] Primary Processes-Sleep and Dreams' The question now arises as to what, then, the quantitative means may be by which the "p primary process is sustained. In the case of an experience ofpain it is evidently the irrupting Q from outside; in the case of an affect it is the endogenous Q6 released by facilitation. In the case of the secondary process of reproductive thought a greater or lesser Q~ can obviously be transferred to neurone c from the ego [p. 328], and this [Q1}] may be described as thought interest,6 and be proportionate to the affective interest where that may have developed. The question is only whether there are "p processes of a primary nature for which the QIJ supplied from ep is sufficient or whether the ep cathexis of a perception is automatically supplemented by a 1p contribution 1 [The concept of 'binding' and this whole subject is more fully discussed in Part Ill, p. 368 fr. below. See also Appendix C, p. 393 below.] 31 ['Oberdenken.' Cl: p. 300 above and p. 379 below.] 8 [See below in Part Ill, particularly pp. 366 and 378-9.] 4 [The later part of this section and the two following ones contain much that anticipates The Interpretation of Dreams.] 6 ['Qend' in the MS. Anf., 419, simply reads 'Quantitat', having apparently failed to recognize the 'end'. Cf. also p. 320.] , [This is perhaps equivalent to the 'attention' mentioned in the next sentence and discussed at length in Part III (p. 361 fr.).]


(attention) which alone makes a 1jJ process possible. [See p. 337 below.] This question must remain an open one, though it may perhaps be decided if it is specially applied to [some] psychological facts. It is an important fact that 'P primary processes, such as have been biologically suppressed in the course of 'P development, are daily presented to us during sleep. A second fact of the same importance is that the pathological mechanisms which are revealed in the psychoneuroses by the most careful analysis have the greatest similarity to dream-processes. The most important conclusions follow from this comparison, which will be enlarged on later [pe 341].1 First, the fact of sleep must be brought into our theory. The essential precondition of sleep may be clearly recognized in children. Children sleep so long as they are not tormented by any [physical] need or external stimulus (hunger and cold from wetting). They go to sleep after being satisfied (at the breast). Adults, too, fall asleep easily postcoenam et coitum» [after dining and copulating]. Accordingly, the precondition of sleep is a lowering of the enedognous load in the "p nucleus, which makes the secondary function superfluous. In sleep an individual is in the ideal state of inertia, rid of his store of Q~ [pe 297]. In adults! this store is collected in the 'ego' [pe 323]; we may assume that it is the unloading of the ego which determines and characterizes sleep. And here, as is immediately clear, we have the precondition of psychical primary processes. It is not certain whether in adults the ego is completely re.. lieved of its burden in sleep. In any case it' withdraws an enormous number of its cathexes, which, however, are restored on awakening, immediately and without trouble. This contradicts none of our presuppositions; but it draws attention to the fact that we must assume that between neurones which are properly linked there are currents that affect the total level [of cathexis] as happens in intercommunicating pipes, although the height of the level in the different neurones need only be proportionate and not necessarily uniform [cf. p. 370]. The peculiarities of sleep reveal a number of things which it might not have been possible- to guess. 1 [This paragraph contains what was probably the first statement of one of Freud's most momentous observations.] I [Translator's italics.] • [In the MS. 'beim Erwachsenen' (et the next paragraph). In Arif., 420, this was misread 'beim Erwachen' ('on waking up').] 4 ['Es' in the MS.; 'er' ('he') in Anf., 420.] I ['Liesse' in the MS. Anj.J 421, has 'lasst' ('may not be possible').]



Sleep is characterized by motor paralysis (paralysis ofthe will).l The will is the discharge of the total e Q1] [pe 317]. In sleep the spinal tonus is in part relaxed; it is probable that the motor rroa•, INTllODUanON



J>auACB TO THB 1imtD EDmoN


PauAaa TO THB Fouam EDmoN PauAca TO THB FIPTH EDrnoN




:am nix







PlluACS 'l'O THB 1imtD


(A) The Relation ofDreama to Waking Life (•) The Material of Dreams-Memory in Dreams (c) The Stimuli and Sourcc1 ofDreams (1) External Scmory Stimuli (2) Internal {Subjective) Scmory Excitations (3) Internal Organic Somatic Stimuli (4) Paychical Sources ofStimulation (n) Why Dreama arc Forgotten after Waking (a) The Distinguishing Paychological Characteristics ofl>reams (F) The Moral Scmc in Dreama (o) Theories of Dreaming and its Function (e) The Relations between Dreams and Mental DilCUCI P01tscript, 1909 POltleript, 1914

7 11 22 25 SO 33 39 43 48


75 88 93 95




V THE MATERIAL AND SOURCES OF DREAMS 165 (A) Recent and I ndifferent Material in Dreams 165 189 (B) Infantile Material as a Source ofDreams (o) TheSomatic Sources of Dream, 220 (D) TypicalDreams 241 («) Embarrassing Dreams of Being Naked 242 (/J) Dreams of the D eath of P enons of whom the Dreamer isFond 248 (r) O ther Trpical D reams 271 (C,) Enroioation Dreams 273 VI THE DREAM-WORK (A) The Work ofOondcmation (B) The Work of Displacement (o) The Mcam ofRepte1CDtation in Dreams VOLUME FIVE (D) Considerations ofReprescntability (a) Representation by Symbols i n DreaJU--Some Further Typical Dreams (•) Some ExamplCI-Oalculationa and Speeches in Dreama (o) Absurd Dreama-IntellectualA ctivity in Dreama (e) Aft'ccts in Dreama (1) SecondaryRevision

277 279 305 310 339 350 405 426 460 488

VII THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE DREAMPRO CESSES 509 (A) The Forgetting of Dreama 512 533 (s) Rcgrcllion



(c) Wllh-Fulfilmcnt pag, 550 (D) Arousal by Drcaim-The Function of Dream.Anxiety-Dreams 573 (a) The Primary and Secondary PrOCC11e1-Repl"Clsion 588 (•) The Unconscious and Consciousnea-Reality 610 APPENDIX A A Premonitory Dream Fulfilled


APPENDIX B List of Writings by Freud dealing predominantly or largely with Dreams 626


631 633

BIBLIOGRAPHY (A) List of Works Qµotcd and Author Index 687 (s) List of Works on Dreams 708 Published before 1900 ADDITIONAL NOTES


INDEX OF DREAMS (A) Frcud•s Own Dreams (s) Other Pcople•s Dreams

715 717



The Frontispiece is a re production of the title-page of the Fmt Edition

THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS (1900) FJectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo



( a) GERMAN EomoNs: 1900 Du Traumdeutung. Leipzig and Vienna: Franz Deuticke. Pp. iv+ 375. 1909 2nd ed. (Enlarged and revised.) Same publishen. Pp. vi + 389. 1911 3rd ed. (Enlarged and revised.) Same publiahen. Pp, X + 418. 1914 4th ed. (Enlarged and revised.) Same publiahen. Pp. X + 498. 1919 5th ed. (Enlarged and revised.) Same publishers. Pp. ix+ 474. 1921 6th (Reprints of 5th ed. except for new preface 1922 7th ed. and revised bibliography.) Pp. vii+ 478. 1925 Vol. II and part of Vol. III of Freud, Gesammelu Schriften. (Enlarged and revised.) Leipzig, Vienna and Zurich: Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag. Pp. 543 and 1-185. 1930 8th ed. (Enlarged and revised.) Leipzig and Vienna: Franz Deuticke. Pp. x+ 435. 1942 In Double Volume II & III of Freud, GesatntMlu Werke. (Reprint of 8th ed.) London: Imago Publish­ ing Co. Pp. xv and 1-642.


( 6) ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS: 1913 ByA.A.Brill. London: George Allen & Co.; New York: The Macmillan Co. Pp. xiii + 510. 1915 2nd ed. London: George Allen & Unwin; New York: The Macmillan Co. Pp. xiii + 510. 1932 3rd ed. (Completely revised and largely rewritten by various unspecified hands.) London: George Allen & Unwin; New York: The Macmillan Co. Pp. 600. si



1938 In Tiu Basie Writings of Sigmund Freud. Pp. 181-549. (Reprint of 3rd ed. with almost the whole of Chapter I omitted.) New York: Random Howe. The present, entirely new, translation is by James Strachey. ACTUALLY Du Traumdmtung made its fint appearance in 1899. The fact is mentioned by Freud at the beginning of his second paper on Josef Popper (1932c): 'It was in the winter of 1899 that my book on the interpretation of dreams (though its title­ page was post-dated into the new century) at length lay before me! But we now have more precise information from his correspondence with Wilhelm Fliess (Freud, 1950a). In his letter of 'November 5, 1899 (Letter 123), Freud announces that 'yesterday at length the book appeared'; and from the preced­ ing letter it seems that Freud himself had received two advance copies about a fortnight earlier, one of which he had sent to Fliess as a birthday present. Tiu Interpretation of Dr,ams was one of the two books-the Three Essays on tlu Tluory of Smudi9 (1905d) was the other -which Freud kept more or less systematically 'up to date' as they passed through their series of editions. After the third edition of the present work, the changes in it were not indicated in any way; and this produced a somewhat confusing effect on the reader of the later editions, since the new material some­ times implied a knowledge of modifications in Freud's views dating from times long subsequent to the period at which the book was originally written. In an attempt to get over this difficulty, the editon of the fint collected edition of Freud's works (the Gesammelu Schriftm) reprinted the fint edition of Tiu Inurp,,lalion of Dreams in its original form in one volume, and put into a second volume all the material that had been added subsequently. Unfortunately, however, the work was not carried out very systematically, for the additions themselves were not dated and thereby much of the advantage of the plan was sacrificed. In subsequent editions a return was made to the old, undifferentiated single volume. By far the greater number of additions dealing with any single subject arc those concerned with symbolism in dreams. Freud explains in his 'History of the Psycho-Analytic Move­ ment' (1914d), u well u at · the beginning of Chapter VI,



�tio� .& ,(P,. 350), of the present work, that he arrived late at a full realization of the importance of this side of the subject. In the fi.nt edition, the discussion of symbolism was limited to a few pages and a single specimen dream (giving instances of semal symbolism) at the end of the Section on 'Considera­ tions of Repraentability' in Chapter VI. In the second edition (1909), nothing was added to this Section; but, on the other hand, several pages on acxual symbolism were inserted at the. end of the Section on 'Typical Dreams' in Chapter V. These were very considerably expanded in the third edition (1911), while the original passage in Chapter VI still remained un­ altered. A reorganization was evidently overdue, and in the fourth edition ( 1914) an entirely new Section on Symbolism was introduced into Chapter VI, and into this the material on the subject that had accumulated in Chapter V was now trans­ planted, together with a quantity of entirely fresh material. No changes in the struetur, of the book were made in later editiom, though much further matter was added. After the two-volume version (1925)-that is, in the eighth edition (1930)-tme paaages in the Section on 'Typical Dreams' in Chapter V, which had been altogether dropped at an earlier stage, were re-inserted. In the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh editions (that is from 1914 to 1922), two essays by Otto Rank (on 'Dreams and Creative Writing' and 'Dreams and Myths') were printed at the en d of Chapter VI, but were subsequently omitted. There remain the bibliographies. The fi.nt edition contained a list of some eighty boob, to the great majority of which Freud refers in the text. This was left unchanged in the second and third editiom, but in the third a second list was added, of some forty boob written since 1900. Thereafter both lists began to increase rapidly, till in the eighth edition the 6nt list contained some 260 worb and the second over 200. At this stage only a �ty of the titles in the 6.nt (pre-1900) list were of boob actua ·y mentioned in Freud's text; while, on the other hand, the aecono (poat-1900) list (as may be gathered from Freud's own remarb in his various prefaces) could not really keep pace with the production of analytic or quasi-analytic writings on the subject. Furthermore, quite a number of worb quoted by Freud in the text were not to be found in m/ur list. It teems probable that, from the third edition onwards, Otto � became chiefly responsible for these bibliographies. (See also p. 714.)


The publication of Freud's correspondence with Flicss cnablcs us to follow the composition of Tiu Interpretation of Dreams in some detail. In his 'History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement' (1914d}, Freud wrote, looking back upon his leisurely rate of publication in earlier days: 'Tiu lnterpretatum of Dreams, for instance, was finished in all essentials at the beginning of 1896 but was not written down until the summer of 1899.' Again, in the introductory remarks to his paper on the psychological con­ sequences of the anatomical distinction between the sexes (1925J), he wrote: 'My Interpr,tatum ofDreams and my "Frag­ ment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria" [1905,] ••• were suppressed by me-ifnot for the nine years enjoined by Horace -at all events for four or five years before I allowed them to be published.' We arc now in a position to amplify and in certain respects to correct these later recollections, on the basis of the author's contemporary evidence. Apart from a number of scattered references to the subjcct­ which, in his correspondence, go back at least as early as 1882the fint important published evidence of Freud's interest in dreams occun in the coune of a long footnote to the fint of his case histories (that of Frau Emmy von N., under the date of May 15) in Breuer and Freud's Slulliu on H.,stma (1895). He is discuaing the fact that neurotic patients seem to be under a necessity to bring into association with one another any ideas that happen to be simultaneously present in their minds. He goes on: 'Not long ago I was able to convince myself of the strength of � compulsion towards association from some oblcrvations made in a different fi.cld. For several weeks I found m� obliged to exchange my usual bed for a harder one, in which I had more numerous or more vivid dreams, or in which, it may be, I was unable to reach the normal depth of deep. In the fint quarter of an hour after waking I remem­ bered all the dreams I had had during the night, and I took the trouble to write them down and try to solve them. I succeeded in tracing all these dreams back to two facton: ( 1) to the necellity for working out any ideas which I had only dwelt upon cunorily during the day-which had only been touched



upon and not finally dealt with; and (2). to the compulsion to link together any ideas that might .be present in the same state of comciousncss. The scnsclea and contradictory character of the dreams could be traced back to the uncontrolled ascendancy of this latter factor.' This passage cannot unfortunately be exactly dated. The preface to the volume was written in April 1895. A letter of June 22, 1894- (Letter 19), seems to imply that the case historics were already finished then, and this was quite certainly so by March 4, 1895. Freud's letter of that date (Letter 22) ia of particular interest, as giving the fint hint of the theory of wish-fulfilment: in the course of it he quotes the story of the medical student's 'dream of convenience' which is included on p. 125 of the present volume. It was not, however, until July 24, 1895, that.the analysis of his own dream of Irma's iitjcction­ the specimen � of Chapter II-established that theory definitely in Freud's mind. (See Letter 137 ofJune 12, 1900.) I n September of this same year (1895) Freud wrote the first part of his 'Project for a Scientific Psychology' (published as a n Appendix t o the Flicss correspondence) an d Sections 19, 20 and 21 of this 'Project' constitute a first approach to a coherent theory of dreams. It already includes many important clements which re-appear in the present work, such as (1) the wish­ fidfilling character of dreams, (2) their hallucinatory character, (3) the regressive functioning of the mind in hallucinations and dreams (this had already been indicated by Breuer in his theoretical contribution to Studies on 11.Jsteria), (4) the fact that the state of sleep involves motor paralysis, (5) the nature of the mecbanisn:i of displacement in dreams and (6) the similarity between the mechanisms of dreams and of neurotic symptoms. More than all this, however, the 'Project' gives a clear indica­ tion of what ia probably the most momentous of the discoveries given to the world in Tiu Inurpr,"1lin ofDr,ams-the diatinction between the two different modes of mental functioning, the Primary and Secondary Processes. This, however, ia far from exhausting the importance of the 'Project' and of the letters to Flicss written in connection with it towards the end of 1895. It is no exaggeration to say that much of the seventh chapter of Tiu Inurpr,14lin ofDr14111S, and, indeed, of Freud's later 'mctapsychological' studies; baa only become fully intelligible since the publication of the 'Project'.



Students of Freud's theoretical writings have been aware that even in his profoundest psychological speculations little or no discussion is to be found upon some of the most fundamental of the concepts of which he makes use: such concepts, for instance, as 'mental energy', 'sums of excitation', 'cathcxis', 'quantity', 'quality', 'intensity', and so on. Almost the only explicit ap­ proach to a discussion of these concepts among Freud's pub­ lished works is the penultimate sentence of his first paper on the 'Neuro-Psychoscs of Defence' (1894a), in which he lays down a hypothesis that 'in mental functions something is to be distinguished-a quota of affect or sum of excitation-which possesses all the characteristics of a quantity (though we have no means of measuring it), which is capable of increase, diminution, displacement and discharge, and which is spread over the memory-traces of ideas somewhat as an electric charge is spread over the surface of a body'. The paucity of explanation of such basic notions in Freud's later writings suggests that he was taking it for granted that they were as much a matter of course to his readers as they were to himself; and we owe it as a debt of gratitude to the posthumously published correspond­ ence with Flicss that it throws so much light precisely upon these obscurities. It is, of course, impomble to enter here into any detailed discussion of the subject, and the reader must be referred to the volume itself (Freud, 1950a) and to Dr. Kris's illuminating introduction to it.1 The crux of the position can, however, be indicated quite simply. The essence of Freud's 'Project' l�y in the notion of combining into a single whole two theories of different origin. The fint of these was derived ultimately from the physiological school of Helmholtz, ofwhich Freud's teacher, the phys iologist Brucke, was a principal member. According to this theory, neurophysiology, and consequently psychology, was governed by purely chemico-physical laws. Such, for instance, was the 'law of constancy', frequently mentioned both by Freud and Breuer and expressed in these terms in 1892 (in a posthu­ mously published draft, Breuer and Freud, 1940): 'The nervous system endeavours to keep constant something in its functional condition that may be described as the "sum of excitation".' The greater part of the theoretical contribution made by Breuer

1 Bernf'eld'• paper OD 'Freud'• Earliest Theoriea' (1944) is alao of great interat in tbia conncctiOD.



(another dilciple of the Helmholtz school) to the Studus on H:,st,ria was an elaborate construction along these lines. The second main theory called into play by Freud in his 'Project' was the anatomical·doctrinc of the neurone, which was·bccom­ ing accepted by neuro-anatomists at the end of the eighties. (The term 'neurone' was only introduced, by Waldcyer, in 1891.) This doctrine laid it down that the functional unit of the central nervous l'ystem was a distinct cell, having no direct �tomical continuity with adjacent cells. The opening sentences of the 'Project' show clearly how its basis lay in a combination of these two theories. Its aim, wrote Freud, was 'to represent psychical processes as quantitatively determined states 9f specifiable material particles'. He went on to postulate that these 'material particles' were the neurones and that what distinguished their being in a state of activity from their being in a state of rest was a 'quantity' which was 'subject to the gellel'!U laws of motion'. Thus a neurone might either be 'e!llpty' or 'filled with a certain quantity', that is 'cathccted'. 1 'l'iervous excitation' was to be interpreted as a 'quantity' flow­ q through a system of neurones, and such a current might eithd' be resisted or facilitated according to the state of the 'contact-barriers' between the neurones. (It was only later, in 1897, that the term 'synapse' was introduced by Foster and Shcmngton.) The functioning of the whole nervous system was su!v�t to a general principle of 'inertia', according to which neurones always tend to get rid of any 'quantity' with which they may be filled-a principle correlative with the principle of 'constancy'. Using these and similar concepts as his bricks, Freud constructed a highly complicated and extraordinarily ingenious working model of the mind as a piece of neurological ·· machinery. A principal part. was played in Freud's scheme by a hypo­ thetical division of_the neurones into three classes or systems, ctiffcrentiated according to their modes of functioning. Of these the fint two were concerned respectively with external stimuli and inlmral excitations. Both of these operated on a purely fl,llllllilaJiD basis; that is to say, their actions were wholly deter1 It mwt be emphasized that these speculations of Freud's date from a period many ycan before any systematic investigations had been made in!'> the nature of nervous impulses and the conditions governing their � I.P. IV-'11


mined by the magnitude of the nervous excitations impinging on them. The third system was correlated with the qualitative diffcrences which distinguish conscious sensations and feelings. This division of the neurones into three systems was the basis of elaborate physiological explanations of such things as the working of memory, the perception of reality, the process of thought, and also the phenomena of dreaming and of neurotic disorder. But obscurities and difficulties began to accumulate and, during the months after writing the 'Project', Freud was con­ tinually emending his theories. As time passed, his interest was gradually diverted from neurological and theoretical on to psy­ chological and clinical problems, and he eventually abandoned the entire scheme. And when some years later, in the seventh chapter of the present book, he took the theoretical problem up once more-though he certainly never gave up his belief that ultimately a physical groundwork for psychology would be established-the ncuro-physiological oasis was ostensibly dropped. Nevertheless-and this is why the 'Project' is of im­ portance to readers of Tu Interpretation ofDreams-much of the general pattern of the earlier scheme, and many of its clements, were carried over into the new one. The systems of neurones were replaced by psychical systems or agencies; a hypothetical 'cathcxis' of psychical energy took the place of the physical 'quantity'; the principle of inertia became the basis of the pleasure (or, as Freud here called it, the unpleasure) principle. Moreover, some of the detailed accounts of psychical processes given in the seventh chapter owe much to their physiological forerunners and can be more easily understood by reference to them. This applies, for instance, to the description of the laying down of memory-traces in the 'mnemic systems', to the dis­ cuaion of the nature of wishes and of the different ways of satisfying them, and to the stress laid upon the part played by verbal thought-processes in the making of adjustments to the demands of reality. All of this is enough largely to justify Freud's assertion that The Interpretation of Dreams 'was finished in all essentials at the beginning of 1896'. Nevertheless, we arc now in a position to add some qualifications. Thus, the existence of the Oedipus complex was only established during the summer and autumn


of 1897 (Letten 64 to 71); and though this was not in it,elf a direct contribution to the theory of dreams, it nevertheless played a large part in emphasizing the infanlil, roots of the unconsci ous wishes underlying dreams. Of more obvious theoretical importance was the discovery of the omnipresence in dreams of -the wish to sleep. This was announced by Freud as late as on June 9, 1899 (Letter 108). Again, the first hint at the process of 'secondary revision' seems to be given in a letter ofJuly 7, 1897 (Letter 66). The similarity in structure between dreams and neurotic symptoms had, as we have seen, already been remarked on in the 'Project' in 1895, and was alluded to at intervals up to the autumn of 1897. Curiously enoug� how­ ever, it seems thereafter to have been forgotten; for it is announced on January 3, 1899 (Letter 101), as a new discovery and as an explanation of why the book had so long remained unfinished. The Fliess correspondence enables us to follow the actual process of composition in some detail. The idea of writing the book is first mentioned by Freud in May 1897, but quickly put on one side, probably because his interest began to be centred at that time on his self-analysis, which was to lead during the summer to his discovery of the Oedipus complex. At the end of the year the book was taken up once more, and in the early months of 1898 a first draft of the whole work seems to have been completed, with the exception of the first chapter. 1 Work upon it came to a standstill in June of that year and was not resumed after the summer vacation. On October 23, 1898 (Letter 99), Freud writes that the book 'remains stationary, unchanged; I have no motive for preparing it for publi­ catio_n, and the gap in the psychology [i.e. Chapter VII] as well as the gap left by removing the completely analysed sample dream [c£ p. :xx] are obstacles to my finishing it which I have not yet overcome'. There was a pause of many months, till suddenly, and, as Freud himself writes, 'for no particular reason', the book began to stir again towards the end ofMay 1899. Thereafter it proceeded rapidly. The first chapter, dealing with the literature, which had always been a bug-bear 1 Thia must be what is alluded to in a paaage on p. 477 of the pl'elCDt work, in which Freud remarks that he had 'postponed the printing of the finished manuscript for more than a year'. Actually the fint chapter bad still to be written.

EDITOR� INTRODUCTION to Freud, wu finished in June and the fint pages sent to the printer. The revision of the middle chapters wu completed by the end of August, and the last, psychological, chapter was entirely re-written and the final pages despatched early in September. Both the manuscript and the proofs were regularly submitted by Freud to Flicss for his criticism. He seems to have had con­ siderable influence on the final shape of the book, and to have been responsible for the omission (evidently on grounds of dis­ cretion) of an analysis of one important dream of Freud"s own (cf. p. xix). But the severest criticisms came from the author himself, and these were directed principally against the style and literary form. 'I think', he wrote on September 21, 1899 (Letter 119), when the book wu finished, 'my self-criticism was not entirely unjustified. Somewhere hidden within me I too have some fragmentary sense of form, some appreciation of beauty as a species of perfection; and the involved sentences of my book on dreams, bolstered up on indirect phrases and with sidelong glances at their subject-matter, have gravely affronted some ideal within me. And I am scarcely wrong in regarding this lack of form as a sign of an incomplete mastery of the material.' But in sp_ite of these self-criticisms, and in spite of the depres­ sion which followed the almost total neglect of the book by the outside world-only 351 copies were sold in the fint six years after publication-Th, Inurpr,tatitm of Dreams was always re­ garded by Freud as his most important work: 'Insight such as this', as he wrote in his preface to the third English edition, 'falla to one's lot but once in a lifetime.'



The present translation is based on the eighth (1930) German edition, the last published during its author's life. At the same time, it differs from all previous editions (both German and English) in an important respect, for it is in the nature of a 'Variorum' edition. An effort has been made to indicate, with dates, every alteration of substance introduced into the book since its fint issue. Wherever material has been dropped or greatly modified in later editions, the cancelled paaage



or earlier venion ii given i n a footnote. The only. exception ii that Rank'• two appendices to Chapter VI have been omitted. The question of their inclusion wu seriously con. lidered; but it was decided against doing so. The··esiays are entirely self-contained and have no direct connections with Freud's book; they would have filled another fifty pages or 10; and they would be particularly unenlightening to English readers, since they deal i n the main with German literature and German mythology. The bibliographies have been entirely recaat. The fint of these contains a lilt of every work actually referred to in the text or footnotes. This bibliography ii also arranged to ICl'Ve as an Author Index. The second bibliography contains all the worb in the German pre-1900 list not actually quoted by Freud. It has acemed worth while to print this, since no other com­ parably full bibliography of the older literature on dreams is easily acceaible. Writings afar 1900, apart from thoee actually quoted and consequently included in the fint bibliography, have been disregarded. A warning must, however, be iaued in regard to both my lilts. Investigation hu shown a very high proportion of erron in the German bibliographies. These have been corrected wherever poaible; but quite a number of the entries have proved to be untraceable in London, and these (which are distinguished by an asterisk) must be regarded u IUSJ)CCt. Editorial additions are printed in square brackets. Many readen will no doubt be irritated by the number of references and other explanatory notes. The references, however, are essentially to Freud's own writings, and very few will be found to other authon (apart, of coune, from references made by Freud hirnrJf). In any cue, the fact must be faced that TM lnllrjn141in of Dnams is one of the major clusica of scientific literature and that the time has come to treat it as such. It ii the editor's hope and belief that actually the references, and more particularly the cross-references to other parts of the work � will make it easier for serious students to follow the intricacies of the material. Readen in search of mere entertain­ ment-if there are any such-must steel themselves to disregard these parentheses. A word must be added upon the tramlation it.self. Great attention has had, of course, to be paid to the details of the



wording of the text of dreams. Where _the English rendering strikes the reader as unusually stiff', he may assume that the stiffness has been imposed by some verbal necessity determined by the interpretation that is to follow. Whci:c there are incon­ sistencies between different versions of the text of the same dream, he may assume that there are parallel inconsistencies in the original. These verbal difficulties r.11lmioate in the fairly frequent instances in which an interpretation depends entirely upon a pun. There are three methods of dealing with such situations. The translator can omit the dream entirely, or he can replace it by another parallel dream, whether derived from his own experience or fabricated adluJe. These two methods have been the ones adopted in the main in the earlier translations of the book. But· there arc serious objections to them. Wc must once more remember that we arc dealing with a scientific classic. What we want to hear about arc the examples chosen by Freud-not by someone cJse. Accordingly the present trans­ lator has adopted the pedantic and tiresome third alternative of keeping the original German pun and laboriously explaining it in a square bracket or footnote. Any amusement that might be got out of it completely evaporates in the proccu. But that, unfortunately, is a sacrifice that has to be made. Help in the laborious task of proof-reading has been gener­ ously given (among othcn) by Mn. R. S. Partridge and Dr. C. F. Rycroft. Mn. Partridge is also largely responsible for the index. The revision of the bibliographics has in the main been carried out by Mr. G. Talland. Finally, the editor's thanks are due to Dr. Ernest Jones for his constant advice and encouragement. The first volume of his Freud biography will be found to throw invaluable light on the background of this work as a whole, as well as on many of itl details.

Preface to the First Edition I HAVE attempted in this volume to give an account of the interpretation of dreams; and in doing so I have not, I believe, trespassed beyond the sphere of interest covered by neuro­ pathology. For psychological investigation shows that the dream is the first member of a class ofabnormal psychical phenomena of which further memben, such as hysterical phobias, obses­ sions and delusions, are bound for practical reasons to be a matter of concern to physicians. As will be seen in -:he sequel, dreams can make no such claim to practical importance; but their theoretical value as a paradigm is on the other hand pro­ portionately greater. Anyone who has failed to explain the origin of dream-images can scarcely hope to · undentand phobias, obscs.,ions or delusions or to bring a therapeutic influence to bear on them. But the same correlation that is responsible for the import­ ance of the subject must also bear the blame for the deficiencies of the present work. The broken threads which so frequently interrupt my presentation are nothing less than the many points of contact between the problem of the formation of dreams and the more comprehensive problems of psycho­ pathology. These cannot be treated here, but, if time and strength allow and further material comes to hand, will form the subject of later communications. The difficulties of presentation have been further increased by the peculiarities of the material which I have had to usc to illustrate the interpreting of dreams. It will become plain in the coune of the work itselfwhy it is that none of the dreams already reported in the literature of the subject or collected from un­ known sources could be of any usc for my purposes. The only dreams open to my choice were my own and those of my patients undergoing psycho-analytic treatment. But I was pre­ cluded from using the latter material by the fact that in its case the dream-processes were subject to an undesirable complica­ tion owing to the added presence of neurotic features. But if I was to report my own dreams, it inevitably followed that I should have to reveal to the public gaze more of the intimacies mil



ofmy mental lifcfthan I liked, or than is normally neceaary for . any writer who is a man of science and not a poeL Such was the painful but unavoidable neccuity; and I have submitted to it rather than totally abandon the possibility of giving the evidence for my psychological findings. Naturally, however, I have been unable to resist the temptation of taking the edge off some of my indiscretions by omissions and substitutions. But whenever this has happened, the value ofmy imtances bu been very definitely diminished. I can only express a hope that readers of this book will put themselves in my difficult situation and treat me with indulgence, and further, that anyone who finds any sort of reference to himself in my dream, may be willing to grant me the right of freedom of thought-in my dream-life, if nowhere else

Preface to the Second Edition b within ten ycan of the publication of this book (which is very far from being an easy one to read) a second edition is called for, this is not due to the interest taken in it by the profcssional circles to whom my original preface was addressed. My psy­ chiatric colleagues seem to have taken no trouble to overcome the initial bewilderment created by my new approach to drcama. The professional philosophen have become accustomed to polishing oft' the problems of dream-life (which they treat as a mere appendix to conscious states) in a few sentences-and usually in the same ones; and they have evidently failed to notice that we have something here from which a number of inferences can be drawn that are bound to transform our psychological theories. The attitude adopted by reviewers in the scientific periodicals could only lead one to suppose that my work waa doomed to be sunk into complete silence; while the small group of gallant supporters, who practise medical psycho-analysis under my guidance and who follow my example in interpreting dreams and make use of their interpretations in treating neurotics, would never have exhausted the fint edition of the book. l'hus it is that I feel indebted to a wider circle of educated and curious-minded readers, whose interest has led me to take up once more after nine ycan this difficult, but in many respects fundamental, work. I am glad to say that I have found little to change in it. Here and there I have inserted some new material, added some fresh points of detail derived from my incrcucd experience, and at some few points rccut my statements. But the essence of what I have written about dreams and their interpretation, as well u about the psychological theorems to be deduced from them -all this remains unaltered: subjectively at all events, it has stood the test of time. Anyone who is acquainted with my other writings (on the aetiology and mcchanis111 of the psycho­ neuroees) will know that I have never put forward inconclusive opinions u though they were established facts, and that I have always sought to modify my statements so that they may keep in step with my advancing knowledge. In the sphere of drcam:av



life I have been able to leave my original assertions unchanged. During the long years in which I have been working at the problems of the neuroses I have often been in doubt and some­ times been shaken in my convictions. At such times it has always been the Interpretation of Dreams that has given me back my certainty. It is thus a sure instinct which has led my many scientific opponents to refuse to follow m e more especially in my researches upon dreams. An equal durability and power to withstand any far-reaching alterations during the process of revision has been shown by the material of the book, consisting as it docs of dreams of my own which have for the most part been overtaken or made valueless by the march of events and by which I illustrated the rules of dream-interpretation. For this book has a further sub­ jective significance for me personally-a significance which I only grasped after I had completed it. It was, I found, a portion of my own self-analysis, my reaction to my father's death-that is to say, to the most important event, the most poignant loss, of a man's life. Having discovered that this was so, I felt unable to obliterate the traces of the cxpcrience. 1 To my readers, how­ ever, it will be a matter of indifference upon what particular material they learn to appreciate the importance of dreams and how to interpret them. Wherever I have found it impossible to incorporate some essential addition into the original context, I have indicated its more recent date by enclosing it in square brackets.• BERCHTESOADEN,Summer 1908 1 [Freud's father had died in 1896. Some account of his feelin gs at the time will be found in bis letter to Flicsa of November 2, 1896. (Freud 1950a, Letter 50.)] • [Foomota add,d 1914.J In later editions [from the fourth onwards] these were omitted.

Preface to the Third Edition Nnm ycars elapsed between the fint and second editions ofthis book, but after scarcely more than a single year a third edition has become necessary. This new tum ofevents may please me; but just as formerly I was unwilling to regard the neglect ofmy book by rcadcn as evidence of its worthlessness, so I cannot claim that the interest which is now being taken in it is a proof of its excellence. Even the Inu,pr,ta&n ofDrllJfflS has not been left untouched by the advance ofscientific knowledge. When I wrote it in 1899, my theory ofsexuality was not yet in existence and the anal ysis of the more complicated forms of psycho-neurosis was only just beginning. It was my hope that dream-interpretation would help to make possible the psychological analysis of neuroses; since then a deeper undcntanding of neuroses has reacted in turn upon our view of dreams. The theory of dream-inter­ pretation has itself developed further in a direction on which insufficient stress had been laid in the fint edition of this book. My own experience, as well as the works ofWilhelm Stckel and othcn, have since taught me to form a truer estimate of the extent and importance of symbolism in dreams (or rather in unconscious thinking). Thus in the coune of these years much has accumulated which demands attention. I have endeavoured to take these innovations into account by making numerous interpolations in the text and by additional footnotes. If these additions threaten at times to burst the whole framework of the book or if I have not everywhere succeeded in bringing the original text up to the level of our present knowledge, I must as k the reader's indulgence for these deficiencies: they arc the results and signs of the present increasingly rapid development of our science. I may even venture to prophesy in what other directions later editions ofthis book-ifany should be needed­ will dift'er from the present one. They will have on the one hand to afford a closer contact with the copious material presented in imaginative writing, in myths, in linguistic usage and in folklore; while on the other hand they will have to deal in llDi



greater detail than has here been possible with the relations of dreams to neuroses and mental diseases. Herr Otto Rank has given me valuable assistance in selecting the additional matter and has been entirely responsible for correcting the proofs. I owe my thanks to him and to many others for their contributions and corrections. VIENNA, Spri,,g 1911

Preface to the Fourth Edition LAST year (1913) Dr. A. A. Brill of New York produced an English translation of this book ( Tiu Interpr11ation of Dreams, G. Allen & C.O., London). On this occasion Dr. Otto Rank has not only corrected the proofs but has also contributed two self-contained chapters to the text-the appendices to Chapter VI. VIENNA, Juru 1914

Preface to the Fifth Edition INTER.EST in the Jnurp,,tation ef Dreams haa not flagged even during the World War, and while �t is still in progress a new edition has become necessary. It has not been possible, however, to notice fully publications since 1914; neither Dr. Rank nor I have any knowledge of foreign works since that date. A Hungarian translation, prepared by Dr. Holl6s and Dr. Fcrenczi, is on the point of appearing. In 1916-17 my lnlro­ dudory L«turu on P,!YClu>-Ana?,sis were published in Vienna by Hugo Heller. '!Qe central section of these, comprising eleven lectures, is devoted to an account ofdreams which aims at being more elementary and at being in closer contact with the theory of the neuroses than the present work. On the whole it is in the nature of an epitome of the Interpretation ef Dreams, ·· though at certain points it enters into greater detail. I have not been able to bring myself to embark upon any fundamental revision of this book, which might bring it up to the level of our present psycho-analytic views but would on the other band destroy its historic character. I think, however, that after an existence ofnearly twenty years it has accomplished its task. BtmAPEST-Sn.INBRUCH, Ju?, 1918

Preface to the Sixth Edition OwINo to the difficulties in which the book trade is placed at present, this new edition has long been in demand, and the preceding edition bas, for the fint time, been reprinted without any alterations. Only the bibliography at the end of the volume has been completed and brought up to date by Dr. Otto Rank. Thus my assumption that after an existence of nearly twenty years this book had accomplished its task has not been con­ finncd. On the contrary, I might say that it has a new task to perform. If its earlier function was to offer some information on Dix



the nature of dreams, now it has the no less important duty of dealing with the obstinate misundcntandings to which that information is subject.

VIENNA, April 1921

Preface to the Eighth Edition DURINo the interval between the publication of the last (seventh) edition of this book in 1922 and the present one, my Gesammelte Schriflm [Collected Writings] have been mued in Vienna by the Intcrnationalcr Psychoanalytischer Verlag. The second volume of that collection consists of an exact reprint of the first edition of the Interpretation of Dreams, while the third volume contains all the additions that have since been made to it. The translations ofthe book which have appeared during the same interval are based upon the usual, single-volume, form of the work: a French one by I. Meyerson published under the title of 1A scitnu us rives in the 'Bibliothcquc de Philosophic Contemporainc' in 1926; a Swedish one by John Landquist, Dromt.,dning (1927); and a Spanish one by Luis Lopez­ Ballesteros y de Torres (1922], which occupies Volumes VI and VII of the Obras Completas. The Hungarian translation, which I thought was on the point of completion as long ago as in 1918, bas even now not appcared.1 In the present revised edition of the work I have ag� treated it essentially as an historic document and I have only made such alterations in it as were suggested by the clarifica­ tion and deepening of my own opinions. In accordance with this, I have finally given up the idea of including a list of works on the problems of dreams published since the book's first appearance, and that section has now been dropped. The two essays which Otto Rank contributed to earlier editions, on 'Dreams and Creative Writing' and 'Dreams and Myths', have also been omitted. [Sec p. xxi.] VIENNA, D,umber 1929 1 [It wu published in 1934.-During Freud's lifetime, in addition to the translations mentioned in these prefaces, a Russian version appeared in 1913, ajapancie one in 1930 and a Czech one in 1938.]


Preface to the Third (Revised) English Edition1 IN 1909 G. Stanley Hall invited me to Clark University, in. Worcester, to give the first lectures on psycho-analysis. In the same year Dr. Brill published the fint of his translations of my writings, which were soon followed by further ones. If psycho­ analysis now plays a role in American intellectual life, or if it docs so in the future, a large part of this result will have to be attributed to this and other activities of Dr. Brill••· His fint translation of Tiu Jnu,pretation ofDreams appeared in 1913. Since then much has taken place in the world, and much baa been changed in our views about the ncuroies. This book, with the new contribution to psychology which surprised the world when it was published (1900), remains essentially un­ altered. It contains, even according to my present-day judge­ ment, the most valuable of all the discoveries it baa been my good fortune to make. Insight such as this falls to onc•s lot btit once in a lifetime. VIENNA, Marek 15, 1931

1 (This is not included in the German editions and no German text ii extant. It is here reprinted exactly from the 1932 English edition.]



THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE DEALING WITH THE PROBLEMS OF DREAMS1 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 dreams 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 des­ cription will break off, for it will have reached a point at which the problem of dreams merges into more comprehensive prob­ lems, 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 dreams has made very little advance-a fact so generally admitted in the literature that it seems 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 nature ofdreams or that offers a final solution of any of their enigmas. And still less, ofcourse, has passed into the knowledge of educated laymen. It may b e asked• what view was taken of dreams in pre­ historic times by primitive races of men and what effect dreams 1 [Footnot, added in second to seventh editions:] Up to the date of the fint publication of this book (1900). • [Thia paragraph and the next were added in 1914.] 1 8,P, IV--C



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 stan­ dard works of Sir John Lubbock, Herbert Spencer, E. B. Tylor and others, and I will only add that we shall 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 dreams by the peoples of classical antiquity. 1 They took it as axiomatic that dreams were con­ nected with the world of superhuman beings in whom they believed and that they were revelations from gods and daemons. There could be no question, moreover, that for the dreamer dreams bad an important purpose, which was as a rule to fore­ tell 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 neces­ sary 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 arc told that dreams are not sent by the gods and arc 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 manifestations but follow the laws of the human spirit, though the latter, it is true, is akin to the divine. Dreams are defined as the mental activity of the sleeper in so far as he is asleep.• 1 [Footnote added 1914:) What follows is based on Bilchsenschiltz's scholarly study (1868). 1 [De divinationeper somnum, II (Trans., 1935, 377), and De somniis, III (Trans., 1935, 365).-In the first edition (1900) this paragraph ran: 'The first work in which dreams were treated as a subject for psychological study seems to be that of Aristotle (On Dreams and their Interpretation). Aristotle declares that dreams arc of a "daemonic" but not ofa "divine" nature; no doubt this distinction has some great significance if we knew how to translate it correctly.' The next paragraph ended with the sen-



Aristotle was aware of some of the characteristics of dream­ lifc. He knew, for instance, that dreams give a magnified con­ struction to small stimuli arising during sleep. 'Men think that they are walking through fire and are tremendously hot, when there is only a slight heating about certain parts.' 1 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. Gruppc (1906, 2, 930) • quotes a classification of dreams on these lines made by Macrobius and Artcrnidorus [of Daldis (see p. 98 n.)]: 'Dreams were divided into two classes. One class was supposed to be influenced by the present or past, but to have no future significance. It included the hwi,,ia or insomnia, which gave a direct representation of a given idea or .of its oppositc-c.g. of hunger or of its satiation-, and the q,avrdap,a:ra, which lent a fantastic extension to the given idca-c.g. the nightmare or ,Phialtes. The other class, on the contrary, was supposed to determine the future. It included (1) direct prophecies received in a dream (the %PYJp,a:r111JI« or oraculum), (2) previsions of some future event (the 6p aµa or visio) and (3) symbolic dreams, which needed interpretation (the lwt&p°' or somnium). This theory persisted for many centuries.'

tencc: 'My own insufficient knowledge and my lack of specialist usist­ ancc prevent my entering more deeply into Ariitotle's treatise.' Thete pasaagca were altered into their present form in 1914; and a note in Guarntn,116 &lrriflm, 3 (1925), 4, points out that in fact Aristotle wrote not one but two works on the subject.] • [D, tlivinali.tnu, I (Trans., 1935, 375).] • [Footnoll addld 1914:) The Greek physician Hippocrates deals with the relation of dreams to illncsscs in one of the chaptcn of bis famoua work [Ancimt Mltli&w, X (Trans., 1923, 31). Sec abo &gimm, IV, 88, passim. (Trans., 1931, 425, etc.)] • [This paragraph was added as a footnote in 1911 and included in the text in 1914.)



This variation in the value that was to be a.c;signed to dreams 1 was closely related to the problem of 'inteq>reting' them. Im­ portant consequences were in general to be expected from dreams. But dreams were not all immediately comprehensible and it was impossible to tell whether a particular unintelligible dream might not be making some important announcement. This provided an incentive for elaborating a method by which the unintelligible content of a dream might be replaced by one that was comprehensible and significant. In the later years of antiquity Artemidorus of Daldis was regarded as the greatest authority on the interpretation of dreams, and the survival of his exhaustive work [Oneirocritiea] must compensate us for the loss of the other writings on the same subject.• The pre-scientific view of dreams adopted by the peoples of antiquity was certainly in complete harmony with their view of the universe in general, which led them to project into the ex­ ternal world as though they were realities things which in fact enjoyed reality only within their own minds. Moreover, their view of dreams took into account the principal impression pro­ duced upon the waking mind in the morning by what is left of a dream in the memory: an impression of something alien, arising from another world and contrasting with the remaining contents of the mind. Incidentally, it would be a mistake to suppose that the theory of the supernatural origin of dreams is without its supporters in our own days. We may leave on one side pietistic and mystical writers, who, indeed, are perfectly justified in remaining in occupation of what is left of the once wide domain of the supernatural so long as that field is not con­ quered by scientific explanation. But apart from them, one comes across clear-headed men, without any extravagant ideas, who seek to support their religious faith in the existence and t (Thia paragraph waa added in 1914.] • [Footnot. adMd 1914:] For the further history ofdream-interpretation in the Middle Age■ see Diepgcn (1912) and the monographs ofF0nter (1910 and 1911), Gotthard (1912), etc. Dream-interpretation among the Jews ha, been discus.,cd by Almoli (1848), Amram (1901), and LOwingcr (1908); also, quite recently and taking account of psycho­ analytic findings, by Lauer (1913). Information upon dream-interpreta­ tion among the Arabs ha, been given by Drexl (1909), Schwarz (1913) and the miaaionary Tfinkdji (1913); among the Japanese by Miura (1906) and Iwaya (1902); among the Chinese by Secker (1909-10); and among the people of India by Negelein (1912).



activity of superhuman spiritual forces precisely by the in­ explicable nature of the phenomena of dreaming. (Cf. Haffner, 1887.) The high esteem in which dream-life is held by some schools of philosophy (by the followers of Schelling, 1 for in­ stance) is clearly an echo of the divine nature of dreams which was undisputed in antiquity. Nor are discussions of the pre­ monitory character of dreams and their power to foretell the future at an end. For attempts at giving a psychological ex­ planation have been inadequate to cover the material collected, however decidedly the sympathies of those of a scientific cast of mind may incline against accepting any such beliefs. It is difficult to write a history of the scientific study of the problems of dreams because, however valuable that study may have been at a few points, no line of advance in any particular direction can be traced. No foundation has been laid of secure findings upon which a later investigator might build; but each new writer examines the same problems afresh and begins again, as it were, from the beginning. If I attempted to take those who have written on the question in chronological order and to give a summary of their views upon the problems of dreams, I should have to abandon any hope of giving a com­ prehensive general picture of the present state of knowledge of the subject. I have therefore chosen to frame my account accord­ ing to topics rather than authors and, as I raise each dream­ problem in turn, I shall bring forward whatever material the literature contains for its sohition. Since, however, it has been impossible for me to cover the whole of the literature of the subject, widely scattered as it is and trenching upon many other fields, I must ask my readers to be satisfied so long as no fundamental fact and no important point of view is overlooked in my description. Until recently most writers on the subject have felt obliged to treat sleep and dreams as a single topic, and as a rule they have dealt in addition with analogous conditions on the fringe 1 (The chief exponent of the pantheistic 'Phil010phy of Nature', popu­ lar in Germany during the early part of the nineteenth ccntury.-Freud often recurred to the question of the occult significance of dreams. Cf. Freud 1922a, 1925i (Part 3) and 1933a (Lecture 30). An allcgcdly premonitory dream is discussed in Freud 194-lc [1899], printed as an Appendix to this work, p; 623. Sec also pp. 65 and 621 below.]



of pathology, and dream-like states, such aa hallucinations, visions and so on. The latest works, on the contrary, show a preference for a restricted theme and take as their subject, perhaps, some isolated question in the field of dream-life. I should be glad to sec in this change of attitude the expression of a conviction that in such obscure matten it will only be possible to arrive at explanations and agreed results by a series of detailed investigations. A piece of detailed research of that kind, predominantly psychological in character, is all I have to offer in these pages. I have had little occasion to deal with the problem of sleep, for that is essentially a problem of physiology, even though one of the characteristics of the state of sleep must be that it brings about modifications in the conditions of functioning of the mental apparatus. The literature on the subject of sleep is accordingly disregarded in what follows. The questions raised by a scientific enquiry into the phenomena ofdreams as such may be grouped under the head­ ings which follow, though a certain amount of overlapping can­ not be avoided.


The unsophisticated waking judgement of someone who has just woken from sleep assumes that his dreams, even if they did not themselves come from another world, had at all events carried him off into another world. The old physiologist Burdach (1838, 499), to whom we owe a careful and shrewd account of the phenomena of dreams, has given expression to this t:onviction in a much-quoted passage: 'In dreams, daily life, with its labours and pleasures, its joys and pains, is never repeated. On the contrary, dreams have as their very aim to free us from it. Even when our whole mind has been filled with something, when we arc torn by some deep sorrow or when all our intellectual power is absorbed in some problem, a dream will do no more than enter into the tone of our mood and represent reality in symbols.' I. H. Fichte (1864, 1, 541), in the same sense, actually speaks of 'complementary dreams' and describes them as one of the secret benefactions of the self­ healing nature of the spirit. 1 StrOmpell (1877, 16) writes to similar effect in his study on the nature and origin of dreams­ a work which is widely and deservedly held in high esteem: 'A man who dreams is removed from the world of waking con­ sciousness.' So too (ibid., 17): 'In dreams our memory of the ordered contents of waking consciousness and of its normal behaviour is as good as completely lost.' And again (ibid., 19) he writes that 'the mind is cut off in dreams, almost without memory, from the ordinary content and affairs of waki ng life'. The preponderant majority of writers, however, take a con­ trary view of the relation of dreams to waking life. Thus Haffner (1887, 245): 'In the first place, dreams carry on waking life. Our dreams regularly attach themselves to the ideas that have been in our consciousness shortly before. Accurate observa­ tion will almost always find a thread which connects a dream with the experiences of the previous day.' Weygandt (1893, 6) specifically contradicts Burdach's statement which I have just quoted: 'For it may often, and apparently in the majority of 1

[This aeutencewu added in 1914.J 7



dreams, be observed that they actually lead us back to ordinary life instead offreeing us from it.' Maury (1878, 51) advances a concise formula: 'Nous rcvons de cc que nous avons vu, dit, desire ou fait'; 1 while Jessen, in his book on psychology (1855, 530), remarks at somewhat greater length: 'The content of a dream is invariably more or less determined by the individual personality of the dreamer, by his age, sex, class, standard of education and habitual way of living, and by the events and experiences of his whole previous life.' The most uncompromising attitude on this question I is adopted by J. G. E. Maass, the philosopher (1805, [I, 168 and 173]), quoted by Wintcntcin (1912): 'Experience confirms our view that we dream most frequently of the things on which our warmest passions are centred. And this shows that our passions must have an influence on the production of our dreams. The ambitious man dreams of the laurels he has won (or imagines he has won) or of those he has still to win; while the lover is busied in his dreams with the object of his sweet hopes..•.All the sensual desires and repulsions that slumber in the heart can, if anything sets them in motion, cause a dream to arise from the ideas that arc associated with them or cause those ideas to.intervene in a dream that is already present.' The same view was taken in antiquity on the dependence of the content of dreams upon waking life. Radestock (1879, 134) tells wi how before Xerxes started on his expedition against Greece, he was given sound advice of a discouraging kind but was always urged on again by his dreams; whereupon Arta­ banus, the sensible old Persian interpreter of dreams, observed to him pertinently that as a rule dream-pictures contain what the waking man already thinks. Lucretius' didactic poem De rerum natura contains the following passage (IV, 962): Et quo quisquc fcre studio dcvinctus adhacrct aut quibus in rcbw multum sumw ante morati atquc in ea rationc fuit contcnta magis mens, in somnis eadcm plerumquc videmur obirc; causidici causas agcrc ct componcrc lcgcs, indupcratorcs pugnarc ac proelia obirc ••.1


['We dream of what we have seen, laid, desired or done.'] (This paragraph was added in 1914.] • ['And whatever be the punuit to which one clings with devotion, whatever the things on which we have been occupied much in the put, 1



Cicero (De diuinatione, 11, lxvii, 140) writes to exactly the same effect as Maury so many yean later: 'M :aximeque rcliquiac rerum earum moventur in animis et agitantur de quibus vigilantes aut cogitavimus aut egimus.' 1 The contradiction between these two views upon the rela­ tion between dream-life and waking life seems in fact insoluble. It is therefore relevant at this point to recall the discussion of the subject by Hildebrandt (1875, 8 ff.), who believes that it is impossible to describe the characteristics of dreams at all except by means of 'a series of[three] contrasts which seem to sharpen into contradictions'. 'The first of these contrasts', he writes, 'is afforded on the one hand by the completeness with which dreams arc secluded and separated from real and actual life and on the other hand by their constant encroachment upon each other and their constant mutual dependence. A dream is something completely severed from the reality experienced in waking life, something, as one might say, with an hermetically sealed existence of its own, and separated from real life by an impassable gulf. It sets us free from reality, extinguishes our normal memory of it and places us in another world and in a quite other life-story which in essentials has nothing to do with our real one... .' Hildebrandt goes on to show how when we fall asleep our whole being with all its forms of existence 'disappears, as it were, through an invisible trap-door'. Then, perhaps, the dreamer may make a sea-voyage to St. Helena in order to offer Napoleon, who is a prisoner there, a choice bargain in Moselle wines. He is received most affably by the ex-Emperor and feels almost sorry when he wakes and the interesting illusion is destroyed. But let us compare the situa­ tion in the dream, proceeds Hildebrandt, with reality. The dreamer has never been a wine-merchant and has never wished to be. He has never gone on a sea-voyage, and if he did, St.Helena would be the last place he would choose to go to. He nourishes no sympathetic feelings whatever towards Napoleon, but on the contrary a fierce patriotic hau·ed. And, on top of all the mind being thus more intent upon that punuit, it is generally the same things that we seem to encounter in dreams: pleaders to plead their cause and collate laws, generals to contend and engage battle •. .' (Rouse'• translation in the Loeb Cla11ical Library, 1924, 317.)] 1 ['Then especially do the remnants of our waking thoughts and deeds move and stir within the soul.' (Falconer's translation in the Loeb Clusical Library, 1922, 527.)]





the rest, the dreamer was not even born when Napoleon died on the island; so that to have any personal relations with him was beyond the bounds of possibility. Thus the dream­ experience appears as something alien inserted between two sections of life which are perfectly continuous and consistent with each other. 'And yet', continues Hildebrandt [ibid., 10], 'what appears to be the contrary of this is equally true and correct. In spite of everything, the most intimate relationship goes hand in hand, I believe, with the seclusion and separation. We may even go so far as to say that whatever dreams may offer, they der.ive their material from reality and from the intellectual life that revolves around that reality.... Whatever strange results they may achieve, they can never in fact get free from the real world; and their most sublime as well as their most ridiculous struc­ tures must always borrow their basic material either from what has passed before our eyes in the world of the senses or from what has already found a place somewhere in the course of our waking thoughts-in other words from what we have already experienced either externally or internally.'



All the material making up the content of a dream is in some way derived from experience, that is to say, has been repro­ duced or remembered in the dream-so much at least we may regard as an undisputed fact. But it would be a mistake to suppose that a connection of this kind between the content of a dream and reality is bound to come to light easily, as an immediate result of comparing them. The connection requires, on the contrary, to be looked for diligently, and in a whole quantity of cases it may long remain hidden. The reason for this lies in a number of peculiarities which are exhibited by the faculty of memory in dreams and which, though generally re­ marked upon, have hitherto resisted explanation. It will be worth while to examine these characteristics more closely. It may happen that a piece of material occurs in the content of a dream which in the waking state we do not recognize as forming a part of our knowledge or experience. We remember, of course, having dreamt the thing in question, but we cannot remember whether or when we experienced it in real life. We are thus left in doubt as to the source which has been drawn upon by the dream and are tempted to believe that dreams have a power of independent production. Then at last, often after a long interval, some fresh experience recalls the lost memory of the other event and at the same time reveals the source of the dream. We are thus driven to admit that in the dream we knew and remembered something which was beyond the reach of our waking mcmory.1 A particularly striking example of this is given by Del�uf [1885, 107 ff.] from his own experience. He saw in a dream the courtyard of his house covered with mow and found two small lizards half-frozen and buried under it. Being an animal-lover, he picked them up, warmed them and carried them back to the 1 (Foolnoll add«/1914:] Vucbide (1911) remarb that it ha, often been obecrvcd that in dreams people speak foreign 1anguaga more fluently and conectly than in waking life.




little hole in the masonry where they belonged. He further gave them a few leaves of a small fern which grew on the wall and of which, as he knew, they were very fond.In the dream he knew the name of the plant: Asplenium ruta murali.s. The dream proceeded and, after a digression, came back to the lizards. Del�uf then saw to his astonishment two new ones which were busy on the remains of the fern. He then looked round him and saw a fifth and then a sixth lizard making their way to the hole in the wall, until the whole roadway was filled with a procession of lizards, all moving in the same direction ... and so on. When he was awake, Del�uf knew the Latin names ofvery few plants and an Asplenium was not among them. To his great surprise he was able to confirm the fact that a fern of this name actually exists. Its correct name is Asplenium ruta muraria, which had been.slightly distorted in the dream. It was hardly possible that this could be a coincidence; and it remained a mystery to Del�uf how he had acquired his knowledge of the name 'Asplenium' in his dream. The dream occurred in 1862. Sixteen years later, while the philosopher was on a visit to one of his friends, he saw a little album of pressed flowers of the sort that are sold to foreigners as mementos in some parts of Switzerland. A recollection began to dawn on him-he opened the herbarium, found the Asplenium of his dream and saw its Latin name written it in his own handwriting. The facts could now be established. In 1860 (two years before the lizard dream) a sister of this same friend had visited Del�uf on her honeymoon. She had with her the album, which was to be a gift to her brother, and Del�uf took the trouble to write its Latin name under each dried plant, at the dictation of a botanisL Good luck, which made this example so well worth recording, enabled Del�uf to trace yet another part of the content of the dream to its forgotten source. One day in 1877 he happened to take up an old volume of an illustrated periodical and in it he found a picture of the whole procession of lizards which he had dreamed of in 1862.The volume was dated 1861 and Del�uf remembered having been a subscriber to the paper from its first number. The fact that dreams have at their command memories which are inaccessible in waking life is so remarkable and of



such theoretical importance that I should like to draw still more attention to it by relating some further 'hypcrmnesic' dreams. Maury [1878, 142] tells -µs how for some time the word 'Mussidan' kept coming into his head during the day. He knew nothing about it except that it was the name of a town in France. One night he dreamt that he was talking to someone who told him he came from Mussidan, and who, on being asked where that was, replied that it was a small town in the Depart­ ment of Dordogne. When he woke up, Maury had no belief in the information given him in the dream; he learnt from a gazet­ teer, however, that it was perfectly correct. In this case the fact of the dream's superior knowledge was confirmed, but the forgotten source of that knowledge was not discovered. Jessen (1855, 551) reports a very similar event in a dream dating from remoter times: 'To this class belongs among othen a dream of the elder Scaliger (quoted by Hennings, 1784, 300) who wrote a poem in praise of the famous men of Verona. A man who called himself Brugnolus appeared to him in a dream and complained that he had been overlooked. Although Scaliger could not remember having ever heard ·or him, he wrote some venes on him. His son learnt later in Verona that someone named Brugnolus had in fact been celebrated there as a critic.' The Marquis d'llervey de St. Denys [1867, 305], 1 quoted by Vaschide (1911, 232 f.), describes a hypcrmnesic dream which has a special peculiarity, for it was followed by another dream which completed the recognition of what was at first an un­ identified memory: 'I once dreamt of a young woman with golden hair, whom I saw talking to my sister while show­ ing her some embroidery. She seemed very familiar to me in the dream and I thought I had seen her very often before. After I woke up, I still had her face very clearly before me but I was totally unable to recognize it. I then went to sleep once more and the dream-picture was repeated. . . . But in this second dream I spoke to the fair-haired lady and asked her if I had not had the pleasure of meeting her before somewhere. "Of course," she replied, "don't you remember theplage at Pornic?" I immediately woke up again and I was then able to recollect clearly all the details associated with the attractive vision in the dream.' 1

[Thi, paragraph and the next were added in 1914.]



The same author [ibid., 306] ( quoted again by Vaschidc, ibid., 233-4) tells how a musician of his acquaintance once heard in a dream a tune which seemed to him entirely new. It was not until several yean later that he found the same tune in an old collected volume of musical pieces, though he still could not remember ever having looked through it before. I undentand that Mycn [1892] has published a whole col­ lection of hypcrmncsic dreams of this kind in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research; but these are unluckily inaccessible to me. No one who occupies himself with dreams can, I believe, fail to discover that it is a very common event for a dream to give evidence of knowledge and memories which the waking subject is unaware of possessing. In my psycho-analytic work with nervous patients, of which I shall speak later, I am in a position several times a week to prove to patients from their dreams that they are really quite familiar with quotations, obscene words and so on, and make we of them in their dreams, though they have forgotten them in their waking life. I will add one more innocent case of hypermncsia in a dream, becawc of the great ease with which it was possible to trace the source of the knowledge that was accessible only in the dream. ' One of my patients dreamt in the coune of a fairly lengthy dream that he had ordered a 'Konhls�dwka' while he was in a caf�. After telling me this, he asked me what a 'Konlus�dwka' was, as he had never heard the name. I was able to tell him in reply that it was a Polish liqueur, and that he could not have invented the name as it had long been familiar to me from advertisements on the hoardings. At fint he would not believe me; but some days later, after making his dream come true in a caf�, he noticed the name on a hoarding at a street comer which he must have gone past at least twice a day for several months. I have noticed myself 1 from my own dreams how much it is a matter of chance whether one discoven the source of par­ ticular clements of a dream. Thus, for several yean before com­ pleting this book, I was punued by the picture of a church tower of very simple design, which I could not remember ever having seen. Then I suddenly recognized it, with absolute certainty, at a small station on the line between Salzburg and 1 [Thia paragraph wu added in




Reichcnhall. That was during the second half of the eighteen­ nineties and I had travelled over the line for the first time in 1886. During later years, when I was already deeply absorbed in the study of dreams, the frequent recurrence in my dreams of the picture of a particular unusual-looking place became a positive nuisance to me. In a spec;ific spatial relation to myself, on my left-hand side, I saw a dark space out of which there glimmered a number of grotesque sandstone figures. A faint recollection, which I was unwilling to credit, told me it was the entrance to a beer-cellar. But I failed to discover either the meaning of the dream-picture or its origin. In 1907 I happened to be in Padua, which, to my regret, I had not been able to visit since 1895. My first visit to that lovely University town had been a disappointment, as I had not been able to see Giotto's frescoes in the Madonna dell' Arena. I had turned back half-way along the street leading there, on being told that the chapel was closed on that particular day. On my second visit, twelve years later, I decided to make up for this and the first thing I did was to set off towards the Arena chapel. In the street leading to it, on my left-hand side as I walked along and in all probability at the point at which I had turned back in 1895, I came upon the place I had seen so often in my dreams, with the sandstone figures that formed part of it. It was in fact the entrance to the garden of a restaurant. One of the sources from which dreams derive material for reproduction-material which is in part neither remembered nor used in the activities of waking thought-is childhood ex­ perience. I will quote only a few of the authors who have noticed and stressed this fact. Hildebrandt (1875, 23): 'I have already expressly admitted that dreams sometimes bring back to our minds, with a wonder­ ful power of reproduction, very remote and even forgotten events from our earliest years.' Strilmpell (1877, 40): 'The position is even more remarkable when we observe how dreams .sometimes bring to light, as it were, from beneath the deepest piles of debris under which the earliest experiences of youth arc buried in later times, pictures of particular localities, things or people, completely intact and with all their original freshness. This is not limited to experi­ ences which created a lively impression when they occurred or



' enjoy a high degree of psychical importance and return later in a dream as genuine recollections at which waking con­ sciousness will rejoice. On the contrary, the depths of memory in dreams also include pictures of people, things, localities and events dating from the earliest times, which either never pos­ sessed any psychical importance or more than a slight degree of vividness, or which have long since lost what they may have possessed of either, and which consequently seem completely alien and unknown alike to the dreaming and waking mind till their earlier origin has been discovered.' Volkclt (1875, 119): 'It is especially remarkable how readily memories of childhood and youth make their way into dreams. Dreams arc continually reminding us of things which we have ceased to think of and which have long ceased to be important to us.' Since dreams have material from childhood at their com­ mand, and since, as we all know, that material is for the most part blotted out by gaps in our conscious faculty of memory, these circumstances give rise to interesting hypermnesic dreams, of which I will once more give a few examples. Maury (1878, 92) relates how when he was a child he used often to go from Meaux, which was his birthplace, to the neighbouring village of Trilport, where his father was super­ intending the building of a bridge. One night in a dream he found himself in Trilport and was once more playing in the village street. A man came up to him who was wearing a sort of uniform. Maury asked him his name and he replied that he was called C. and was a watchman at the bridge. Maury awoke feeling sceptical as to the correctness of the memory, and asked an old maid-servant, who had been with him since his child­ hood, whether she could remember a man of that name. 'Why, yes,' was the reply, 'he was the watchman at the bridge when your father was building it.' Maury (ibid., 143-4) gives another equally well corroborated example of the accuracy of a memory of childhood emerging in a dream. It was dreamt by a Monsieur F., who as a child had lived at Montbrison. Twenty-five years after leaving it, he decided to revisit his home and some friends of the family whom he had not since met. During the night before his departure he dreamt that he was already at Montbrison and, near the town, met a gentleman whom he did not know by sight but



who told him he was Monsieur T., a friend of his father's. The dreamer was aware that when he was a child he had known someone of that name, but in his waking state no longer re­ membered what he looked like. A few days later he actually reached Montbrison, found the locality which in his dream had seemed unknown to him, and there met a gentleman whom he at once recognized as the Monsieur T. in the dream. The real person, however, looked much older than he had appeared in the dream. At this point I may mention a dream of my own, in which what had to be traced was not an impression but a connection. I had a dream of someone who I knew in my dream was the doctor in my native town. His face was indistinct, but was con­ fused with a picture of one of the masters at my secondary school, whom I still meet occasionally. When I woke up I could not discover what connection there was between these two men. I made some enquiries from my mother, however, about this doctor who dated back to the earliest years of my childhood, and learnt that he had only one eye. The schoolmaster whose figure had ccvered that of the doctor in the dream, was also one-eyed. It was thirty-eight years since I had seen the doctor, and so far as I know I had never thought of him in my waking life, though a scar on my chin might have reminded me of his attentions.1 A number of writers, on the other hand, assert that elements are to be found in most dreams, which arc derived from the very last few days before they were dreamt; and this sounds like an attempt to counterbalance the laying of too much weight upon the part played in dream-life by experiences in childhood. Thus Robert ( 1886, 46) actually declares that normal dreams are as a rule concerned only with the impressions of the past few days. We shall find, however, that the theory ofdreams con­ structed by Robert makes it essential for him to bring forward '[Inc last clause of this sentence was added in 1909, appears in all later cditiom up to 1922, but was afterwards omit�. The reference to this same man on p. 275 below only makes seme if it alludes to this omitted clause. The accident that caused the scar is mentioned in the disguised autobiographical case history in Freud (1899a), and the event itself is probably described below on p. 560. This dream plays an impor­ tant part in a letter to Flicss of October 15, 1897 (Freud, 1950a, Letter 71); it is also described in Freud, 1916-17, Lecture 13.] S.P. IV-D



the most recent impressions and leave the oldest out of sight. None the less the fact stated by him remains correct, as I am able to confirm from my own investigations.An American writer, Nelson [1888, 380 f.], is of the opinion that the impres­ sions most frequently employed in a dream arise from the day next but one before the dream occurs, or from the day preceding that one-as though the impressions of the day immediately before the dream were not sufficiently attenuated or remote. Several writers who are anxious not to cast doubts on the intimate connection between the content of dreams and waking life have been struck by the fact that impressions with which waki ng thoughts are intensely occupied only appear in dreams after they have been pushed somewhat aside by the workings of daytime thought. Thus, after the death of someone dear to them, people do not as a rule dream of him to begin with, while they are overwhelmed by grief (Delage, 1891, [40]). On the other hand one of the most recent observers, Miss Hallam (Hallam and Weed, 1896, 410-11), has collected instances to the contrary, thus asserting the right of each of us to psycho­ logical individualism in this respect. The third, most striking and least comprehensible character­ istic of memory in dreams is shown in the choiu of material re­ produced. For what is found worth remembering i s not, as in waking life, only what is most important, but on the contrary what is most indifferent and insignificant as well. On this point I will quote those writers who have given the strongest expres­ sion to their astonishment. Hildebrandt (1875, 11): 'For the remarkable thing is that dreams derive their elements not from major and stirring events nor the powerful and compelling interests of the preceding day, but from incidental details, from the worthless fragments, one might say, of what has been recently experienced or of the remoter past. A family bereavement, which has moved us deeply and under whose immediate shadow we have fallen asleep late at night, is blotted out of our memory till with our first waking moment it returns to it again with disturbing violence. On the other hand, a wart on the forehead of a stranger whom we met in the street and to whom we gave no second thought after passing him has a part to play in our dream....'



Strilmpcll (1877, 39): 'There arc cases in which the analysis of a dream shows that some of its components arc indeed de­ rived from experiences of the previous day or its predecessor, but experiences ao unimportant and trivial from the point of view of waking consciousness that they were forgotten soon after they occurred. Experiences of this kind include, for instance, remarks accidentally overheard, or another person's actions inattentively observed, or passing glimpses of people or things, or odd fragments of what one has read, and so on.• Havelock Ellis (1899, 727): 'The profound emotions of wak­ ing life, the questions and problems on which we spread our chief voluntary mental energy, arc not those which wually present themselves at once to dream consciousness. It is, so far as the immediate past is concerned, mostly the trifling, the incidental, the "forgotten" impressions of daily life which re­ appear in our dreams. The psychic activities that arc awake most intensely arc those that sleep most profoundly.' Binz (1878, 44-5) actually makes this particular peculiarity of memory in dreams the occasion for expressing his dissatis­ faction with the explanations of dreams which he himself has supported: 'And the natural dream raises similar problems. Why do we not always dream of the mncmic impressions of the day we have just lived through? Why do we often, without any apparent motive, plunge instead into the remote and almost extinct past? Why docs consciousness so often in dreams receive the impression of indifferent mncmic images, while the brain­ cells, just where they carry the most sensitive marks of what has been experienced, lie for the most part silent and still, unless they have been stirred into fresh activity shortly before, during waking life?' It is easy to sec how the remarkable preference shown by the memory in dreams for indifferent, and consequently unnoticed, clements in waking experience is bound to lead people to over­ look in general the dependence of dreams upon waking life and at all events to make it difficult in any particular instance to prove that dependence. Thus Miss Whiton Calkins (1893, 315), in her statistical study of her own and her collaborator's dreams, found that in eleven per cent of the total there was no visible connection with waking life. Hildebrandt (1875, (12 f.]) is unquestionably right in asserting that we should be able to explain the genesis of every dream-image if we devoted enough



time and trouble to tracing its origin. He speaks of this as 'an exceedingly laborious and thankless task. For as a rule it ends in hunting out every kind of utterly worthless psychical event from the remotest comers of the chambers of one's memory, and in dragging to light once again every kind of completely indifferent moment of the past from the oblivion in which it was buried in the very hour, perhaps, after it occurred.' I can only regret that this keen-sighted author allowed himself to be deterred from following the path which had this inauspicious beginning; if he had followed it, it would have led him to the very heart of the explanation of dreams. The way in which the memory behaves in dreams is un­ doubtedly of the greatest importance for any theory of memory in general. It teaches us that 'nothing which we have once mentally possessed can be entirely lost' (Scholz, 1893, 59); or, as Delbttuf [1885, 115] puts it, 'que toute impression mcme la plus insignifiante, laisse une trace inalterable, indefiniment susceptible de reparaitre aujour'. 1 This is a conclusion to which we are also driven by many pathological phenomena of mental life. Certain theories about dreams which we shall mention later seek to account for their absurdity and incoherence by a partial forgetting of what we know during the day. When we bear in mind the extraordinary efficiency that we have just seen exhibited by memory in dreams we shall have a lively sense of the contradiction which these theories involve. It might perhaps occur to us that the phenomenon of dreaming could be reduced entirely to that of memory: dreams, it might be supposed, arc a manifestation of a reproductive activity which is at work even in the night and which is an end in itself. This would tally with statements such as those made by Pilcz (1899), according to which there is a fixed relation observable between the time at which a dream occurs and its content-impressions from the remotest past being reproduced in dreams during deep sleep, while more recent impressions appear towards morning. But views of this sort are inherently improbable owing to the manner in which dreams deal with the material that is to be remembered. Strilmpcll [1877, 18] rightly points out that dreams do not reproduce experiences. They 1 ['That even the most insignificant imprcaion leaves an unalterable trace. which it indefinitely capable of revival.']



take one step forward, but the next step in the chain is omitted, or appears in an altered form, or is replaced by something entirely extraneous. Dreams yield no more than fragments of reproductions; and this is so general a rule that theoretical con­ clusions may be based on it. It is true that there are exceptional cases in which a dream repeats an experience with as much completeness as is attainable by our waking memory. Delbreuf [1885, 239 f.] tells how one of his university colleagues 1 had a dream which reproduced in all its details a dangerous carriage­ accident he had had, with an almost miraculous escape. Miss Calkins ( 1893) mentions two dreams whose content was an exact reproduction of an event of the previous day, and I shall myself have occasion later to report an example I came across of a childhood experience re-appearing in a dream without modification. [See pp. 189 and 198.]I 1 [In the fint edition the words 'who is now teaching in Vienna' appeared here but they were cut out in 1909. In Ges. Sehr. 3 (1925), 8, Freud remarks that 'the words were no doubt rightly omitted, especially as the man in question had died'.] • [Footnot, added 1909:] Subsequent experience leads m e to add that it by no means rarely happens that innocent and unimportant actions of the previous day are repeated in a dream: such, for instance, as packing a trunk, preparing food in the kitchen, and so on. What the dreamer is himself strcs.,ing in dreams of this kind is not, however, the content of the memory but the fact of its being 'real': 'I really did do all that yester­ day.' [Cf. below pp. 187 and 372. The topics discussed i n this and the preceding section arc taken up again in the fint two sections of Chapter V (p. 163 ff.).]


THE STIMULI AND SOURCES OF DREAMS There is a popular saying that 'dreams come from indiges­ tion' and this helps us to see what is meant by the stimuli and sources of dreams. Behind these concepts lies a theory according to which dreams are a result of a disturbance of sleep: we should not have had a dream unless something dis­ turbing had happened during our sleep, and the dream was a reaction to that disturbance. Discussions upon the exciting causes of dreams occupy a vuy large space in the literature of the subject. The problem could obviously only arise after dreams had become a subject of bio­ logical investigation. The ancients, who believed that dreams were inspired by the gods, had no need to look.around for their stimulus: dreams emanated from the will of divine or daemonic powers and their content arose from the knowledge or purpose of those powers. Science was immediately faced by the question of whether the stimulus to dreaming was always the same or whether there could be many kinds of such stimuli; and this involved the consideration of whether the explanation of the causation of dreams fell within the province of psychology or rather of physiology. Most authorities seem to agree in assuming that the causes that disturb sleep-that is, the sources ofdream­ ing-may be of many kinds and that somatic stimuli and mental excitations alike may come to act as instigaton of dreams. Opinions differ widely, however, in the preference they show for one or the other source of dreams and in the order of importance which they assign to them as facton in the pro­ duction of dreams. Any complete enumeration of the sources of dreams leads to a recognition of four kinds of source; and these have also been used for the classification of dreams themselves. They are: (1) external (objective) sensory excitations; (2) internal (subjective) sensory excitations; (3) internal (organic) somatic stimuli; and (4) purely psychical sources of stimulation. 22




The younger StrUmpell [1883-4; Engl. trans. (1912, 2, 160)), the son of the philosopher whose book on dreams has already given us several hints upon their problems, published a well­ known account of his observations upon one of his patients who was afflicted with general anaesthesia of the surface of his body and paralysis of several of his higher sense organs. If the few of this man's sensory channels which remained open to the external world were closed, he would fall asleep. Now when we our­ selves wish to go to sleep we are in the habit of trying to produce a situation similar to that of StrOmpell's experiment. We close our most important sensory channels, our eyes, and try to pro­ tect the other senses from all stimuli or from any modification of the stimuli acting on them. We then fall asleep, even though our plan is never completely realized.. We cannot keep stimuli completely away from our sense organs nor can we completely suspend the excitability of our sense organs. The fact that a fairly powerful stimulus will awaken us at any time is evidence that 'even in sleep the soul is in constant contact with the extra­ corporeal world'. 1 The sensory stimuli that reach us during sleep may very well become sources of dreams. Now there are a great number of such stimuli, ranging from the unavoidable ones which the state of sleep itself necessarily involves or must tolerate from time to time, to the accidental, rousing stimuli which may or do put an end to sleep. A bright light may force its way into our eyes, or a noise may make itself heard, or some strong-smelling substance may stimulate the mucous membrane of our nose. By unintentional movements during our sleep we may uncover some part of our body and expose it to sensations of chill, or by a change in posture we may ourselves bring about sensations of pressure or contact. We may be stung by a gnat, or some small mishap during the night may impinge upon several of our senses at once. Attentive observers have collected a whole series of dreams in which there has been such a far-reaching correspondence between a stimulus noticed on waking and a portion of the content of the dream that it has been possible to identify the stimulus as the source of the dream. I will quote from Jessen (1855, 527 f.) a collection of dreams 1 [CT. Burclach's remarks on p. 52 f.J



of this kind which may be traced back to objective, and more or less accidental, sensory stimulation. 'Every noise that is indistinctly perceived arouses correspond­ ing dream-images. A peal of thunder will set us in the midst of a battle; the crowing of a cock may tum into a man's cry of terror; the creaking of a door may produce a dream of burglars.If our bed-clothes fall off in the night, we may dream, perhaps, of walking about naked or of falling into water. If we are lying cross-wise in bed and push our feet over the edge, we may dream that we are standing on the brink of a frightful precipice or that we are falling over a cliff. If our head happens to get under the pillow, we dream of being beneath a huge overhanging rock which is on the point of burying us under its weight. Accumulations of semen lead to lascivious dreams, local pains produce ideas of being ill-treated, attacked or injured.... 'Meier (1758, 33) once dreamt that he was overpowered by some men who stretched him out on his back on the ground and drove a stake into the earth between his big toe and the next one. While he was imagining this in the dream he woke up and found that a straw was sticking between his toes. On another occasion, according to Hennings (1784, 258), when Meier had fastened his shirt rather tight round his neck, he dreamt that he was being hanged.Hoffbauer [( 1796, 146)] dreamt when he was a young man of falling down from a high wall, and when he woke up found that his bedstead had collapsed and that he had really fallen on to the floor....Gregory reports that once, when he was lying with his feet on a hot-water-bottle, he . dreamt he had climbed to the top of Mount Etna and that the ground there was intolerably hot. Another man, who was sleep­ ing with a hot poultice on his head, dreamt that he was being scalped by a band of Red Indians; while a third, who was wearing a damp night-shirt, imagined that he was being dragged through a stream. An attack of gout that came on suddenly during sleep caused the patient to believe he was in the hands of the Inquisition and being tortured on the rack. (Macnish [ 1835, 40]. )' The argument based on the similarity between the stimulus and the content of the dream gains in strength if it is possible deliberately to convey a sensory stimulus to the sleeper and pro­ duce in him a dream corresponding to that stimulus.According



to Macnish (loc. cit.), quoted byJessen ( 1855, 529), experiments of this sort had already been made by Girou de Buzareingues [1848, 55]. 'He left his knee uncovered and dreamt that he was travelling at night in a mail coach. He remarks upon this that travellers will no doubt be aware how cold one's knees become at night in a coach. Another time he left his head uncovered at the back and dreamt that he was taking part in a religious ceremony in the open air. It must be explained that in the country in which he lived it was the custom always to keep the head covered except in circumstances such as these.' Maury (1878, [154-6]) brings forward some new observa­ tions of dreams produced in himself. (A number of other experiments were unsuccessful.) (1) His lips and the tip of his nose were tickled with a feather.-He dreamt of a frightful form of torture: a mask made of pitch was placed on his face and then pulled off, so that it took his skin off with it. (2) A pair of scissors was sharpened on a pair of pliers.-He heard bells pealing, followed by alarm-bells, and he was back in the June days of 1848. (3) He was given some eau-de-colognc to smell.-He was in Cairo, in Johann Maria Farina's shop. Some absurd adventures followed, which he could not reproduct. (4) He was pinched lightly on the neck.-He dreamt he was being given a mustard plaster and thought of the doctor who had treated him as a child. (5) A hot iron was brought close to his face.-He dreamt that the 'cliaujfeurs' 1 had made their way into the house and were forcing its inhabitants to give up their money by sticking their feet into braziers of hot coal. The Duchess of Abrantes, whose secretary he was in the dream, then appeared. (8) A drop of water was dropped on his forehead.-He was in Italy, was sweating violently and was drinking white Orvieto wine. (9) Light from a candle was repeatedly shone upon him through a sheet of red paper.-He dreamt of the weather and of the heat, and was once again in a storm he had experienced in the English Channel. 1 The 'chauffeurs' [heaters] were bands of robbers in La Vendce [at the time of the French Revolution], who made use of the method of torture described above.



Other attempts at producing dreams experimentally have been reported by Hervey de Saint-Denys [1867, 268 f. and 376 f.], W eygandt (1893) and others. Many writers have commented upon 'the striking facility with which dreams arc able to weave a sudden impression from the world of the senses into their own structure so that it comes as what appears to be a pre-arranged catastrophe that has been gradually led up to.' (Hildebrandt, 1875, [36].) 'In my youth', this author goes on, 'I used to make use of an alarm-clock in order to be up regularly at a fixed hour. It must have happened hundreds of times that the noise produced by this instrument fitted into an ostensibly lengthy and connected dream as though the whole dream had been leading up to that one event and had reached its appointed end in what was a logically indispensable climax.' [Ibid., 37.] I shall quote three of these alarm-dock dreams presently in another connection. [P. 27 f.] Volkelt (1875, 108 f.) writes: 'A composer once dreamt that he was giving a class and was trying to make a point clear to his pupils. When he had done, he turned to one of the boys and asked him if he had followed. The boy shouted back like a lunatic: "Ohja! [Oh yes!]" He began to reprove the boy angrily for shouting, but the whole class broke out into cries first of "Orjal", then of "Eurjo!" and finally of "Feucrjo!" 1 At this point he was woken up by actual cries of "Feuerjo!" in the street.' Garnier (1865, [I, 476]) tells how Napoleon I was woken by a bomb-explosion while he was asleep in his carriage. He had a dream that he was once more crossing the Tagliamento under the Austrian bombardment, and at last started up with a cry: 'We are undermined!'• A dream dreamt by Maury (1878, 161) has become famous. He was ill and lying in his room in bed, with his mother sitting beside him, and dreamt that it was during the Reign of Terror. After witnessing a number offrightful scenes of murder, he was finally himself brought before the revolutionary tribunal. There he saw Robespierre, Marat, Fouquier-Tinville and the rest of the grim heroes of those terrible days. He was questioned by 1 [Th� fint two of these last three exclaroatiom arc meaningJea; the third ii the conventional ay for an alarm of fire.] • [Further considered below on pp. 233 f. and 497 f.]



them, and, af\er a number of incidents which were not retained in his memory, was condemned, and led to the place of execu­ tion surrounded by an immense mob. He climbed on to the scaffold and was bound to the plank by the executioner. It was tipped up. The blade of the guillotine fell. He felt his head being separated from his body, woke up in extreme anxiety­ and found that the top of the bed had fallen down and had struck his cervical vertebrae just in the way in which the blade of the guillotine would actually have struck them. This dream was the basis of an interesting discussion between Le Lorrain (1894) and Egger (1895) in the Rnnu philosophiqru. The question raised was whether and how it was possible for a dreamer to compress such an apparently superabundant quantity of material into the short period elapsing between his perceiving the rousing stimulus and his waking. 1 Examples of this kind leave an impression that of all the sources of dreams the best confirmed are objective sensory stimuli during sleep. Moreover they arc the only sources what­ ever taken into account by laymen. If an educated man, who is unacquainted with the literature of dreams, is asked how dreams arise, he will infallibly answer with a reference to some instance he has come across in which a dream was explained by an objec­ tive sensory stimulus discovered after waking. Scientific enquiry, however, cannot stop there. It finds an occasion for further questions in the observed fact that the stimulus which impinges on the senses during sleep does not appear in the dream in its real shape but is replaced by another image in some way related to it. But the relation connecting the stimulus of the dream to the dream which is its result is, to quote Maury's words (1854, 72), 'une affiniti quclconquc, mais qui n'cst pas unique ct exclusive.'• Let us consider in this connection three of Hildc­ brandt's alarm-clock dreams (1875, 37 f.). The question they raise is why the same stimulus should have provoked three such different dreams and why it should have provoked these rather than any other. 'I dreamt, then, that one spring morning I was going for a walk and was strolling through the green fields till I came to a neighbouring village, where I saw the villagcn in their best 1 [Further dilculled below, pp. 64 and 496 £.] • ['An affinity of 10me kind, but one which is not unique and exclusive.']



clothes, with hymn-books under their arms, flocking to the church. Of course! It was Sunday, and early morning service would soon be beginning. I decided I would attend it; but first, as I was rather hot from walking, I went into the churchyard which surrounded the church, to cool down. While I was read­ ing some. of the tombstones, I heard the bell-ringer climbing up the church tower and at the top ofit I now saw the little village bell which would presently give the signal for the beginning of devotions. For quite a while it hung there motionless, then it began to swing, and suddenly its peal began to ring out clear and piercing-so clear and piercing that it put an end to my sleep. But what was ringing was the alarm-clock. 'Here is another instance. It was a bright winter's day and the streets were covered with deep snow. I had agreed to join a party for a sleigh-ride; but I had to wait a long time before news came that the sleigh was at the door. Now followed the preparations for getting in-the fur rug spread (¥.lt, the foot­ muff put ready-and at last I was sitting in my seat. But even then the moment of departure was delayed till a pull at the reins gave the waiting horses the signal. Then off they started, and, with a violent shake, the sleigh bells broke into their familiar jingle-with such violence, in fact, that in a moment the cobweb of my dream was torn through. And once again it was only the shrill sound of the alarm-clock. 'And now yet a third example. I saw a kitchen-maid, carry­ ing several dozen plates piled on one another, walking along the passage to the dining-room. The column of china in her arms seemed to me in danger of losing its balance. "Take care," I exclaimed, "or you'll drop the whole load." The inevitable re­ joinder duly followed: she was quite accustomed to that kind of job, and so on. And meanwhile my anxious looks followed the advancing figure. Then-just as I expected-she stumbled at the threshold and the fragile crockery slipped and rattled and clattered in a hundred pieces on the floor. But the noise con­ tinued without ceasing, and soon it seemed no longer to be a clattering; it was turning into a ringing-and the ringing, as my waking self now became aware, was only the alarm-clock doing its duty.' The question of why the mind mistakes the nature of objec­ tive sensory stimuli in dreams receives almost the same answer from Strilmpell (1877, [103]) as from Wundt (1874, [659 f.1):



the mind receives stimuli that reach it during sleep under conditions favourable to the formation of illusions. A sense­ impression is recognized by us and correctly interpreted-that, is, it is placed in the group of memories to which, in accordance with all our previous experiences, it belongs-provided the im­ pression is sufficiently strong, clear and lasting and provided. we have sufficient time at our disposal for considering the matter. If these conditions are not fulfilled, we mistake the object which is the source of the impression: we form an illusion about it. 'If someone goes for a walk in the open country and has an indeterminate perception of a distant object, he may at first believe it to be a horse.' On a closer view he may be led to interpret it as a cow lying down, and the image may finally resolve itself definitely into a group of people sitting on the ground. The impressions received by the mind from external stimuli during sleep are of a similarly indeterminate nature; and on their basis the mind forms illusions, since a greater or smaller number of mnemic images arc aroused by the impression and it is through them that it acquires its psychical value. From which of the many groups of memories concerned the related images shall be aroused and which of the possible associative connections shall accordingly be put into action-these ques­ tions too, on Strilmpell's theory, are indeterminable and are, as it were, left open to the arbitrary decision of the mind. At this point we are faced with a choice between two alterna­ tives. We may admit it as a fact that it is impossible to follow the laws governing the formation of dreams any further; and we may accordingly refrain from enquiring whether there may not be other determinants governing the interpretation put by the dreamer upon the illusion called up by the sense-impression. Or, on the other hand, we may have a suspicion that the sensory stimulus which impinges on the sleeper plays only a modest part in generating his dream and that other factors determine the choice of the mnemic images which are to be aroused in him. In fact, if we examine Maury's experimentally produced dreams (which I have related in such detail for this very reason), we shall be tempted to say that the experiment in fact accounts for the origin of only one element of the dreams; the rest of their content seems too self-contained, too definite in its details, to be explicable solely by the necessity for fitting



in with the element experimentally introduced from outside. Indeed, one begins to have doubts about the illusion theory and about the power of objective impressions to give a sha:t>C to dreams when one finds that those impressions arc sometimes subjected in dreams to the most peculiar and far-fetched inter­ pretations. Thus Simon (1888) tells us of a dream in which he saw some gigantic figures seated at table and clearly heard the frightful snapping noise made by their jaws coming together as they chewed. When he awoke he heard the beat of a horse's hooves galloping past his window. The noise made by the horse's hooves may have suggested ideas from a group of memories connected with GulliDtT's Trawls-the giants of Brob­ dingnag and the virtuous Houyhnhnms-if I may venture on an interpretation without the dreamer's assistance. Is it not probable, then, that the choice of such an unusual group of memories as these was facilitated by motives other than the objective stimulus alonc? 1

2. INTERNAL (SUBJECTIVE) SENSORY ExCITATIONS In spite of any objections to the contrary, it has to be admitted that the part played by objective sensory excitations during sleep in provoking dreams remains indisputable. And if such stimuli may appear, from their nature and frequency, insufficient to explain euery dream-image, we shall be encour­ aged to seek for other sources of dreams analogous to them in their operation. I cannot say when the idea first cropped up of taking internal (subjective) excitations of the sense organs into account alongside of the external sensory stimuli. It is, however, the case that this is done, more or less explicitly, in all the more recent discussions ofthe aetiology ofdreams. 'An essential part is also played, I believe,' writes Wundt (1874, 657), 'in the produc­ tion of the illusions that occur in dreams by the subjective visual and auditory sensations which are familiar to us in the waldng state as the formless areas of luminosity which become visible to us when our field of vision is darkened, as ringing or buzzing 1 [Footnot. add.,d 1911:] The appearance of gigantic figures in a dream gives grounds for supposing that IODle scene from the dreamer'• child­ hood ii involved. [Cf. p. 408.)-(Add,d 1925 :] IncidentaJly, the inter­ pretation given in the text, pointing to a rcminiaccnce of Gulli«r's Trawls, ii a good example ofwhat an interpretation ought not to be. The interpreter of a dream should not give free play to hia own ingenuity and neglect the dreamer's uaociationa.



in the can, and so on. Especially important among these arc the subjective excitations of the retina. It is in this way that is to be explained the remarkable tendency of dreams to conjure up before the eyes similar or identical objects in large numbers.We see before us innumerable birds or butterflies or fishes or coloured beads

or ftowen, etc. Here the luminous dust in the darkened field of

vision has taken on a fantastic shape, and the numerous specks of which it consists arc incorporated into the dream as an equal number of separate images; and these, on account of their mobility, are regarded as mouing objects.-This is no doubt also the basis of the great fondness shown by dreams for animal figures of every sort; for the immense variety of such forms can adjust itself easily to the particular form assumed by the subjective luminous images.' As sources of dream-images, subjective sensory excitations have the obvious advantage of not being dependent, like objec­ tive ones, upon external chance. They arc ready to hand, as one might say, whenever they are needed as an explanation. But they are at a disadvantage compared with objective sensory stimuli in that the part they play in instigating a dream is scarcely or not at all open to confirmation, as is the case with objective stimuli, by observation and experiment. The chief evidence in favour of the power of subjective sensory excitations to instigate dreams is provided by what are known as 'hypna• gogic hallucinations', or, to useJohanncs Muller's term (1826), 'imaginative visual phenomena'. These arc images, often very vivid and rapidly changing, which arc apt to appear-quite habitually in some people-during the period of falling asleep; and they may also persist for a time after the eyes have been opened. Maury, who was subject to them in a high degree, has made an exhaustive examination of them and maintains (as did Moller [ibid., 49 f.] before him) their connection and indeed their identity with dream-images. In order to produce them, he says (Maury, 1878, 59 f.), a certain amount of mental passivity, a relaxation of the strain of attention, is necessary. It is enough, however, to fall into a lethargic state of this kind for no more than a second (provided that one has the necessary predis­ position) in order to have a hypnagogic hallucination. After this one may perhaps wake up again and the process may be repeated several times until one finally falls asleep. Maury found that if he then woke up once more after not too long an



interval, he was able to detect in his dream the same images that had floated before his eyes as hypnagogic hallucinations before he fell asleep. (Ibid., 134 f.) This was the ca'le on one occasion with a number of grotesque figures with distorted faces and strange coiffures which pestered him with extreme per­ tinacity while he was going to sleep and which he remembered having dreamt about after he woke. Another time, when he was suffering from hunger owing to having put himself on a light diet, he had a hypnagogic vision of a plate and a hand armed with a fork which was helping itself to some of the food from the plate. In the dream which followed he was sitting at a well­ spread table and heard the noise made by the diners with their forks. Yet another time, when he went to sleep with his eyes in an irritated and painful state, he had a hypnagogic hallucina­ tion of some microscopically small signs which he could only decipher one by one with the greatest difficulty; he was woken from his sleep an hour later and remembered a dream in which there was an open book printed in very small type which he was reading painfully. Auditory hallucinations of words, names, and so on can also occur hypnagogically in the same way as visual images, and may then be repeated in a dream-just as an overture announces the principal themes which are to be heard in the opera that is to follow. A more recent observer of hypnagogic hallucinations, G. Trumbull Ladd (1892), has followed the same lines as Moller and Maury. After some practice he succeeded in being able to wake himself suddenly without opening his eyes, from two to five minutes after gradually falling asleep. He thus had an opportunity of comparing the retinal sensations which were just disappearing with the dream-images persisting in his memory. He declares that i t was possible in every case to recognize an internal relation between the two, for the luminous points and lines of the idioretinal light provided, as it were, an outline drawing or diagram of the figures mentally perceived in the dream. For instance, an arrangement of the luminous points in the retina in parallel lines corresponded to a dream in which he had been seeing, clearly spread out in front of him, some lines of print which he was engaged in reading. Or, to use his own words, 'the clearly printed page which I was reading in my dream faded away into an object that appeared to my



waking consciousness like a section of an actual page of print when seen through an oval hole in a piece of paper at too great a distance to distinguish more than an occasional fragment of a . word, and even that dimly'. Ladd is of opiniQn (though he does not underestimate the part played in the phenomenon by central [cerebral] factors) that scarcely a single visual dream occurs without the participation of material provided by intra­ ocular retinal excitation. This applies especially to dreams occurring soon after falling asleep in a dark room, while the source of stimulus for dreams occurring in the morning shortly before waking is the objective light which penetrates the eyes in a room that is growing light. The changing, perpetually shifting character of the excitation of the idioretinal light corresponds precisely to the constantly moving succession of images shown us by our dreams. No one who attaches importance to these observations of Ladd's will underestimate the part played in dreams by these subjective sources of stimulation, for, as we know, visual images constitute the principal component of our dreams. The contributions from the other senses, except for that of hearing, are intermittent and of less importance. 3. INTERNAL ORGANIC SOMATIC STIMULI Since we are now engaged i n looking for sources of dreams inside the organism instead of outside it, we must bear in mind that almost all our internal organs, though they give us scarcely any news of their working so lo ng as they arc in a healthy state: become a source of what arc mainly distressing sensations when they arc in what we describe as states of excitation, or during illnesses. These sensations must be equated with the sensory or painful stimuli reaching us from the outside. The experience of ages is reflected in-to take an cxample-Strilmpell's remarks on the subject (1877, 107): 'During sleep the mind attains a far deeper and wider sensory consciousness of somatic events than during the waking state. It is obliged to receive and be affected by impressions of stimuli from parts of the body and from changes in the body of which it knows nothing when awake.' So early a writer as Aristotle regarded it as quite possible that the beginnings of an illness might make themselves felt i n dreams before anything could be noticed of i t i n waking life, owing to the magnifying effect produced upon impressions by dreams. (Sec above, p. 3.) Medical writers, too, who were S.P. IV-E



certainly far from believing i n the prophetic power of dreams, have not disputed their significance as premonitors of illness. (Cf. Simon, 1888, 31, and many earlier writers. 1} Instances of the diagnostic power of dreams seem to be vouched for in more recent times. Thus Tissie (1898, 62 f.) quotes from Artigues (1884, 43) the story of a forty-three-ycar­ old woman, who, while apparently in perfect health, was for some years tormented by anxiety-dreams. She was then medic­ ally examined and found to be in the early stages of an affection of the heart, to which she eventually succumbed. Pronounced disorders of the internal organs obviously act as instigators ofdreams in a whole number of cases. The frequency of anxiety-dreams i n diseases of the heart and lungs is generally recognized. Indeed, this side of dream-life is placed in the fore­ ground by so many authorities that I am content with a mere reference to the literature: Radestock [1879, 70], Spitta [1882, 241 f.], Maury [1878, 33 f.], Simon (1888), Tissie [1898, 60 ff.]. Tissie is even of the opinion that the particular organ affected gives a characteristic impress to the content of the dream. Thus the dreams of those suffering from diseases of the heart are usually short and come to a terrifying end at the moment of waking; their content almost always includes a situation involv­ ing a horrible death. Sufferers from diseases of the lungs dream of suffocation, crowding and fleeing, and are remarkably sub­ ject to the familiar nightmare. (It may be remarked, incident• ally, that Borner (1855) has succeeded in provoking the latter experimentally by lying on his face or covering the respiratory 1 [Footnote added 1914:] Apart from the diagnostic value ascribed to dreams (e.g. in the works ofHippocrates [sec above p. 3 n,]), their lhlra,. peutic importance in antiquity mwt abo be borne in mind. In Greece there were dream oracles, which were regularly visited by patients in search of recovery. A sick man would enter the temple of Apollo or Aesculapius, would pcrfonn variow ceremonies there, would be purified by lwtration, massage and inccmc, and then, in a state of exaltation, would be stretched on the skin of a ram that had been sacrificed. He would then fall asleep and would dream of the remedies for his illness. These would be revealed to him either in their natural fonn or in sym­ bols and pictures which would afterwards be interpreted by the priests. For further information upon therapeutic dreams among the Greeks sec Lehmann (1908, 1, 74), Bouche-Lcdercq (1879-1882), Hermann (1858, §41, 262 ff., and 1882, §38, 356), Bottinger (I 795, 163 ff.), Lloyd (1877), Dollinger (1857, 130).-[A comment on the 'diagnostic' value of dreams will be found near the beginning ofFreud, 1917d.]



apertures.) In the case of digestive disorders dreams contain ideas connected with enjoyment of food or disgust. Finally, the influence of sexual excitement on the content of dreams can be adequately appreciated by everyone from his own experience and provides the theory that dreams are instigated by organic stimuli with its most powerful support. No one, moreover, who goes through the literature of the subject can fail to notice that some writen, such as Maury [1878, 451 f.] and Weygandt (1893), were led to the study of dream problems by the effect of their own illncs.,es upon the content of their dreams. Nevertheless, though these facts arc established beyond a doubt, their importance for the study of the sources of dreams is not so great as might have been hoped. Dreams are phenomena which occur in healthy people-perhaps in everyone, perhaps every night-and it is obvious that organic illness cannot be counted among its indispe nsable conditions. And what we arc concerned with is not the origin of certain special dreams but the source that instigates the ordinary dreams of normal people. We need only go a step further, however, in order to come upon a source of dreams more copious than any we have so far considered, one indeed which seems as though it could never run dry. If it is established that the interior of the body when it is in a diseased state becomes a source of stimuli for dreams, and if we admit that during sleep the mind, being diverted from the external world, is able to pay more attention to the interior of the body, then it seems plausible to suppose that the internal organs do not need to be diseased before they can cause excitations to reach the sleeping mind-excitations which are somehow turned into dream-images. While we arc awake we are aware of a diffuse general sensibility or coenacsthesia, but only as a vague quality of our mood; to this feeling, accord­ ing to medical opinion, all the organic systems contribute a share. At night, however, it would seem that this same feeling, grown into a powerful influence and acting through its various components, becomes the strongest and at the same time the commonest source for instigating dream-images. If this is so, it would only remai� to investigate the laws according to which the organic stimuli tum into dream-images. We have here reached the theory of the origin of dreams which is preferred by all the medical authorities. The obscurity



in which the centre of our being (the 'moi splaneluaupu', as Tim� [1898, 23] calls it) is veiled from our knowledge and the obscurity surrounding the origin of dreams tally too well not to be brought into relation to each other. The line of thought which regards vegetative organic sensation u the constructor of drcama has, moreover, a particular attraction for medical men since it allows of a single aetiology for dreams and mental diseases, whose manifestations have so much in common; for coenaesthetic changes and stimuli arising from the internal organs are also held largely responsible for the origin of the psychoses. It is not surprising, therefore, that the origin of the theory of somatic stimulation may be traced back to more than one independent source. The line of argument developed by the philosopher Schopen­ hauer in 1851 has had a decisive influence on a number of writers. Our picture of the universe, in his view, is arrived at by our intellect taking the impressions that impinge on it from outside and remoulding them into the forms of time, space and causality. During the daytime the stimuli from the interior of the organism, from the sympathetic nervous system, exercise at the most an unconscious effect upon our mood. But at night, when we are no longer deafened by the impressions of the day, those which arise from within are able to attract attention­ just as at night we can_ hear the murmuring of a brook which is drowned by daytime noises. But how is the intellect to react to these stimuli otherwise than by carrying out its own peculiar function on them? The stimuli are accordingly remodelled into forms occupying space and time and obeying · the rules of causality, and thus dreams arise [cf. Schopenhauer, 1862, 1, 249 ff.]. Schemer (1861) and after him Volkelt (1875) en­ deavoured subsequently to investigate in more detail the rela­ tion between somatic stimuli and dream-images, but I shall postpone my consideration of these attempts till we reach the scction dealing with the various theories about dreams. [Sec below, p. 83 ff.] Krauss [1859, 255], the psychiatriat, in an investigation carried through with remarkable consistency, traces the origin alike of dreams and of deliria1 and delusions to the same factor, namely to organically determined sensations. It is scarcely poaiblc to think ofany part ofthe organism which might not be l (Pcrbapl 'ballucinatiolJI'; lee p.

59 11.]



the starting-point of a dream or of a delusion. Organically determined sensatiom 'may be divided into two claaca: (1) those constituting the general mood (coenaesthesia) and (2) the specific sensatiom immanent in the principal systems of the vegetative organism. Of these latter five groups arc to be dis­ tinguished: (a) muscular, (6) respiratory, (c) gastric, (4) sexual and (e) peripheral sensations.' Krauss supposes that the process by which dream-images arise on the basis of somatic stimuli is as follows. The sensation that has been aroused evokes a cognate image, in accordance with some law ofaasociation. It combines with the image into a n organic structure, to which, however, consciousness reacts abnormally. For it pays no attention to the smsatum, but directs the whole of it to the accompanying imagu -which explains why the true facts were for so long misunder­ stood. Krauss has a special tenn for describing this procca: the 'tram-substantiation' of sensations into dream-images. The influence of organic somatic stimuli upon the formation of dreams is almost univcnally accepted to-day; but the ques­ tion of the laws that govern the relation between them is answered in very various ways, and often by obscure pro­ nouncements. On the basis of the theory of somatic stimulation, dream-interpretation is thus faced with the special problem of tracing back the content of a dream to the organic stimuli which caused it; and, if the rules for interpretation laid down by Schemer (1861) arc not accepted, one is often faced with the awkward fact that the only thing that reveals the existence of the organic stimulus is prcciscly the content of the dream itscl£ There is a fair amount of agreement, however, over the interpretation of various fol'llll of dreams that arc described as 'typical', because they occur in large numbers of people and with very similar content. Such arc the familiar dreams of falling from a height, of teeth falling out, of flying and of embarrassment at being naked or insufficiently clad. Thia last dream is attributed simply to the sleeper's perceiving that he has thrown off his bedclothes in his sleep and is lying exposed to the air. The dream of teeth falling out is traced back to a 'dental stimulus', though this docs not ncccssari!y imply that the excitation of the teeth is a pathological one. According to StrUmpcll [1877, 119] the flying dream ia the image which is found appropriate by the mind as an interpretation of the stimulus produced by the rising ancl sinking of the lobes of the





lungs at times when cutaneous sensations in the thorax have ceased to be conscious: it is this latter circumstance that leads to the fccling which is attached to the idea of floating. The dream of falling from a height is said to be due to an arm falling away from the body or a flexed knee being suddenly extended at a time when the sense of cutaneous pressure is beginning to be no longer conscious; the movements in question cause the tactile sensations to become conscious once more, and the transition to consciousness is represented psychically by the dream of falling (ibid., 118). The obvious weakness of these attempted explanations, plausible though they arc, lies in the fact that, without any other evidence, they can make successive hypotheses that this or that group of organic sensations enters or disappears from mental perception, till a constellation has been reached which affords an explanation of the dream. I shall later have occasion to return to the question of typical dreams and their origin. [C£ pp. 241 ff. and. 384 ff.] 3imon (1888, 34 f.) has attempted to deduce some of the rules governing the way in which organic stimuli determine the resultant dreams by comparing a series of similar dreams. He asserts that if an organic apparatus which normally plays a part in the expression of an emotion is brought by some extraneous cause during sleep into the state of excitation which is usually produced by the emotion, then a dream will arise which will contain images appropriate to the emotion in question. Another rule lays it down that if during sleep an organ is in a state of activity, excitation or disturbance, the dream will produce images related to the performance of the function which is dis­ charged by the organ concerned. Moudy Vold (1896) has set out to prove experimentally in one particular field the effect on the production of dreams which is asserted by the theory of somatic stimulation. His experiments consisted in altering the position of a alccpcr's limbs and comparing the resultant dreams with the alterations made. He states his findings as follows: (1) The position of a limb in the dream corresponds approx­ imately to its position in reality. Thus, we dream of the limb being in a static condition when it is so actually. (2) If we dream of a limb moving, then one of the positions passed through in the counc of completing the movement in­ variably corresponds to the limb's actual position,



(3) The position of the dreamer's own limb may be ascribed in the dream to some other person. (4) The dream may be of tlic movement in question being hindered. (5) The limb which is in the position in question may appear in the dream as an animal or monster, in which case a certain analogy is established between them. (6) The position of a limb may give rise in the dream to thoughts which have some connection with the limb. Thus, if the fingers arc concerned, we dream of numbcn. I should be inclined to conclude from findings such as these that even the theory of somatic stimulation has not succeeded in completely doing away with the apparent absence of determina­ tion in the choice of what dream-images arc to be produccd. 1 4. PsvcHICAL SoUR.CES OP STIMULATION When we were dealing with the relations of dreams to waking life and with the material of dreams, we found that the most ancient and the most recent students of dreams were united in believing that men dream of what they do during the daytime and of what interests them while they arc awake [p. 7 f.]. Such an interest, carried over from waking life into sleep, would not only be a mental bond, a link between dreams and life, but would also provide us with a further source of dreams and one not to be despised. Indeed, taken in conjunction with the interests that develop during sleep-the stimuli that impinge on the sleeper-it might be enough to explain the origin of all dream-images. But we have also heard the opposite asserted, namely that dreams withdraw the sleeper from the interests of daytime and that, as a rule, we only start dreaming of the things that have most struck us during the day, after they have lost the spice of actuality in waking life. [Pp. 7 and 18.] Thus at every step we take in our analysis of dream-life we come to feel that it is impossible to make generalizations without covering our­ selves by such qualifying phrases as 'frequently', 'as a rule' or 'in most cases', and without being prepared to admit the validity of exceptions. 1 [Footnote addld 1914:] This author has since produced a two-volume report on his experimentl (1910 and 1912), which is referred to below. [Seep. 223 n.]



Ifit were a fact that waking interests, along with internal and external stimuli during sleep, sufficed to exhaust the aetiology of dreams, we ought to be in a position to give a satisfactory account of the origin of every element of a dream: the riddle of the sources of dreams would be solved, and it would only remain to define the share taken respectively by psychical and somatic stimuli in any particular dream. Actually no such complete explanation of a dream has ever yet been achieved, and anyone who has attempted it has found portions (and usually very numerous portions) of the dream regarding whose origin he could find nothing to say. Daytime interests are clearly not such far-reaching psychical sources of dreams as might have been expected from the categorical assertions that everyone con­ tinues to carry on his daily business in his dreams. No other psychical sources of dreams are known. So it comes about that all the explanations of dreams given in the literature of the subject-with the possible exception of Schemer's, which will be dealt with later [see p. 83]-leave a great gap when it comes to assigning an origin for the ideational images which constitute the most characteristic material of dreams. In this embarrassing situation, a majority of the writers on the subject have tended to reduce to a minimum the part played by psychical factors in instigating dreams, since those factors are so hard to come at. It is true that they divide dreams into two main classes--thosc 'due to nervous stimulation' and those 'due to association', of which the latter have their source exclusively in reproduction [of material already experienced] (cf. Wundt, 1874, 657 f.). Nevertheless they cannot escape a doubt 'whether any dream can take place without being given an impetus by some somatic stimulus' (Volkelt, 1875, 127). It is difficult even to give a description of purely associative dreams. 'In associa­ tive dreams proper, there can be no question of any such solid core [derived from somatic stimulation]. Even the very centre of the dream is only loosely put together. The ideational processes, which in any dream are ungoverned by reason or common sense, are here no longer even held together by any relatively important somatic or mental excitations, and are thus aban­ doned to their own kaleidoscopic changes and to their own jumbled confusion.' (Ibid., 118.) Wundt (1874, 656-7), too, seeks to minimize the psychical factor in the instigation of dreams. He declares that there seems to be no justification for



regarding the phantasms of dreams as pure hallucinations; most dream-images are probably in fact illusions, since they arise from faint sense-impressions, which never cease during sleep. Weygandt (1893, 17) has adopted this same view and made its application general. He asserts of all dream-images 'that their primary causes arc sensory stimuli and that only later do reproductive associations become attached to them'. Tissie (1898, 183) goes even further in putting a limit to the psychical sources of stimulation: 'Les reves d'origine absolu­ ment psychique n'cxistcnt pas'; and (ibid., 6) 'Jes pensees de nos reves nous vienncnt du dehors....' 1 Those writers who, like that eminent philosopher Wundt, take up a middle position do not fail to remark that in most dreams somatic stimuli and the psychical instigators (whether unknown or recognized as daytime interests) work in co­ operation. We shall find later that the enigma of the formation of dreams can be solved by the revelation of an unsuspected psychical source of stimul�tion. Meanwhile we shall feel no surprise at the over-estimation of the part played in forming dreams by stimuli which do not arise from mental life. Not only arc they easy to discover and even open to experimental con­ firmation; but the somatic view of the origin of dreams is com­ pletely in line with the prevailing trend of thought in psychiatry to-day. It is true that the dominance of the brain over the organism is asserted with apparent confidence. Nevertheless, anything that might indicate that mental life is in any way independent of demonstrable organic changes or that its mani­ festations arc in any way spontaneous alarms the modern psy­ chiatrist, as though a recognition of such things would inevitably bring back the days of the Philosophy of Nature, [seep. 5 n.] and of the metaphysical view of the nature of mind.The sus­ picions of the psychiatrists have put the mind, as it were, under tutelage, and they now insist that none of its impulses shall be allowed to suggest that it has any means of its own. This behaviour of theirs only shows how little trust they really have in the validity of a causal connection between the somatic and the mental. Even when investigation shows that the primary exciting cause of a phenomenon is psychical, deeper research 1 ['Dreams of purely psychical origin do not exist.' 'The thoughts in our dreams reach us from outside!]



will one day trace the path further and discover an organic basis for the mental event. But if at the moment we cannot sec beyond the mental, that is no reason for denying its

cxistcncc. 1

1 [The topics in this section are taken up again in Section C of Chapter V (p. 220 ff.).]


WHY DREAMS ARE FORGOITEN AFTER WAKING It is a proverbial fact that dreams melt away in the morning. They can, of course, be remembered; for we only know dreams from our memory of them after we are awake. But we very often have a feeling that we have only remembered a dream in part and that there was more of it during the night; we can observe, too, how the recollection of a dream, which was still lively in the morning, will melt away, except for a few small fragments, in the course of the day; we often know we have dreamt, without knowing what we have dreamt; and we arc so familiar with the fact of dreams being liable to be forgotten, that we sec no absurdity in the possibility of someone having had a dream in the night and of'his not being aware in the morning either of what he has dreamt or even of the fact that he has dreamt at all. On the other hand, it sometimes happens that dreams show an extraordinary penistence in the memory. I have analysed dreams in my patients which occurred twenty­ five and more ycan earlier; and I can remember a dream of my own separated by at least thirty-seven ycan from to-day and yet as fresh as ever in my memory. All of this is very re­ markable and not immediately intelligible. The most detailed account of the forgetting of dreams is the one given by Strtimpell [1877, 79 f.]. It is evidently a complex phenomenon, for StrOmpell traces it back not to a single cauac but to a whole number of them. In the fint place, all the causes that lead to forgetting in waking life are operative for dreams as well. When we arc awake we regularly forget countless sensations and perceptions at once, because they were too weak or because the mental excitation attaching to them was too slight. The same holds good of many dream-images: they are forgotten because they arc too weak, while stronger images adjacent to them arc re­ membered. The factor of intensity, however, is certainly not in itself enough to determine whether a dream-image shall be recollected. Strtimpell [1877, 82] admits, as well as other writers (e.g. Calkins, 1893, 312), that we often forget dream-images 43

44 I. THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE ON DREAMS which we know were very vivid, while a very large number which are shadowy and lacking in sensory force are among those retained in the memory. Moreover when we are awake we tend easily to forget an event which occurs only once and more readily to notice what can be perceived repeatedly. Now most dream-images are unique experiences; 1 and that fact will contribute impartially towards making us forget all dreams. Far more importance attaches to a third cause of forgetting. If sensations, ideas, thoughts, and so on, arc to attain a certain degree of susceptibility to being remembered, i t is essential that they should not remain isolated but should be arranged in appropriate concatenations and groupings. If a short line of verse is divided up into its component words and these arc mixed up, it becomes very hard to remember. 'If words arc properly arranged and put into the relevant order, one word will help another, and the whole, being charged with meaning, will be easily taken up by the memory and retained for a long time. It is in general as difficult and unusual to retain what is nonsensical as it is to retain what is confused and disordered.' [Strumpcll, 1877, 83.) Now dreams arc in most cases lacking in intelligibility and orderliness. The compositions which con­ stitute dreams arc barren of the qualities which would make it possible to remember them, and they arc forgotten because as a rule they fall to pieces a moment later. Radestock (1879, 168 ), however, claims to have observed that it is the most peculiar dreams that are best remembered, and this, it must be admitted, would scarcely tally with what has just been said. Strilmpcll [1877, 82 f.] believes that certain other factors derived from the relation between dreaming and waking life arc of still greater importance in causing dreams to be for­ gotten. The liability of dreams to be forgotten by waking con­ sciousness is evidently only the counterpart of the fact which has been mentioned earlier [p. 21] that dreams scarcely ever take over ordered recollections from waking life, but only details selected from them, which they tear from the psychical context in which they arc usually remembered in the waking state. Thus dream-compositions find no place in the company of the psychical sequences with which the mind is filled. There is nothing that can help us to remember them. 'In this way 1 Dreama that recur periodically have often been oblerved. Cf. the collection given by Chabancix (1897). [Cf. p. 190.]



dream-structures arc, as it were, lifted above the floor of our mental life and float in psychical space like clouds in the sky, scattered by the first breath of wind.' (StrUmpcll, 1877, 87.) After waking, moreover, the world of the senses presses forward and at once takes possession of the attention with a force which very few dream-images can resist; so that here too we have an­ other factor tending in the same direction. Dreams give way before the impressions of a new day just as the brilliance of the stars yields to the light of the sun. Finally, there is another fact to be borne in mind as likely to lead to dreams being forgotten, namely that most people take very little interest in their dreams. Anyone, such as a scientific investigator, who pays attention to his dreams over a period of time will have more dreams than usual-which no doubt means that he remembers his dreams with greater case and frequency. Two further reasons why dreams should be forgotten, which Bcnini [1898, 155--6] quotes as having been brought forward by Bonatclli [1880] as additions to those mentioned by StrUmpcll, seem in fact to be already covered by the latter. They arc (I) that the alteration in cocnacsthesia between the sleeping and waking states is unfavourable to reciprocal reproduction between them; and (2) that the different arrangement of the ideational material in dreams makes them untranslatable, as it were, for waking consciousness. In view of all these reasons in favour of dreams being for­ gotten, it is in fact (as StrUmpcll himself insists [1877, 6]) very remarkable that so many of them arc retained in the memory. The repeated attempts by writers on the subject to lay down the rules governing the recollection of dreams amount to an · adrnissi'>n that here too we are faced by something puzzling and unexplained. Certain particular characteristics of the recollec­ tion of dreams have been rightly emphasized recently (cf. R.adestock, 1879, [169], and Tissi�, 1898, [148 f.]), such as the fact that when a dream seems in the morning to have been for­ gotten, it may nevertheless be recollected during the course of the day, if its content, forgotten though it is, is touched upon by some chance perception. But the recollection of dreams in general is open to an objec­ tion which is bound to reduce their value very completely in critical opinion. Since so great a proportion of dreams is lost



altogether, we may well doubt whether our memory of what is left of them may not be falsified. These doubts as to the accuracy of the reproduction of dreams arc also expressed by Strtlmpcll (1877, [119]): 'Thus it may easily happen that waking consciousness unwittingly makes interpolations in the memory of a dream: we persuade ounelves that we have dreamt all kinds of things that were not contained in the actual dreams.' Jessen (1855, 547) writes with special emphasis on this point: 'Moreover, in investigating and interpreting coherent and con­ sistent dreams a particular circumstance must be borne in mind which, as it seems to me, has hitherto received too little atten­ tion. In such cases the truth is almost always obscured by the fact that when we rccall dreams of this kind to our memory we almost always-unintentionally and without noticing the fact -fill in the gaps in the dream-images. It is seldom or never that a coherent dream was in fact as coherent as it sccma to us in memory . Even the most truth-loving of men is scarcely able to relate a noteworthy dream without some additions or em­ bellishments. The tendency of the human mind to sec every• thing connectedly is so strong that in memory it unwittingly fills in any lack of coherence there may be in an incoherent dream .' Some remarks made by Egger [1895, 41], though they were no doubt arrived at independently, read almost like a transla­ tion of this passage from Jcsscn: '... L'observation des raves a scs difficultes speciales ct le scul moycn d'mtcr tout errcur en parcillc matib-c est de confier au papier sans le moindrc retard cc quc l'on vient d'eprouver ct de rcmarquer; sinon, l'oubli vicnt vitc ou total ou partiel; l'oubli total est sans gravite; mais l'oubli particl est pcrfidc; car si l'on sc met cnsuitc a raconter cc quc l'on n'a pasoublie, on est expose a completer par imagina­ tion les fragments incohcrents ct disjoints foumis par la memoirc ...; on dcvicnt artiste a son insu, ct le recit periodiqucmcnt �pcte s'imposc a la creancc de son auteur, qui, de bonnc foi, le presente commc un fait authcntiquc, dOmcnt etabli selon les bonncs methodcs•. , .1 l 1 ['There are peculiar difficulties in observing dreams, and the only way of escaping all crron in such mattcn is to put down u pon paper

with the least poaible delaywhat we have just experienced or observed. Otherwile forgetfulueu, whether total or partial, quickly supervenca.



Very similar ideas arc expressed by Spitta (1882, 338), who seems to believe that it is not until we try to reproduce a dream that we introduce order of any kind into its loosely associated clements: we 'change things that arc merely juxtaposed into sequences or causal chains, that is to say, we introduce a process oflogical connection which is lacking in the dream.' Since the only check that we have upon the validity of our memory is objective confirmation, and since that is unobtain• able for dreams, which are our own personal experience and of which the only source we have is our recollection, what value can we still attach to our memory of drcama?1 To� forgetfulncsa is not serious; but partial forgetfulness is treacheroUI. For if we then proceed to give an account of what we have not forgo�, � are liable to fill in from our imagination the incoh �t and d1.1Jomted fragmenta furnished by memory.•.• We unwittingly become ?"eative � ; and the tale, if it is repeated from time t� �e, im�cs itlelf on 1t1 au �or'a own belief, and he coda by offering 1t ID good faith as an authenuc fact duly and legitimately established.'] 1 [The qucstiona raised in this aection are taken up in Cha pter VII, Section A (p. 512 ff.).]


Our scientific consideration of dreams starts off from the assumption that they are products of our own mental activity. Nevertheless the finished dream strikes us as something alien to us. We are so little obliged to acknowledge our responsibility for it that [in German] we are just as ready to say 'mir hat getrii.umJ' ['I had a dream', literally 'a dream came to me'] as 'ich /zahe getrliumJ' ['I dreamt']. What is the origin of this feeling that dreams are extraneous to our minds? In view of our dis­ cussion upon the sources of dreams, we must conclude that the strangeness cannot be due to the material that finds its way into their content, since that material is for the most part common to dreaming and waking life. The question arises whether in dreams there may not be modifications in the processes of the mind which produce the impression we are discussing; and we shall therefore make an attempt at drawing a picture of the psychological attributes of dreams. No one has emphasized more sharply the essential difference between dreaming and waking life or drawn more far-reaching conclusions from it than G. T. Fechner in a passage in his Elemente der Psychophysik (1889, 2, 52�1). In his opinion, 'neither the mere lowering of conscious mental life below the main threshold', nor the withdrawal of attention from the influences of the external world, are enough to explain the characteristics of dream-life as contrasted with waking life. He suspects, rather, that the scene of action of dreams is differentfrom that of waking ideational life. 'If the scene of action of psycho­ physical activity were the same in sleeping and waking, dreams could, in my view, only be a prolongation at a lower degree of intensity of waking ideational life and, moreover, would neces­ sarily be of the same material and form. But the facts arc quite otherwise.' It is not clear what Fechner had in mind in speaking of this change oflocation of mental activity; nor, so far as I know, has anyone else pursued the path indicated by his words. We may, 48

E. PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF DREAMS 49 I think, dismiss the possibility ofgiving the phrase an anatomical interpretation and supposing it to refer to physiological cerebral localization or even to the histological layers of the cerebral cortex. It may be, however, that the suggestion will eventually prove to be sagacious and fertile, if it can be applied to a mental apparatus built up of a number of agencies arranged in a series one behind the othcr. 1 Other writcn have contented themselves with drawing atten­ tion to the more tangible of the distinguishing characteristics of dream-life and with taking them as a starting-point for attempts at more far-reaching explanations. It has justly been remarked that one of the principal peculi­ arities of dream-life makes its appearance during the very process offalling asleep and may be described as a phenomenon heralding sleep. According to Schlcicrmachcr (1862, 351), what characterizes the waking state is the fact that thought-activity takes place in cqn,cepts and not in images. Now dreams think essentially in images; and with the approach of sleep it is possible to observe how, in proportion as voluntary activities become more difficult, involuntary ideas arise, all of which fall into the class of images. Incapacity for ideational work of the kind which we feel as intentionally willed and the emergence (habitually associated with such states of abstraction) ofimages -these are two characteristics which penevcrc in dreams and which the psychological analysis ofdreams forces us to recognize as essential features ofdream-life. Wc have already seen [p. 31 ff.] that these imagcs--bypnagogic hallucinations-arc themselves identical in their content-with dream-images.• Dreams, then, think pttdominantly in visual images-but not exclusively. They make use ofauditory images as well, and, to a lesser extent, of impressions belonging to the other senses. Many things, too, occur in dreams Uust as they normally do in waking life) simply as thoughts or ideas-probably, that is to say, in the form ofrcsiducs of verbal presentations. Nevertheless, 1 [This idea is taken up and developed in Chapter VII, Section B, of the present work (p. 535 ff.).] • [Footnot, addld 1911 :] Silbcrer (1909) has given some nice examples of the way in which, in a d rowsy state, even abstract thoughts become converted into pictorial plastic images which seek to express the same meaning. [Add.d 1925:] I shall have occasion to return to this discovery in another connection. [Sec pp. 344 f. and 503 ft]

8.1'. IV-1'



what arc truly characteristic of dreams arc only those clements of their content which behave like images, which are more like perceptions, that is, than they arc like mncmic presentations. Leaving on one side all the arguments, so familiar to psychia­ trists, on the nature of hallucinations, we shall be in agreement with every authority on the subject in asserting that dreams hallucinate-that they replace thoughts by hallucinations. In this respect there is no distinction between visual and acoustic presentations: it has been observed that if one falls asleep with the memory of a series of musical notes in one's mind, the memory becomes transformed into an hallucination of the same melody; while, if one then wakes up again-and the two states may alternate more than once during the process of dropping asleep-the hallucination gives way in tum to the mncmic presentation, which is at once fainter and qualitatively different from it. The transformation ofideas into hallucinations is not the only respect in which dreams differ from corresponding thoughts in waking life. Dreams construct a situation out of these images; they represent an event which is actually happening; as Spitta (1882, 145) puts it, they 'dramatize' an idea. But this feature of dream-life can only be fully understood if we further recognize that in dreams-as a rule, for there are exceptions which require special examination-we appear not to think but to experience; that is to say, we attach complete belief to the hallucinations. Not until we wake up does the critical com­ ment arise that we have not experienced anything but have merely been thinking in a peculiar way, or in other words dreaming. It is this characteristic that distinguishes true dreams from day-dreaming, which is never confused with reality. Burdach ( 1838, 502 f.) summarizes the features of dream-life which we have so far discussed in the following words: 'These arc among the essential features of dreams: (a) In dreams the subjective activity of our minds appears in an objective form, for our perceptive faculties regard the products of our imagina­ tion as though they were sense impressions.... (h) Sleep signifies an end of the authority of the self.Hence falling asleep brings a certain degree of passivity along with it.. . . The images that accompany sleep can occur only on condition that the authority of the self is reduced.'



The next thing is to try to explain the belief which the mind accords to dream-hallucinations, a belief which can only arise after some kind of 'authoritative' activity of the self has ceased. Strilmpell (1877) argues that in this respect the mind is carrying out its function correctly and in conformity with its own mechanism. Far from being mere p resentations, the elements

of dreams are true and real mental experiences of the same kind as arise in a waking state through the agency of the senses. (Ibid., 34.) The waking mind produces ideas and thoughts in verbal images and in speech; but in dreams it does so in true sensory images. (Ibid., 35.) Moreover, there is a spatial con­ sciousness in dreams, since sensations and images are assigned to an external space, just as they are in waking. (Ibid., 36.) It must therefore be allowed that in dreams the mind is in the same relation to its images and perceptions as it is in waking. (Ibid., 43.) If it is nevertheless in error in so doing, that is because in the state of sleep it lacks the criterion which alone makes it possible to distinguish between sense-perceptions aris­ ing from without and from within. It is unable to submit its dream-images to the only tests which could prove their objec­ tive reality. In addition to this, it disregards the distinction between images which are only interchangeable arbitrarily and cases where the element of arbitrariness is absent. It is in error because it is unable to apply the law of causality to the content of its dreams. (Ibid., 50-1.) In short, the fact of its having turned away from the external world is also the reason for its belief in the subjective world of dreams. Delbreuf (1885, 84) arrives at the same conclusion after somewhat different psychological arguments. We believe in the reality of dream-images, he says, because in our sleep we have no other impressions with which to compare them, because we arc detached from the external world. But the reason why we believe in the truth of these hallucinations is not because it is impossible to put them to the test within the dream. A dream can seem to offer us such tests: it can let us touch the rose that we sec-and yet we arc dreaming. In Delba:uf's opinion there is only one valid criterion of whether we arc dreaming or awake, and that is the purely empirical one of the fact of waking up. I conclude that everything I experienced between falling asleep and waking up was illusory, when, on awaking, I find that I am lying undressed in bed. During sleep I took the dream-



images as real owing to my mental habit (which cannot be put to sleep) of assuming the existence of an external world with which I contrast my own ego. 1 Detachment from the external world seems thus to be re­ garded as the factor determining the moat marked features of dream-life. It is therefore worth while quoting some penetrat• ing remarks made long ago by Burdach which throw light on the relations between the sleeping mind and the external world and which are calculated to prevent our setting too great store by the conclusions drawn in the last few pages. 'Sleep', he writes, 'can occur only on condition that the mind is not irritated by sensory stimuli. . • • But the actual precondition of sleep is not so much absence of sensory stimuli as absence of

1 Hafther (1887, 243) attempts, like Del� to explain the activity mdreaming by the modification which the introduction of an abnormal condition must inevitably produce in the otherwiae correct functioning m an intact mental apparatus; but be gives a 101Dewhat different account m that condition. According to him the 6nt mark of a dream ill ita independence of space and time, i.e. the fact of a ptt1e11tation being emancipated from the poaition occupied by the subject in the spatial and temporal order oC eventa. The second buic feature of dreams ia coanected with thia-namely, the fact that hallucinations, pbantuicl and imaginary combinatiom arc confu.acd with external perceptiom. •All the higher powers of the mind-in particular the formation of coaceptl and the powers of judgement and inference OD the one band and free self�tion OD the other band-are attached to aemory images and have at all times a bacltgrouod of such images. It follOW1, therefore, that thCIIC higher activitiel too take their part in the dis­ orderliness of the dream-images. I say "take their part", since in them­ aelves our powers ofjudgement and of will arc in no way altered in aleep. Our activities arcjuat u clear-sighted and juat u free u in waking life. Even in bia dreum a man cannot violate the laws ofthought u such -he cannot, for instance, regard u identical tbinp that appear to him u contraries, and ao on. So too i n dreum be can only delire what be loob upon u a good (sub ,atio,w bona). But the human spirit ia led astray in dreams in ita o/1Plie4nlm of the laws of thought and of will through confuling one idea with another. Tbua it comes about that we are guilty oC the groaest contradictions in dreum, while at the same time we can make the clearest judgementa, draw the IDOlt logical inferenca and come to the moet virtuous and aaindy deciaiom. ••• Lack of orienta­ tion ia the whole ICCJ'et of the ftigbta taken b y our imagination in dreams, ·and lack of aitical reflection and of communication with other people is the main source oC the unbridled extravagance exhibited in dream, by our judgements u well u by our hopes and willbes.' (Ibid., 18.) [The problem of •�ty-tating' ill comidered later, OD p. 566.]

E. PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARAf the elements included in the content of dreams, I must begin with an assertion that in every dream it is possible to find a point of contact with the experiences of the previous day. This view is confirmed by every dream that I look into, whether my own or anyone else's. Bearing this fact in mind, I am able, on occasion, to begin a dream's interpretation by looking for the event of the previous day which set it in motion; in many instances, indeed, this is the easiest method. 1 In the two dreams which I have analysed in detail in my last chapters (the dream of Irma's injection and the dream of my uncle with a yellow beard) the connection with the previous day is so obvious as to require no further comment. But in order to show the regularity with which such a connection can be traced, I will go through the records of my own dreams and give some instances. I shall only quote enough of the dream to indicate the source we are looking for: ( 1) / was visiting a how, into which I had dij/ia,lty in gaining admittance • • •; in the meantime I kept a lady WAITING. Source: I had had a conversation with a female relative the evening before in which I had told her that she would have to wait for a purchase she wanted to make till ••• etc. (2) / had written a MONOGRAPH on a certain (indistinct) species ofplant. Source: That morning I had seen a monograph on the genus Cyclamen in the window of a book-shop. [See below, p. 169 ff.] (3) I saw two women in the street, A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER, the latter of whom was a patienl of mine. Source: One of my patients had explained to me the previous evening the difficulties her motlier was putting in the way of her continuing her treatment. 1 [The different ways of beginning the interpretation of a dream are diacuaed in Section I of Freud, 1923'.J 165



( 4) / took out a suhscriptwn in S. and R.•s bookshopfor a periodical costing TWENTY FLORINS a:,,ar. Source: My wife had reminded me the day before that I still owed her lwffl!Yjlqrins for the weekly household expenses. (5) I received A COMMUNICAnoN.from the Social Democratic CoM­ MITTJUt, treating me as tAough I ww, a IDtMBER. Source: I had received communications simultaneously from the Liberal Election Committee and from the C.Ouncil of the Humani­ tarian League, of which latter body I was in fact a m,mlm. (6) A man standing on A CLIFF IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEA, IN THE STYLE OF Boc:XLIN. Source: Dr,yfas on the Ile du Dial,le; I had had news at the same time from my relatives in England, etc. The question may be raised whether the point of contact with the dream is invariably the events of the immediate?, preceding day or whether it may go back to impressions derived from a rather more extensive period of the most recent past. It is unlikely that this question involves any matter of theoretical importance; nevertheless I am inclined to decide in favour of the exclusiveness ofthe claims of the day immediately preceding the dream-which I shall speak of as the 'dream-day'. When­ ever it has seemed at first that the source of a dream was an imprcssion two or three days earlier, closer enquiry has con­ vinced me that the impression had been recalled on the previous day and thus that it was possible to show that a reproduction of the imprcssion, occurring on the previous day, could be inserted between the day of the original event and the time of the dream; moreover it has been possible to indicate the con­ tingency on the previous day which may have led to the recall­ ing of the older impression. On the other hand1 I do not feel convinced that there is any regular interval of biological significance between the instigat­ ing daytime imprcssion and its recurrence in the dream. (Swoboda, 1904, has mentioned an initial period of eighteen houn in this connection.) 1 1

[Thia paragraph was added in 1909.)

• [Footnot, added 1911 :] & I have mentioned in a postlcript to my fint chapter (p. 94 f.). Hermann Swoboda (1904-] has made a far-reaching application to the mental field of the biological periodic intervals of 23



and 28 days cliacovered by Wilhelm Flicss [1906). He has asserted in particular that these periods determine the emergence of the clements which appear in dreams. No essential modification in dream-interpreta­ tion would be involved ifthis fact were to be established; it would merely provide a fresh source of origin of dream-material. I have, however, recently made some investigations upon my own dreams, to test how far the 'theory of periodicity' is applicable to them. for this purpose I chose 10mc apcdally outatanding drcam-clcmcnta tbc time of whose appear­ ance in real life could be determined with certainty.

I. DREAM OP OcroBl!.R l5'1'-2ND, 1910

(Fragment) ... &nnewhere in Italy. Thr• daughters w,re showing me some small curios, as tJwugh WI w,re in an anJiqu, shop, and were silting on 17!JI lap. I commented on OM of the objects: 'Why,you got that from me', and saw plainly bifore me a small projiu reluf with the clear-cut features of S1J1JOnarola. When had I last seen a portrait of Savo.narola? My travel-diary proved that I had been in Florence on September 4th and 5th. While I was there I thought I would show my travelling companion the medal­ lion bearing the fanatical monk's features, let into the pavement of the Piazza dclla Signoria, which marks the place where he was burned. I pointed it out to him, I believe, on the morning of the 3rd. [Misprinted '5th' in recent editions.] Between this impression and iu reappearance I days elapsed-Flicss's 'female period'. Unluckily in the dream 27 for the conclusiveness of this example, however, I must add that on the actual 'dream-day' I had a visit (for the first time since my return) from a capable but gloomy-looking medical colleague of mine whom I had many years before nick-named 'Rabbi Savonarola'. He introduced a patient to me who was suffering from the cffccu of an accident to the Pontcbba express, in which I myself had travelled a week earlier, and my thoughts were thus led back to my recent visit to Italy.The appear­ ance in the content of the dream of the ouutanding clement 'Savon­ arola' is thus accounted for by m y colleague's visit on the dream-day; and the interval of 28 days is deprived of its significance.


II. DREAM OP OCTOBER IOm-Um, 1910 I was ona more workint at chnnistry in the Umomity 1111,oraJory. Ho.frat L.

invited me lo c111111 somewhere and walked infront ofme along the corridor, holdillg a lamp or some other instrument before him in his uplifted hand and with his head str,tch,dforward in a peculiar attitude, with a clear-sig hlld (? far-sighted) look about him. Thm WI crossed an opm space••• (The remainder was forgot­ ten.) The most outstanding point in the content of this dream was the way i n which Hofrat L. held the lamp (or magnifying glass) before him, with his eyes peering into the distance. It was many years since I had last seen him; but I kne:w at once that he was only a substitute fig ure in the place of someone else, someone greater than he-Archimedes, whose statue stands near the Fountain of Arcthusa at Syracuse in that very attitude, holding up his burning-glass and peering out towards the be­ aicging army of the Romans. When did I sec that statue for the first (and last) time? According to my diary it was on the evening of September




10 - 23 days 17th; and between then and the time of the dream 13 had elapsed-Flicss's 'male period'. Unfortunately, when we go into the interpretation of this dream in greater detail, we once again find that the coincidence loses some of its conclusiveness. The exciting cause of the dream was the new; I received on the dream-day that the clinic, in whose lecture room I was able by courtesy to deliver my lectures, was shortly to be removed to another locality. I took it for granted that its new situation would be very out of the way and told myself that in that case I might just as well not have a lecture room at my disposal at all. From that point my thoughts must have gone back to the beginning of my career as Univcnity Lecturer when I in fact had no lecture room and when my efforts to get hold of one met with little response from the powerfully placed Hofrats and Professors. In those circumstances I had gone to L., who at that time held the office of Dean of the Faculty and who I believed was friendlily disposed to me, to complain of my troubles. He promised to help me, but I heard nothing more from him. In the dream he was Archimedes, giving me a noi/ crrci> [footing) and himself leading me to the new locality. Anyone who is an adept at interpretation will guess that the dream­ thoughts were not exactly free from ideas of vengeance and self­ importancc. It seems clear, in any case, that without this exciting cause Archimedes would scarcely have found his way into my dream that night; nor am I convinced that the powerful and still recent impression made on me by the statue in Syracuse might not have produced its effect after some different interval of time.

III. DREAM o• Ocrosn 2�3ao, 1910 (Fragment) .•. Somnhint aboul Profusor Oser, who had drawn up 1116 menu for me himstlf, which had a on;, soofhint ,Jfed.•• •(Some more that was forgotten.) This dream was a reaction to a digestive disturbance that day, which made me consider whether I should go to one of my colleagues to have a dietary prescribed for me. My reason for choosing Oser for that pus-pose, who had died in the course of the summer, went back to the death of another Univcnity teacher whom I greatly admired, which had occurred shortly before (on October lat). When had Oser died? and when had I heard of his death? According to a paragraph in the papers he had died on August 22nd. I had been in Holland at that time and had my Vienna newspaper sent on to me regularly; so that I must have read ofhis death on Augus t 24th or 25th. But here the interval no longer 30 2 - 39 days or corresponds to either period. It amounts to 7 possibly 4 0 days. I could not recall having spoken or thought ofOser in the meantime. lntcrvala such as this one, which cannot be fitted into the theory of periodicity without further manipulation, occur far more frequently in my dreams than intervals which can be so fitted. The only relation which I find occun with regularity is the relation which I have insisted upon in the text and which connects the dream with IOIDC impraaion of the dream-day.





Havelock Ellis [1911, 224], who has also given some atten­ tion to this point, declares that he was unable to find any such periodicity in his dreams in spite of looking for it. He records a dream of being in Spain and of wanting to go to a place called Daraus, Varaus or Zaraus. On waking he could not recall any such place-name, and put the dream on one side. A few months later he discovered that Zaraus was in fact the name of a station on the line between San Sebastian and Bilbao, through which his train had passed 250 days before he had the dream. 1

I believe, then, that the instigating agent of every dream is to be found among the experiences which one has not yet 'slept on'. Thus the relations of a dream's content to impressions of the most recent past (with the single exception of the day im­ mediately preceding the night of the dream) differ in no respect from its relations to impressions dating from any remoter period. Dreams can select their material from any part of the dreamer's life, provided only that there is a train of thought linking the experience of the dream-day (the 'recent' impressions) with the earlier ones. But why this preference for recent impressions? We shall form some notion on this point, ifwe submit one of the dreams in the series I have jwt quoted [p. 165] to a fuller analysis. For this purpose I shall choose the DREAM OF THE BoTANICAL MONOGRAPH

I had written a 11UJ111Jgraph on a certain plant. The book lay before me and I was at the mommt turning OfJlf' a folded coloured plate. Bound up in each copy there was a drud specimen of the plant, as though it had hem taken from a herharium. ANALYSIS

That morning I had seen a new book in the window of a book-shop, bearing the title Tiu Genus Cyclamen-evidently a monograph on that plant. Cyclamens, I reflected, were my wife's favourite flowers and I reproached myselffor so rarely remembering to bring herflowers, which was what she liked.-The subject of 'bringing flowers' recalled an anecdote which I had recently repeated to a circle of friends and which I had wed as evidence in favour of my 1

[Thia paragraph wu added in 1914.)



theory that forgetting is very often determined by an uncon­ scious purpose and that it always enables one to deduce the secret intentions of the person who forgets. 1 A young woman was accustomed to receiving a bouquet of flowers from her husband on her birthday. One year this token of his affection failed to appear, and she burst into tears. Her husband came in and had no idea why she was crying till she told him that to-day was her birthday. He clasped his hand to his head and exclaimed: 'I'm so sorry, but I'd quite forgotten. I'll go out a t once and fetch' But she was not t o be consoled; for she recognized that her husband's forgetfulness was a proof that she no longer had the same place in his thoughts as she had formerly.-This lady, Frau L., had met my wife two days before I had the dream, had told her that she was feeling quite well and enquired after me. Some years ago she had come to me for treatment. I now made a fresh start. Once, I recalled, I really had written something in the nature of a mJJnograph on a plant, namely a dis­ sertation on the coca.plant [Freud, 1884e], which had drawn Karl Koller's attention to the anaesthetic properties of cocaine. I had myself indicated this application of the alkaloid in my published paper, but I had not been thorough enough to pursue the matter further.• This reminded me that on the morning of the day after the dream-I had not found time to interpret it till the evening-I had thought about cocaine in a kind of day­ dream. If ever I got glaucoma, I had thought, I should travel to Berlin and get myself operated on, incognito, in my friend's [Fliess's] house, by a surgeon recommended by him. The oper­ ating surgeon, who would have no idea of my identity, would boast once again of how easily such operations could be per­ formed since the introduction of cocaine; and I should not give the slightest hint that I myself had had a share in the discovery. This phantasy had led on to reflections of how awkward it is, when all is said and done, for a physician to ask for medical treatment for himself from his professional colleagues. The Berlin eye-surgeon would not know me, and I should be able to pay his fees like anyone else. It was not until I had recalled 1 [The theory was published a few months after the date of the dream, in Freud (1898h), and then incorporated in Tit, Psyd,o/,all,olov of Evtrydl,y Lift (Freud, 1901b).] • [Sec footnote 2, p. 111.]



this day-dream that I realized that the recollection of a specific event lay behind it. Shortly after Koller's discovery, my father had in fact been attacked by glaucoma; my friend Dr. Konig• stein, the ophthalmic surgeon, had operated on him; while Dr. Koller had been in charge of the cocaine anaesthesia and had commented on the fact that this case had brought together all of the three men who had had a share in the introduction of cocaine. My thoughts then went on to the occasion when I had last been reminded of this business of the cocaine. It had been a few days earlier, when I had been looking at a copy of a Festschrift in which grateful pupils had celebrated the jubilee of their teacher and laboratory director. Among the laboratory's claims to distinction which were enumerated in this book I had seen a mention of the fact that Koller had made his discovery there of the anaesthetic properties of cocaine. I then suddenly per­ ceived that my dream was connected with an event of the previous evening. I had walked home precisely with Dr. Konig­ stein and had got into conversation with him about a matter which never fails to excite my feelings whenever it is raised. While I was talking to him in the entrance-hall, Professor Gartner [Gardener] and his wife had joined us; and I could not help congratulating them both on their blooming looks. But Professor Gartner was one of the authors of the Festschrift I have just mentioned, and may well have reminded me of it. More­ over, the Frau L., whose disappointment on her birthday I described earlier, was mentioned-though only, it is true, in another connection-in my conversation with Dr. Konigstein. I will make an attempt at interpreting the other determin­ ants of the content of the dream as well. There was a dried specimen of theplant included in the monograph, as though it had been a herbariwn. This led me to a memory from my secondary school. Our headmaster once called together the boys from the higher forms and handed over the school's hcrbarium to them to be looked through and cleaned. Some small worms-book­ worma-had found their way into it. He docs not seem to have had much confidence in my helpfulness, for he handed me only a few sheets. These, as I could still recall, included some Cruci­ fers. I never had a specially intimate contact with botany. In my preliminary examination in botany I was also given a Crucifer to identify-and failed to do so. My prospects would

V. MATERIAL AND SOURCES OF DREAMS 172 not have been too bright, if I had not been helped out by my theoretical knowledge. I went on from the Cruciferae to the Compositae. It occurred to me that artichokes were Com­ positae, and indeed I might fairly have called them my favouriu flowers. Being more generous than I am, my wife often brought me back these favourite flowers of mine from the market. I saw the monograph which I had written lying before me. This again led me back to something. I had had a letter from my friend [Fliess] in Berlin the day before in which he had shown his power of visualization: 'I am very much occupied with your dream-book. I see it !Jing finished before me and I see myself turning ol'er its pages.' 1 How much I envied him his gift as a seer! If only I could have seen it lying finished before me! Thefolud c11louredplate. While I was a medical student I was the constant victim of an impulse only to learn things out of moMgraphs. In spite of my limited means, I succeeded in getting hold of a number of volumes of the proceedings of medical societies and was enthralled by their colouredplates. I was proud of my hankering for thoroughness. When I myself had begun to publish papers, I had been obliged to make my own draw­ ings to illwtrate them and I remembered that one of them had been so wretched that a fiiendly colleague had jeered at m e over it. There followed, I could not quite make out how, a recol­ lection from very early youth. It had once amused my father to hand over a book with colourrdplates (an account of a journey through Persia) for me and my eldest sister to dqtroy. Not easy to jwtify from the educational point of view! I had been five years old at the time and my sister not yet three; and the picture of the two of us blissfully pulling the book to pieces (leaf by leaf, like an artidwke, I found myself saying) was almost the only plastic memory that I retained from that period of my life. Then, when I became a student, I had developed a passion for collecting and owning books, which was analogow to my liking for learning out of monographs: aj(R}()Uf1U hobby. (The idea of 'fauouriu' had already appeared in connection with cyclamens and artichokes.) I had become a book-worm. I had always, from the time I first began to think about myself, referred this first passion of mine back to the childhood memory I have men1 [Freud's reply to thil letter from Fliea is dated March 10, 1898 (Freud, 1950a, Letter 84); 10 that the dream must have occurred not more than a day or two earlier.]



tioned. Or rather, I had recognized that the childhood scc-ne was a 'screen memory' for my later bibliophile propcnsitics. 1 And I had early discovered, of course, that passions often lead to sorrow. When I was seventeen I had run up a largish account at the bookseller's and had nothing to meet it with; and my father had scarcely taken it as an excuse that my inclinations might have chosen a worse outlet. The recollection of this ex­ perience from the later years of my youth at once brought back to my mind the conversation with my friend Dr. Konigstein. For in the course of it we had discussed the same question of my being blamed for being too much absorbed in my favouriu hobbies. For reasons with which we are not concerned, I shall not punue the interpretation of this dream any further, but will merely indicate the direction in which it lay. In the course of the work of analysis I was reminded of my conversation with Dr. Konigstein, and I was brought to it from more than one direc­ tion. When I take into account the topics touched upon in that conversation, the meaning of the dream becomes intelligible to me. All the trains of thought starting from the dream-the thoughts about my wife's and my own favourite flowers, about cocaine, about the awkwardness of medical treatment among colleagues, about my preference for studying monographs and about my neglect of certain branches of science such as botany -all of these trains of thought, when they were further pur­ sued, led ultimately to one or other of the many ramifications ofmy conversation with Dr. Konigstein. Once again the dream, like the one we first analysed-the dream of Irma's injection­ turns out to have been in the nature of a self-justification, a plea on behalf of my own rights. Indeed, it carried the subject that was raised in the earlier dream a stage further and discussed it with reference to fresh material that had arisen in the interval between the two dreams. Even the apparently indifferent form in which the dream was couched turns out to have had signi­ ficance. What it meant was: 'After all, I'm the man who wrote the valuable and memorable paper (on cocaine)', just as in the earlier dream I had said on my behalf: 'I'm a conscientious and hard-working student.' In both cases what I was insisting was: 'I may allow myself to do this.' There is, however, no need for me to carry the interpretation of the dream any further, since J

Cf. my paper on screen memories [Freud, 1899a].



my only purpose in reporting it was to illustrate by an example the relation between the content of a dream and the experience of the previous day which provoked it. So long as I was aware only of the dream's manifest content, it appeared to be related only to a single event of the dream-day. But when the analysis was carried out, a second source of the dream emerged in another experience of the same day. The fint of these two impressions with which the dream was connected was an indifferent one, a subsidiary circumstance: I had seen a book in a shop-window whose title attracted my attention for a moment but whose subject-matter could scarcely be of interest to me. The second experience had a high degree of psychical importance: I had had a good hour's lively conversation with my fiicnd the cyc­ surgcon; in the counc of it I had given him some information which was bound to affect both of us closely, and I had had memories stirred up in me which had drawn my attention to a great variety of internal stresses in my own mind. Moreover, the convcnation had been interrupted before its conclusion because we had been joined by acquaintances. We must now ask what was the relation of the two impres­ sions of the dream-day to each other and to the dream of the subsequent night. In the manifest content of the dream only the indifferent impression was alluded to, which seems to confirm the notion that dreams have a preference for taking up unimportant details of waking life. All the strands of the interpretation, on the other hand, led to the important impression, to the one which had justifiably stirred my feelings. If the sense of the dream is judged, as it can only rightly be, by its latent content as revealed by the analysis, a new and significant fact is unexpectedly brought to light. The conundrum of why dreams arc concerned only with worthless fragments of waking life seems to have lost all its meaning; nor can it any longer be maintained that wak­ ing life is not pursued further in dreams and that dreams are thus psychical activity wasted upon foolish material. The con­ trary is true: our dream-thoughts arc dominated by the same material that ha." occupied us during the day and we only bother to dream of things which have given us cause for reflection in the daytime. Why is it, then, that, though the occasion of my dreaming was a daytime impression by which I had been justifiably stirred, I nevertheless actually dreamt of something indifferent?



The most obvious explanation, no doubt, is that we are once more faced by one of the phenomena ofdream-distortion, which in my last chapter I traced to a psychical force acting as a censorship. My recollection of the monograph on the genus Cyclamen would thus serve the purpose of being an allusion to the conversation with my fiiend, just as the 'smoked salmon' in the dream of the abandoned supper-party [p. 148 f.] served as an allusion to the dreamer's thought of her woman friend. The only question is as to the intermediate links which enabled the impression of the monograph to serve as an allusion to the conversation with the eye-surgeon, since at first sight there is no obvious connection between them. In the example of the aban­ doned supper-party the connection was given at once: 'smoked salmon', being the fiicnd's favourite dish, was an immediate constituent of the group ofideas which were likely to be aroused in the dreamer's mind by the personality of her fiiend. In this later example there were two detached impressions which at a first glance only had in common the fact oftheir having occurred on the same day: I had caught sight of the monograph in the morning and had had the conversation the same evening. The analysis enabled us to solve the problem as follows: connections of this kind, when they are not present in the first instance, are woven retrospectively between the ideational content of one impression and that of the other. I have already drawn atten­ tion to the intermediate links in the present case by the words I have italicized in my record of the analysis. If there had been no influences from another quarter, the idea of the monograph on the Cyclamen would only, I imagine, have led to the idea ofits being my wife's favourite flower, and possibly also to Frau L.'s absent bouquet. I scarcely think that these background thoughts would have sufficed to evoke a dream. As we are told in Hamlll: There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave To tell us this.

But, lo and behold, I was reminded in the analysis that the man who interrupted our conversation was called Gdrlner [Gardener] and that I had thought his wife looked blooming. And even as I write these words I recall that one of my patients, who bore the charming name of Flora, was for a time the pivot of our discussion. These must have been the intermediate links, arising



from the botanical group of ideas, which formed the bridge between the two experiences of that day, the indifferent and the stirring one. A further set of connections was then established -those surrounding the idea of cocaine, which had every right to serve as a link between the figure of Dr. Konigstein and a botanical monograph which I had written; and these connec­ tions strengthened the fusion between the two groups of ideas so that it became possible for a portion of the one experience to serve as an allusion to the other one. I am prepared to find this explanation attacked on the ground of its being arbitrary or artificial. What, it may be asked, would have happened if Professor Gartner and his wife with her bloom­ ing looks had not come up to us or ifthe patient we were talking about had been called Anna instead of Flora? The answer is simple. If these chains of thought had been absent others would no doubt have been selected. It is easy enough to construct such chains, as is shown by the puns and riddles that people make every day for their entertainment. The realm of jokes knows no boundaries. Or, to go a stage further, if there had been no pos­ sibility of forging enough intermediate links between the two impressions, the dream would simply have been diffcrcnL Another indifferent impression of the same day-for crowds of such impressions enter our minds and arc then forgotten­ would have taken the place of the 'monograph' in the dream, would have linked up with the subject of the conversation and would have repr�nted it in the content of the dream. Since it was in fact the monograph and not any other idea that was chosen to serve this function, we must suppose that it was the best adapted for the connection. There is no need for us to emulate Lcssing's Hanschcn Schlau and feel astonished that 'only the rich people own the most money' .1 A psychological process b y which, according to our account, indifferent experiences take the place of psychically significant ones, cannot fail to arouse suspicion and bewilderment. It will be our task in a later chapter [Chapter VI, Section B (p. 305 ff.)] to make the peculiarities of this apparently irrational operation more intelligible. At this point we arc only concerned with the ejfeetr of a process whose reality I have been driven to assume 1 [From one of Lcssing's Sinng,dichu (epigrams in vene). A further lengthy discussion of this dream will be found below (p. 282 ff.).]



by innumerable and regularly recurrent observations made in analysing dreams. What takes place would seem to be some­ thing in the nature of a 'displaccmcnt'-of psychical cmphaw, shall we say?-by means of intcrmcdiatc link!; in this way, ideas which originally had only a weak charge of intensity take over the charge from ideas which were originally inlense{y cathccted 1 and at last attain enough strength to enable them to force an entry into consciousness. Displacements of this kind are no sur­ prise to us where it is a question of dealing with quantities of ajf«t or with motor activities in general. When a lonely old maid transfers her affection to animals, or a bachelor becomes an enthusiastic collector, when a soldier defends a scrap of coloured cloth-a flag-with his life's blood, when a few seconds' extra pressure in a hand-shake means bliss to a lover, or when, in Olkello, a lost handkerchief precipitates an outbunt of rage­ all of these IU'e instances of psychical displacements to which we raise no objection. But when we hear that a decision as to what shall reach our consciousness and what shall be kept out of it­ what we shall think, in short-has been arrived at in the same manner and on the same principles, we have an impression of a pathological event and, if such things happen in waking life, we describe them as errors in thought. I will anticipate the conclusions to which we shall later be led, and suggest that the psychical process which we have found at work in drcam­ displaccmcnt, though it cannot be described as a pathological disturbance, nevertheless differs from the normal and is to be regarded as a process of a more primary nature. [Sec below, Chapter VII, Section E, p. 595 ff.] Thus the fact that the content of dreams includes remnants of trivial experiences is to be explained as a manifestation of dream-distortion (by displacement); and it will be recalled that we came to the conclusion that dream-distortion was the pro­ duct of a censonhip operating in the passage-way between two psychical agencies. It is to be expected that the analysis of a dream will regularly reveal its true, psychically significant source in waking life, though the emphasis has been displaced from the recollection of that source on to that of an indifferent one. This explanation brings us into complete conflict with Robert's theory [p. 78 ff.], which ceases to be of any service to us. For the fact which Robert sets out to explain is a non1 [Charged with psychical energy. See Editor'■ Introduction, p. xvii f.]

I.P. IV--0



existent one. His acceptance of it rests on a misunderstanding, on his failure to replace the apparent content of dreams by their real meaning. And there is another objection that can be raised to Robert's theory. If it were really the business of dreams to relieve our memory of the 'dregs' of daytime recollections by a special psychical activity, our sleep would be more tormented and harder worked than our mental life while we are awake. For the number of indifferent impressions from which our memory would need to be protected is clearly immensely large: the night would not be long enough to cope with such a mass. It is far more likely that the process of forgetting indifferent impressions goes forward without the active intervention of our psychical forces. Nevertheless we must not be in a hurry to take leave of Robert's ideas without further consideration. [Sec p. 579 f.] We have still not explained the fact that one of the indifferent im­ pressions of waking life, one, moreover, dating from the day preceding the dream, invariably contributes towards the dream's content. The connections between this impression and the true source of the dream in the unconscious are not always there ready-made; as we have seen, they may only be established retrospectively, in the course of the dream-work,1 with a view, as it were, to making the intended displacement feasible. There must therefore be some compelling force in the direction of establishing connections precisely with a recent, though indiffer­ ent, impression; and the latter must possess some attribute which makes it especially suitable for this purpose. For if that were not so, it would be just as easy for the dream-thoughts to displace their emphasis on to an unimportant component in their own circle of ideas. The following observations may help us towards clearing up this point. If in the course of a single day we have two or more experiences suitable for provoking a dream, the dream will make a combined reference to them as a single whole; it is urukr a necessi!J to comhine them into a uni�. Herc is an instance. One afternoon during the summer I entered a railway compartment in which I found two acquaintances who were strangers to each other. One of them was an eminent medical colleague and the other was a member of a distinguished family with which I had 1 [This is t he first mention of the fundamentally important concept to which the whole of the sixth and longest chapter ofthe book is devoted.]



professional relations. I introduced the two gentlemen to each other, but all through the long journey they conducted their conversation with me as a go-between, so that I presently found myself discussing various topics alternately, first with the one and then ·with the other. I asked my doctor friend to use his Influence on behalf of a common acquaintance ofours who was just starting a medical practice. The doctor replied that he was convinced of the young man's capacity, but that his homely appearance would make it hard for him to make his way in families of the better class; to which I replied that that was the very reason why he needed influential assistance. Turning to my other fellow-traveller, I enquired after the health of his aunt -the mother of one of my patients-who was lying seriously ill at the time. During the night following the journey I had a dream that the young friend on whose behalf I had pleaded was sitting in a fashionable drawing-room in a select company composed of all the distinguished and wealthy people of my acquaintance and, with the easy bearing of a man of the world, was delivering a funeral oration on the old lady (who was already dead so far as my dream was concerned), the aunt of my second fellow-traveller. (I must confess that I had not been on good terms with that lady.) Thus my dream had, once again, worked out connections between the two sets of impressions of the previous day and had combined them into a single situation. Many experiences such as this lead me to assert that the dream-work is under some kind of necessity to combine all the sources which have acted as stimuli for the dream into a single unity in the dream itself.1 I will now proceed to the question of whether the instigating source of a dream, revealed by analysis, must invariably be a recent (and significant) event or whether an internal experi1 The tendency of the dream-work to fuse into a single action all events of interest which occur simultaneowly has already been remarked on by several writers; e.g. Delage (1891, 41) and Dcllxatf (1885, 237), who speaks of'rapprochemenlforel' ['enforced convergence']. [Freud him­ self had stated this principle in the passage in Studies on Hysteria (Breuer and Freud, 1895) quoted in the Editor's Introduction (p. xv).-At this point the following sentence was added in 1909 and included in every edition up to that of 1922, after which it was omitted: 'In a later chapter (on the dream-work) we shall come across this compelling impullc towards combining as an instance of "condensation"-another kind of primary psychical procea.' (Cf. pp. 228 and 279 ff.)]

180 V. MATERIAL AND SOURCES OF DREAMS ence, that is, the reeollatum of a psychically important event-a train of thought-, can assume the r6le of a dream-instigator. The answer, based upon a large number of analyses, is most definitely in favour of the latter alternative. A dream can be instigated by an internal process which has, as it were; become a recent event, owing to thought-activity during the previous day. This seems to be the appropriate moment for tabulating the different conditions to which we find that the sources of dreams are subject. The source of a dream may be cither(a) a recent and psychically significant experience which is represented in the dream directly,1 or (b) several recent and significant experiences which are com­ bined into a single unity by the dream, 1 or (c) one or more recent and significant experiences which are represented in the content of the dream by a mention of a con­ temporary but indifferent experience,• or (d) an internal significant experience (e.g. a memory or a train of thought), which is in that case inoariab{, represented in the dream by a mention of a recent but indifferent impression.• It will be seen that in interpreting dreams we find one condi­ tion always fulfilled: one component of the content of the dream is a repetition of a recent impression of the previous day. This impression that is to be represented in the dream may either itself belong to the circle of ideas surrounding the actual in­ stigator ,of the dream-whether as an essential or as a trivial portion ofit-or it may be derived from the field ofan indifferent impression which has been brought into connection with the ideas surrounding the dream-instigator by more or less numer­ ous links. The apparent multiplicity of governing conditions is in fact merely dependent upon the two alternatives of whether a displacement has or has not taken place; and it is worth point­ ing out that we are enabled by these alternatives to explain the range of contrast between different dreams just as easily as the medical theory is enabled to do by its hypothesis of brain-cells ranging from partial to total wakefulness. (See above, p. 76 ff.) It will further be observed, if we consider these four possible 1 AJ in the dream of Irma'• injection [p. 106 ft'.] and in the dream of my uncle with the yellow beard [p. 136 ff.]. 1 AJ in the young doctor's funeral oration [p. 178 f.]. 1 AJ in the dream of the botanical monograph [p. 169 ff.]. • Mon of my patienb' dream■ during analysis are of tbia kind.



cases, that a psychical clement which is significant but not re­ cent (e.g. a train of thought or a memory) can be replaced, for the purpose of forming a dream, by an element which is recent but indifferent, provided only that two conditions arc fulfilled: ( 1) the content of the dream must be connected with a recent experience, and (2) the instigator of the dream must remain a psychically significant process. Only in one casc--case (a)­ are both of these conditions ful61led by one and the same im­ pression. It is to be noticed, moreover, that indifferent impres­ sions which arc capable of being used for constructing a dream so long as they arc recent lose that capacity as soon as they are a day (or at the most a few days) older. From this we must con­ clude that the freshness of an impression gives it some kind of psychical value for purposes of dream-construction equivalent in some way to the value of emotionally coloured memories or trains of thought. The basis of the value which thus attaches to recent impressions in conn�tion with the construction of dreams will only become evident in the course of our sub,e,. qucnt psychological discussiolis. 1 In this connection i t will be noticed, incidentally, that modi­ fications in our mnemic and ideational material may take place during the night unobserved by our consciousness. We are often advised that before coming to a final decision on some subject we should 'sleep on it', and this advice is evidently justified. But here we have passed from the psychology of dreams to that of sleep, and this is not the last occasion on which we shall be tempted to do so.• An objection, however, may be raised which threatens to upset these last conclusions. If indifferent imprcaions can only 1 See the puaage on 'transference' in Chapter VII (p. 562 ff.]. • [Foolnoll addld 1919:] An important contribution to the part played by recent material in the construction ofdreams has been made by POtzl (1917) in a paper which carries a wealth of implications. In a aeries of experiments POtzl required the subjects to make a drawing of what they bad consciously noted of a picture expoecd to their view in a tachiato­ acopc (an instrument for exposing an object to view for a n extremely abort time]. He then turned his attention to the dreams dreamt by the subjects during the following night and required them onoc more to make drawings of appropriate portions of these dreams. It was shown unmistakably that those details of the expoecd picture which bad not been noted by the subject provided material for the construction of the dream, whereas those details which bad been consciously perceived and recorded in the drawing made after the c:xpolUI'C did not recur in the

182 V. MATERIAL AND SOURCES OF DREAMS find their way into a dream provided they are recent, how does it happen that the content of dreams also includes elements from an earlier period of life which at the time when they were recent possessed, to use Strilmpell's words [1877, 40 f.], no psychical value, and should therefore have been long since for­ gotten--elements, that is to say, which are neither fresh nor psychically significant? This objection can be completely dealt with by a reference to the findings of the psycho-analysis ofneurotics. The explanation is that the displacement which replaces psychically important by indifferent material (alike in dreaming and in thinking) has in these cases already taken place at the early period of life in question and since then become fixed in the memory. These particular elements which were originally indifferent arc in­ different no longer, since taking over (by means of displace-, mcnt) the value of psychically significant material. Nothing that has really remained indifferent can be reproduced in a dream. The reader will rightly conclude from the foregoing argu­ ments that I am asserting that there are no indifferent drcam­ instigaton-and consequently no 'innocent' dreams. Those arc, in the strictest and most absolute sense, my opinions-if I leave on one side the dreams of children and perhaps brief reactio� in dreams to sensations felt during the night. Apart from this, what we dream is either manifestly recognizable as psychically significant, or it is distorted and cannot be judged till the dream has been interpreted, after which it will once more be found to be significant. Dreams are never concerned with trivialities; we do not allow our sleep to be disturbed by trifies. 1 The appar­ manifest content of the dream. The material that was taken over by the dream-work was modified ' by it for the purposes of dream-construction in its familiar 'arbitrary' (or, more properly, 'autocratic') manner. The questions raised by pijtzl's experiment go far beyond the sphere of dream-interpretation as dealt with in the present volume. In passing, it is worth remarking on the contrast between this new method ofstudying the formation ofdreams experimentally and the earlier, crude technique for introducing into the dream stimuli which interrupted the subject's sleep. [Cf. p. 223 n.] 1 [Footnot, added 1914:] Havelock Ellis, a friendly critic of this book, writes (1911, 166): 'This is the point at which many ofus arc no longer able to follow Freud.' Havelock Ellis has not, however, carried out any analyses of dreams and refuses to believe how impouible it is to base one's judgement on their manifest content.



cntly innocent dreams turn out to be quite the rcvcnc when we take the trouble to analyse them. They arc, if I may say so, wolves in sheep's clothing. Since this is another point upon which I may expect to be contradicted, and since I am glad of an opportunity of showing dream-distortion at work, I will select a number of 'innocent' dreams from my records and submit them to analysis. I

An intelligent and cultivated young woman, reserved and undemonstrative in her behaviour, reported as follows:/ dreamt thal I a"i'Otd too laJe at the market and could get nothing either from the butcher or from the woman who sells vegetables. An innocent dream, no doubt; but dreams are not as simple as that, so I asked to be told it in greater detail. She thereupon gave me the following account. She dreamt she was going to the market with her cook, who was carrying the basket. After she had ask4d for something, the butcher said to her: 'That's not obtainable any longer', and offered her some­ thing else, adding ' This is good too'. She rejected it and went on to the woman who sells vegetables, who tried to get her to buy a peculiar vegetable that was tied up in bundles but was ofa black colour. She said: '/ don't recogni;:,e that; I won't take it.'

The dream's connection with the previous day was quite straightforward. She had actually gone to the market too late and had got nothing. The situation seemed to shape itself into the phrase 'Die Fleischbank war schon geschlossen' ['the meat-shop was closed']. I pulled myself up: was not that, or rather its opposite, a vulgar description of a certain sort of slovenliness in a man's drcss? 1 However, the dreamer herself did not use the phrase; she may perhaps have avoided using it. Let us endeavour, then, to arrive at an interpretation of the details of the dream. When anything in a dream has the character ofdirect speech, that is to say, when it is said or heard and not merely thought (and it is easy as a rule to make the distinction with certainty), then it is derived from something actually spoken in waking life-though, to be sure, this something is merely treated as raw material and may be cut up and slightly altered and, more 1 ['Du hast dnne Fleischbank ojfm' ('your meat-shop's open'): Viennese slang for 'your flies are undone'.]



especially, divorced from its context.• In carrying out an inter• pretation, one method is to start from spoken phrases of this kind. What, then, was the origin of the butcher's remark 'Tluu's not obtaina/Ju any longer'? The answer was that it came from me myself. A few days earlier I had explained to the patient that the earliest experiences of childhood were 'not obtaina/Ju any longer as such', but were replaced in analysis by 'transferences' and dreams.• So I was the butcher and she was rejecting these trans­ ferences into the present of old habits of thinking and feeling.­ What, again, was the origin of her own remark in the dream 'I t/JJn' I recogni�e that; Iwon'I tak, ii'? For the purposes of the analysis this had to be divided up. 'I dt»il r,cogni.Q thaf was something she had said the day before to her cook, with whom she had had a dispute; but at the time she had gone on: 'B,hawyourselfpro­ perly!' At this point there had clearly been a displacement. Of the two phrases that she had used in the dispute with h er cook, she had chosen the insignificant one for inclusion in the dream. But it was only the suppressed one, 'Behawyourselfproperly!' that fitted in with the rest of the content of the dream: those would have been the appropriate words to use if someone had ven­ tured to make improper suggestions and had forgotten 'to close his meat-shop'. The allusions underlying the incident with the vegetable-seller were a further confirmation that our interpre­ tation was on the right track. A vegetable that is sold tied up in bundles (lengthways, as the patient added afterwards) and is also black, could only be a dream-combination of asparagus and black (Spanish) radishes. No knowledgeable person of either sex will ask for an interpretation of asparagus. But the other vegetable-'Sc/zwar� Rettig' ['black radish']-can be taken as an exclamation-'Schwarzer, rett' · diclz!' ['Blackyl Be off!']-•; 1 See my discu.aion of speeches in dreaml in my chapter on the dream-work [p. 418 ff.]. Only one writer on the aubjcct 11CC1D1 to have recognized the source of spoken phrases occurring in dreams, namely Delboeuf (1885, 226), who compares them to elichls. [This dream is briefly recorded in Section VII of Freud's short essay On Dr,ams (1901a); Slandard Ed., S, 668.] • [Thia paasage is referred to in a footnote to a discussion of childhood memories in Section V of Freud's cue hlltory of the 'Wolf Man' (1918b).] 1 [It seems probable that this is a reminiscence of a picture puzzle or rebus of the kind 1 0 common in the pages ofFlu1• BliUt,r and similar comic papen.]



and accordingly it too seems to hint at the same sexual topic which we suspected at the very beginning, when we felt inclined to introduce the phrase about the meat-shop being closed into the original account of the dream. We need not enquire now into the full meaning of the dream. So much is quite clear: it had a meaning and that meaning was far from innocent.1 II

Here is another innocent dream, dreamt by the same patient, and in a sense a counterpart to the last one. Her husband asked her: 'Don'tyou lhi.nk we ought to hatJe the piano tuned?' And she replud: 'It's nat worth while; lhe hammers need reeonditioning in any case.' Once again this was a repetition of a real event ofthe previous day. Her husband had asked this question and she had made some such reply. But what was the explanation of her dreaming it? She told me that the piano was a disgusting old box, that it made an ugl, naise, that it had been in her husband's possession before their marriage,• and so on. But the key to the solution was only given by her words: 'It's nat wort/, while.' These were derived from a visit she had paid the day before to a woman friend. She had been invited to take off her jacket, but had refused with the words: 'Thank you, but it's not worth while; I can only stop a minute.' & she was telling me this, I recollected that during the previous day's analysis she had suddenly caught hold of her jacket, one of the buttons having come undone. Thus it was as though she were saying: 'Please don't look; it's nat worth while.' In the same way the 'box' ['Kasten'] was a 1 If anyone is curious to know, I may -add that the dream concealed a phantuy of my behaving in an improper and sexually provocative manner, and of the patient putting up a defence against my conduct. If this interpretation seam incredible, I need only point to the numerous instances in which docton have charges ofthe same kind brought against them by hysteri cal women. But in such cues the phantuy emerges into consciousness undisguised and in the form of a delusion, instead of being distorted and appearing only as a drcam.-[Added 1909:] This dream occurred at the beginning of the patient's psycho-analytic treatment. It was not until later that I learnt that she had been repeating in it the initial trauma from which her ncurolis had arisen. I have since then come acr011 the same behaviour in other patients; having been c:xpoecd to a ICXUal a.aault in their childhood, they aeck, as it were, to bring about a repetition of it in their dreams. • This last was a substitute for the oppoeite idea, as the coune of the

anal yais will make clear.



substitute for a 'chest' ['Brwtkasten']; and the interpretation of the dream led us back at once to the time of her physical development at puberty, when she had begu n to be dissatisfied by her figure. We can hardly doubt that it led back to still earlier times, if we take the word 'disgusting' into account and the 'ug!J, noise', and if we remember how often-both in dllubles entendres and in dreams-the lesser hemispheres of a woman's body are used, whether as contrasts or as substitutes, for the larger ones.

m I will interrupt this series for a moment and insert a short innocent dream produced by a young man. He dreamt that h e was putting on his winter overcoat once 1TUJTe, which was a dreadful thing. The ostensible reason for this dream was a sudden return of cold weather. If we look more closely, however, we shall notice that the two short pieces that make up the dream are not in complete harmony. For what could there be 'dreadful' about putting on a heavy or thick overcoat in cold weather? Moreover, the innocence of the dream was decidedly upset by the first association that occurred to the dreamer in the analysis. He recalled that a lady confided to him the day before that her youngest child owed its existence to a tom condom. On that basis he was able to reconstruct his thoughts. A thin condom was dangerous, but a thick one was bad. The condom was suit­ ably represented as an overcoat, since one slips into both of them. But an occurrence such as the lady described to him would certainly be 'dreadful' for an unmarried man. And now let us our innocent lady dreamer. IV

She was putting a candle into a candlestick; but the candle broke so that it wouldn't stand up proper!),. The girls at her school said she was clumsy; but the mistress said it was not her fault. Yct again the occasion for the dream was a real event. The day before she had actually put a candle into a candlestick, though it did not break. Some transparent symbolism was being used in this dream. A candle is an object which can excite the female genitals; and, if it is broken, so that it cannot stand up properly, it means that the man is impotent. ('It was not her fault.') But could a carefully brought-up young woman, who



had been screened from the impact of anything ugly, have known that a candle might be put to such a use? As it happened, she was able to indicate how it was that she obtained this piece of knowledge. Once when they were in a rowing boat on the Rhine, another boat had passed them with some students in it. They were in high spirits and were singing, or rather shouting, a song: Wenn die Konigin von Schweden, Bci gcschlosscnen Fcnstcrllidcn Mit Apollokerzcn ...1 She either failed to hear or did not understand the last word and had to get her husband to give her the necessary explanation. The verse was replaced in the content of the dream by an innocent recollection of some job she had done clumsily when she was at school, and the replacement was made possible owing to the common element of closed shutters. The connection between the topics of masturbation and impotence is obvious enough. The 'Apollo' in the latent content of this dream linked it with an earlier one in which the virgin Pallas figured. Altogether far from innocent. V

In order that we may not be tempted to draw conclusions too easily from dreams as to the dreamer's actual life, I will add one more dream of the same patient's, which once more has an innocent appearance. 'I dreamt,' she said, 'of what I really did )'esterday: Ifilled a small trunk so full of books that I had difficulty in shutting it and I dreamt just what really happened.' In this instance the narrator herself laid the chief emphasis on the agreement between the dream and reality.[Cf.pp.21 n. and 372.] All such judgements on a dream and comments upon it, though they have made themselves a place in waking thought, invariably form in fact part of the latent content of the dream, as we shall find confirmed by other examples later on [p.445 ff.]. What we were being told, then, was that what the dream described had really happened the day before.It would take up too much 1 ['When the Queen of Sweden, behind closed shuttcn, ... with Apollo candles.' 'Apollo candles' was the trade name of a familiar brand of candles.This is an extract from a well-known students' song, which has innumerable similar stanzas. The missing word is 'onaniert' ('masturbates').]



space to explain how it was that the idea occurred to me of making use of the English language in the interpretation. It is enough to say that once again what was in question was a little 'box' (cf. the dream of the dead child in the 'case', p. 154 f.) which waa so full that nothing more could get into it. Anyhow, nothing bad this time. In all ofthese 'innocent' dreams the motive for the censorship is obviously the sexual factor. This, however, is a subject of prime importance which I must leave on one side.

(B) INFANTILE MATERIAL AS A SOURCE OF DREAMS Like every other writer on the subject, with the exception of Robert, I have pointed out as a third peculiarity of the content of dreams that it may include impressions which date back to earliest childhood, and which seem not to be accessible to waking memory. It is naturally hard to determine how rarely or how frequently this occurs, since the origin of the dream­ clements in question is not recognized after waking. Proof that what we arc dealing with are impressions from childhood must therefore be established by external evidence and there is seldom an opportunity for doing this. A particularly convinc­ ing example is that given by Maury [1878, 143 f., quoted on p. 16 f. above] of the man who determined one day to revisit his old home after an absence of more than twenty yean. During the night before his departure he dreamt that he was in a totally unknown place and there met an unknown man in the street and had a convcnation with him. When he reached his home, he found that the unknown place was a real one in the immediate neighbourhood of his native town, and the unknown man in the dream turned out to be a friend of his dead father's who was still living there. This was conclusive evidence that he had seen both the man and the place in his childhood. This dream is also to be interpreted as a dream of impatience like that of the girl with the concert-ticket in her pocket (p. 152 f.), that of the child whose father had promised to take her on an excunion to the Hamcau (cf. p. 129 f.), and similar ones. The motives which led the dreamers to reproduce one particular impression from their childhood rather than any other cannot, of counc, be discovered without an analysis. Someone who attended a course of lectures of mine and boasted that his dreams very seldom underwent distortion re­ ported to me that not long before he had dreamt of seeing /,is former tutor in bed wit!, tl,e nurse who had been with his family till his eleventh year. In the dream he had identified the locality where the scene occurred. His interest had been aroused and he had reported the dream to his elder brother, who had laughingly




confirmed the truth of what he had dreamt. His brother remembered it very well, as he had been six yean old at the time. The lovers had been in the habit of making the elder boy drunk with beer, whenever circumstances were favourable for intercourse during the night. The younger boy-the dreamer-, who was then three years old and slept in the room with the nurse, was not regarded as an impediment. [Sec also p. 198.] There is another way in which it can be established with certainty without the assistance of interpretation that a dream contains elements from childhood. This is where the dream is of what has been called the 'recurrent' type: that is to say, where a dream was first dreamt in childhood and then constantly reappears from time to time during adult sleep. r I am able to add to the familiar examples of such dreams a few from my own records, though I have never myself experienced one. A physician in his thirties told me that from the earliest days of his childhood to the present time a yellow lion frequently appeared in his dreams; he was able to give a minute descrip­ tion of it. This lion out of his dreams made its appearance one day in bodily form, as a china ornament that had long dis­ appeared. The young man then learnt from his mother that this object had been his favourite toy during his early childhood, though he himself had forgotten the facL• If we tum now from the manifest content of dreams to the dream-thoughts which only analysis uncovers, we find to .our 1 [Sec above, p. 44 n. Some rcmarb on 'recurrent' dreams will be found in Freud's 'Fragment of an Analysis ofa Case ofHystcria' (1905e), at the end of the synthesis ofDora's fint dream (Section II). below, p. 579 n.] • [The following further dream appeared at this point in the fint edition (1900) only. A note in Ges. &hriften, 3 (1925), 38, rcmarb that it was rightly omitted in all subsequent editions: 'Dreams of this sort are of a typieal character and correspond not to memories but to phantasies, whOIIC meaning it is not hard to guess.' Here are the cancelled sentences: 'One ofmy women patients dreamt the same dream-a scene filled with anxiety-four or five times during her thirty-eighth year. She was being punued, fled into a room, shut the door, and then opened it again to take out the key, which was on the outside ofthe door. She had a feeling · that if she failed something frightful would happen. She got hold of the key, locked the door from the inside and gave a sigh of relief. I cannot say to what age we should asaign this little scene, in which, of courae, she had only played the part of an audience.']




astonishment that experiences from childhood also play a part in dreams whose content would never have led one to suppose it. I owe a particularly agreeable and instructive example of a dream of this kind to my respected colleague of the yellow lion. After reading Nansen's narrative of his polar expedition, he had a dream of being in a field of ice and of giving the gallant explorer galvanic treatment for an attack of sciatica from which he was suffering. In the course of analysing the dream, he thought of a story dating from his childhood, which alone, incidentally, made the dream intelligible. One day, when he was a child of three or four, he had heard the grown-ups talk­ ing of voyages of discovery and had asked his father whether that was a serious illness. He had evidently confused 'Rtistn' ['voyages'] with 'Rtissen' ['gripes'], and his brothers and sisters saw to it that he never forgot this embarrassing mistake. There was a similar instance of this when, in the course of my analysis of the dream of the monograph on the genus Cyclamen [sec above, p. 172], I stumbled upon the childhood memory of my father, when I was a boy of five, giving me a book illustrated with coloured plates to destroy. It may perhaps be doubted whether this memory really had any share in determining the form taken by the content of the dream or whether it was not rather that the process of analysis built up the connection subsequently. But the copious and intertwined associative links warrant our accepting the former alternative: cyclamen-favourite flower-favourite food-artichokes; pull­ ing to pieces like an artichoke, leaf by leaf (a phrase constantly ringing in our ears in relation to the piecemeal dismember­ ment ofthe Chinese Empire)-herbarium-book-worms, whose favourite food is books. Moreover I can assure my readers that the ultimate meaning of the dream, which I have not dis­ closed, i s intimately related to the subject of the childhood scene. In the case of another group of dreams, analysis shows us that the actual wish which instigated the dream, and the fulfilment of which is represented by the dream, is derived from child­ hood; so that, to our surprise, we find the child and the chutes impulses still liuing on in the dream. At this point I shall once more take up the interpretation of a dream which we have already found instructive-the dream



of my friend R. being my uncle. [See p. 137 ff.] We have followed its interpretation to the point of recognizing clearly as one of its motives my wish to be appointed to a professonhip; and we explained the affection I felt in the dream for my friend R. as a product of opposition and revolt against the slanders upon my two colleagues which were contained in the dream­ thoughts. The dream was one of my own; I may therefore con­ tinue its analysis by saying that my feelings were not yet satisfied by the solution that had so far been reached. I knew that my waking judgement upon the colleagues who were so ill-used in the dream-thoughts would have been a very different one; and the force of my wish not to share their fate in the matter of the appointment struck me as insufficient to explain the contradiction between my waking and dreaming estimates of them. If it was indeed true that my craving to be addressed with a different title was as strong as all that, it showed a pathological ambition which I did not recognize in myself and which I believed was alien to me. I could not tell how other people who believed they knew me would judge me in this respect. It might be that I was really ambitious; but, if 10, my ambition had long ago been transferred to objects quite other than the title and rank of professor e:lttraordinarius. What, then, could have been the origin of the ambitiousness which produced the dream in me? At that point I rccalled an anecdote I had often heard repeated in my childhood. At the time of my birth an old peasant-woman had prophesied to my proud mother that with her first-born child she had brought a great man into the world. Prophecies of this kind must be very common: there arc so many mothen filled with happy expecta­ tions and so many old peasant-women and others of the kind who make up for the loss of their power to control things in the present world by concentrating it on the future. Nor can the prophetess have lost anything by her words. Could this have been the source of my thirst for grandeur? But that reminded me of another experience, dating from my later childhood, which provided a still better explanation. My parents had been in the habit, when I was a boy of eleven or twelve, of taking me with them to the Prater.1 One evening, while we were sitting in a restaurant there, our attention had been attracted by a man who was moving from one table to another and, for a small 1

[The famous park on the ouakira of Vienna.]



consideration, improvising a verse upon any topic presented to him. I was despatched to bring the poet to our table and he showed his gratitude to the messenger. Before enquiring what the chosen topic was to be, he had dedicated a few lines to myself; and he had been inspired to declare that I should prob­ ably grow up to be a Cabinet Minister. I still remembered quite well what an impression this second prophecy had made on me. Those were the days of the 'Burger' Ministry. 1 Shortly before, my father had brought home portraits of these middle-class profes­ sional men-Herbst, Giskra, Unger, Berger and the rest-and we had illuminated the house in their honour. There had even been some Jews among them. So henceforth every industriow Jewish schoolboy carried a Cabinet Minister's portfolio in his satchel. The events of that period no doubt had some bearing on the fact that up to a time shortly before I entered the University it had been my intention to study Law; it was only at the last moment that I changed my mind. A ministerial career is definitely barred to a medical man. But now to return to my dream. It began to dawn on me that my dream had carried me back from the dreary present to the cheerful hopes of the days of the 'Burger' Ministry, and that the wish that it had done its best to fulfil was one dating back to those times. In mishandling my two learned and eminent colleagues because they were Jews, and in treating the one as a simpleton and the other as a criminal, I was behaving as though I were the Minister, I had put myself in the Minister's place. Turning the tables on His Excellency with a vengeance! He had refused to appoint me professor extrObrdinarius and I had retaliated in the dream by stepping into his shoes. 1 In another instance it became apparent that, though the wish which instigated the dream was a present-day one, it had received a powerful reinforcement from memories that stretched far back into childhood. What I have in miud is a series of dreams which are based upon a longing to visit Rome. For a long time to come, no doubt, I shall have to continue to satisfy that 1 [The 'Middle-class Ministry'-a government of liberal complexion, elected after the new Austrian constitution was established in 1867.] 1 [In an amusing letter to Fliess of March 11, 1902 (Freud, 1950a, Let­ ter 152), Freud tells the story of how he came actually to be appointed to a professorship, two years after the publication of this book.]

S.F. IV P -



longing in my dreams: for at the season of the year when it i s possible for me to travel, residence in Rome must be avoided for reasons of hcalth. 1 For instance, I dreamt once that I was looking out of a railway-carriage window at the Tiber and the Ponte Sant' Angelo. The train began to move off, and it occurred to me that I had not so much as set foot in the city.

The view that I had seen in my dream was taken from a well­

known engraving which I had caught sight of for a moment the day before in the sitting-room of one of my patients. Another time someone led me to the top of a hill and showed me Rome half-shrouded in mist; it was so far away that I was surprised at my view of it being so clear. There was more in the content of this dream than I feel prepared to detail; but the theme of 'the promised land seen from afar' was obvious in it. The town which I saw in this way for the first time, shrouded in mist, was -Lubeck, and the prototype of the hill was-at Gleichcnberg. 1 In a third dream I had at last got to Rome, as the dream itself informed me; but I was disappointed to find that the scenery was far from being of an urban character. There was a narrow stream of dark water; on one side of it were black cliffs and on the other meadows with big white flowers. I noticed a Herr Zucker (whom I knew slightly) and detennined to ask him the way to the civ,. I was clearly making a vain attempt to see in my dream a city which I had never seen in my waking life. Breaking up the landscape in the dream into its clements, I found that the white ftowcn took me to Ravenna, which I have visited and which, for a time at least, superseded Rome as capital of Italy. In the marshes round Ravenna we found the loveliest water-lilies growing in black water. Because we had had such difficulty in picking them out of the water, the dream made them grow in meadows like the narcissi at our own Aussec. The dark cliff, so close to the water, reminded me vividly of the valley of the Tcpl near Karlsbad. 'Karlsbad' enabled me to explain the curious detail of my having asked Herr Zucker the way. The material out of which the dream was woven included at this point two of those 1 [Footnote added 1909:] I discovered long since that it only needs a little courage to fulfil wishes which till then have been regarded as unattainable; [added 1925:] and thereafter became a constant pilgrim to Rome. [The correspondence with Flicss (Freud, 1950a) gives repeated evidence of the emotional importance to Freud of the idea of visiting Rome. He first fulfilled this wish in the summer of 1901 (Letter 146).] 1 [An Austrian spa in Styria, not far from Graz.]


195 facctiousJewish anecdotes which contain so much profound and often bitter worldly wisdom and which we so greatly enjoy quot­ ing in our taUc and letters.1 Here is the first one: the 'constitution' story. An impecunious Jew had stowed himself away without a ticket in the fast train to Karlsbad. He was caught, and each time tickets were inspected he was taken out of the train and treated more and more severely. At one of the stations on his Dia dolorosa he met an acquaintance, who asked him where he was travelling to. 'To Karlsbad,' was his reply, 'if my constitution can stand it.' My memory then passed on to another story: of aJew who could not speak French and had been recommended when he was in Paris to ask the way to the rue Richelieu. Paris itselfhad for many long years been another goal ofmy longings; and the bliaful feelings with which I first set foot on its pave­ ment seemed to me a guarantee that others of my wishes would be fulfilled as well. 'Asking the way', moreover, was a direct allusion to Rtmu, since it is well known that all roads lead there. Again, the name Zuelcer [sugar] was once more an allusion to Karlsbad; for we are in the habit of prescribing treatment there for anyone suffering from the constitutional complaint ofdiabetes.• The instigation to this dream had been a proposal made by my frjend in Berlin that we should meet in Prague at Easter. What we were going to discuss there would have included something with a further connection with 'suga,r' and 'diabetes'. A fourth dream, which occurred soon after the last one, took me to Rome once more. I saw a street-comer before me and was surprised to find so many posters in German stuck up there. 1 I had written to my friend with prophetic foresight the day before to say that I thought Prague might not be an agreeable place for a German to walk about in. Thus the dream cxprcaed at the same time a wish to meet him in Rome instead ofin a Bohemian 1 [In a letter to Fliea of June 12, 1897 (Freud, 1950a, Letter 65), Freud mentions that he is making a collection of these anecdotes, of which he was to make great we in hil book on jokes (Freud, 1905c). The first of the present anecdotes is alluded to more than once in hil letten, and Rome and K.arlsbad come to be identified as symbols of unattainable aims (e.g. in Lettcra 112 and 130).] 1 [The German word for 'diabetes' is 'Zud,rkTanlch,it' ('sugar­


• (This dream ia discUlled in a letter to Fliea of December 3, 1897 (Freud, 1950a, Letter 77). The meeting in Prague was probably in the early part of the l&lllC year (aee Letter 58, of February 8, 1897).]



town, and a desire, probably dating back to my student days, that the German language might be better tolerated in Prague. Incidentally, I must have understood Czech in my earliest childhood, for I was born in a small town in Moravia which has a Slav population. A Czech nursery rhyme, which I heard in my seventeenth year, printed itself on my memory so easily that I can repeat it to this day, though I have no notion what it means. Thus there was no lack of connections with my early childhood in these dreams either. It was on my lastjourney to Italy, which, among other places, took me past Lake Trasimene, that finally-after having seen the Tiber and sadly turned back when I was only fifty miles from Rome-I discovered the way in which my longing for the eternal city had been reinforced by impressions from my youth. I was in the act of making a plan to by-pass Rome next year and travel to Naples, when a sentence occurred to me which I must have read in one of our classical authors:1 'Which of the two, it may be debated, walked up and down his study with the greater impatience after he had formed his plan of going to Rome-Winckelmann, the Vice-Principal, or Hannibal, the Commander-in-Chief?' I had actually been following in Han­ nibal's footsteps. Like him, I had been fated not to see Rome; and he too had moved into the Campagna when everyone had expected him in Rome. But Hannibal, whom I had come to resemble in these respects, had been the favourite hero of my later school days. Like so many boys of that age, I had sym­ pathized in the Punic Wars not with the Romans but with the Carthaginians. And when in the higher classes I began to under­ stand for the first time what it meant to belong to an alien race, and anti-semitic feelings among the other boys warned me that I must take up a definite position, the figure of the semitic general rose still higher in my esteem. To my youthful mind Hannibal and Rome symbolized the conflict between the tenacity of Jewry and the organization of the Catholic church. And the increasing importance of the effects of the anti-semitic movement upon our emotional life helped to fix the thoughts and feelings of those early days. Thus the wish to go to Rome 1 [Footnote added 1925:] The author in question must no doubt have been Jean Paul.-[His decision to visit Rome was the turning-point in the career of Winckelmann, the eighteenth-century founder of classical archaeology.]


197 had become in my dream-life a cloak and symbol for a number of other passionate wishes. Their realization was to be pur­ sued with all the perseverance and single-mindedn� of the Carthaginian, though their fulfilment seemed a: the moment just as little favoured by destiny as was Hannibal's lifelong wish to enter Rome.

At that point I was brought up against the event in my youth whose power was still being shown in all these emotions and dreams. I may have been ten or twelve years old, when my father began to take me with him on his walks and reveal to me in his talk his views upon things in the world we live in. Thus it was, on one such occasion, that he told me a story to show me how much better things were now than they had been in his days. 'When I was a young man', he said, 'I went for a walk one Saturday in the streets of your birthplace; I was well dressed, and had a new fur cap on my head. A Christian came up to me and with a single blow knocked off my cap into the mud and shouted: "Jew! get off the pavement!"' 'And what did you do?' I asked. 'I went into the roadway and picked up my cap,' was his quiet reply. This struck me as unheroic conduct on the part of the big, strong man who was holding the little boy by the hand. I contrasted this situation with another whic fitted my feelings better: the scene in which Hannibal's father, � Hamilcar Barca, 1 made his boy swear before the household altar to take vengeance on the Romans. Ever since that tim Hannibal had had a place in my phantasics. I believe I can trace my enthusiasm for the Carthaginian general a step further back into my childhood; so that once more it would only have been a question of a transference of an already formed emotional relation on to a new object. One of the first books that I got hold of when I had learnt to read was Thicrs' history of the Consulate and Empire. I can still remember sticking labels on the flat backs of my wooden soldiers with the names of Napoleon's marshals written on them. And at that time my declared favourite was already Massena (or to give the name its Jewish form, Manasseh).• (No


1 [Footnot, add#d 1909:] In the fint edition the name of Hudrubal appeared instead: a purzling mistake, which I have explained in my Psyc/wJ,all,oloo of Ev,,yday Life (1901b), Chapter X (2). • [Footnot, adlud 1930:] Incidentally, doubts have been thrown on the

Manhal'1Jewiah origin.


V. MATERIAL AND SOURCES OF DREAMS 198 doubt this preference was also partly to be explained by the fact that my birthday fell on the same day as his, exactly a hundred years later.) 1 Napoleon himself lines up with Hannibal owing to their both having crossed the Alps. It may even be that the development of this martial ideal is traceable still further back into my childhood: to the times when, at the age of three, I was in a close relation, sometimes friendly but some­ times warlike, with a boy a year older than myself, and to the wishes which that relation must have stirred up in the weaker of us.• The deeper one carries the analysis of a dream, the more often one comes upon the track of experiences in childhood which have played a part among the sources of that dream's latent content. We have already seen (on p. 21) that a dream very seldom reproduces recollections in such a way that they constitute, without abbreviation or modification, the wlu,l, of its manifest content. Nevertheless there are some undoubted instances of this happening: and I can add a few more, relating, once more, to childhood .scenes. One of my patients was pr-esented i n a dream with an almost undistorted reproduction of a sexual · episode, which was at once recognizable as a true recollection. His memory of the event had, in fact, never been completely lost in waking life, though it had become greatly obscured, and its revival was a consequence of work previously done in analysis. At the age of twelve, the dreamer had gone to visit a school friend who was laid up in bed, when the latter, by what-was probably an accidental movement, uncovered his body. At the sight of his friend's genitals, my patient had been overcome by some sort of compulsion and had uncovered himself too and caught hold of the other's penis. His friend looked at him with indignation and astonishment; where­ upon, overcome by embarrassment, he let go. This scene was repeated in a dream twenty-three years later, including all the details of his feelings at the time. It was modified, however, to this extent, that the dreamer assumed the passive instead of the active role, while the figure of his school-friend was replaced by someone belonging to his contemporary life. [See also p. 189.] 1 [This sentence wu added in 1914.] 1 [A fuller account of this will be found on pp. 424 f. and 483 f.]



It is true that as a rule the childhood scene is only represented in the dream's manifest content by an allusion, and has to be arrived at by an interpretation of the dream. Such instances when they arc recorded, cannot carry much conviction, since as a rule there is no other evidence of these childhood experi­ ences having occurred: if they date back to a very early age they arc no longer recognized as memories. The general justifi­ cation for inferringthc occurrcnceofthese childhood experiences from dreams is provided by a whole number offactors in psycho­ analytic work, which arc mutually consistent and thus seem sufficiently trustworthy. !fl record some of these inferred child­ hood experiences tom from their context for the purposes of dream-interpretation, they may perhaps create little impression, especially as I shall not even be able to quote all the material on which the interpretations were based. Nevertheless I shall not allow this to deter me from relating them. I

All the dreams of one of my women patients were character­ ized by her being 'rushed': she would be in a violent rush to get somewhere in time not to miss a train, and so on. In one dream she was going to call on a woman friend; her rrwther wld her to take a cab and not ltJ walk,· but she ran instead and kept on falling down.-The material which came up in analysis led to memories of rushing about and romping as a child. One particular dream recalled the favourite children's game of saying a sentence 'Die Kuh rannte, bis siefief ['The cow ran till it fell'] so quickly that it sounds as though it were a single [nonsensical] word­ another rush in fact. All these innocent rushings-about with little girl friends were remembered because they took the place of other, less innocent ones. II

Herc is another woman patient's dream: She was in a big room in which all sorts of machines were standing, like what she imagined an orthopaedic institute to be. She was ttJld I had no time and that she must halJe her treatment at the same time as flue others. She refused, howeuer, and would not lie down in the bed-or whateuer it was-that was rruantfor her. She stood in the corner and waited for me to s� it wasn't lnle. Meanwhile the others were laughing at her and saying it was jwt her way of 'carrying on'.--Simultaneow?J, it was as though she was making a lot of small squares.



The fint part of the content of this dream related to the treatment and was a transference on to me. The second part contained an allusion to a scene in childhood. The two parts were linked together by the mention of the bed. The orthopaedic institute referred back to a remark I had made in which I had compared the treatment, alike in its length and in its nature, to an ortlwpaedic one. When I started her treatment I had been obliged to tell her that for the time being / had not mw:h time for her, though later I should be able to give her a whole hour daily. This had stirred up her old sensitiveness, which is a principal trait in the character of children inclined to hysteria: they are insatiable for love. My patient had been the youngest of a family of six children (hence: at the same time as five others) and had therefore been her father's favourite; but even so she seems to have felt that her adored father devoted too little of his time and attention to her.-Her waitingfor me to say it wasn't true had the following origin. A young tailor's apprentice had brought her a dress and she had given him the money for it. Afterwards she had asked her husband whether if the boy lost the money she would have to pay it over again. Her husband, to tease her, had said that was so. (The teasing in the dream.) She kept on asking over and over again and waited for him to say after all it wasn't true. It was then possible to infer that in the latent content of the dream she had had a thought of whether she would have to pay me twice as much if I gave her twice as much time-a thought which she felt was avaricious or.filthy. (Uncleanliness in childhood is often replaced in dreams by avariciousness for money; the link between the two is the word 'filthy'• 1) If the whole passage about waitingfor me to say, etc., was intended in the dream as a circumlocution for the word 'filthy', then her 'standing in the corner' and 'not {Jing down in the bed' would fit in with it as constituents of a scene from her childhood: a scene in which she had dirtied her bed and been punished by being made to stand in the comer, with a threat that her father would not love her any more and her brothers and sisters would laugh at her, and so on.-The small squares related to her little niece, who had shown her the arithmetical trick of arranging the digits in nine squares (I believe this is correct) so that they add up in all directions to fifteen. 1

[This point was later enlarged uponby Freud (1908b). But it already a letter to FliessofDecember22, 1897 (Freud, 19504, Lettcr79).]

'>CCUrl in




A man dreamt as follows: He saw two boys struggling-haml­ malcer's boys, to judge by the implements lying around. One of the boys threw the other down; the hoy on the ground had ear-rings with blue stones. He hurried towards tlu qffender with his stick raised, to chastise him. The latter fled for protection to a woman, who was standing by a wooden fence, as though she was his mother. She was a woman of the working classes and her hack was turned to the dreamer. At last she turned round and gaTJe him a terrible look so that he ran off in terror. The red flesh of the lower lids ofher eyes could he seen standing out. The dream had made copious use of trivial events of the previous day. He had in fact seen two boys in the street, one of whom threw the other down. When he hurried up to stop the fight they had both taken to their heels.-Barrel-maker's boys. This was only explained by a subsequent dream in which he used the phrase 'knocking the bottom out of a harrel'.-From his experience he believed that ear-rings with blue stones were mostly worn by prostitutes. A line from a well-known piece of doggerel about two boys then occurred to him: 'The other boy was called Marie' (i.e. was a girl).-The woman sta,-uiing. After the scene with the two boys he had gone for a walk along the bank of the Danube and had profited by the loneliness of the spot to micturate against a wooden fence. Further on, a respectably dressed elderly lady had smiled at him in a very friendly manner and had wanted to give him her visiting-card. Since the woman in the dream was standing in the same position as he had been in when he was micturating, it must have been a question of a micturating woman. This tallies with her terrible look and the red.flesh standing out, which could only relate to the gaping of the genitals caused by stooping. This, seen in his childhood, re­ appeared in later memory as 'proud flesh'-as a wound. The dream combined two opportunities he had had as a little boy of seeing little girls' genitals: when they were thrown down and when they were mu:turating. And from the other part of the context it emerged that he had a recollection of being chastised or threatened by his father for the sexual curiosity he had evinced on these occasions. IV

Behind the following dream (dreamt by an elderly lady)



there lay a whole quantity of childhood memories, combined, as best they might be, into a single phantasy. She went out in a uiolml rush to do some commissions. J,i the Urabtn' sht sank down on her huts, as t/1ough sl,e was quite /Jroken­ down. A. large number of people col/ecttd round hn, especially ca/J­ driuers; hut no one helped her up. She made seueral vain attempts, and she must at last have succeeded, for she was put into a cab which was to take her home. Someone threw a /Jig, heaziily-laden basket (like a s!,opping-/Jaskct) in through the window after her. This was the same lady who always felt 'rushed' in her dreams, just as she had rushed and romped about when she was a child. [See above, p. 199.] The first scene in the dream was evidently derived from the sight of a horse fallen down; in the same way the word 'broken-down' referred to horse-racing. In her youth she had ridden horses, and no doubt when she was still younger she had actually been a horse. The falling down was related to a memory from very early childhood ofthe seventeen­ year-old son of the house-porter who had fallen down in the street in an epileptic fit and been brought home in a carriage. She had of course only heard about this, but the idea of epileptic fits (ofthe 'falling sickness') had obtained a hold on her imagina­ tion and had later influenced the form taken by her own hysterical attacks.-lf a woman dreams of falling, it almost invariably has a sexual sense: she is imagining herself as a 'fallen woman'. The present dream in particular scarcely left any room for doubt, since the place where my patient fell was the Graben, a part of Vienna notorious as a promenade for prosti­ tutes. The shopping-basket [Korb] led to more than one inter­ pretation. It reminded her of the numerous rebuffs [Eorbe]• which she had dealt out to her suitors, as well as of those which she complained of having later received herself. This also connected with the fact that no one helped her up, which she herself explained as a rebuff. The shopping-basket further re­ minded her of phantasics which had already come up in her analysis, in which she was married far beneath her and had to go marketing herself. And lastly it might serve as the mark of a servant. At this point further childhood recollections emerged. Fint, of a cook who had been dismissed for stealing, and who 1 [One of the principal shopping centres in Vienna.] • fThe word 'Korb' ('basket') is commonly used for the rejection ofan offer ofmarriage.]



badfallen on kn- knees and begged to be forgiven. She herself had been twelve at the time. Then, of a housemaid who had been dismissed on account of a love-affair with the family coachman (who incidentally married her subsequently). Thus this memory was also one of the sources of the coachmen (drivers)1 in the dream (who, in contradistinction to the actual coachman, failed to raise the fallen woman). There remained to be explained the fact of the basket being thrown in tifter kn- and through the window. This reminded her of handing in luggage to be sent ojf by rail, of the country custom of lovers climbing in through their sweet­ hearts' window, and of other little episodes from her life in the country: how a gentleman had thrown some blue plums to a lady through tlu window of her room, and how her own younger sister had been scared by the village idiot looking in through her window. An obscure memory from her tenth year then began to emerge, of a nunc in the country who had had love-scenes (which the girl might have seen something of) with one of the servants in the house and who, along with her lover, had been sent off, thrown out (the opposite of the dream-image 'thrown in')-a story that we had already approached from several other directions. A servant's luggage or trunk is referred to contemptuously in Vienna as 'seven plums': 'pack up your seven plums and out you go!' My records naturally include a large collection of patients' dreams the analysis of which led to obscure or entirely for­ gotten impressions of childhood, often going back to the fint three years of life. But it would be unsafe to apply any con­ clusions drawn from them to dreams in general. The persons concerned were in every instance neurotics and in particular hysterics; and it is possible that the part played by childhood scenes in their dreams might be determined by the nature of their neurosis and not by the nature of dreams. Nevertheless, in analysing my own dreams-and, after all, I am not doing so on account of any gross pathological symptoms-it happens no less frequently that in the latent content of a dream I come un­ expectedly upon a scene from childhood, and that all at once a whole series of my dreams link up with the associations branching out from some experience of my childhood. I have already given some instances of this [pp. 193--8], and I shall • [The German word is the same (Kutsdrer) in both cases.]



have others to give in a variety ofconnections. I cannot, perhaps, bring this section to a better close than by reporting one or two dreams of mine in which recent occasions and long-forgotten experiences ofchildhood came together as sources of the dream. I

Tired and hungry after a journey, I went to bed, and the major vital needs began to announce their presence in my sleep; I dreamt as follows: I went inJo a kitchen in search of some pudding. Three women were standing in it; one of them was the hostess of the inn and was twisting something about in her hand, as though she was 1Tlllking Knodel [dumplings]. She answered that I must wait till she was ready. (These were not definite spoken words.) /felt impatient and went off with a sense of injury. I put on an overcoat. But the first I tried on was too long for me. I took ii off, rather surprised to find it was trimmed with fur. A second one that I put on had a long strip with a Turkish design let into it. A stranger with a long face and a short pointed beard came up and tried to prevent my puuing it on, saying it was his. I showed him then that it was embroitkred all over with a Turkish pattern. He asked: 'What have the Turkish (tksigns, stripes • ••) to do with you?' But wt then became quite friendly with each other. When I began analysing this dream, I thought quite un' expectedly of the first novel I ever read (when I was thirteen, perhaps); as a matter of fact I began at the end of the first volume. I have never known the name of the novel or of its author; but I have a vivid memory ofits ending. The hero went mad and kept calling out the names of the three women ·who had brought the greatest happiness and sorrow into his life. One of these names was Pelagie. I still had no notion what this recol­ lection was going to lead to in the analysis. In connection with the three women I thought of the three Fates who spin the destiny of man, and I knew that one of the three women-the inn-hostess in the dream-was the mother who gives life, and furthermore (as in my own case) gives the living creature its first nourishment. Love and hunger, I reflected, meet at a woman's breast. A young man who was a great admirer of feminine beauty was talking once-so the story went-of the good-looking wet-nurse who had suckled him when he was a baby: 'I'm sorry,' he remarked, 'that I didn't make a better use ofmy opportunity.' I was in the habit ofquoting this anecdote



to explain the factor of 'deferred action' in the mechanism of the psychoneuroses.1-()ne of the Fates, then, was rubbing the palms of her hands together as though she was making dump­ lings: a queer occupation for a Fate, and one that cried out for an explanation. This was provided by another and earlier memory of my childhood. When I was six years old and was given my first lessons by my m.other, I was expected to believe that we were all made of earth and must therefore return to earth. This did not suit me and I expressed doubts of the doctrine. My mother thereupon rubbed the palms of her hands together-just as she did in making dumplings, except that there was no dough between them-and showed me the blackish scales of epi.dmnis produced by the friction as a proof that we were made of earth. My astonishment at this ocular demonstra­ tion knew no bounds and I acquiesced in the belief which I was later to hear expressed in the words: 'Du bist der .Natur einen Tod schuldig.' 1 So they really were Fates that I found in the kitchen when I went into it-as I had so often done in my childhood when I was hungry, while my mother, standing by the fire, had admonished me that I must wait till dinner was ready.-And now for the dumplings-the Knodel! One at least of my teachers at the University-and precisely the one to whom I owe my histo­ logical knowledge (for instance of the epidennis)-would infal­ libly be reminded by the name Knodl of a person against whom he had been obliged to take legal action for plagiarizing his writ­ ings. The idea of plagiarizing-of appropriating whatever one can, even though it belongs to someone else-clearly led on to the second part of the dream, in which I was treated as though I were the thief who had for some time carried on his business of stealing overcoats in the lecture-rooms. I had written down the word 'plagiarizing', without thinking about it, because it 1 [A reference to a supcneded theory of the mechanism of h teria, ys described in the later sectiom of Part II of Freud's early 'Project for a Scientific Psychology' (Freud, 1950a).] • ['Thou owest Nature a death.' Evidently a reminiscence of Prince Ha1'1 remark to Falataffin r Henry IV, v. I: 'Thou owest God a death.' Freud U1CS the same words and ascribes them to Shakespeare in a letter to Fliess of February 6, 1899 (Freud, 1950a, Letter 104).]-Both of the cmotiom that were attached to these childhood scenes-astonishment and aubmusion to the inevitable-had occurred in a dream which I had had lhortly before this one and which had fint reminded me of this event in m y childhood.



occurred to me; but now I noticed that it could form a bridge [Brikke] between different pieces of the dream's manifest con­ tent. A chain of associations (Pllagie-plagiarking-plagio­ stomu1 or sharks [Haijisclu]-afish's swimming-bladder [Fischhlase]) connected the old novel with the case of KnOdl and with the overcoats, which clearly referred to implements used in sexual technique [see p. 186]. (Cf. Maury's alliterative dreams [on p. 59].) No doubt it was a very far-fetched and senseless chain of thought; but I could never have constructed it in waking life unless it had already been constructed by the dream-work. And, as though the need to set up forced connections regarded 1111thittg as sacred, the honoured name ofBrucke 1 (cf. the verbal bridge above) reminded me of the Institute in which I spent the happiest hours of my student life, free from all other desires-So wird's Euch an der Weisheit Bribten Mit jcdem Tage mehr gdustcn • -in complete contrast to the desires which were now plaguing me in my dreams. Finally there came to mind another much respected teacher-his name, Fleischl ['Fleisch' = 'meat'], like KnOdl, sounded like something to cat-and a distressing scene in which scales of epidmni.s played a part (my mother and the inn-hostess) as well as madness (the novel) and a drug from the dispcnsaryt which removes lumger: cocaine. I might punuc the intricate trains of thought further along these lines and explain fully the part of the dream which I have not analysed; but I must desist at this point because the pcnonal sacrifice demanded would be too great. I will only pick out one thread, which is qualified to lead us straight to one of the dream-thoughts underlying the confusion. The stranger with the long face and pointed beard who tried to prevent my putting on the overcoat bore the features of a shop-keeper at I have deliberately avoided enlarging upon the plagiostomea; they reminded me of an unpleasant occasion on which I bad clilgraced myself in connection with this aame Univcnity teacher. • [For Brucke and Fleischl (below) see footnote, p. 482.] • ['Thus, at the /masts of Wildom clinging, Thou'lt find each day a greater rapture bringing.' Goethe,FatUt, Part I, [Scene 4J (Bayard Taylor'• tramlation).] • [In German 'louinisch, JriJdu' (literally, 'Latin kitchcn').-Cf. foot­ note 2, p. ll I.] 1



Spalato from whom my wife had bought a quantity of Turkish stuffs. He was called Popovic, an equivocal name, 1 on which a humorous writer, Stettenheim, has already made a suggestive comment: 'He told me his name and blushingly pressed my hand.' Once again I found myself misusing a name, as I already had done with Pelagic, Knodl, Brucke and Fleischl. It could scarcely be denied that playing about with names like this was a kind of childish naughtiness. But if I indulged in it, it was as an act of retribution; for my own name had been the victim of feeble witticisms like these on countless occasions. 1 Goethe, I recalled, had remarked somewhere upon people's sensitiveness about their names: how we seem to have grown into them like our skin. He had said this cl propos of a line written on his name by Herder: 'Der du von Gottern abstammst, von Gothen oder vom Kote.'­ 'So seid ihr Gottcrbilder auch zu Staub.'• I noticed that my digression on the subject of the misuse of names was only leading up to this complaint. But I must break off here.-My wife's purchase made at Spalato reminded me of another purchase, made at Cattaro,' which I had been too cautious over, so that I had lost an opportunity of making some nice acquisitions. (Cf. the neglected opportunity with the wet-nurse.) For one of the thoughts which my hunger introduced into the dream was this: 'One should never neglect an oppor­ tunity, but always take what one can even when it involves doing a small wrong. One should never neglect an opportunity, since life is short and death inevitable.' Because this lesson of 'carpe diem' had among other meanings a sexual one, and because the desire it expressed did not stop short of doing wrong, it had reason to dread the censorship and was obliged to conceal ('Pop,' is a childish word for 'bottom'.] Freud' is the German word for 'joy'.] 1 [The first of these lines comes from a facetious note written by Herder to Goethe with a request for the loan of some books: 'Thou who art the offspring of gods or of Goths or of dung-(Gocthe, send them to me!)' The second line, a further free association of Freud's, is taken from the well-known recognition scene in Goethe's Iphigmu aef Tauris. Iphigenia, hearing from Pylades of the death of so many heroes during the siege of Troy, exclaims: 'So you too, divine figures, have turned to dust!'] • [Spalato and Cattaro : both towns on the Dabnatian coasL] 1

1 ('



itself behind a dream. All kinds of thoughts having a contrary sense then found voice: memories of a time when the dreamer was content with spiritual food, restraining thoughts of every kind and even threats ofthe most revolting sexual punishments. JI

The next dream calls for a rather long preamble: I had driven to the Western Station [in Vienna] to take the train for my summer holiday at Aussee, but had arrived on the platform while an earlier train, going to lschl, was still standing in the station. There I had seen Count Thun 1 who was once again travelling to lschl for an audience with the Emperor. Though it was raining, he had arrived in an open carriage. He had walked straight in through the entrance for the Local Trains. The ticket inspector at the gate had not recognized him and had tried to take his ticket, but he had waved the man aside with a curt motion of his hand and without giving any explanation. After the train for Ischl had gone out, I ought by rights to have left the platform �gain and returned to the waiting room; and it had cost me some trouble to arrange matters so that I was allowed to stop on the platform. I had passed the time in keeping a look-out to sec if anyone came along and tried to get a reserved compartment by exercising some sort of 'pull'. I had intended i n that case to make a loud protest: that is to say to claim equal rights. Meantime I had been humming a tune to myself which I recognized as Figaro's aria from Le }/oa,e di Figaro: Sc vuol ballare, signor contino, Sc vuol ballarc, signor contino, II chitarino le suonero•

(It is a little doubtful whether anyone else would have recog­ nized the tune.) The whole evening I had been in high spirits and in a combative mood. I had chaffed my waiter and my cab-driver 1 [Austrian politician (1847-1916) of reactionary views; an upholder of Bohemian self-government as against the Gcnnan nationalists; Aus­ trian premier 1898-9.-Ischl, in Upper Austria, where the Court regularly spent the summer months.) • ['If my Lord Count is inclined to go dancing, If my Lord Count is inclined to go dancing, I'll be quite ready to play him a tune .. .')



-without, I hope, hurting their feelings. And now all kinds of insolent and revolutionary ideas were going through my head, in keeping with Figaro's words and with my recollections of Beaumarchais' comedy which I had seen acted by the Comldie fran;aise. I thought of the phrase about the great gentlemen who had taken the trouble to be born, and of the droit du Seigntur which Count Almaviva tried to exercise over Susanna. I thought, too, of how our malicious opposition journa!ists made jokes over Count Thun's name, calling him instead 'Count Nichtsthun' .1 Not that I envied him. He was on his way to a difficult audience with the Emperor, while I was the real Count Do-nothing-just off on my holidays. There followed all sorts of enjoyable plans for the holidays. At this point a gentleman came on to the platform whom I recognized as a Government invigilator at medical examinations, and who by his activities in that capacity had won the flattering nickname of 'Government bedfellow'.• He asked to be given a first-class half-compart­ ment to himself in virtue of his official position, and I heard one railwayman saying to another: 'Where are we to put the gentle­ man with the half first-class ticket?'3 This, I thought to myself, was a fine example of privilege; after all I bad paid the full first-class fare. And I did in fact get a compartment to myself, but not in a corridor coach, so that there would be n o lavatory available during the night. I complained to an official without any success; but I got my own back on him by suggesting that he should at all events have a hole made in the floor of the compartment to meet the possible needs of passengers. And in fac..t I did wake up at a quarter to three in the morning with a pressing need to micturate, having had the following dream: A crowd of people, a meeting of studenls.-A count (Thun or Taa.ffe') was speaking. He was challenged to say something about the Germans, and declared with a, contemptuous gesture that their favourite flower was colt'sfoot, and put some sort of dilapidated leef-or rather 1 ['Count Do-nothing.' 'Tlum' is the German word for 'to do'.] 1 ['Beischliif,r', literally 'one who sleeps with SQmeone' because he used to go to sleep instead of invigilating.] • (Being a government official, he had been able to buy his ticket at half-rates.] • (Austrian politician (1833-95); premier 1870-1 and 1879-93. Like Count Thun, he favoured some degree of independence for the non­ German parts of the Empire.] S.F. IV-�



the crumpled skeleton of a leaf-into his buttonhole. I fired up-so I fired up,1 though I was surprised at my taking such an attitude. (Then, less distinctly:) It was as though I was in the Aula;• the entrances were cordoned off and we had to escape. I matle my W(!Y through a series of beautifully furnished rooms, evidently ministerial or public apartments, with furniture upholstered in a colour between brown and violet; at last I came to a corridor, in which a housekeeper was silJing, an elderly stout woman. I avoided speaking to her, but she evidently thought I had a right to pass,for she aslced whether she should accompany me with the lamp. I indicated to her, by word or gesture,that she was to stop on the staircase; and I felt I was being very cunning in thus avoiding inspection at the exit. I got downstairs and found a narrow and steep ascending path,along which I went. (Becoming indistinct again) ..• It was as though the second problem was to get out of the town, just as the first one had been to get out of the house. I was driving in a cab and ordered the driver to drive me to a station. 'I can't driue with )'OU along the railway-line itself', I said, after he had raised some objection, as though I had ouertired him. It was as if I had already driven with him for some of the distanc, one normally trau,ls by train. The stations wer, cordoned off. I wondered whether to go to Krems or ,Znaim, • but reflected that the Court would be in residence there, so I decided in favour of Grat, or some such place. I was now siUing i n the compartment, which was lik, a cam.age on the Stadtbahn [the suburban railway]; and in 11!)' buttonhole I had a peculiar plaited, long-shaped object, and beside it some violet-brown uiolets matle of a stiff material. This greatly struck people. (At this point the scene broke off.) Once mor, I was in front of the station, but this time in the company of an elderly gentleman. I thought of a plan for remaining unrecognized; and then saw that this plan had already been put into ,jfect. It was as though thinking and experiencing were one and th, same thing. He appeared to be blind, at all events with one ,ye, and I handed him a male glass urinal (which we had to buy or had bought in town). So I was a sick-nurse and had to giv, him the urinal because he was blind. 1 This repetition crept into my record of the dream, apparently through inadvertence. I have let it stand, since the analysis showed that it was significant. [The German is 'ichfahre auf'; 'fahrm' also means 'to drive' or 'to travel' and is used repeatedly in these senses later in the dream. See on this point p. 433 n.] 1 [The great ceremonial hall of the University.) 1 [Kram in Lower Austria and Znaim in Moravia were neither of them Imperial residences.-Graz is the capital of the province ofStyria.]



If tJu tulut-colucuw were to see us like tl,at, Ju would be cmain to let us get aw'!)' witlwul noticing us. Here tlu man's altitude and his mietur­ aling pmu appeared in plasticform. (This was the point at which I awoke, feeling a need to micturate.) The dream as a whole gives one the impression of being in the nature of a phantasy in which the dreamer was carried back to the Revolutionary year 1848. Memories of that year had been recalled to me by the [Emperor Francis Joseph's] Jubilee in .1898, as well as by a short trip which I had made to du Waclzau, in the course of which I had visited Emmersdorf, 1 the place of retirement of the student-leader Fischhof, to whom certain clements in the manifest content of the dream may allude. My associations then led me to England and to my brother's house there. He used often to tease his wife with the words 'Fifty Ycan Ago' (from the title ofone of Lord Tennyson's poems),1 which his children used then to correct to 'jifamyears ago'. This revolutionary phantasy, however, which was derived from ideas aroused in me by seeing Count Thun, was like the fa�ade of an Italian church in having no organic relation with the structure lying behind it. But it differed from those fa�ades in being disordered and full of gaps, and in the fact that portions of the interior construction had forced their way through into it at many points. The first situation in the dream was an amalgam of several scenes, which I can separate out. The insolent attitude adopted by the Count in the dream was copied from a scene at my secondary school when I wasfifamyears old. We had hatched a conspiracy against an unpopular and ignorant master, the moving spirit of which had been one of my school-fellows who 1 [The Wachau i, a stretch of the Danube vall ey some fifty miles above Vienna.-Footnota added 1925:) This i, a mistake, but not a slip this time. I only learnt later that the Emmendorf in the Wachau i, not to be identified with the place of the same name which was the refuge of the revolutionary leader Fischhof. [A reference to this mistake will be found in 77w Psyc/,oJ,alJ,ology of &er:,da, Lif, (Freud, 19016), Chapter X (3).) • [No poem by Tennyson aeems to bear this title. The reference i, perhaps to hil ode 'On the Jubilee of Queen Victoria', in which the wordt 'fifty yean' (though not 'fifty yean ago') occur repeatedly. Or , alternatively, the allusion may be to the second 'Lockaley Hall': 'Sixty Ycan After'.]



since those days seemed to have taken Henry VIII of England as his model. The leadership in the chief assault was allotted to me, and the signal for open revolt was a discussion on the sign ific­ ance of the Danube to Austria (cf. the Wachau). One of our fellow-conspirators had been the only aristocratic boy in the class, who, on account of his remarkable length of limb, was called 'the Giraffe'. He was standing up, like the Count in my dream, having been taken to task by the school tyrant, the German language master. The favourite flower and the putting into his buttonhole of something in the nature of a flower (which last made me think of some orchids which I had brought the same day for a woman friend and also of a rose of Jericho 1) were a striking reminder of the scene in one of Shakespeare's historical plays [3 Henry VI, 1, 1] which represented the beginning of the Wars of the Red and White Roses. (The mention of Henry VIII opened the way to this recollection.)-From there it was only a short step to red and white carnations. (Two little couplets, one in German and the other in Spanish, slipped into the analysis at this point: Rosen, Tulpen, Nelken, alle Blumen welken. Isabelita, no Hores, que se marchitan las florcs.• The appearance of a Spanish couplet led back to Figaro.) Herc in Vienna white carnations had become an emblem of anti­ semitism, and red ones of the Social Democrats. Behind this lay a recollection of a piece of anti-semitic provocation during a railway journey in the lovely Saxon countryside (cf. Anglo­ Saxon) .-The third scene which contributed to the formation of the first situation in the dream dated from my early student days. There was a discussion in a German students' club o n the relation of philosophy to the natural sciences. I was a green youngster, full of materialistic theories, and thrust myself for­ ward to give expression to an extremely one-sided point of view. Thereupon someone who was my senior and my superior, someone who has since then shown his ability as a leader of men and an organizer of large groups (and who also, incident1 [The 'Resurrection plant', whose dried fronds unfold under moisture.] 1 ('Roses, tulips, carnations: every flower fades.' (Lines often found in nineteenth century 'common-place book.s'.)-'/sabdita, do not weep becawe the flowcn fade.']




stood ally, bears a name derived from the Animal up and gave us a good talking-to: he too, he told us, had fed swine in his youth and returned repentant to his father's house. Ifired up (as I did in the dream) and replied boorishly ['saugrob', literally 'swinishly gross'] that since I now knew that he had fed swine in his youth I was no longer surprised at the tone of his speeches. (In the dream I was surprised at my German­ nationalist attitude. [Cf. p. 323.]) There was a general uproar and I was called upon from many sides to withdraw my remarks, but I refused to do so. The man I had insulted was too sensible to look upon the incident as a challenge, and let the affair drop. The remaining elements of this first situation in the dream were derived from deeper layers. What was the meaning of the Count's pronouncement about colt's foot? To find the answer, I followed a train of associations: colt's foot ['Hujlattich', liter­ ally 'hoof lettuce']-lettuce-salad-mltking (probably to my had slat). I now began to find myself silting more and more firmly and comfortably on my highly inulligmt hors,, and notiud tkat I was fuling quite at home up there. My saddu was a kind of holster, which completely filled tlu spau hetwun its neek and crupper. In this way I rotk straight in between two oans. A.fter riding some distanc, up tlu sn-eet, I tumid round and trud to dismounl, first infront of a small open chap,l that stood in tlu strut frontag,. Then I actually did dismounl in front of another chapel I/lat stood n,ar it. M) hotel was in tlu sam, sn-eet; I might haw let tlu hors, go to it on its own, hut I p,efmed to lead it ther,. It was as though I should lzar,efelt ashamed to arriDe at it on horseback. A hotel 'hoots' was standing infront oftlu hotel; he showed me a nolt ofmini that had him



found, and laughed al me over it. In the note was written, doub!, under­ lined: 'No food', and then another remark (indistinct) sueh as 'No work', together with a uague idea that I was in a strange town in whieh I was doing no work.

It would not be supposed at first sight that this dream originated under the influence, or rather under the compul­ sion, of a painful stimulus. But for some days before I had been suffering from boils which made every movement a torture; and finally a boil the size of an apple had risen at the base of my scrotum, which caused me the most unbearable pain with every step I took. Feverish lassitude, loss of appetite and the hard work with which I nevertheless carried on-all these had com­ bined with the pain to depress me. I was not properly capable of discharging my medical duties. There was, however, one activity for which, in view of the nature and situation of my complaint, I should certainly have been less fitted than for any other, and that was-riding. And this was precisely the activity in which the dream landed me: it was the most energetic denial of my illness that could possibly be imagined. I cannot in fact ride, nor have I, apart from this, had dreams of riding. I have only sat on a horse once in my life and that was without a saddle, and I did not enjoy it. But in this dream I was riding as though I had no boil on my perineum-or rather because I wanted not to haue one. My saddle, to judge from its description, was the poultice which had made it possible for me to fall asleep. Under its assuaging influence I had probably been unaware of my pain during the first hours ofsleep. The painful feelings had then announced themselves and sought to wake me; where­ upon the dream came and said soothingly: 'No! Go on sleeping! There's no need to wake up. You haven't got a boil; for you're riding on a horse, and it's quite certain that you couldn't ride ifyou had a boil in that particular place.' And the dream was successful. The pain was silenced, and I went on sleeping. But the dream was not content with 'suggesting away' my boil by obstinately insisting upon an idea that was inconsistent with it and so behaving like the hallucinatory delusion of the mother who had lost her child or the merchant whose losses had robbed him of his fortune.1 The details of the sensation which

1 Cf. the passage in Griesinger [1861, 106, referred to on p. 91 f.] and my remarks in my 11CCOnd paper on the ncuro-psych01e1 of defence (Freud, 1896b). [Actually the reference accms to be to a paragraph near the end of Frcud'afost paper on that 1Ubject (Freud, 189411).]

C. SOMATIC SOURCES 231 was being repudiated and of the picture which was employed in order to repress that sensation also served the dream as a means of connecting other material that was currently active in my mind with the situation in the dream and of giving that material representation. I was riding on a grey horse, whose colour corresponded precisely to the pepper-and-salt colour of the suit my colleague P. was wearing when I had last met him in the country. The cause of my boils had been ascribed to my eating highly-spiced food-an aetiology that was at least pre­ ferable to the sugar [diabetes] which might also occur to one in connection with boils. My friend P. liked to ride the high horse over me ever since he had taken over one of my women patients on whom I had pulled off some remarkable feats. (In the dream I began by riding tangentially-like the/eat of a trick­ rider.) But in fact, like the hone in the anecdote of the Sunday horseman, 1 this patient had taken me wherever she felt inclined. Thus the hone acquired the symbolic meaning of a woman patient. (It was highly intelligent in the dream.) 'Ifelt quite at home up there' referred to the position I had occupied in this patient's house before I was replaced by P. Not long before, one of my few patrons among the leading physicians in this city had remarked to me in connection with this same house: 'You struck me as being firmly in the saddle there.' It was a remarkable feat, too, to be able to carry on my psychotherapeutic work for eight or ten houn a day while I was having so much pain. But I knew that I could not go on long with my peculiarly difficult work unless I was in completely sound phys ical health; and my dream was full of gloomy allusions to the situation in which I should then find myselt. (The not, which neurasthenics bring with them to show the doctor; no work, nofood.) In the coune of further interpretation I saw that the dream-work had succeeded in finding a path from the wishful situation of riding to some scenes of quarrelling from my very early childhood which must have occurred between me and a nephew of mine, a year my senior, who was at present living in England. [Cf. p. 424 f.] Furthermore, the dream had derived some of its elements from my travels in Italy: the street in the dream was composed of impressions of Verona and Siena. A still deeper interpretation 1 [In a letter to Flieas ofJuly 7, 1898 (Freud, 1950a, Letter 92), Freud describes 'the famous principle of ltzig, the Sunday horseman: "ltzig, where are you riding to?"-"Don't ask m,I Aak the hone!"']



led to sexual dream-thoughts, and I recalled the meaning which references to Italy seem to have had in the dreams of a woman patient who had never visited that lovely country: 'gm /tali.en [ to Italy]'-'Gmitalien [genitals]'; and this was connected, too, with the house in which I bad preceded my friend P. as physician, as well as with the situation of my boil. In another dream1 I similarly succeeded in warding off a threatened interruption of my sleep which came this time from a sensory stimulus. In this case it was only by chance, however, that I was able to discover the link between the dream and its accidental stimulus and thus to undentand the dream. One morning at the height of summer, while I was staying at a mountain resort in the Tyrol, I woke up knowing I had had a dream that du Pope was dead. I failed to interpret this dream­ a non-visual one-and only remembered as part of its basis that I had read in a newspaper a short time before that his Holiness was suffering from a slight indisposition. In the coune of the morning, however, my wife asked me if I had heard the frightful noise made by the pealing of bells that morning. I bad· been quite unaware of them, but I now undentood my dream. It had been a reaction on the part of my need for sleep to the noise with which the pious Tyrolesc had been trying t o wake me. I had taken my revenge on them by drawing the inference which formed the content of the dream, and I had then continued my sleep without paying any more attention to the noise. The dreams quoted in earlier chapten included several which might serve as instances of the working-over of such so-called nervous stimuli. My dream of drinking water in great gulps [p. 123] is an example. The somatic stimulus was apparently its only source, and the wish derived from the sensation (the thint, that is) was apparently its only motive. The case is similar with other simple dreams in which a somatic stimulus seems able by itselfto construct a wish. The dream ofthe woman pat:�nt who threw off the cooling apparatus from her check during the night [p. 125] presents an unusual method of re1 (This paragraph was added in 1914. The dream had already been very briefly recorded in Freud, 1913h (No. l); it will abo be found in Lecture V of Freud, 1916--17.]



acting to a painful stimulus with a wish-fulfilment: it appcan u though the patient succeeded temporarily in making herself analgesic, while ascribing her pains to someone else. My dream of the three Fates [p. 204 ff.] was clearly a hunger dream. But it succeeded in shifting the craving for nourishment back to a child's longing for his mother's breast, and it made use of an innocent desire as a screen for a more serious one which could not be so openly displayed. My dream about Count Thun [p. 208 ff.] showed how an accidental physical need can be linked up with the most intense (but at the same time the most intensely suppressed) mental impulses. And a case such as that related by Garnier ( 1872, I, 476) of how the First Consul wove the noise of an exploding bomb into a battle dream before he woke up from it [p. 26] reveals with quite special clarity the nature of the sole motive that leads mental activity to concern itself with sensations during sleep. A young barrister,1 fresh from his fint important bankruptcy proceedings, who dropped asleep one afternoon, behaved in just the same way as the great Napolcon. He had a dream of a certain G. Reich of Husyatin [a town in Galicia] whom he had come across during a bankruptcy case; the name 'Husyatin' kept on forcing itself on his notice, till he woke up and found that his wife (who was suffering from a bronchial catarrh) was having a violent fit of coughing [in German 'hustm']. Let us compare this dream of the fint Napoleon (who, inci­ dentally, was an extremely sound sleeper) with that of the sleepy student who was roused by his landlady and told that it was time to go to the hospital, and who proceeded to dream that he was in bed at the hospital and then slept on; under the pretext that as he was already in the hospital there was no need for him to get up and go there [p. 125]. This latter dream was clearly a dream of convenience. The dreamer admitted his motive for dreaming without any disguise; but at the same time he gave away one of the secrets of dreaming in general. All dreams arc in a sense dreams of convenience: they serve the purpose of prolonging sleep instead of waking up. Dreams are tlu GUARDIANS of sleep and not its disturb1rs. We shall have occasion elsewhere to justify this view of them in relation to awakening facton ofapsychical kind [sec below, p.578f.]; but we arc already in a position to show that it is applicable to the part played by 1

(l'hia 1C11tencc and the next were added in 1909.]



objective external stimuli. Either the mind pays no attention a t all t o occasions fo r sensation during sleep-ifi t is able t o d o this despite the intensity of the stimuli and the significance which it knows attaches to them; or it makes use of a dream in order to deny the stimuli; or, thirdly, if it is obliged to recognize them, it seeks for an . interpretation of them which will make the currently active sensation into a component part of a situation which is wished for and which is consistent with sleeping. The currently active sensation is woven into a dream in order lo rob it of reality. Napoleon could sleep on-with a conviction that what was trying to disturb him was only a dream-memory of the thunder of the guns at Arcolc.1 Thus tl,e wish to suep (which the conscious ego is concentrated upon, and which, together with tl,e dream-censorship and the 'secondary reuision' which I shall mention later [p. 488 ff.], constitute the conscious ego's share in dreaming) must in euery case be reckoned as one of tl,e motiues for tl,e formation of dreams, and every success­ ful dream is a falfilmmJ of that wish.• Wc shall discuss elsewhere [p. 570 ff.] the relations subsisting between this universal, invariably present and unchanging wish to sleep and the other wishes, of which now one and now another is fulfilled by the content of the dream. But we have found in the wish to sleep the factor that is able to fill the gap in the theory of Strtlmpcll and Wundt [p. 223 f.] and to explain the pcrvcnc and capri­ cious manner in which external stimuli arc interpreted. The correct interpretation, which the sleeping mind is pcrfcctly capable of making, would involve an active interest and would require that sleep should be brought to an end; for that reason, of all the possible interpretations, only those arc admitted which arc consistent with the absolute ccnsonhip exercised by the wish to sleep. 'It is the nightingale and not the lark.' For if it were the lark it would mean the end of the lovcn' night. Among the interpretations ofthe stimulus which arc accordingly 1 The two 10urces from which I know this dream do not agree in their account of it. • fl'be portion of this aenteoce in brackets was not included in the fint or second edition ( 1900 and 1909). The phrase 'which the conscious ego is concentrated upon, and which, together with the drcam-ccnsor­ ship, constitute the conscioUI ego's contribution t o dreaming' was added in 1911. The phrase 'and the "aecond ary revision" which I shall mention later' was added as a footnote in 1914 and incorporated in the text in 1930.]



admissible, that one is then selected which can provide the best link with the wishful impulses lurking in the mind. Thus everything is unambiguously determined and nothing is left to arbitrary decision. The misinterpretation is not an illusion but, as one might say, an evasion. Here once again, however, just as when, in obedience to the dream-censorship, a substitu­ tion is effected by displacement, we have to admit that we are faced by an act which deviates from normal psychical processes. When external nervous stimuli and internal somatic stimuli are intense enough to force psychical attention to themselves, then-provided that their outcome is dreaming and not waking up-they serve as a fixed point for the formation of a dream, a nucleus in its material; a wish-fulfilment is then looked for that shall correspond to this nucleus, just as (see above [p. 228]) intermediate ideas are looked for between two psychical dream­ stimuli. To that extent it is true that in a number of dreams the content of the dream is dictated by the somatic element. In this extreme instance it may even happen that a wish which is not actually a currently active one is called up for the sake of constructing a dream. A dream, however, has no alternative but to represent a wish in the situation of having been fulfilled; it is, as it were, faced with the problem of looking for a wish which can be represented as fulfilled by the currently active sensation. Ifthis immediate material is ofa painful or distressing kind, that does not necessarily mean that it cannot be used for the construction of a dream. The mind has wishes at its dis­ posal whose fulfilment produces unpleasure. This seems self­ contradictory; but it becomes intelligible when we take into account the presence of two psychical agencies and a censorship between them. As we have seen, there are 'repressed' wishes in the mind, which belong to the first system and whose fulfilment is opposed by the second system. In saying that there are such wishes I am not making a historical statement to the effect that they once existed and were later abolished. The theory of repression, which is essential to the study of the psychoneuroses, asserts that these repressed wishes still exist-though there is a simul­ taneous inhibition which holds them down. Linguistic usage hits the mark in speaking of the 'suppression' [i.e. the 'pressing down'] of these impulses. The psychical arrangements that



make it possible for such impulses to force their way to realiza­ tion remain in being and in working order. Should it happen, however, that a suppressed wish of this kind is carried into effect, and that its inhibition by the second system (the system that is admissible to consciousness) is defeated, this defeat finds expression as unplcasutt. In conclusion: if .ensations of an un­ plcasurablc nature arising from somatic sources occur during sleep, the dream-work makes use of that event in order to represent-subject to the continuance of the censorship to a greater or less degree-the fulfi.lmcnt of some wish which is normally supprcsscd.1 This state of affairs is what makes possible one group of anxicty-drcams,-drcam-structures unpropitious from the point of view of the wish-theory. A second group of them reveal a different mechanism; for anxiety in dreams may be psycho­ neurotic anxiety: it may originate from psychoscxual excita­ tions-in which case the anxiety corresponds to repressed libido. Where this is so, the anxiety, like the whole anxiety-dream, has the significance of a neurotic symptom, and we come near the limit at which the wish-fulfi.lling purpose of dreams breaks down. [Sec pp. 160 ff. and 579 ff.] But there arc some an:xiety­ drcams[-thosc of the first group-]in which the feeling of anxiety is determined somatically-wherc, for instance, there happens to be difficulty in breathing owing to disease of the lungs or hcart;-and in such cases the anxiety is exploited in order to assist the fulfilment in the form of dreams of ener­ getically suppressed wishes which, if they had been dreamt about for psychual reasons, would have led to a limilar release of anxiety. But there is no difficulty in reconciling these two apparently different groups. In both groups of dreams two psychical factors arc involved: an inclination towards an affect and an idcational content; and these arc intimately related to each other. If one of them is currently active, it calls up the other even in a dream; in the one case the somatically deter­ mined anxiety calla up the suppressed idcational content, and in the other the idcational content with its accompanying sexual excitation, having been set free from repression, calla up a release of anxiety. We can put it that in the first case a somatically determined affcct is given a psychical intcrprcta1 (Tiua whole subject ia further diaculled in Section C of VII; 1ee especially p. 557 ff. C£ abo pp. 267 and 487.]



tion; while in the other case, though the whole is psychically determined, the content which had been suppressed is easily replaced by a somatic interpretation appropriate to anxiety. The difficulties which all this offen to our undentanding have little to do with dreams: they arise from the fact that we arc here touching on the problem of the generation of anxiety and on the problem of repression. There can be no doubt that physical cocnacsthcsia [or diffuse general sensibility, see p. 35] is among the internal somatic stimuli which can dictate the content of dreams. It can do so, not in the sense that it can provide the dream's content, but in the sense that it can force upon the dream-thoughts a choice of the material to be represented in the content by putting forward one part of the material as being appropriate to its own char­ acter and by holding back another part. Apart from this, the cocnaesthetic feelings left over from the preceding day link themselves up, no doubt, with the psychical residues which have such an important influence on dreams. This general mood may pcnist unchanged in the dream or it may be mastered, and thus, if it is unpleasurablc, may be changed into its oppositc.1 Thus, in my opinion, somatic sources of stimulation during sleep (that is to say, sensations during sleep), unless they arc of unusual intensity, play a similar part in the formation of dreams to that played by recent but indifferent impressions left over from the previous day. I believe, that is, that they arc brought in to help in the formation ofa dream ifthey fit in appropriately with the ideational content derived from the dream's psychical sources, but otherwise not. They arc treated like some cheap material always ready to hand, which is employed whenever it is needed, in contrast to a precious material which itself pre­ scribes the way in which it shall be employed. If, to take a simile, a patron of the arts brings an artist some rare stone, such as a piece of onyx, and asks him to create a work of art from it, then the size of the stone, its colour and markings, help to decide what head or what scene shall be represented in it. Whereas in the case of a uniform and plentiful material such as marble or sandstone, the artist merely follows some idea that is present in his own mind. It is only in this way, so it seems to 1

[Cf. p. 487 ff'.-Thia last 1CDtence wu added in 1914.]



me, that we can explain the fact that dream-content provided by somatic stimuli of no unusual intensity fails to appear in every dream or every night. [Cf. p. 226.]1 I can perhaps best illustrate my meaning by an example, which, moreover, will bring us back to dream-interpretation. One day I had been trying to discover what might be the meaning of the feelings of being inhibited, of being glued to the spot, of not being able to get something done, and so on, which occur so often in dreams and are so closely akin to feelings of anxiety. That night I had the following dream: I was very incompletely dressed and was going upstairs from a flat on the ground floor to a higher storey. I was going up three steps at ·a time and was delighud at my agiliry. Suddenly I saw a maid-servant coming down the stairs-coming towards me, that is. Ifelt ashanud and tried to hurry, and at this point the feeling of being inhibited set in: I was glued to the sups and unable to budge from the spot. ANALYSIS.-The situation in the dream is taken from everyday reality. I occupy two flats in a house in Vienna, which arc con­ nected only by the public staircase. My consulting-room and study are on the upper ground floor and my living rooms arc one storey higher, When, late in the evening, I have finished my work down below, I go up the stairs to my bedroom. On the evening before I had the dream, I had in fact made this short journey in rather disordered dress-that is to say, I had taken off my collar and tie and cuffs. In the dream this had been turned into a higher degree of undress, but, as usual, an indeterminate one. [Cf. p. 245.] I usually go upstairs two or three steps at a time; and this was recognized in the dream itself as a wish-fulfilment: the ease with which I achieved it reassured me as to the functioning of my heart. Further, this method of going upstairs was an effective contrast to the inhibition in the second half of the dream. It showed me-what needed no proving-that dreams find no difficulty in representing motor acts carried out to perfection. (One need only recall dreams of flying.) 1 [Footnou added 1914:] Rank has shown i n a number of papers (1910, 1912a and 19126) that certain arousal dreams produced by organic stimuli (dreams with a urinary stimulus and dreams of emission or orgasm) are especially suited to demonstrate the struggle between the need to sleep and the claims oforganic needs, as well as the influence of the latter upon the content of dreams. [See p. 402 f.)



The staircase up which I was going, however, was not the one in my house. At first I failed to recognize it and it was only the identity of the person who met me that made it clear to me what locality was intended. This person was the maid-servant of the old lady whom I was visiting twice a day in order to give her injections [cf. p. 118]; and the staircase, too, was just like the one in her house which I had to go up twice a day. Now how did this staircase and this female figure come to be in my dream? The feeling of shame at not being completely dressed is no doubt of a sexual nature; but the maid-servant whom I dreamt about was older than I am, surly and far from attractive. The only answer to the problem that occurred to me was this. When I paid my morning visits to this house I used as a rule to be seized with a desire to clear my throat as I went u p the stairs and the product ofmy expectoration would fall on the staircase. For on neither of these floors was there a spittoon; and the view I took was that the cleanliness of the stairs should not be maintained at my expense but should be made possible by the provision of a spittoon. The concierge, an equally elderly and surly woman (but of cleanly instincts, as I was prepared to admit), looked at the matter in a different light. She would lie in wait for me to see whether I should again make free of the stairs, and, if she found that I did, I used to hear her grumbling audibly; and for several days afterwards she would omit the usual greeting when we met. The day before I had the dream the concierge's party had received a reinforce­ ment in the shape of the maid-servant. I had, as usual, con­ cluded my hurried visit to the patient, when the servant stopped me in the hall and remarked: 'You might have wiped your boots, doctor, before you came into the room to-day. You've made the red carpet all dirty again with your feet.' This was the only claim the staircase and the maid-servant had to appearing in my dream. There was an internal connection between my running up the stairs and my spitting on the stairs. Pharyngitis as well as heart trouble arc both regarded as punishments for the vice of smoking. And on account of that habit my reputation for tidi­ ness was not of the highest with the authorities in my own house any more than in the other; so that the two were fused into one in the dream. I must postpone my further interpretation of this dream till



I can explain the origin of the typical dream of being incom­ pletely dressed. I will only point out as a provisional conclusion to be drawn from the present dream that a sensation of in­ hibited movement in dreams is produced whenever the par­ ticular context requires it. The cause of this part of the dream's content cannot have been that some special modification in my powen of movement had occurred during my sleep, since only a moment earlier I had seen myself(almost as though to confirm this fact} running nimbly up the stairs. 1 1 (The feeli ng of inhibition in dreams is discussed at length on p. 335 ff. The preacnt dream is further analy,cd on p. 247 f. It was reported in a letter to Flicsa of May 31, 1897. (Freud, 1950a, Letter64.)]



Wc arc not in general in a position to interpret another person's dream unless he is prepared to communicate to us the unconscious thoughts that lie behind its content. The practical applicability of our method of interpreting dreams is in con­ sequence sevcrcly restricted. 1 We have seen that, as a general rule, each penon is at liberty to construct his dream-world �ccording to his individual peculiarities and so to make it un­ intelligible to other people. It now appears, however, that, in complete contrast to this, there arc a certain number of dreams · which almost everyone has dreamt alike and which we arc accustomed to assume must have the same meaning for every­ one. A special interest attaches, moreover, to these typical dreams because they presumably arise from the same sources in every case and thus seem particularly well qualified to throw light on the sources of dreams. It is therefore with quite particular anticipations that we shall attempt to apply our technique of dream-interpretation to these typical dreams; and it is with great reluctance that we shall have to confess that our art disappoints our expectations prcciscly in relation to this material. If we attempt to interpret a typical dream, the dreamer fails as a rule to produce the associations which would in other cases have led us to under­ stand it, or � his associations become obscure and insufficient so that we cannot solve our problem with their help. We sl:all learn in a later portion of this work [Section E of Chapter VI,· 1 [Footnot. addMJ 1925:] This assertion that our method of interpreting dreama cannot be applied unlest w e have access to the dreamer's as.,ocia­ tive material requires supplementing: our interpretative activity ia in one instance independent oftheae uaociatiom-if, namely, the dreamer baa employed �i& elements in the content of the dream. In such cues we make 111e of what is, strictly speaking, a second and auxiliary method ofdream-interpretation. (See below [p. 359 f.].) [In the edition of 1911 only, the following footnote appeared at this point: 'Apart from cues in which the dreamer makes UJC of symbols which arc familiar to ua for the purpoee of repreaenting his latent dream-thoughta (tee below).'] 241 S,P, IV--S



p. 351 ff.] why this is so and how we can make up for this defect in our technique. My readers will also discover why it is that at the present point I am able to deal only with a few members of the group of typical dre.11ns and must postpone my consideration of the rest until this later point in my discussion. [See p. 384 ff.] 1 (a) EMBARRASSING DREAMS OF BEING NAKED Dreams of being naked or insuflicicntly dressed in the pres­ ence of strangers sometimes occur with the additional feature of there being a complete absence of any such feeling as shame on the dreamer's part. We are only concerned here, however, with those dreams of being naked in which one does feel shame and embarrassment and tries to escape or hide, and is then overcome by a strange inhibition which prevents one from moving and makes one feel incapable of altering one's distress­ ing situation. It is only with this accompaniment that the dream is typical; without it, the gist of its subject-matter may be included in every variety of context or may be ornamented with individual trimmings. Its essence [in its typical form] lies in a distressing feeling in the nature of shame and in the fact that one wishes to hide one's nakedness, as a rule by locomotion, but finds one is unable to do so. I believe the great majority of my readers will have found themselves in this situation in dreams. The nature of the undress involved is customarily far from clear. The dreamer may say 'I was in my chemise', but this is rarely a distinct picture. The kind of undress is usually so vague that the description is expressed as an alternative: 'I was in my chemise or petticoat.' As a rule the defect in the dreamer's toilet is not so grave as to appear to justify the shame to which it gives rise. In the case of a m:m who has worn the Emperor's uniform, nakedness is often replaced by some breach of the dress regulations: 'I was walking in tne street without my sabre and saw some officers coming up', or 'I was without my neck­ tie', or 'I was wearing civilian check trousers', and so on. The people in whose presence one feels ashamed are almost 1 [This paragraph in its present form dates from 1914. It was in the edition of that year (the fourth) that the section on symbolism was added to Chapter VI. This led to considerable alterations in the present section, much of the material in which was transferred to the new section. (See Editor's Introduction, p. xiii.)]



always strangers, with their features left indeterminate. In the typical dream it never happens that the clothing which causes one so much embarrassment is objected to or so much as noticed by the onlookers. On the contrary, they adopt in­ different or (as I observed in one particularly clear dream) solemn and stiff expressions of face. This is a suggestive point. The embarrassment of the dreamer and the indifference of the onlookers offer us, when taken together, a contradiction of the kind that is so common in dreams. It would after all be more in keeping with the dreamer's feelings if strangers looked at him in astonishment and derision or with indignation. But this objectionable feature of the situation has, I believe, been got rid of by wish-fulfilment, whereas some force has led to the retention of the other features; and the two portions of the dream are consequently out of harmony with each other. We possess an interesting piece of evidence that the dream in the form in which it appears-partly distorted by wish-fulfilment­ has not been rightly understood. For it has become the basis of a fairy tale which is familiar to us all in Hans Andersen's version, The Emperor's New Clothes, and which has quite recently been put into verse by Ludwig Fulda1 in his ['dramatic fairy tale'] Der Talisman. Hans Andersen's fairy tale tells us how two impostors weave the Emperor a costly garment which, they say, will be visible only to persons of virtue and loyalty. The Emperor walks out in this invisible garment, and all the spec­ tators, intimidated by the fabric's power to act as a touchstone, pretend not to notice the Emperor's nakedness. This is just the situation in our dream. It is hardly rash to assume that the unintelligibility of the dream's content as it exists in the memory has led to its being recast in a form designed to make sense of the situation. That situation, how­ ever, is in the process deprived of its original meaning and put to extraneous uses. But, as we shall see later, it is a common thing for the conscious thought-activity of a second psychical system to misunderstand the content of a dream in this way, and this misunderstanding must be regarded as one of the factors in determining the final form assumed by dreams.• 1 [German playwright, 1862-1939.] • [This process of 'secondary revision' forms the subject of Section I of Chapter VI (p. 488 ff.). Its application to this aamc fairy talc ii dis­ cussed in a letter to Flicss ofJuly 7, 1897 (Freud, 1950a, Letter 66).]



Moreover we shall learn that similar misunderstandings (taking place, once again, within one and the same psychical penon­ ality) play a major part in the construction of obscmons and phobias. In the case of our dream we arc in a position to indicate the material upon which the misinterpretation is based. The im­ postor is the dream and the Emperor is the dreamer himself; the moralizing purpose of the dream reveals an obscure know­ ledge of the fact that the latent dream-content is concerned with forbidden wishes that have fallen victim to repression. For the context in which dreams of this sort appear during my analyses of neurotics leaves no doubt that they arc based upon memories from earliest childhood. It is only in our childhood that w e are seen in inadequate clothing both by members of our family and by strangcrs-nunes, maid-servants, and visitors; and it is only then that we feel no shame at our nakedness.1 We can observe how undressing has an almost intoxicating effect on many children even in their later years, instead of making them feel ashamed. They laugh andjump about and slap them­ selves, while their mother, or whoever else may be there, re­ proves them and says: 'Ugh! Shocking! You mustn't ever do that!' Children frequently manifest a desire to exhibit. One can scarcely pass through a country village in our part of the world without meeting some child of two or three who lifts up his little shirt in front of one-in one's honour, perhaps. One of my patients has a conscious memory of a scene in his eighth year, when at bed-time he wanted to dance into the next room where his little sister slept, dressed in his night-shirt, but was pre­ vented by his nurse. In the early history of neurotics an im­ portant part is played by exposure to children of the opposite sex; in paranoia delusions of being observed while dressing and undressing are to be traced back to experiences of this kind; while among penons who have remained at the stage of perversion there is one class in which this infantile im­ pulse has reached the pitch of a symptom-the class of 'exhibitionists'..• 1 A child plays a part in the fairy tale as well; for it wu a small child who suddenly exclaimed: 'But be bas nothing on!' 1 [This allusion to the pervenions as remnants of infantile sexual activity foreshadows Freud'• analysis of the sexual instinct in his Th,,. Essa.,s 0905d).]



When we look back at this unashamed period of childhood it seems to us a Paradise; and Paradise itself is no more than a group phantasy of the childhood of the individual. That is why mankind were naked in Paradise and were without shame in one another's presence; till a moment arrived when shame and anxiety awoke, expulsion followed, and sexual life and the tasks of cultural activity began. But we can regain this Paradise every night in our dreams. I have already [p. 218] expressed a sus­ picion that impressions of earliest childhood (that is, · from the prehistoric epoch until about the end of the third year of life) strive to achieve reproduction, from their very nature and irrespectively perhaps of their actual content, and that their repetition constitutes the fulfilment of a wish. Thus dreams of being naked arc dreams of exhibiting. 1 The core of a dream of exhibiting lies in the figure of the dreamer himself (not as he was as a child but as he appcan at the present time) and his inadequate clothing (which emerges indistinctly, whether owing to superimposed layers of innumer­ able later memories of being in undress or as a result of the censorship). Added to these arc the figures of the people in whose presence the dreamer feels ashamed. I know of no instance in which the actual spectators of the infantile scene of exhibiting have appeared in the dream; a dream is scarcely ever a simple memory. Curiously enough, the people upon whom our sexual interest was directed in childhood are omitted in all the repro­ ductions which occur in dreams, in hysteria and in obsessional neurosis. It is only in paranoia that these spectators reappear and, though they remain invisible, their presence is inferred with fanatical conviction. What takes their place in drcams­ 'a lot of strangers' who take no notice of the spectacle that is offered-is nothing more nor less than the wiahful contrary of the single familiar individual before whom the dreamer exposed himscl£ Incidentally, 'a lot of strangers' frequently appear in dreams in many other connections, and they alwa ys stand as the 1 [Footnot. addld 1911:] Fcrenczi (1910] bas recorded a number of interesting dreams of being naked dreamt by wom,n. There was no difficulty in tracing thcte back to the infantile desire to exhibit; but they differed in some respccu from the 'typical' dreams of being naked which I have discussed in the texL-[The penultimate sentence in the para­ graph above seems to adumbrate 10me of the ideas put forward twenty ycan later in &,ond 11w Pl,asv,1 Prin&ij,u (Freud, 19201).]



wishful contrary of 'secrecy'•1

It is to be noticed that even in paranoia, where the original state of things is restored, this revcnal into a contrary is observed. The subject feels that he is no longer alone, he has no doubt that he is being observed, but the observcn are 'a lot of strangen' whose identity is left curiously vague. In addition to this, repression plays a part in dreams of exhibiting; for the distress felt in such dreams is a reaction on the part of the second system against the content of the scene of exhibiting having found expression in spite of the ban upon it. If the distress was to be avoided, the scene should never have been revived. We shall return later [p. 335 ff.] to the feeling of being inhibited. It serves admirably in dreams to represent a conflict in the will or a negative. The unconscious purpose requires the exhibiting to proceed; the ccnsonhip demands that it shall be stopped. There can be no doubt that the connections between our typical dreams and fairy talcs and the material of other kinds of creative writing are neither few nor accidental. It sometimes happens that the sharp eye of a creative writer has an analytic realization of the process of transformation of which he is habitually no more than the tool. If so, he may follow the process in a reverse direction and so trace back the imaginative writing to a dream. One of my friends has drawn my attention to the following passage in Gottfried Keller's D,r grilne Heinrieh [Part III, Chapter 2]: 'I hope, my dear Lee, that you may never learn from your own penonal experience the peculiar and piquant truth of the plight ofOd�eus when he appeared, naked and covered with mud, before the eyes of NausicaA and her maidens! Shall I tell you how that can happen? Let us look into our example. If you arc wandering about in a foreign land, far from your home and from all that you hold dear, if you have seen and heard many things, have known sorrow and care, and arc wretched and forlorn, then without fail you will dream one night that you are coming near to your home; you will sec it glcami�g and shining in the fairest colours, and the sweetest, dearest and most beloved forms will move towards you. Then 1 [This point is also ffleDtioncd towards the end of Freud's paper on 'Screen Memories' (l899a).-Foolnot, added 1909:] For obvious reasons the presence of 'the whole family' in a dream baa the significance.



suddenly you will become aware that you arc in rags, naked and dusty. You will be seized with a nameless shame and dread, you will seek to find covering and to hide yourself, and you will awake bathed in sweat. This, so long as men breathe, is the dream of the unhappy wanderer; and Homer bas evoked the picture of his plight from the deepest and eternal nature of man.' The deepest and eternal nature of man, upon whose evoca­ tion in his hearers the poet i s accustomed to rely, lies in those impulses of the mind which have their roots in a childhood that has since become prehistoric. Suppressed and forbidden wishes from childhood break through in the dream behind the exile's unobjectionable wishes which arc capable of entering con­ sciousness; and that i s why the dream which finds concrete expression in the legend of Nausicaa ends as a rule as an anxiety-dream. My own dream (recorded on p. 238) of running upstairs and of soon afterwards finding myself glued to the steps was equally a dream of exhibiting, since it bears the essential marks of being one. It should be possible, therefore, to trace it back to experi­ ences during my childhood, and if these could be discovered they should enable us to judge how far the maid-servant's behaviour to me-her accusing me of dirtying the carpet­ helped to give her her place in my dream. I can, as it happens, provide the necessary particulars. In a psycho-analysis one learns to interpret propinquity in time as representing con­ nection in subject-matter. [See below, p. 314.] Two thoughts which occur in immediate sequence without any apparent con­ nection are in fact part of a single unity which has to be discovered; in just the same way, if I write an 'a' and a 'b' in succession, they have to be pronounced as a single syllable •ab'. The same is true of dreams. The staircase dream to which I have referred was one of a series of dreams; and I understood the interpretation of the other members of the series. Since this particular dream was surrounded by the others it must have dr.alt with the same subject. Now these other dreams were based on a recollection of a nurse in whose charge I had been from some date during my earliest infancy till I was two and a half. I even retain an obscure conscious memory of her. According to what I was told not long ago by my mother, she was old and ugly, but very sharp and efficient. From what I can infer from



my own dreams her treatment of me was not always excessive in its amiability and her words could be hanh if I failed to reach the required standard of cleanliness. And thus the maid­ servant, since she had undertaken the job of carrying on this educational work, acquired the right to be treated in my dream as a reincarnation of the prehistoric old nunc. It is reasonable to suppose that the child loved the old woman who taught him

these lCilsons, in spite of her rough treatment of him. 1


Another group of dreams which may be described as typical arc those containing the death of some loved relative-for instance, of a parent, of a brother or sister, or of a child. Two classes of such dreams must at once be distinguished: those in which the dreamer is unaffectcd by grief, so that on awakening he is astonished at his lack of feeling, and those in which the dreamer feels deeply pained by the death and may even weep bitterly in his sleep. We need not consider the dreams of the fint of these classes, for th ey have no claim to be regarded as 'typical'. lf wc analyse them, we find that they have some meaning other than their apparent one, and that they arc intended to conceal some other wish. Such was the dream of the aunt who saw her sister's only son lying in his coffin. (Sec p. 152.) It did not mean that she wished her little nephew dead; as we have seen, it merely con­ cealed a wish to sec a particular person of whom she was fond and whom she had not met for a long time-a person whom she had once before met after a similarly long interval beside the coffin of another nephew. This wish, which was the true content of the dream, gave no occasion for grief, and no grief, therefore, was felt in the dream. It will be noticed that the affect felt in the dream belongs to its latent and not to its 1 Herc is an 'over-interpretation' of the same dream. Since 'spvkm [haunting]' is an activity ofspirits, 'spudcm [spitting] on the stain' might be loosely rendered as 'esprit d'esudier'. This last phrase is equivalent to lack of ready rcparte� ['Schlagfem,knt', literally 'readiness to strike']­ a failing to which I must in fact plead guilty. Wu my nurse, I wonder, equally wanting in that quality? [This nunc is referred to at the end of Chapter IV of Thi PsyclwpatJwlogy of Everyday Lift (Freud, 19016) and in greater detail in his letten to Fliess of October 3 and 4 and October 15, 1897 (Freud, 1950a, Letters 70 and 71).]



manifest content, and that the dream's affeetiue content has re­ mained untouched by the distortion which has overtaken its ideaJional content.1 Vcry different arc the dreams of the other class-those in which the dreamer imagines the death of a loved relative and 11 at the same time painfully affected. The meaning of such dreams, as their content indicates, is a wish that the person in question may die. And since I must expect that the feelings of all of my readers and any others who have experienced similar dreams will rebel against my assertion, I must try to base my evidence for it on the broadest possible foundation. I have already discussed a dream which taught us that the wishes which arc represented in dreams as fulfilled arc not always present-day wishes. They may also be wishes of the past which have been abandoned, overlaid and repressed, and to which we have to attribute some sort of continued existence only because of their re-emergence in a dream. They are not dead in our sense of the word but only like the shades in the Odyssey, which awoke to some sort of life as soon as they had tasted blood. In the dream of the dead child in the 'case' (p. 154) what was involved was a wish which had been an immediate one fifteen years earlier and was frankly admitted as having existed at that time. I may add-and this may not be without its bearing upon the theory of dreams-that even behind this wish there lay a memory from the dreamer's earliest childhood. When she was a small child-the exact date could not be fixed with certainty-she had heard that her mother had fallen into a deep depression during the pregnancy of which she had been the fruit and had passionately wished that the child she was bearing might die. When the dreamer herself was grown-up and pregnant, she merely followed her mother's example. If anyone dreams, with every sign of pain, that his father or mother or brother or sister has died, I should never use the dream as evidence that he wishes for that person's death aJ the p,esmt time. The theory of dreams does not require as much as that; it is satisfied with the inference that this death has been wished for at some time or other during the dreamer's child­ hood. I fear, however, that this reservation will not appease the 1 [See the disc1.111ion on affects in dreams in Chapter VII, Section H (especially p. 463).)



objectors; they will deny the possibility of their ever having had such a thought with just as much energy as they insist that they harbour no such wishes now. I must therefore reconstrm.:t a portion of the ,•anishcd mental life of children on the basis of the evidence of the present. 1 Let us first consider the relation of children to their brothers and sisters. I do not know why we presuppose that that relation must be a loving one; for instances of hostility between adult brothers and sisters force themselves upon everyone's experience and we can often establish the fact that the disunity originated in childhood or has always existed. But it is further true that a great many adults, who are on affectionate terms with their brothers and sisters and are ready to stand by them to-day, passed their childhood on almost unbroken terms of enmity with them. The elder child ill-treats the younger, maligns h i m and robs him cf his toys; while the younger i s consumed with impotent rage against the elder, envies and fears him, or meets his oppressor with the first stirrings of a love of liberty and a sense of justice. Their parents complain that the children d o not get on with one another, but cannot discover why. It is easy to see that the character of even a good child is not what we should wish to find it in an adult. Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them-especially as against the rivals, other children, and first and foremost as against their brothers and sisters. But we do not on that account call a child 'bad', we call him 'naughty'; he is no more answerable for his evil deeds in our judgement than in the eyes of the law. And it is right that this should be so; for we may expect that, before the end of the period which we count as childhood, altruistic impulses and morality will awaken in the little egoist and (to use Meynert's terms [e.g. 1892, I 69 .ff .]) a secondary ego will overlay and inhibit the primary one. It is true, no doubt, that morality does not set in simultaneously all along the line and that the length of non-moral childhood varies in different individuals. If this morality fails to develop, we like to talk of 'degeneracy', though what in fact faces us is an inhibition in development. After the 1 [Footnote added 1909:] Cf. my 'Anal is of a Phobia in a Five-Year­ ys Olml tlu gmeralion of anxu!J or otherforms ofdistressing ajfed. I have spoken above [p. 250] of the egoism of children's minds, and I may now add, with a hint at a possible connection between the two facts, that dreams have the same characteristic. All of them are completely egoistic:• the beloved ego appears in all of them, even though it may be disguised. The wishes that arc fulfilled in them arc invariably the ego's wishes, and if a dream seems to have been provoked by an altruistic interest, we arc only being deceived by appearances. Herc arc a few analyses of instances which seem to contradict this assertion. I

A child of under four ycan old reported having dreamt that lu had seen a big dish with a big joinl of roast meat and uegetables on 1 [Cf'. end of footnote below, pp. 270-1. Sec allo p. 322 ft]



it. All at onu tJujoitd had bun ,atm up-whol, and without hting cul up. H, had not s,m tJu p,,son who at, u.1 Who can the unknown person have been whose sumptuous banquet of meat was the subject of the little boy's dream? His experiences during the dream-day must enlighten us on the sub­ ject. By doctor's orders he had been put on a milk diet for the past few days. On the evening of the dream-day he had been naughty, and as a punishment he had been sent to bed without his supper. He had been through this hunger-cure once before and had been very brave about it. He knew he would get nothing, but would not allow himvlf to show by so much as a single word that he was hungry. Education had already begun to have an effect on him: it found expression in this dream, which exhibits the beginning of dream-distortion. There can be no doubt that the person whose wishes were aimed at this lavish meal-a meat meal, too-was himself. But since he knew he was not allowed it, he did not venture to sit down to the meal him­ self, as hungry children do in dreams. (Cf. my little daughter Anna's dream of strawberries on p. 130.) The person who ate the meal remained anonymous. D

I dreamt one night that I saw in the window ofa book-shop a new volume in one of the series of monographs for connoisscun which I am in the habit of buying-monographs on great artists, on world history, on famous cities, etc. The new striu was call,d 'Famous Sp,akers' or 'Spuclw' and its.first 1JOlwnt hor, tne nam1 of Dr. L«lur. 1 [Thia dream, which wu dreamt by F1ie11'1 100 Robert, ii mentioned in Freud'• letters to F1ie11 of August 8 and 20, 1899. (Freud, 1950a, Let­ ten 114 and 116.)]-The appearance in dreams ofthings ofgreat size and in great quantities and amounts, and ofexaggeration generally, may be another childish charact.eriltic. Children have no more ardent wish than to be big and grown-up and to get umuch ofthings u grown-up people do. They arc hard to satisfy, know no such word u 'enough' and iosiat insatiably on a repetition of things which they have enjoyed or whose taste they liked. It ii only the civilizing influence of education that teachel them moderation and how to be content or resigned. Everyone know■ that neurotics arc equally inclined to be extravagant and im­ moderate. [Children'• love of repetition wu alluded to by Freud toward■ the end of the sixth aection of Chapter VII of hi■ book onjokes (Freud, 1905') and again cliacuaed near the beginning of Chapter V of &,o,ul tli6 PIMuttn Pritteipu (19201). ]

D. TYPICAL DREAMS 269 When I came to analyse this, it seemed to me improbable that I should be concerned in my dreams with the fame of Dr. Lecher, the non-stop speaker ofthe German Nationalist obstruc­ tionists in ParliamenL The position was that a few days earlier I had taken on some new patients for psychological treatment, and was now obliged to talk for ten or eleven houn every day. So it was I myself who was a non-stop speaker. m Another time I had a dream that a man I knew on the staff ofthe University said to me: 'Myson, tlu Myops.' Then followed a dialogue made up of short remarks and rejoinders. After this, however, there was yet a third piece of dream in which I myself and my sons figured. So far as the dream's latent content was concerned, Professor M. and his son were men ofstraw-a mere screen for me and my eldest son. I shall have to return to this dream later, on account of another of its features. [Sec p. 441 ff.] IV

The dream which follows is an instance of really low egoistic feelings concealed behind affectionate worry. My friend Otto was looking ill. His Jae, was brown and hi had ;,olnuling ,yu. Otto is my family doctor, and I owe him more than I can ever hope to repay: he has watched over my children's health for many ycan, he has treated them successfully when they have been ill, and, in addition, whenever circumstances have given him an excuse, he has given them presents. [Seep. 116.] He had visited us on the dream-day, and my wife had remarked that he looked tired and strained. That night I had my dream, which showed him with some of the signs of Bascdow's [Graves'] disease. Anyone who interprets this dream without regard for my rules will conclude that I was worried about my friend's health and that this worry was realized in the dream. This would not only contradict my assertion that dreams arc wish­ fulfilments, but my other assertion, too, that they arc accessible only to egoistic impulses. But I should be glad if anyone inter­ preting the dream in this way would be good enough to explain to me why my fean on Otto's behalf should have lighted on Ba#dow's disease-a diagnosis for which his actual appearance gives not the slightest ground. My analysis, on the other hand,



brought up the following material from an occurrence six yean earlier. A small group of us, which included Professor R., were driving in pitch darkness through the forest of N., which lay some hours' drive from the place at which we were spending our summer holidays. The coachman, who was not perfectly sober, spilt us, carriage and all, over a n embankment, and it was only

by a piece ofluck that we all escaped injury. We were obliged,

however, to spend the night in a neighbouring inn, at which the news of our accident brought us a lot of sympathy. A gentleman, with unmistakable signs of Basedow's disease-incidentally, just as in the dream, only the brown discoloration of the skin of the face and the protruding eyes, but no goitre-placed him­ self entirely at our disposal and asked what he could do for us. Professor R. replied in his decisive manner: 'Nothing except t o lend me a night-shirt.' To which the fine gentleman rejoined: 'I'm sorry, but I can't do that', and left the room. As I continued my analysis, it occurred to me that Bascdow was the name not only of a physician but also of a famous educationalist. (In my waking state I no longer felt quite so certain about this. 1 ) But my friend Otto was the person whom I had asked to watch over my children's physical education, especially at the age of puberty (hence the night-shirt), in case anything happened to me. By giving my friend Otto in the dream the symptoms ofour noble helper, I was evidently saying that if anything happened to me he would do just as little for the children as Baron L. had done on that occasion in spite of his kind offers of assistance. This seems to be sufficient evidence of the egoistic lining of the dream.1 1 [Though in fact it was correct. He was an eighteenth-century fol­ lower of Rousseau.] 1 [Footnote added 1911 :] When Ernest Jones was giving a scientific lec­ ture on the egoism of dreams before an American audience, a learned lady objected to this unscientific generalization, saying that the author of the present work could only judge of the dreams of Austrians and had no business to speak ofthe dreams of Americans. So far as she was con­ cerned, she was certain that all her dreams were strictly altruistic.­ [Added 1925:] By way of cxcUJC for this patriotic lady, I may remark that the statement that dreams are entirely egoistic [p. 267] must not be misunderstood. Since anything whatever that occun in preconscious thought can pass into a dream (whether into its actual content or into the latent dream-thoughts} that possibility is equally open to altruistic impulses. In the same way, an affectionate or erotic impulse towards 10meooe cbc, if it is ptt1e11t in the unconscious, can appear in a dream.



But where was its wish-fulfilment to be found? Not in my avenging myself on my friend Otto, whose fate it seems to be to be ill-treated in my dreams 1 ; but in the following consideration. At the same time as I represented Otto in the dream as Daron L., I had identified myself with someone else, namely Professor R.; for just as in the anecdote R. had made a request to Baron L., so I had made a request to Otto. And that is the point. Pro­ fessor R., with whom I should really not venture to compare myself in the ordinary way, resembled me in having followed an independent path outside the academic world and had only achieved his well-merited title late in life. So once again I was wanting to be a Professor! Indeed the words 'late in life' \\'ere themselves a wish-fulfilment; for they implied that I should live long enough to see my boys through the age of puberty myself. 1 [(y) OTHER TYPICAL DREAMS] I have no experience of my own of other kinds of typical dreams, in which the dreamer finds himself flying through the air to the accompaniment of agreeable feelings or falling with feelings of anxiety; and whatever I have to say on the subject is derived from psycho-analyses. 1 The information provided by the latter forces me to conclude that these dreams, too, repro­ duce impressions -of childhood; they relate, that is, to games involving movement, which are extraordinarily attractive to children. There cannot be a single uncle who has not shown a child how to fly by rushing across the room with him in his outstretched arms, or who has not played at letting him fall by riding him on his knee and then suddenly stretching out his leg, or by holding him up high and then suddenly pretending to drop him. Children are delighted by such experiences and never tire of asking to have them repeated, especially if there is someThe truth in the assertion made in the text above is thus restricted to the fact that among the unconscious instigators of a dream we very fre­ quently find egoistic impulsca which seem to have Leen overcome in waking life.

1 [Cf. the dream of Irma's injection in Chapter II (p. 118 ff.).] • [This dream is further discUll.1Cd on pp. 555 and 560.] • [The fint sentence ofthis paragraph appeared in the original edition (1900) but was thereafter dropped until 1925. The remainder of the paragraph, together with the next one, were added in 1909, and i n 1914 transferred to Chapter VI, Section E (where they will also be found, on p. 393 below). In the 1930 edition they were included in both places.]



thing about them that causes a little fright or giddiness. In after ycan they repeat these experiences in dreams; but in the dreams they leave out the hands which held them up, so that they float or fall unsupported. The delight taken by young children in games of this kind (as well as in swings and see-saws) is well known; and when they come to see acrobatic feats in a circus their memory of such games is revivcd.1 Hysterical attacks i n boys sometimes consist merely i n reproductions of feats of this kind, carried out with great skill. It not uncommonly happens that these games ofmovement, though innocent in themselves, give rise to sexual feelings.• Childish 'romping' ['Hewn'], if I may use a word which commonly describes all such activities, is what is being repeated in dreams of flying, falling, giddinca and so on; while the pleasurable feelings attached to these experiences arc transformed into anxiety. But often enough, as every mother knows, romping among children actually ends in squabbling and tcan. Thus I have good grounds for rejecting the theory that what provokes dreams of flying and falling is the state of our tactile feelings during sleep or sensations of the movement ofour lungs, and so on. [Cf. p. 37 f.] In my view these sensations arc them­ selves reproduced as part of the memory to which the dream goes back: that is to say, they arc part ofthe amllnl ofthe dream and not its source. I cannot, however, disguise from myself that I am unable 1 (Foomoll oddMl 1925:] Analytic reaearch has shown 111 that in addition to pleasure derived from the organs concerned, there ii another factor which oontributes to the delight taken by children in acrobatic performancca and to their repetition in hyaterical attacks. This other factor ii a memory-image, often unconscious, of an oblervationof aexual intercoune, whether between human beings or animals • A young medical colleague, who ii quite free from any kind ofner­ voua trouble, has given me the following information on this point: 'I know from my own experience that in my childhood I had a peculiar sensation in my genitals when I was on a swing and especially when the downward motion reached its greatest momentum. And though I can­ not say I really eajoycd this sensation I must describe it as a pleasurable one.'-Patients have often told me that the tint pleasurable erections that they can remember occurred in their boyhood while they were climbing about.-Psycho-analysil makes it perfectly certain that the 6nt aexual impulses frequently have their roots in games involving romping and wrestling played during childhood. [This topic was elaborated by Freud in the last section of the ICCODd of his Thr• Essq;,s on the Th«,,y ofSaualit, (1905").]



to produce any complete explanation of this class of typical dreams. 1 My material has left me in the lurch precisely at this point. I must, however, insist upon the general assertion that all the tactile and motor sensations which occur in these typical dreams are called up immediately there is any psychical reason for making use of them and that they can be disregarded when no such need for them arises. [Cf. pp. 237-8.] I am also of the opinion that the relation of these dreams to infantile experiences has been established with certainty from the indications I have found in the analyses of psychoneurotics. I am not able to say, however, what other meanings may become attached to the recollection of such sensations in the course of later life-dif­ ferent meanings, perhaps, in every individual case, in spite of the typical appearance of the dreams; and I should be glad to be able to fill up the gap by a careful analysis of clear instances. If anyone feels surprised that, in spite of the frequency precisely of dreams of flying, falling and pulling out teeth, etc., I should be complaining of lack of material on this particular topic, I must explain that I myself have not experienced any dreams of the kind since I turned my attention to the subject of dream­ interpretation. The dreams of neurotics, moreover, of which I might otherwise avail myself, cannot always be interpreted­ not, at least, in many cases, so as to reveal the whole of their concealed meaning; a particular psychical force, which was con­ cerned with the original constructing of the neurosis and is brought into operation once again when attempts are made at resolving it, prevents us from interpreting such dreams down to their last secret. [ 6] ExAMINATION DRJUJO

Everyone who has passed the matriculation examination at the end of his school studies complains of the obstinacy with which he is pursued by anxiety-dreams of having failed, or of being obliged to take the examination again, etc. In the case of those who have obtained a University degree this typical dream is replaced by another one which represents them as having failed in their University Finals; and it is in vain that they 1 [In the original edition (1900) the following paragraph (the fil'lt on examination dreams) preudui this one, and the present paragraph concluded the chapter. Thereafter this paragraph was altogether omitted until 1925.]




object, even while they arc still asleep, that for years they have been practising medicine or working as University lecturers or heads of offices. The ineradicable memories of the punish­ ments that we suffered for our evil deeds in childhood become active within us once more and attach themselves to the two crucial points in our studies-the 'dies irae, dies 'ilia' of our stiffest examinations. The 'examination anxiety' of neurotics owes its intensification to these same childhood fears. After we have ceased to be school-children, our punishments are no longer inflicted on us by our parents or by those who brought us up or later by our schoolmasters. The relentless causal chains of real life take charge of our further education, and now we dream of Matriculation or Finals (and who has not trembled on those occasions, even if he was well-prepared for the examination?) whenever, having done something wrong or failed to do some­ thing properly, we expect to be punished by the event-when­ ever, in short, we feel the burden of responsibility. For a further explanation of examination dreams 1 I have to thank an experienced colleague [Stckcl], who once declared at a scientific meeting that so far as he knew dreams of Matricula­ tion only occur in people who have successfully passed it and never in people who have failed in it. It would seem, then, that anxioUB examination dreams (which, as has been confirmed over and over again, appear when the dreamer has some responsible activity ahead of him next day and is afraid there may be a fiasco) search for some occasion in the past in which great anxiety bas turned out to be unjustified and has been contradicted by the event. This, then, would be a very striking instance of the content of a dream being misunderstood by the waking agency. [See pp. 243-4.] What is regarded as an indignant protest against the dream: 'But I'm a doctor, etc., already!' would in reality be the consolation put forward by the dream, and would accordingly run: 'Don't be afraid of to­ morrow! Just think how anxious you were before your Matricu­ lation, and yet nothing happened to you. You're a doctor, etc., already.' And the anxiety which is attributed to the dream would really have arisen from the day's residues. Such tests as I have been able to make of.this explanation on 1 [This paragraph and the next one were added in 1909. In the editions of 1909 and 1911 only, the words 'the true explanation' took the place of 'a further explanation'.]



myself and on other people, though they have not been suffi­ ciently numerous, have confirmed its validity. For instance, I myself failed in Forensic Medicine in my Finals; but I have never had to cope with this subject in dreams, whereas I have quite often been examined in Botany, Zoology or Chemistry. I went in for t h e examination in these rubjects with well-founded anxiety; but, whether by the grace ofdestiny or ofthe examinen, I escaped punishment. In my dreams of school examinations, I am invariably examined in History, in which I did brilliantly -though only, it is true, because [in the oral examination) my kindly master ( the one-eyed benefactor of another dream, see p. 17) did not fail to notice that on the paper of questions which I handed him back I had run my finger-nail through the middle one of the three questions included, to warn him not to insist upon that particular one. One ofmy patients, who decided not to sit for his Matriculation the fint time but passed it later, and who subsequently failed in his army examination and never got a commission, has told me that he often dreams of the former of these examinations but never of the latter.1 The interpretation of examination dreams is faced by the difficulty which I have already referred to as characteristic of the majority of typical dreams [p. 241). 1 It is but rarely that the material with which the dreamer provides us i n associations is sufficient to interpret the dream. It is only by collecting a con­ siderable number ofexamples of such dreams that we can arrive at a better undentanding of them. Not long ago I came to the conclusion that the objection, 'You're a doctor, etc., already', does not merely conceal a consolation but also signifies a reproach. This would have run: 'You're quite old now, quite far 1 [At this point in the 1909 edition the following paragraph appeared: 'The colleague whom I have mentioned above (Dr. Stckcl) baa drawn attention to the fact that the word we use for Matriculation, "Matura", also mcam "maturity"; he claims to have observed that "Matura" dreams very often appear when a aexual teat lies ahead for the next day, when, that is, the fiasco that is dreaded may lie in an insufficient releue of potency.' In the 1911 edition the following aentence wu added: 'A German oollcague baa, as I think rightly, objected to this that the name of this exarnination iri Gcnnany-"Abiturium"-does not bear this double meaning.' This whole paragraph wu omitted from 1914 on­ wards. In 1925 it was replaced by the new final paragraph of the chapter. The subject wu discussed by Stckcl himlclfin 1909, 464 and


• [This paragraph wu added in 1914.]

276 V. MATERIAL AND SOURCES OF DREAMS advanced in life, and yet you go on doing these stupid, childish things.' This mixture of self-criticism and consolation would thus correspond to the latent content ofexamination dreams. If so, it would not be surprising if the self-reproaches for being 'stupid' and 'childish' in these last examples referred to the repetition of reprehensible sexual acts. Wilhelm Stckel,1 who put forward the first interpretation of dreams of Matriculation ['Matura'), was of the opinion that they regularly related to sexual tests and sexual maturity. My experience bas often confirmed his view.• 1 [Thia paragraph wat added in 1925.] • [In the 1909 and 1911 editions this chapter was continued with a diacuaaion of other kinds of'typical' dreams. But from 1914 onwards this further discuaion wu transferred to Chapter VI, Section E, after the n...--wly introduced material dealing with dream-symbolism. See p. 384 below. (Cf. Editor's Introduction, p. xiii.)]


THE DREAM - WORK. 1 EVERY attempt that has hitherto been made to solve the prob­ lem ofdreams has dealt directly with their manifest content as it is presented in our memory. All such attempts have endeavoured to arrive at an interpretation of dreams from their manifest content or (ifno interpretation was attempted) to form a judge­ ment as to their nature on the basis of that same manifest con­ tent. We are alone in taking something else into account. We have introduced a new class of psychical material between the manifest content of dreams and the conclusions of our enquiry: namely, their latent content, or (as we say) the 'dream-thoughts', arrived at by means of our procedure. It is from these dream­ thoughts and not from a dream's manifest content that we dis­ entangle its meaning. We are thw presented with a new task which had no previow existence: the task, that is, ofinvestigat­ ing the relations between the manifest content of dreams and the latent dream-thoughts, and of tracing out the processes by which the latter have been changed into the former. The dream-thoughts and the dream-content are presented to w like two versions of the same subject-matter in two different languages. Or, more properly, the dream-content seems like a transcript of the dream-thoughts into another mode of expres­ sion, whose characters and syntactic laws it is our bwiness to discover by comparing the original and the translation. The dream-thoughts are immediately comprehensible, as soon as we have learnt them. The dream-content, on the other hand, is expressed as it were in a pictographic script, the characters of which have to be transposed individually into the language of the dream-thoughts. H we attempted to read these characters according to their pictorial value instead of according to their symbolic relation, we should clearly be led into error. Suppose I have a picture-puzzle, a rebw, in front of me. It depicts a house with a boat on its roof, a single letter of the alphabet, the 1 [Lecture XI of Freud'■ lntrodll&uw, L«blrls (1916-17) deal■ with the dream-work on a much lea extemive ■cale.] 277



figure of a running man whose head has been conjured away, and 10 on. Now I might be misled into raising objections and declaring that the picture as a whole and its component parts arc nonsensical. A boat has no business to be on the roof of a house, and a headless man cannot run. Moreover, the man is bigger than the house; and if the whole picture is intended to represent a landscape, lcttcn of the alphabet arc out of place in it since such objects do not occur in nature. But obviously we can only form a proper judgement of the rebus if we put aside criticisms such as these of the whole composition and its parts and if, instead, we try to replace each separate clement by a syllable or word that can be represented by that clement in some way or other. The words which arc put together in this way arc no longer nonsensical but may form a poetical phrase of the greatest beauty and significance. A dream is a picture­ puzzle of this sort and our predcccsson in the field of dream­ interpretation have made the mistake of treating the rebus as a pictorial composition: and as such it has seemed to them non­ sensical and worthless.



The fint thing that becomes clear to anyone who compares the dream-content with the dream-thoughts is that a work of condmsation on a large scale has been carried out. Dreams arc brief, meagre and laconic in comparison with the range and wealth of the dream-thoughts. If a dream is written out it may perhaps fill half a page. The analysis setting out the dream­ thoughts underlying it may occupy six, eight or a dozen times as much space. This relation varies with different dreams; but so far as my experience goes its direction never varies. As a rule one underestimates the amount of compression that has taken place, since one is inclined to regard the dream-thoughts that have been brought to light as the complete material, whereas if the work of interpretation is carried further it may reveal still more thoughts concealed behind the dream. I have already had occasion to point out [cf. p. 218 f.] that it is in fact never possible to be sure that a dream has been completely inter­ prctcd.1 Even if the solution seems satisfactory and without gaps, the possibility always remains that the dream may have yet another meaning. Strictly speaking, then, it is impossible to determine the amount of condensation. There is an answer, which at fint sight seems most plausible, to the argument that the great lack of proportion between the dream-content and the dream-thoughts implies that the �y­ chical material has undergone an extensive process ofcondensa­ tion in the course of the formation of the dream. Wc very often have an impression that we have dreamt a great deal all through the night and have since forgotten most of what we dreamt. On this view, the dream which we remember when we wake up would only be a fragmentary remnant of the total dream-work; and this, if we could recollect it in its entirety, might well be as extensive as the dream-thoughts. There is undoubtedly some truth in this: there can be no question that dreams can be reproduced most accurately if we try to recall them as soon as we wake up ar:id that our memory of them becomes more and 1

['This subject ia discussed at length in Freud, 1925i, Section A.)




more incomplete towards evening. But on the other hand it can be shown that the impression that we have dreamt a great deal more than we can reproduce is very often based on an illusion, the origin of which I shall discuss later. [Cf. pp. 489 and 517.] Moreover the hypothesis that condensation occurs during the dream-work is not affected by the possibility of dreams being forgotten, since this hypothesis is proved to be correct by the quantities of ideas which arc related to each individual piece of the dream which has been retained. Even supposing that a large piece of the dream has escaped recollec­ tion, this may merely have prevented our having access t o another group of dream-thoughts. There i s no justification for supposing that the lost pieces of the dream would have related to the same thoughts which we have already reached from the pieces of the dream that have survived. 1 In view of the very great number of associations produced i n analysis t o each individual clement of the content of a dream, some readers may b e led to doubt whether, as a matter of prin­ ciple, w e arc justified in regarding as part ofthe dream-thoughts all the associations that occur to us during the subsequent analysis-whether we arc justified, that is, in supposing that all these thoughts were already active during the state of sleep and played a part in the formation of the dream. Is it not more probable that new trains of thought have arisen in the course o f the analysis which had no share in forming the dream? I can only give limited assent to this argument. It is no doubt true that some trains of thought arise for the fint time during the analysis. But one can convince oneself in all such cases that these new connections arc only set up between thoughts which were already linked in some other way in the dream-thoughts.• The new connections arc, as it were, loop-lines or short-cir­ cuits, made possible b y the existence of other and deeper-lying connecting paths. It must be allowed that the great bulk of the thoughts which arc revealed in analysis were already active during the process of forming· the dream; for, after working 1 [Footnote added 1914:] The occurraice ofcondensation in dreams has been hinted at by many writen. Du Prel (1885, 85) has a paasage in which he says it is absolutely certain that there has been a pl'OCC!I of condensation of the groups ofideas in dreams. • [This question is mentioned again on p. 311 and discus.,ed at very much greater length in the last part of Section A of Chapter VII (p. 526 f.). See especially p. 532.]



through a string of thoughts which seem to have no connection with the formation of a dream, one suddenly comes upon one which is represented in its content and i s indispensable for its interpretation, but which could not have been reached except by this particular line of approach·. I may here recall the dream of the botanical monograph [p. 169 ff.], which strikes one as the product of an astonishing amount of condensation, even though I have not reported its analysis in full. How, then, are we to picture psychical conditions during the period of sleep which precedes dreams? Are all the dream­ thoughts present alongside one another? or do they occur in sequence? or do a number of trains of thought start out simul­ taneously from different centres and afterwards unite? There is no need for the present, in my opinion, to form any plastic idea of psychical conditions during the formation of dreams. It must not be forgotten, however, that we are dealing with an uncon­ sciow process of thought, which may easily be different from what we perceive during purposive reflection accompanied by consciousness. The unquestionable fact remains, however, that the forma­ tion of dreams is based on a process of condensation. How is that condensation brought about? When we reflect that only a small minority of all the dream­ thoughts revealed are represented in the dream by one of their ideational elements, we might conclude that condensation is brought about by omission: that is, that the dream is not a faith­ ful translation or a point-for-point projection of the dream­ thoughts, but a highly incomplete and fragmentary version of them. This view, as we shall soon discover, is a most inadequate one. But we may take it as a provisional starting-point and go on to a further question. If only a few clements from the dream­ thoughts find their way into the dream-content, what are the conditions which determine their se!cction? In order to get some light on this question we must turn our attention to those elements of the dream-content which must have fulfilled these conditions. And the most favourable material for such an investigation will be a dream to the construction of which a particularly intense process of condensation has con­ tributed. I shall accorcllngly begin by choosing for the purpose the dream which I have already recorded on p. 169 tr.





CoNTENT OF THE DREAM.-/ had written a monograph on an (unspecifaa) genus ofplants. The book lay before me and I was at tlu · moment turning over afolded coloured plate. Bound up in the copy there was a dried sp,cimm of tlu plant.

The element in this dream which stood out most was the

botanical moMgraph. This arose from the impressions of the dream­

day: I had in fact seen a monograph on the genus Cyclamen in the window of a book-shop. There was no mention of this genus in the content ofthe dream; all that was left in it was �he mono­ graph and its relation to botany. The 'botanical monograph' immediately revealed its connection with the work upon cocairu which I had once written. From 'cocaine' the chains of thought led on the one hand to the Festschrift and to certain events in a University laboratory, and on t�e other hand to my friend Dr. Konigstein, the eye surgeon, who had had a share in the intro­ duction .of cocaine. The figure of Dr. Konigstein further re­ minded me of the interrupted conversation which I had had with him the evening before and of my various reflections upon the payment for medical services among colleagu es. This con­ versation was the actual currently active instigator of the dream; the monograph on the cyclamen was also a currently active impression, bui-one of an indifferent nature. AJ I perceived, the 'botanical monograpl\Y'm the dream turned out to be an 'inter­ mediate common entity' between the two experiences of the previous day: it was taken over unaltered from the indifferent impression and waslinked with the psychically significant event by copious associative connections. Not only the compound .idea, 'botanical monograph', how­ ever, but each of its components, 'botanical' and 'monograph' separately, led by numerous connecting paths deeper and deeper into the tangle of dream-thoughts. 'Botanical' was related to the figure of Professor Gartner [Gardener], the blooming looks ofhis wife, to my patient Fwa and to the lady [Frau L.] of whom I had told the story of the forgottcnjlowers. Gartner led in tum to the laboratory and to my conversation with Konigstein. My two patients [Flora and Frau L.] had been mentioned in. the course of this conversation. A train of thought joined· the lady with the flowen to my wife'sfa'IXJUriuflowers and thence to the




title of the monograph which I had seen for a moment during the day. In addition to these, 'botanical' recalled .an episode at my accondary school and an examination while I was at the University. A fresh topic touched upon in my conversation with Dr. Konigatcin-myfavourite hobbies-was joined, through the intermediate link of what I jokingly called my JfJlJOUriteflower, the artichoke, with the train of thought proceeding from the forgotten Bowen. Behind 'artichokes' lay, on the one .hand, my thoughts about Italy1 and, on the other hand, a scene from my childhood which was the opcnini of what have since become my intimate relations with boob/Thus. 'botanical' was a regular nodal point in the dream. Numerous trains of thought con­ verged upon it, which, as I can guarantee, had appropriately entered into the context of the conversation with Dr. Konig­ stcin. Herc we find ourselves in a factory of thoughts where, as in the 'weaver's mastcrpiccc',Ein Tritt tauscnd Faden rcgt, Die Schifflcin hcriibcr hiniibcr schiessen, Die Faden ungcschen ftiessen, Ein Schlag tausend Vcrbind1,mgen schlagt.'

So, too, 'monograph' in the dream touches upon two subjects: the one-sidedness of my studies and the costliness ofmy favourite hobbies. This first investigation leads us to conclude that the clements 'botanical' and 'monograph' found their way into the content of the dream bcc;ause they possessed copious contacts with the majority of the dream-thoughts, because, that is to say, they constituted 'nodal points' upon which a great number of the dream-thoughts converged, and because they had several mean­ ings in connection with the interpretation of the dream. The explanation of this fundamental fact can also be put in another way: each of the clements of the dream's content turns out to have been 'ovcrdetcrmincd'-to have been represented in the dream-thoughts many times over. 1 [ThlJ aeems to be a reference to an element in the dream-thougbtl not previoualy mentioned.] • [. • • a thousand threads one treadle throws, · Where fly the shuttle, hither and thither, Umeco the threads arc knit together, · And an infinite combination grows. Goethe, Faust, Part I [Scene 4] (Bayard Taylor'• tramlatioo).



We discover still more when we come to examine the remain­ ing constituents of the dream in relation to their appearance in the dream-thoughts. The coloured plate which I was unfolding led (sec the analysis, p. 172 f.) to a new topic, my colleagues• criticisms of my activities, and to one which was already repre­ sented in the dream, my favourite hobbies; and it led, in addi­ tion, to the childhood memory in which I was pulling to pieces a book with coloured plates. The dried specimen oftheplant touched upon the episode of the herbarium at my secondary school and specially stressed that memory. The nature ofthe relation between dream-content and dream­ thoughts thus becomes visible. Not only are the elements of a dream determined by the dream-thoughts many times over, but the individual dream-thoughts arc represented in the dream by several elements. Associative paths lead from or.� clement of the dream to several dream-thoughts, and from one dream­ thought to several elements of the dream. Thus a dream ii not constructed by each individual dream-thought, or group of dream-thoughts, finding (in abbreviated form) separate repre­ sentation in the content of the dream-in the kind of way in which an electorate chooses parliamentary representatives; a dream is constructed, rather, by the whole mass of dream­ thoughts being submitted to a sort of manipulative process in which those clements which have the most numerous and strongest supports acquire the right of entry into the dream­ contcnt-in a manner analogous to election by scrutin de lisle. In the case of every dream which I have submitted to an analysis of this kind I have invariably found these same funda­ mental principles confirmed: the clements of the dream are constructed out of the whole mass of dream-thoughts and each one of those clements is shown to have been determined many times over in relation to the dream-thoughts, It will certainly not be out of place to illustrate the connec­ tion between dream-content and dream-thoughts by a further example, which is distinguished by the specially ingenious interweaving of their reciprocal relations. It is a dream pro­ duced by one of my patients-a man whom I was treating for claustrophobia. It will soon become clear why I have chosen to give this exceptionally clever dream-production the title of



u 'A LOVELY DREAM' He was driuing with a large party to X Street, in which there was an unp,etenlious inn. (This is not the case.) There was a play being acted innde it. .At ,nu moment he was audience, at another actor. When it was or,er, tMy had to change their clothes so as to get back to town. Some of tlu company were shown into rooms on the ground floor and others into rooms on thefirstfloor. Then a dispute broke out. The ones up above were angry because the ones down below were not ready, and tMy could not come downstairs. His brother was up above and he was down below and he was angry with his brother because tMy were so much pressed. (This part was obscure.) Moreover, it had been decided and a"anged even when tluyfirst amved who was to be up above and who was to be down below. Then he was walking by himself up the rise made by X Street in tlu direction of town. He walJced with such difficulty and so laboriously that he seemed glued to tlu spot. .An elderly gentleman came up to him and began abusing tlu King of Italy • .At tlu top of tlu rise he was able to walk much more easily. His difficulty in walking up the rise was so distinct that after waking up he was for some time in doubt whether it was a dream or reality. We should not think very highly of this dream, judging by its manifest content. In defiance of the rules, I shall begin its interpretation with the portion which the dreamer described as being the most distinct. The difficulty which he dreamt of and probably actually experienced during the dream-the laborious climbing up the rise accompanied by dyspnoea-was one ofthe symptoms which the patient had in fact exhibited years before and which had at that time been attributed, along with certain other symp­ toms, to tuberculosis. (The probability is that this was hysteri­ cally simulated.) The peculiar sensation of inhibited movement. that occun in this dream is already familiar to us from dreams of exhibiting [sec p. 242 ff.] and we sec once more that it is material available at any time for any other representational purpose. [Cf. p. 335 ff.] The piece ofthe dream-content which described how the climb began by being difficult and became easy at the end of the rise reminded me, when I heard it, of the masterly introduction to Alphonse Daudet's Sappho. That well­ known passage describes how a young man carries his mistress



upstain in his arms; at fint she is as light as a feather, but the higher he climbs the heavier grows her weight. The whole scene foreshadows the course of their love-affair, which was intended by Daudet as a warning to young men not to allow their affec­ tions to be seriously engaged by girls of humble origin and a dubious past.1 Though I knew that my patient had been in­ volved in a love-affair which he had recently broken off with a lady on the stage, I did not expect to find my guess a:t an inter­ pretation justified. Moreover the situation in Sappho was the rerJerSI of what it had been in the dream. In the dream the climbing had been difficult to begin with and had afterwards become easy; whereas the symbolism in the novel only made sense ifsomething that had been begun lightly ended by becom­ ing a heavy burden. But to my astonishment my patient replied that my interpretation fitted in very well with a piece he had seen at the theatre the evening before. It was called Rund um Wun [Round Y-unna] and gave a picture of the career of a girl who began by being respectable, who then became a dlmi­ mondaw and had liaisons with men in high positions and so 'wmt up in llu u,orld', but who ended by 'coming down in llu world'. The piece had moreover reminded him ofanother, which he had seen some ycan earlier, called Yon Stuft � Stuft [Step b.J Sup], and which had been advertised by a poster showing a staircaac with a flight of sups. To continue with the interpretation. The actress with whom he had had this latest, eventful liaison had lived in X Street. There is nothing in the nature of an inn in that street. But when he was spending part of the summer in Vienna on the lady's account he had put up [German 'abgestiegm', literally 'stepped down'] at a small hotel in the neighbourhood. When he left the hotel he had said to his cab-driver: 'Anyhow I'm lucky not to have picked up any vermin.' (This, incidentally, was another of his phobias.) To this the driver had replied: 'How could any­ one put up at such a place! It's not a hotel, it's only an inn.' The idea of an inn at once recalled a quotation to his mind: Bci cincm Wirte wundermild, Da war icbjungst zu Gaste.1 [Foomot, OIUUd 1911:] What I have written below in the section on symbolism about the significance of dreams of climbing [p. 355 n.] throws light upon the imagery chosen by the novelist. • [Literally: 'I wu lately a guest at an inn with a most gentle h01t.' (Uhland, W�, 8, 'Einkehr'.)] 1

A THE WORK OF CONDENSATION 287 The host in Uhland's poem was an apple-tree; and a second quotation now carried on his train of thought: FAUST (mit der Jungen tan;:end): Einst hatt' ich einen sch6ntn Traum; Da sah ich einen Apftlbaum, Zwei schone Apfel ganzten dran, Sie reizten mich, ich stieg hinan. DIE SCHONE:

Der Apfelchen begehrt ihr sehr, Und schon vom Paradiese her. Von Freuden fuhl' ich mich bewegt, Dass auch mcin Garten solchc tragt. 1

There cannot be the faintest doubt what the apple-tree and the apples stood for. Moreover, lovely breasts had been among the charms which had attracted the dreamer to his actress. The context of the analysis gave us every ground for suppos­ ing that the dream went back to an impression in childhood. lfso, it must have referred to the wet-nurse ofthe dreamer, who was by now a man almost thirty years old. For an infant the breasts of his wet-nurse arc nothing more nor less than an inn. The wet-nurse, as well as Daudet's Sappho, seem to have been allusions to the mistress whom the patient had recently dropped. The patient's (elder) brother also appeared in the content of the dream, the brother being up above and the patient himself down below. This was once again the reuerse of the actual situa­ tion; for, as I knew, the brother had lost his social position while the patient had maintained his. In repeating the content of the dream to me, the dreamer had avoided saying that his brother was up above and he himself 'on the ground floor'. That would have put the position too clearly, since here in l [FAUST (tlaneittt wiJh IN rOIOll Wuch): A loo,ly dream once came to me, And I beheld an app/#-lnl, On which two lovely apples shone;

They charmed me 10, I dimb,d tlwreon. Tu LoVELv WrrcH: Apples have been desired by you, Since fint in Paradile they grew; And I am moved with joy to know That auch within my garden grow. Goethe, FOIUI, Part I [Scene 21, Walpurgisnacht] (Bayard Taylor'• tramlation, aligbtly modified).]



Vienna if we say someone is 'on the g,oundjloor' we mean that he has lost his money and his position-in other words, that he has 'come dbwn in the world'. Now there must have been a reason for some of this part of the dream being represented by its reoerse. Further, the reversal must hold good of some other rela­ tion between dream-thoughts and dream-content as well [cf. below, p. 326 f.]; and we have a hint of where to look for this reversal. It must evidently be at the end of the dream, where once again there was a reversal of the difficulty in going upstairs as described in Sappho. We can then easily sec what reversal is intended. In Sappho the man carried a woman who was in a sexual relation to him; in the dream-thoughts the position was reoersed, and a woman was carrying a man. And since this can only happen in childhood, the reference was once more to the wet-nune bearing the weight of the infant in her arms. Thus the end of the dream made a simultaneous reference to Sappho and to the wet-nurse. Just as the author of the novel, in choosing the name 'Sappho', had in mind an allusion to Lesbian practices, so too the pieces of the dream that spoke of people 'up above' and 'down below' alluded to phantasics of a sexual nature which occupied the patient's mind and, as suppressed desires, were not without a bearing on his neurosis. (The interpretation of the dream did not itself show us that what were thus represented in the dream were phantasies and not recollections of real events; an analysis only gives us the conunt of a thought and leaves it to us to deter­ mine its reality. Real and imaginary events appear in dreams at first sight as of equal validity; and that is so not only in dreams but in the production of more important psycliical structures.)1 A 'large party' meant, as we already know [see p. 245 f.], a secret. His brother was simply the representative (introduced into the childhood scene by a 'retrospective phantasy') • of all his later rivals for a woman's affection. The episode of the gen­ tleman who abused the King of Italy related once again, via the medium of a recent and in itself indifferent experience, to 1 [Freud i s probably referring here to the disco very which h e had recently made that the infantile sexual traumas apparently revealed in his analyses of neurotic patients were in fact very often phantaaiea. See Freud, 1906a.] • [Phantaaiea of this kind had been discussed by Freud previously, in the latter part of his paper on 'Screen Memoriea' (1899a).]



people oflower rank pushing their way into higher society. It was just as though the child at the breast was being given a warning parallel to the one which Daudet had given to young men.1 To provide a third opportunity for studying condensation in the formation of dreams, I will give part .:>f the analysis of another dream, which I owe to an elderly lady undergoing psycho-analytic treatment. As was to be expected from the severe anxiety-states from which the patient suffered, her dreams con­ tained a very large number ofsexual thoughts, the first realiza­ tion of which both surprised and alarmed her. Since I shall not be able to pursue the interpretation of the dream to the end, its material will appear to fall into several groups without any visible connection.

m 'Tm MAv-BEETU1 l>iut.ul' CoNTENT or THE DREAM. -Siu called to mind that slu had two ma,-beetles in a box and that size must set them fr• or IJuy would suffocate. Siu opened tlu box and the may-beetles were in an exhausted state. One oftlum fkw out of the open window; but tlu otlur was mu/zed by the caslfflffll whiu slu was shulting it at someone's r,quut. (Signs of disgust.) ANALvm.-Her husband was temporarily away from home, and her fourteen-year-old daughter was sleeping in the bed beside her. The evening before, the girl had drawn her atten­ tion to a moth which had fallen into her tumbler of water; but she had not taken it out and felt sorry for the poor creature next morning. The book she had been reading during the evening had told how some boys had thrown a cat into boiling water, and had described the animal's convulsions. These were the two precipitating causes of the dream-in themselves indifferent. 1 The imaginary nature of the lituation relating to the dreamer'• wet-nurse wu proved by the objectively e■tablilhed fact that in his cue the wet-nune had been his mother. I may recall in this connection the anecdote, which I repeated on p. 204, ofthe young man who regretted that be bad not made better use ofhis opportunitie■ with his wet-nurse. A regret ofthe same kind wu no doubt the IOU1'CC of the pracnt dream. 1 [The commoner English equivalent for the German 'MaiJciif,r' i, 'cockchafer'. For the purpoees ofthia dream, however, a literal tranala­ tion i, to be preferred.]




She then punued the subject of cn,el!J to animals further. Some years before, while they were spending the summer at a par­ ticular place, her daughter had been very cruel to animals. She was collecting butterflies and asked the patient for some arsenic to kill them with. On one occasion a moth with a pin through its body had gone on flying about the room for a long time; another time some caterpillars which the child was keeping to turn into chrysalises starved to death. At a still more tender age the same child used to tear the wings off hutles and butterflies. But to-day she would be horrified at all these cruel actions­ she had grown so kind-hearted. The patient reftected over this contradiction. It reminded her of another contradiction, between appearance and character, as George Eliot displays it in .A.dam Bide: one girl who was pretty, but vain and stupid, and another who was ugly, but of high character; a nobleman who seduced the silly girl, and a working man who felt and acted with true nobility. How impossible it was, she remarked, to recognize that sort of thing in people! Who would have gues.,cd, to look at lur, that she was tormented by sensual desires? In the same year in which the little girl had begun collecting buttcrftics, the district they were in had suffered from a serious plagu e of may-beetles. The children were furious with the beetles and erushed them unmercifully. At that time my patient had seen a man who tore the wings off may-beetles and then ate their bodies. She herself had been born in May and had been married in May. Three days after her marriage she had written to her parents at home saying how happy she was. But it had been far from true. The evening before the dream she had been rummaging among some old lettcn and had read some of them-.ome serious and some comic-aloud to her children. There had been a most amusing letter from a piano-teacher who had courted her when she was a girl, and another from an admirer ofnoble birth. 1 She blamed hcnclf bccause one of her daughters had got hold of a 'bad' book by Maupassant.• The arseni& that the girl had 1 Thia had been the true instigator of the dream. • An interpolation is required at this point: 'boob of that kind are poison to a girl'. The patient heneJf had dipped into forbidden boob a great deal when she wu young.



asked for reminded her of the arsmie pills which restored the Due de Mora's youthful strength in [Daudet's] L, Nahah. 'Set them free' made her think of a passage in the Magi& Flute: Zur Liebe kann ich dich nicht zwingen, Doch geb ich dir du Freilw nicht.1 'May-beetles' also made her think of Kitchen's words: Verliebtja wie ein KtJjer hist du mir.1 And in the middle of all this came a quotation from Tann­ hiiwer: Weil du von h6ser Last beseelt .••• She was living in a perpetual worry about her absent hus­ band. Her fear that something might happen to him on his journey was expressed in numerous waking phantasies. A short time before, in the course of her analysis, she had lighted among her unconscious thoughts upon a complaint about her husband 'growing senile'. The wishful thought concealed by her present dream will perhaps best be conjectured if I mention that, some days before she dreamt it, she was horrified, in the middle of her daily affairs, by a phrase in the imperative mood which came into her head and was aimed at her husband: 'Go and hang yourself!' It turned out that a few hours earlier she had read somewhere or other that when a man is hanged he gets a powerful erection. The wish for an erection was what had emerged from repression in this horrifying disguise. 'Go and hang yourself!' was equivalent to: 'Get yourself an erection at any price!' Dr. Jenkins's arsenic pills in L, Nahal, fitted in here. But my patient was also aware that the most powerful aphrodisiac, cantharides (commonly known as 'Spanish flies'), was prepared 1

(Fear not, to love I'll ne'er compel thee; Yet 'tis too aoon to s,t thafru. (Sarastro to Pamina in the Finau to Act 1.E. J. Dent's tramlation.)] • ['You arc madly in love with me.' Literally: 'You arc in love with me like a b#tu.' From Kleist'1 K4Jdwn l10n HnJJmmn, IV, 2.)-A further train of thought led to the aame poet'• PlllllwilM, and to the idea of mul4, to a lover. • [Literally: 'Becauae thou wast inspired by such ml pl,asur,.' This ii presumably a recollection of the opening phrase of the Pope'• con­ demnation reported by TannhlU1Cr in the laat 1Cc:De of the opera. The actual won:la are: 'Hast du 10 be.c Lust getheilt'-'Since thou hut shared such evil plcuurc'.]



from mulud butlu. This was the drift of the principal part of the dream'• content. The opening and abutting of wwlows was one of the main subjects of dispute between her and her husband. She hcnelf was acrophilic i n her sleeping habits; her husband was acro­ phobic. Exhaustion was the chief symptom which she complained of at the time of the dream. In all three of the dreams which I have just recorded, I have indicated by italics the points at which one of the clements of the dream-content rcappcan in the dream-thoughts, so as to show clearly the multiplicity of connections arising from the former. Since, however, the analysis of none of these dreams has been traced to its end, it will perhaps be worth while to consider a dream whose analysis has been recorded c:xhawtivcly, so as to ahow how its content is over-determined. For this purpose I will take the dream oflrma's injection [p.106 ff.]. It will be easy to ace from that example that the work of condensation makes use of more than one method in the construction of dreams. The principal figure in the dream-content was my patient Irma. She appeared with the features which were hen in real life, and thus, in the fint instance, represented hcnclf. But the position in which I examined her by the window was derived from someone else, the lady for whom, as the dream-thoughts showed, I wanted to exchange my patient. In so far as Irma appeared to have a diphthcritic membrane, which recalled my anxiety about my eldest daughter, she stood for that child and, behind her, through her possession of the same name as my daughter, was hidden the figure of my patient who succumbed to poisoning. In the further counc of the dream the figure of Irma acquired still other meanings, without any alteration occurring in the visual picture of her in the dream. She turned into one of the children whom we had examined in the neuro­ logical department of the children's hospital, where my two friends revealed their contrasting characters. The figure of my own child was evidently the stepping-stone towards this transi­ tion. The same 'Inna's' recalcitrance over opening her mouth brought an allusion to another lady whom I had once examined, and, through the same connection, to my wife. Moreover, the pathological changes which I discovered i:a her throat involved allusions to a whole series of other figures.



None of these figures whom I lighted upon by following up 'Inna' appeared in the dream in bodily shape. They were con­ cealed behind the dream figure of 'Irma', which was thus turned into a collective image with, it must be admitted, a number of contradictory characteristics. Irma became the representative of all these other figures which had been sacrificed to the work of condensation, since I passed over to lzer, point by point, every­ thing that reminded me of them. There is another way in which a 'collective figure' can be produced for purposes of dream-condensation, namely by unit­ ing the actual features of two or more people into a single dream-image. It was in this way that the Dr. M. of my dream was constructed. He bore the name of Dr. M., he spoke and acted like him; but his physical characteristics and his malady belonged to someone else, namely to my eldest brother. One single feature, his pale appearance, was doubly determined, since it was common to both of them in real life. Dr. R. in my dream about my uncle with the yellow beard [p. 136 ff.] was a similar composite figure. But in his case the dream-image was constructed in yet another way. I did not combine the features of one person with those of another and in the process omit from the memory-picture certain features of each of them. What I did was to adopt the procedure by means of which Galton produced family portraits: namely by projecting two images on to a single plate, so that certain fea­ tures common to both are emphasized, while those which fail to fit in with one another cancel one another out and arc indis­ tinct in the picture. In my dream about my uncle the fair beard emerged prominently from a face which belonged to two people and which was consequently blurred; incidentally, the beard further involved an allusion to my father and myself through the intermediate idea of growing grey. The construction of collective and composite figures is one of the chief methods by which condensation operates in dreams. I ahall presently have occasion to deal with them in another context. [Sec p. 320 £] The occurrence of the idea of 'dysentery' in the dream of Inna's injection also had a multiple determination: fint owing to its phonetic similarity to 'diphtheria' [see p. 114], and aecondly owing to its connection with the patient whom I had acnt to the East and whose hysteria was not recognized.



Another interesting example of condcnaation in this dream was the mention in it of 'propyls' [p. 115 ff.]. What was con­ tained in the dream-thoughts was not 'propyls' but 'amyls'. It might be supposed that a single displacement had taken place a t this point in the construction of the dream. This was indeed the case. But the displacement served the purposes of condensation, as is proved by the following addition to the analysis ofthe dream. When I allowed my attention to dwell for a moment longer on the word 'propyls', it occurred to me that it sounded like 'Propylaca'. But there arc Propylaca not only in Athens but in Munich.1 A year before the dream I had gone to Munich to visit a friend who was seriously ill at the time-the same friend who was unmistakably alluded to in the dream by the word 'tri­ mcthylamin' which occurred immediately after 'propyls'. I shall pass over the striking way in which here, as elsewhere in dream-analyses, associations of the most various inherent importance arc used for laying down thought-connections as though they were ofequal weight, and shall yield to the tempta­ tion to give, as it were, a plastic picture of the proccss by which the amyls in the dream-thoughts were replaced by propyls i n the dream-content. On the one hand we sec the group of ideas attached to my friend Otto, who did not understand me, who sided against me, and who made me a present ofliqueur with an aroma of amyl. On the other hand we see-linked to the former group by its very contrast-the group of ideas attached to my friend in Berlin [Wilhelm Flicss], who did understand me, who would take my side, and to whom I owed so much valuable informa­ tion, dealing, amongst other things, with the chemistry of the sexual processes. The recent exciting causes-the actual instigaton of the dream-determined what was to attract my attention in the 'Otto' group; the amyl was among these selected clements, which were predestined to form part of the dream-content. The copious 'Wilhelm' group was stirred up precisely through being in contrast to 'Otto', and those clements in it were emphasized which echoed those which were already stirred up in 'Otto'. All through the dream, indeed, I kept on turning from someone . who annoyed me to someone else who could be agreeably con­ trasted with him; point by point, I called up a friend against an 1 [A ceremonial portico on the model of the Athenian one.]



opponent. Thus the amyl in the 'Otto' group produced memories from the field of chemistry in the other group; in this manner the trimethylamin, which was supported from several direc­ tions, found its way into the dream-content. 'Amyls' itself might have entered the dream-content unmodified; but it came under the influence of the 'Wilhelm' group. For the whole range of memories covered by that name was searched through in order to find some element which could provide a two-sided determination for 'amyls'. 'Propyls' was closely associated with 'amyls', and Munich from the 'Wilhelm' group with its 'pro­ pylaea' came half-way to meet it. The two groups of ideas con­ verged in 'propyls-propylaea'; and, as though by an act of com­ promise, this intermediate element was what found its way into the dream-content. Here an intermediate common entity had been constructed which admitted of multiple determination. It is obvious, therefore, that multiple determination must make it easier for an element to force its way into the dream-content. In order to construct an intermediate link of this kind, attention is without hesitation displaced from what is actually intended on to some neighbouring association. Our study of the dream of Irma's injection has already enabled us to gain some insight into the processes of condensa­ tion during the formation of dreams. We have been able to observe certain of their details, such as how preference is given to elements that occur several times over in the dream-thoughts, how new unities are formed (in the shape of collective figures and composite structures), and how intermediate common entities are constructed. The further questions of the purpos, of condensation and of the factors which tend to produce it will not be raised till we come to consider the whole question of the psychical processes at work in the formation of dreams. [See p. 330 and Chapter VII, Section E, especially p. 595 ff.] We will be content for the present with recognizing the fact that dream-condensation is a notable characteristic of the rela­ tion between dream-thoughts and dream-content. The work of condensation in dreams is seen at its clearest when it handles words and names. It is true in general that words are frequently treated in dreams as though they were things, and for that reason they are apt to be combined in juat

296 VI. TIIE DREAM-WORK the same way as arc presentations of things. 1 Dreams of this sort offer the most amusing and curious neologisms.• I

On one occasion a medical colleague had sent me a paper he had written, in which the importance of a recent physiological discovery was, in m y opinion, overestimated, and in which, above all, the subject was treated in too emotional a manner. The next night I dreamt a sentence which clearly referred to this paper: 'It's written in a posino,ly 111Jf'ekdal s9u.' The analys is of the word caused me some difficulty at first. There could be no doubt that it was a parody of the [German] superlatives '/colossal' and 'py,amidaf; but its origin was not so easy to guess. At last I saw that the monstrosity was composed of the two names 'Nora' and 'Ekdal' -charactcn in two well-known plays of Ibsen's. [A Dolfs HOUS4 and T/14 Wild Duck.] Some time before, I had read a newspaper article on Ibsen by the same author whose latest work I was criticizing in the dream. D

. One of my women patients told me a short dream which ended in a meaningless verbal compound. She dreamt she was with her husband at a peasant festivity and said: 'This will end in a general "MaistollmSk.".' In the dream she had a vague feel­ ing that it was some kind of pudding made with maize-a sort of polenta. Analysis divided the word into 'Mais' ['maize'], 'tolr ['mad'], 'mannstoll' ['nymphomaniac'-litcrally 'mad for men'] and OlmSk, [a town in Moravia]. All these fragments were found to be remnants of a convcnation she had had at table with her rdativcs. The following words lay behind 'Mais' (in addition to a reference to the recently opened Jubilee Exhi­ bition•): 'Meissm' (a Meissen [Dresden] porcelain figure repre­ senting a bird); 'Miss' (her rdatives' English governess had 1 [The relation between presentatiom of words and of things wu diacwscd by Freud very much later, in the lut pages ofhiJ paper on the Unconscious (1915,).] • [A dream involving a number of verbal conceits ii reported by Freud in Chapter V (10) ofhiJ Psyc/,J,patl,ology of&,,yday Lif, (1901b). -The examples which follow are, u will be aeen, for the most part unu-amlatable. See Editor'• Introduction (p. xxi.i).] I rro commea,nrate the jubilee of the Emperor Francia Joaeph, which WU celebrated in 1898.1



just gone to O/mQt�); and 'mies' (a Jewish slang term, used jokingly to mean 'disgusting'). A long chain of thoughts and associations led off from each syllable of this verbal hotch­ potch.

m A young man, whose door-bell had been rung late one njght by an acquaintance who wanted to leave a visiting-card on him, had a dream that night: A man had been working till late in tlu tl)ffling to put his house-telephone in order. After Ju had gone, it kept on ringing-not conlimunuly, but with dttached ·rings. His servant fttclud tlu man back, and the latter remarked: 'It's a fanny thing that evm people who are "tutelrein" as a rule are quite unable to deal with a thing like this.' It will be seen that the indifferent exciting cause of the dream only covers one clement ofit. That episode only obtained any importance from the fact that the dreamer put it in the same series as an earlier experience which, though equally indifferent in itself, was given a substitutive meaning by his imagination. When he was a boy, living with his father, he had upset a glass of water over the floor while he was half-asleep. The flex of the house-telephone had been soaked through and its continuous ringing had disturbed his father's sleep. Since the continuous ringing corresponded to getting wet, the 'detaclud rings' were used to represent drops falling. The word 'tutelrein' could be analysed in three directions, and led in that way to three of the subjects represented in the dream-thoughts. 'Tutel' is a legal term for 'guardianship' ['tutelage']. 'Tutel' (or possibly 'Tuttef) is also a vulgar term for a woman's breast. The remain­ ing portion of the word, 'rein' ['clean'], combined with the first part of ',?,immertdeg,aph' ['house-telephone'], forms •�immerrein' ['house-trained']-which is closely connected with making the floor wet, and, in addition, sounded very much like the name of a member of the dreamer's family. 1 1 In waking life this same kind of analysis and synthesis of syllables­ a syllabic chemistry, in fact-plays a part in a great number of jokes: 'What is the cheapest way of obtaining silver? You go down an avenue ofsilver poplan [Pappeln, which means both "poplars" and "babbling"] and call for silence. The babbling then ceases and the silver is releued.' The first reader and' aitic of this book-and his successors are likely to follow hia example-protested that 'the dreamer seems to be too ingcni0111 and amusing'. This is quite true 10 long as it refcn only to the



In a confused dream of my own ofsome length, whose central point seemed to be a sea voyage, it appeared that the next stopping place was called 'Hearsinj and the next after that 'Fliess'. This last word was the name of my friend in B[crlin], who has often been the goal of my travels. 'Hearsing' was a compound. One pan ofit was derived from the names of places on the suburban railway near Vienna, which so often end in 'ing': Hietzing, Licsing, Modling (Medclitz, '11UU delicuu', was its old name-that is 'meine Freud' ['my delight']). The other pan was derived from the English word 'hearsay'. This sug­ gested slander and established the dream's connection with its indifferent instigator of the previous day: a poem in the periodi­ cal Flugmde Blatter about a slanderous dwarf called 'Sagter Hatergesagt' ['He-says Says-he']. If the syllable 'ing' were to be added to the name 'Fliess' we should get 'Vlissingcn•, which was in fact the stopping-place on the sea voyage made by my brother whenever he visited us from England. But the English name for Vlissingen is 'Flushing', which in English means 'blushing' and reminded me of the patients I have treated for creutophobia, and also of a recent paper on that neurosis by Bcchtcrew which had caused me 10me annoyance. V

On another occasion I had a dream which consisted of two separate pieces. The fint piece was the word 'Autodidasur', dreamer; it would only be an objection if it were to be extended to the dream-interpreter. In waking reality I have little claim to be regarded

as a wit. If my dreams seem amusing, that is not on my account, but on account of the peculiar psychological conditions under which drcama are constructed; and the fact is intimately connected with the theory of jokca and the comic. Dreams become ingenious and amusing becaUIC the direct and casicat pathway to the•exprcaion of their thoughts is barred: they arc forced into being so. The reader can convince himlclf that my patients' dreams seem at least u full of jokca and puns u my own, or even fuller.-[Added 1909:] Nevertheless this objection led me to compare the technique ofjokca with the dream-work; and the results arc to be found .\11 the book which I publilhed on Jokes tlltd tJw &lalum to tJw Un&OtlS&WUS (1905c) [in particular in Chapter VI.-Towardl the end of this chapter Freud rcmarb that arc bad, and explains why this should be so. The same point is made in Lecture XV of the I� L«turu (1916-17.)-The 'fint reader' referred to above was Flicas, and the qucation is dealt with in a letter to him of September 11, 1899 (Freud, 1950a. Letter I 18).]



which I recalled vividly. The second piece was an exact repro­ duction ofa short and harmless phantasy which I had produced some days before. This phantasy was to the effect that when I next saw Professor N. I must say to him: 'The patient about whose condition I consulted you recently is in fact only suffering from a neurosis, just as you suspected.' Thus the neologism 'Autodidasker' must satisfy two conditions: fintly, it must bear or represent a composite meaning; and secondly, that meaning must be solidly related to the intention I had reproduced from waking life of making amends to Professor N. The word 'Autodidasker' could easily be analysed into 'Autor' [author], 'Autodidakt' [self-taught] and 'Lasker', with which I also associated the name of Lassalle.1 The fint of these words led to the precipitating cause of the dream-this time a signi­ ficant one. I had given my wife several volumes by a well­ known [Austrian] writer who was a friend of my brother's, and who, as I have learnt, was a native of my own birthplace: J. J. David. One evening she had told me of the deep impres­ sion that had been made on her by the tragic story in one of David's books of how a man of talent went to the bad; and our conversation had turned to a discussion of the gifts of which we saw signs in our own children. Under the impact of what she had been reading, my wife expressed concern about the chil­ dren, and I consoled her with the remark that those were the very dangers which could be kept at bay by a good upbringing. My train of thought was carried further during the night; I took up my wife's concern and wove all kinds of other things into it. A remark made by the author to my brother on the subject of marriage showed my thoughts a by-path along which they might come to be represented in the dream. This path led to Brcslau, where a lady with whom we were very friendly had gone to be married and settle down. The concern I felt over the danger of coming to griefover a woman-for that was the kernel of my dream-thoughts-found an example in Brcslau in the cases of Lasker and Lassalle which made it possible to give a simultaneous picture of the two ways in which this fatal influ1 [Ferdinand Las.,alle, founder of the German Social Democratic move­ ment, was born at Brcslau in 1825 and died in 1864. Eduard Lasker (1829-1884), bom atJarotschin, not far from Brcslau, was one of the founders of the National Liberal Party in Germany. Both were of Jewiah origin.]

VI. nm DREAM-WORK 300 ence can be cxercised.1 'Clurclut lafnnrru', the phrase in which these thoughts could be summarized, led me, taken in another sense, to my still unmarried brother, whose name is Alexander. I now perceived that 'Alex', the shortened form of the name by which we call him, has almost the same sound as an anagram of 'Lasker', and that this factor must have had a share in leading my thoughts along the by-path by way of Breslau.

The play which I was making here upon names and syllables had a still further sense, however. It expressed a wish that my brother might have a happy domestic life, and it did so in this way. In Zola's novel of an artist's life, L'rzuure, the subject of which must have been close to my dream-thoughts, its author, as is well known, introduced himself and his own domestic hap­ piness as an episode. He appears under the name of 'Sandoz'. The transformation was probably arrived at as follows. If 'Zola' is written backwards (the sort of thing children are so fond of doing), we arrive at 'Aloz'. No doubt this seemed too undis­ guised. He therefore replaced 'Al', which is the first syllable of 'Alexander' by 'Sand', which is the third syllable of the same name; and in this way 'Sandoz' came into being. My own 'Autodidasker' arose in much the same fashion. I must now explain how my phantasy of telling Professor N. that the patient we had both examined was only suffering from a neurosis made its way into the dream. Shortly before the end of my working year, I began the treatment of a new patient who quite baffled my powcn of diagnosis. The presence of a grave organic disease-perhaps some degeneration of the spinal cord -strongly suggested itself but could not be established. It would have been tempting to diagnose a neurosis (which would have solved every difficulty), if only the patient had not repudiated with so much energy the sexual history without which I refuse to recognize the presence of a neurosis. In my embarrassment I sought help from the physician whom I, like many other people, respect more than any as a man. and before whose authority I am readiest to bow. He listened to my doubts, told me they were justified, and then gave his opinion: 'Keep the man under observation; it must be a neurosis.' Since I knew he 1 Lasker died of tabcs, that is, as a result of an infection (syphilia) contracted from a woman; Lassalle, as everyone knows, fell in a duel on account of a woman. [George Meredith'■ Tra,i& Com,dwns is hued oa hi■ story.]



did not share my views on the aetiology of the neuroses, I did not produce my counter-argument, but I made no concealment of my scepticism. A few days later I informed the patient that I could do nothing for him and recommended him to seek other advice. Whereupon, to my intense astonishment, he started apologizing for having lied to me. He had been too much ashamed of himself, he said, and went on to reveal precisely the piece of sexual aetiology which I had been expecting and without which I had been unable to accept his illness as a neurosis. I was relieved but at the same time humiliated. I had to admit that my consultant, not being led astray by considering the anamnesis, had seen more clearly than I had. And I pro­ posed to tell him as much when I next met him-to tell him that /u had been right and / wrong. This was precisely what I did in the dream. But what sort of a wish-fulfilment can there have been in confessing that I was wrong? To be wrong was, however, just what I did wish. I wanted to be wrong in my fean, or, more precisely, I wanted my wife, whose fcan I had adopted in the dream-thoughts, to be wrong. The subject round which the question of right or wrong revolved in the dream was not far removed from what the dream-thoughts were really concerned with. There was the same alternative between organic and functional damage caused by a woman, or, more properly, by sexuality: tabetic paralysis or neurosis? (The manner of Lassalle's death could be loosely classed in the latter category.) In this closely knit and, when it was carefully interpreted, very transparent dream, Professor N. played a part not only on account of this analogy and of my wish to be wrong, and on account of his incidental connections with Breslau and with the family of our friend who had settled there after her marriage­ but also on account of the following episode which occurred at the end of our consultation. When he had given his opinion and so concluded our medical discussion, he turned to more personal subjects: 'How many children have you got now?'-'Six.'-He made a gesture of admiration and concern.-'Girls or boys?''Three and three: they arc my pride and my treasurc.'-'Wcll, now, be on your guard! Girls are safe enough, but bringing up boys leads to difficulties later on.'-1 protested that mine had been very well behaved so far. Evidently this second diagnosis, on the future of my boys, pleased me no more than the earlier



one, according to which my patient was suffering from a neurosis. Thus these two impressions were bound up together by their contiguity, by the fact of their having been experienced both at once; and in taking the story of the neurosis into my dream, I was substituting it for the conversation about upbringing, which had more connection with the dream-thoughts, since it touched so closely upon the worries later cxprcsacd by my wife.

So even my fear that N. might be right in what he said about the difficulty of bringing up boys had found a place in the dream, for it lay concealed behind the representation of my wish that I myself might be wrong in harbouring such fears. The same served unaltered to represent both of the opposing .alternatives. VI

'Early this morning, 1 between dreaming and waking, I experienced a very nice example of verbal condensation. In the counc of a mass of dream-fragments that I could scarcely remember, I was brought up short, as it were, by a word which I saw before me as though it were half written and half printed. The word was "erzefilisch", and it formed part of a sentence which slipped into my conscious memory apart from any con­ text and in complete isolation: "That has an erzefilisck infiucncc on the sexual emotions." I knew at that the word ought really to have been "erziekerisck" ("educational"]. And I was i n doubt for some time whether the second "e" i n "erzejilisck" should not have been an "i".• In that connection the word "syphilis" occurred to me and, starting to analyse the dream while I was still half asleep, I racked my brains in an effort to make out how that word could have got into my dream, since I had nothing to do with the disease either personally or pro­ fessionally. I then thought of "erzeklerisck" [another nonsense 1 Quoted from Marcinowski [1911]. [This paragraph was added in 1914.) • [This ingenious example of condensation turns upon the pronun­ ciation of the second syllable-the strcacd syllable-of the nonsense word. If it is 'u', it is pronounced roughly lilte the English 'tsay', thus resembling the second syllabic of 'ert:llhlm' and of the invented 'm:.,hur­ iseh'. If it is '.ti', it i s pronounced roughly liltc the English 'tsce', thus resembling the second syllable of'erzuhmsch', as wdl as (less closely) the fint syllable of 'syphilis'.]



word], and this explained the "e" of the second syllable of "erzejiliscll' by reminding me that the evening before I had been asked by our governess [Erzieherin] to say something to her on the problem of prostitution, and had given her Hesse's book on prostitution in order to influence her emotional life-for this had not developed quite normally; after which I had talked [erdh/t] a lot to her on the problem. I then saw all at once that the word "syphilis" was not to be taken literally, but stood for "poison"-of course in relation to sexual life. When translated, therefore, the sentence in the dream ran quite logically: "My talk [Erdh/ung] was intended to have an educational [m:;ielzerisch] influence on the emotional life of our governess [Erzieherin] ; but I fear it may at the same time have had a poisonous effect." "Erzefil,iseh" was compounded from "erzak-" and "erzieh-" .' The verbal malformations in dreams greatly resemble those which are familiar in paranoia but which are also present in hysteria and obsessions. The linguistic tricks performed by children,1 who sometimes actually treat words as though they were objects and moreover invent new languages and artificial syntactic forms, are the common source of these things in dreams and psychoneuroses alike. The analysis of the nonsensical verbal forms that occur in dreams • is particularly well calculated to exhibit the dream­ work's achievements in the way of condensation. The reader should not conclude from the paucity of the instances which I have given that material of this kind is rare or observed at all exceptionally. On the contrary, it is very common. But as a result of the fact that dream-interpretation is dependent upon psycho-analytic treatment, only a very small number of in­ stances are observed and recorded and the analyses of such instances are as a rule only intelligible to experts in the pathology of the neuroses. Thus a dream of this kind was reported by Dr. von Karpinska (1914) containing the nonsensical verbal form: 'Svingnum elvi'. It is also worth mentioning those cases in which a word appears in a dream which is not in itself meaningless but which has lost its proper meaning and combines a number of other meanings to which it is related in just the same way as a 'meaningless' word would be. This is what occurred, for 1 [See Chapter IV of Freud's book on jokes (190!x).] • [This paragraph was added in 1916.]



instance, in the ten-year-old boy's dream of a 'category' which was recorded by Tausk (1913). 'Category' in that case meant 'female genitals', and to 'categorate' meant the same as 'to micturate'. Where spoken sentences occur in dreams and are expressly distinguished as such from thoughts, it is an invariable rule that the words spoken in the dream are derived from spoken words remembered in the-dream-material. The text of the speech is either retained unaltered or expressed with some slight displace­ ment. A speech in a dream is often put together from various recollected speeches, the text remaining the same but being given, if possible, several meanings, or one different from the original one. A spoken remark in a dream is not infrequently no more than an allusion to an occasion on which the remark i n question was made. 1 1 [Footnote added 1909:] Not long ago I found a single exception to this rule in the case of a young man who suffered from obscaions while retaining intact his highly developed intellectual powen. The spoken words which occurred in his dreams were not derived from remarlc1 which he had heard or made himself. They contained the undistorted text of his obsessional thoughts, which in his waking life only reached his consciousness in a modified fonn. [This young man was the subject of Freud's case history of an obsessional neurotic (the 'Rat Man'); a refer­ ence to this point will be found there (Freud, 1909d) near the beginning of Section Il(A).-The question of spoken words in dreams is dealt with much more fully below on p. 416 ff.}

{B) THE WORK OF DISPLACEMENT In making our collection of instances of condensation in dreams, the existence of another relation, probably of no less importance, had already become evident. It could be seen that the elements which stand out as the principal components of the manifest content ofthe dream are far from playing the sanrc part in the dream-thoughts. And, as a corollary, the converse of this assertion can be affirmed: what is clearly the essence of the dream-thoughts need not be represented in the dream at all. The dream is, as it were, differently centred from the dream­ thoughts-its content has different elements as its central point• . Thus in the dream of the botanical monograph [p. 169 ff.], for instance/ the central point of the dream-content was obviously the clement ''; whereas the dream-thoughts were concerned with the complications and conflicts arising between colleagues from their professional obligations, and further with the charge that I was i n the habit of sacrificing too much for the sake of my hobbies. The clement 'botanical' had no place whatever in this core of the dream-thoughts, unless it was loosely connected with it by an antithesis-the fact that botany never had a place among my favourite studies/In my patient's Sapp!w dream [p. 285 ff.] the central. position was occupied by climbing up and down and being up above and down below; the dream-thoughts, however, dealt with the dangers ofsexual relations with people ofan infcrior social class. So that only a single element of the dream-thoughts seems to have found its way into the dream-content, though that clement was expanded to a disproportionate extent. Similarly, in the dream of the may-beetles [p. 289 ff.],. the topic of which was the relations of sexuality to cruelty, it is true that the factor of cruelty emerged in the dream-content; but it did so in another connection and without any mention of sexuality, that is to say, divorced from its context and consequently transformed into something extraneous. Once again, in my dream about my uncle [p. 136 ff.], the fair beard which formed its centre-point seems to have had no connection in its meaning with my s.P. rv-v




ambitious wishes which, as we saw, were the core ofthe dream­ .thoughts. Dreams such a, these give a justifiable impression of 'displacement'. In complete contrast to these examples, we can see that in the dream of Irma's injection [p. 106 ff.] the dif­ ferent elements were able to retain, during the proccss of con­ structing the dream, the approximate place which they occupied in the dream-thoughts. This further relation between the dream­ thoughts and the dream-content, wholly variable as it is in its sense or direction, is calculated at fint to create astonishment. Ifwe are considering a psychical process in normal life and find that one out ofits several component ideas has been picked out and has acquired a special degree of vividness in consciousness, we usually regard this effect as evidence that a specially high amount of psychical value-some particular degree of interest -attaches to this predominant idea. But we now discover that, in the case of the different elements of the dream-thoughts, a value ofthis kind does not pcnist or is disregarded in the process of dream-formation. There is never any doubt as to which of the elements of the dream-thoughts have the highest psychical value; we learn that by direct judgement. In the counc of the formation of a dream these essential elements, charged, as they are, with intense interest, may be treated as though they were of small value, and their place may be taken in the dream by other elements, of whose small value in the dream-thoughts there can be no question. At first sight it looks as though no attention whatever is paid to the psychical intcnsity1 of the various ideas in making the choice among them for the dream, and as though the only thing considered is the greater or less degree of multiplicity of their determination. What appears in dreams, we might suppose, is not what is important in the dream­ thoughts but what occun in them several times over. But this hypothesis does not greatly assist our understanding of dream­ formation, since from the nature ofthings it seems clear that the two facton of multiple determination and inherent psychical value must necessarily operate in the same sense. The ideas which arc most important among the dream-thoughts will almo,t certainly be those which occur most often in them, since the different dream-thoughts will, as it were, radiate out from 1 Ps.,d,i,eal intemity or value or the degree of interest of an idea is rL coune to be clistingwahed from muor, intensity or the intemity of the image prelCDted.





them. Nevertheless a dream can reject clements which arc thus both highly atrcs.,ed in themaclves and reinforced from many directions, and can aclect for its content other clements which possess only the second of these attributes. • In order to solve this difficulty we shall make use of another impression derived from our enquiry [in the previom section] into the ovcrdetermination of the dream-content. Perhaps some of those who have read that enquiry may already have formed an independent conclusion that the ovcrdetermination of the elements of dreams is no very important discovery, since it is a self-evident one. For in analysis we start out from the dream­ elements and note down all the associations which lead offfrom them; so that there is nothing surprising in the fact that in the thought-material arrived at in this way we come across these same elements with peculiar frequency. I cannot accept this objection; but I will myself put into words something that sounds not unlike it. Among the thoughts that analysis brings to light arc many which are relatively remote from the kernel of the dream and which look like artificial interpolations made for some particular purpose. That purpose is easy to divine. I t is precisely they that constitute a connection, often a forced and far-fetched one, between the dream-content and the drcam­ thoughts; and if these clements were weeded out of the analysis the result would often be that the component parts of the dream­ content would be left not only without ovcrdetermination but without any satisfactory determination at all. We shall be led to conclude that the multiple determination which decides what shall be included in a dream is not always a primary factor in dream-construction but is often the secondary product of a psychical force which is still unknown to us. Nevertheless multiple determination must be of importance in choosing what particular clements shall enter a dream, since we can see that a considerable expenditure of effort is used to bring it about in cases where it docs not arise from the dream-material unassisted. It thus seems plausible to suppose that in the dream-work a psychical force is operating which on the one hand strips the clements which have a high psychical value of their intensity, and on the other hand, h,1 means ofoverdetmnination, creates from clements of low psychical value new values, which afterwards find their way into the dream-contcnL If that is so, a transfern,ee and displaeement of ps.,ela&al UIUIISitiu occun in the. procca of



drcam-fonnation, and it is as a result of these that the difference between the text of the dream-content and that of the dream­ thoughts comes about. The process which we arc here presum­ ing is no� less than the essential portion of the dream­ work; and it deserves to be described as 'dream-displacement'.

Dream-displacement and dream-condensation are the two

governing factors to whose activity we may in essence ascribe the form assumed by dreams. Nor do I think we shall have any difficulty in recognizing the psychical force which manifests itself in the facts of drcam­ displaccmcnt. The consequence of the displacement is that the dream-content no longer resembles the core of the dream­ thoughts and that the dream gives no more than a distortion of the dream-wish which exists in the unconsciow. But we arc already familiar with dream-distortion. We traced it back to the censorship which is exercised by one psychical agency in the mind over another. [See p. 141 ff.] Dream-displacement is one of the chief methods by which that distortion is achieved. Is ftcil euip,ofait.1 W c may assume, then, that dream-displacement comes about through the influence ofthe same censorship-that is, the censorship of cndopsychic defence.• The question of the interplay of these factors-of displace­ ment, condensation and. overdctcrmination-in the construc­ tion of dreams, and the question which is a dominant factor and which a subordinate one-all of this we shall leave aside for later investigation. [See e.g. p. 405 ff.] But we can state provisionally a second condition which mwt be satisfied by those elements of the dream-thoughts which make their ,way into the dream: they must escape the censorship imposed by resistance.• And henceforward in interpreting dreams we shall take dream­ displacement into account as an undeniable fact. 1

[The old legal tag: 'He did the deed who gained by it.']

• [Footnote added 1909:] Since I may say that the kernel of my theoryof dreams lies in my derivation of dream-distortion from the censonhip, I will here insert the last part of a story from Phantasim lines lualistm [PJumtasies of a lualist] by 'Lynkcua' (Vienna, 2nd edition, 1900 (1st edition, 1899]), in which I have found this principal feature of my theory once more expounded. [Sec above, Postscript, 1909, to Chapter I, p. 94 f.; also Freud, l 923fand 1932,.] The title ofthe story is 'Tniwnen wie Wachcn' ('Dreaming like Waking']: 'About a man who has the remarkable attribute of nevn- dreaming

DODICnle• ••



' "This splendid gift of youn, for dreaming u though you were wak­ ing, is a c:omequence of your virtues, of your kindnaa, your 1CD1C of juaticc, and your love of truth; it ii the moral ICl'ellity of your nature which makes me understand all about you." '"But when I think the matter over properly", replied the other, "I alm.oet believe that everyone is made like me, and that no one at all ever drcum nomcmc. Any dream which one can remember clearly enough to describe it afterwarda-any dream, that is to say, which is not a fcvcr-dream-muat alW41s make aensc, and it cannot p,gan with a 1epesentation of thia love-scene by convulsive twitching of her body, accompanied by move­ ment, of her lips to represent kissing and tightening of her anm to represent embracing. She then hurried into the next room, sat down oo a chair, raised her skirt 10 as to mow her foot, pretended to he reading a book and apoke to me (that is, amwcrcd mc).-[.ddd,d 1914:] Cf. in thia connection what Artemidorul says: 'In interpreting the images aeen in dreams ooe must 10metimes follow them from the beginning to the end and 10metimes from the end to the tqinning, ••' [Book I, Chapter XI, Krauss's translation (1881), 20.] • [This paragraph was added in 1911.]



had been guilty of an act of sexual aggression against someone, and as a punishment had been threatened in these words: 'just you wait till your father comes back!' 'fwe wish to pursue our study ofthe relations between dream­ content and dream-thoughts further, the best plan will be to take dreams themselves as our point of departure and consider what ccrtain/onnal characteristics of the method of representa­ tion in dreams signify in relation to the thoughts underlying them. Most prominent among theseformal characteristics, which cannot fail to impress us in dreams, are the differences in sensory intensity between particular dream-images and in the distinct­ ness of particular parts of dreams or of whole dreams as com­ pared with one another. The differences in intensity between particular dream-images cover the whole range extending between a sharpness of defini­ tion which we fccl inclined, no doubt unjustifiably, to regard as greater than that of reality and an irritating vagueness which we declare characteristic ofdreams because it is not completely comparable to any degree of indistinctness which we ever per­ ceive in real objects. Furthermore we usually describe an impression which we have of an indistinct object in a dream as 'fleeting', while we fccl that those dream-images which arc more distinct have been perceived for a considerable length of time. The question now arises what it is in the material of the dream-thoughts that determines these differences in the vivid­ ness of particular pieces of the content of a dream. Wc must begin by countering certain expectations which almost inevitably present themselves. Since the material of a dream may include real sensations experienced during sleep, it will probably be presumed that these, or the clements in the dream derived from them, arc given prominence in the dream­ content by appearing with special intensity; or, convcrscly, that whatever is very specially vivid in a dream can be traced back to real sensations during sleep. In my experience, however, this has never been confirmed. It is not the case that the clements of a dream which are derivatives of real impressions during sleep (i.e. of ncrvoua stimuli) are distinguished by their vividness from other clements which arise from memories. The factor of reality counts for nothing in determining the intensity ofdream­ images.



Again, it might be expected that the sensor:, intensity (that is, the vividness) of particular dream-images would be related to the psychical intensity of the clements in the dream-thoughts corresponding to them. In the latter, psychical intensity coin­ cides with psychical r,alue; the most intense clements are also the most important ones-those which form the centre-point of the dream-thoughts. We know, it is true, that thc:ac arc prcciacly elements which, on account of the censorship, cannot as a rule make their way into the content of the dream; nevertheless, it might well be that their immediate derivatives which represent them in the dream might bear a higher degree of intensity, without necesaarily on that account forming the centre of the dream. But this expectation too is disappointed by a compara­ tive study of dreams and the material from which they arc derived. The intensity of the clements in the one has no relation to the intensity of the clements in the other: the fact is that a complete 'transvaluation of all psychical values' [in Nietzsche's phrase] takes place between the material of the dream-thoughts and the dream. A direct derivative of what occupies a dominat­ ing position in the dream-thoughts can often only be discovered prcciscly in some transitory clement ofthe dream which is quite overshadowed by more powerful images. The intensity of the clements ofa dream turns out to be deter­ mined otherwise-and by two independent facton. In the fint place, it is easy to sec that the clements by which the wish­ fulfilment is expressed arc represented with special intensity. [Sec p. 561 f.] And in the second place, analysis shows that the most vivid clements of a dream arc the starting-point of the most numcrot11 trains of thought-that the most vivid clements are also those with the most numcrot11 determinants. We shall not be altering the sense of this empirically based assertion if we put it in these terms: the greatest intensity is shown by those clements of a dream on whose formation the greatest amount of condensation has been expended. [Cf. p. 595 f.] We may expect that it will eventually turn out to be possible to express this. determinant and the other (namely relation to the wish-fulfil­ mcnt) in a single formula. The problem with which I have just dealt-the causes of the greater or less intensity or clarity of particular clements of a dream-is not to be confounded with another problem, which



relates to the varying clarity of whole dreams or sections of dreams. In the former case clarity is contrasted with vaguenca, but in the latter case it i s contrasted with confusion. Ncvcrthc­ lcss it cannot be doubted that the increase and decrease of the qualities in the two scales run parallel. A acction of a dream which strikes us as perspicuous usually contains intense cle­ ments; a dream which is obscure, on the other hand, is com­ poecd of elements of small intensity. Yct the problem presented by the scale which runs from what is apparently clear to what is obscure and confused is far more complicated than that of the varying dcgrccs of vividness ofdream-clements. Indeed, for reasons which will appear later, the former problem cannot yet be discussed. [Sec p. 500 f.] In a few cases we find to our surprise that the imprcaion of clarity or indistinctncss given by a dream has no connection at all with the make-up of the dream itself but arises from the material of the dream-thoughts and is a constituent of it. Thus I remember a dream of mine which struck me when I woke up as being 10 particularly well-constructed, ftawlca and clear that, while I was still half-dazed with sleep, I thought of intro­ ducing a new category of dreams which were not subject to the mechanisms of condensation and displacement but were to be described as 'phantasics during sleep'. Closer examination proved that this rarity among dreams showed the same gaps and flaws i n its structure as any other; and for that reason I dropped the category of 'dream-phantasics'•1 The content of the dream, when it was arrived at, represented me as laying before my friend [Flicss] a difficult and long-sought theory of bisexuality; and the wish-fidfilling power of the dream was responsible for our regarding this theory (which, incidentally, was not given in the dream) as clear and flawless. Thus what I had taken to be a judgement on the completed dream was actually a part, and indeed the cacntial part, of the dream­ content. The dream-work had in this case encroached, as it were, upon my first waking thoughts and had conveyed to me as ajudgementupon the dream the part of the material ofthe dream­ thoughts which it had not succeeded in representing accurately 1 [Foolnot# addMI 1930:] Whether rightly I am now uncertain. [Freud arguea in favour of there being ruch a category in 101De remarks a t the end of the dilcuaion of Im fint example in Im paper on 'Drcaml and Telepathy' (192241).]



in the dream. I once came across a precise counterpart to this in a woman patient's dream during analysis. To begin with she refused altogether to tell it me, 'because it was so indistinct and muddled'. At length, protesting repeatedly that she felt no cer­ tainty that her account was correct, she informed me that several people bad come into the dream-she henelf, her husband and her father-and that it was as though she had not known

whether her husband was her father, or who her father was, or something of that sort. This dream, taken in conjunction with her associations during the analytic session, showed beyond a doubt that it was a question of the somewhat commonplace story of a servant-girl who was obliged to confess that she was expecting a baby but was in doubts as to 'who the (baby's) father really was'.• Thus here again the lack of clarity shown by the dream was a part of the material which instigated the dream: part of this material, that is, was represented in the fmn of the dream. Tiuform of a dream o, tlu form in whi&h ii is dreamt is wed with quill surprising jrequm&.J Jo, rep,esmling its eon­ eeakd subjeet-matter.• Glosses on a dream, or apparently innocent comments on it, often serve to disguise a portion of what has been dreamt in the subtlest fashion, though in fact betraying it. For instance, a dreamer remarked that at one point 'the dream had been wiped away'; and the analysis led to an infantile rec;ollection of his listening to someone wiping himself after defaecating. Or here is another example which deserves to be recorded in detail. A young man bad a very clear dream which reminded him of some pbantasies of his boyhood that bad remained conacious. He dreamt that it was evening and that he was in a hotel at a summer resort. He mistook the number of his room and went into one in which an elderly lady and her two daughten were undresaing and going to bed. He proceeded: 'Here there are some gaps in the dream; there's something missing. Finally there was a man in the room who tried to throw me out, and I had to have a struggle with him.' He made vain endcavoun to 1 [This subject is discwaed much more fully below, on p. 445 ft] • Her accompanying hys terical symptoms were amenorrhoea and great depreaion (which wu this patient's chief symptom). [This dream is disculled on p. 445 f.) • [The laat aentcnce was added in 1909, and &om 1914 onwards wu printed in spaced type. 'Ihe next paragraph wu added in 1911.)

C. THE MEANS OF REPRESEI\'TATION 333 recall the gist and drift of the boyish phantasy to which the dream was evidently alluding; until at last the truth emerged that what he was in search of was already in his possession in his remark about the obscure part of the dream. The 'gaps' were the genital apertures of the women who were going to bed; and 'there's something missing' described the principal feature of the female genitalia.When he was young he had had a consuming curiosity to see a woman's genitals and had been inclined to hold to the infantile sexual theory according to which women have male organs. An analogous recollection of another dreamer assumed a very similar shape.1 He dreamt as follows: '/ was going into tJu Volks­ garlm Restaurant with Frdl4uin K••.• , then came an obscure patch, an interruption ..., tJun Ifound myself in the salon of a brothel, wher, I saw two or thr• women, one of them in her ,!umise and drawers.' ANALYSIS.-Fraulcin K.was the daughter of his former chief, and, as he himself admitted, a substitute sister of his own.He had seldom had an opportunity of talking to her, but they once had a conversation in which 'it was just as though we had become aware of our sex, it was as though I were to say: "I'm a man and you're a woman."' He had only once been inside the restaurant in question, with his brother-in-law's sister, a girl who meant nothing at all to him. Another time he had gone with a group of three ladies as far as the entrance of the same restaurant. These ladies were his sister, his sister-in-law and the brother-in-law's sister who has just been mentioned. All of them were highly indifferent to him, but all three fell into the class of'sister'.He had only seldom visited a brothel-only two or three times in his life. The interpretation was based on the 'obscure patch' and the 'interruption' in the dream, and put forward the view that in his boyish curiosity he had occasionally, though only seldom, inspected the genitals of a sister who was a few years his junior. Some days later he had a conscious recollection of the misdeed alluded to_by the dream. The content of all dreams that occur during the same night forms part of the same whole; the fact of their being divided into several sections, as well as the grouping and number of those 1 finis and the two following paragraphs were added in 1914.]



sections-all of this has a meaning and may be regarded as a piece of information arising from the latent dream-thoughts.1 In interpreting dreams consisting of several main sections or, in general, dreams occurring during the same night, the possi­ bility should not be overlooked that separate and successive dreams of this kind may have the same meaning, and may be giving expression to the same impulses in different material. If so, the first of theac homologous dreams to occur is often the more distorted and timid, while the succeeding one will be more confident and distinct. Pharaoh's dreams in the Bible of the kine and the can ofcom, which were interpreted by Joseph, were of this kind. They arc reported more fully by Josephus (Aneient History of 1114 Jews, Book 2, Chapter 5) than in the Bible. After the King had related his first dream, he said: 'After I had seen this vision, I awaked out of my sleep; and, being in disorder, and considering with myselfwhat this appearance should be, I fell asleep again, and saw another dream, more wonderful than the foregoing, which did more affright and disturb me •• .' After hearing the King's account of the dream, Joseph replied: 'This dream, 0 King, although seen under two forms, signifies one and the same event •••' [Whiston's translation, 1874, 1, 127--8.] In his 'Contribution to the Psychology of Rumour', Jung (191Ob) describes how the disguised erotic dream of a school­ girl was understood by her school-friends without any inter­ preting and how i t was further elaborated and modified. He remarks in connection with one of these dream stories: 'The final thought in a long series of dream-images contains precisely what the first image in the series had attempted to portray. The ccnsonhip keeps the complex at a distance as long as possible by a succession of fresh symbolic screens, displacements, inno­ cent disguises, etc.' (Ibid., 87.) Schemer (1861, 166) was well acquainted with this peculiarity ofthe method ofrepresentation in dreams and describes it, in connection with his theory of organic stimuli [sec p. 85 £], as a special law: 'Lastly, how­ ever, in all symbolic dream-structures which arise from par1 [This aentcmce was added in 1909. The remainder ofthis paragraph, and the three following ooea, were added in 1911. Freud deala with the subject again toward, the end of Lecture XXIX of hil N,w I� Llavru (1933a). It bu already been touched upon OD p. 314 ft, and ii mentioned again OD p. 403, p. 444 11, and p. 525.]



ticular nervous stimuli, the imagination observes a general law: at the beginning of a dream it depicts the object from which the stimulus arises only by the remotest and most incuct allusions, but at the end, when the pictorial effusion has exhausted itself, it nakedly presents the stimulus itself, or, as the case may be, the organ concerned or the function of that organ, and therewith the dream, having designated its actual organic cause, achieves its end••••' Otto Rank (1910) has produced a neat confirmation of this law of Schemer's. A girl's dream reported by him was com­ posed of two separate dreams dreamt, with an interval between them, during the same night, the second of which ended with an orgasm. It was possible to carry out a detailed interpretation of this second dream even without many contributions from the dreamer; and the number of connections between the contents of the two dreams made it possible to sec that the fint dream represented in a more timid fashion the same thing as the second. So that the second, the dream with the orgasm, helped towards the complete explanation of the fint. Rank rightly bases upon this example a discussion of the general significance of dreams of orgasm or emission for the theory of dreaming. (See p. 4-02 ff.] Nevertheless in my experience it is only rarely that one is in a position to interpret the clarity or confusion of a dream by the presence of certainty or doubt in its material. Later on I shall have to disclose a factor in dream-formation which I have not yet mentioned and which exercises the determining influence upon the scale of these qualities in any particular dream. [See p. 500 £] Sometimes, in a dream in which the same situation and set­ ting have persisted for some time, an interruption will occur which is described in these words: 'But then it was -" though at the same time it was another place, and there such and such a thing happened.' After a while the main thread of the dream may be resumed, and what interrupted it turns out to be a subordinate clause in the dream-material-an interpolated thought. A conditional in the dream-thoughts has been repre­ sented in the dream by simultaneity: 'if' has become 'when'. What is the meaning of the sensation of inhibited movement




which appears so commonly in dreams and verges so closely upon anxiety? One tries to move forward but finds oneself glued to the spot, or one tries to reach something but is held up by a series ofobstacles. A train is on the point ofdeparture but one is unable to catch it. One raises one's hand to avenge an insult but finds it powerless. And so forth. We have already met with this s� dreams ofexhibiting [p. 242 ff.; cf. also p. 285], but have not as yet made any serious attempt to interpret it. An easy but insufficient answer would be to say that motor paralysi! prevails in sleep and that we become aware ofit in the sensation we arc discussing. But it may be asked why in that case we arc not perpetually dreaming ofthese inhibited movements; and it is reasonable to suppose that this sensation, though one which can be summoned up at any moment during sleep, serves to facilitate some particular kind of representation, and is only aroused when the material of the dream-thoughts needs to be represented in that way. This 'not being able to do anything' docs not always appear in dreams as a sensation but is sometimes simply a part of the content ofthe dream. A case ofthis sort seems to me particularly well qualified to throw light on the meaning of this feature of dreaming. Herc is an abridged version of a dream in which I was apparently charged with dishonesty. Tiu plac, was a mixtur, of a p,ivau sanatorium and sn,eral other institutions. A mansfflNUII appeared to summon m, to an examination. I knew in the dream that something Juul hun missed and that the examination was due to a sus­ pi&ion that I Juul approp,iaud the missing artieu. (The analysis showed that the examination was to be taken in two senses and included a medical examination.) Conscious ofmy innounee and of the fact that I /ult! the position of a consullant in tlu estal,lislunnl, I «companied the servant quiet!,. At lhe dJHJf' WI w,r, met h.:, mu,1/ur smant, who said, pointing to m,: 'Why /zmJe:,ou brouglu himJ His a ,upeetahu person.' I dun went, unattended, into a larg, hall, with maehines standing in it, whuh ,emint.ud m, ofan l,ifemo with its lullish instruments ofpunishm,nt. Stretelud out on one apparatus I saw one of m.1 colleagues, who Juul every reason to take some notiu of m,; Ind h, paid no altention. I was dun told I could go. But I could not foul m.:, hal and coultl not go after all. The wish-fitlfilmcnt of the dream evidently lay in my being recognized as an honest man and told I could go. There must therefore have been all kinds of material in the dream-thoughts



containing a contradiction of this. That I could go was a sign of my absolution. If therefore something happened at the end of the dream which prevented my going, it seems p]ausible to suppose that the suppressed material containing the contradic­ tion was making itself felt at that point. My not being able to find my hat meant accordingly: 'After all you're not an honest man.' Thus the 'not being able to do something' in this dream was a way of expressing a contradiction-a 'no'-; so that my earlier statement [p. 318] that dreams cannot express a 'no' requires corrcction. 1 In other dreams, in which the 'not carrying out• of a move­ ment occun as a sensation and not simply as a silualion, the sensa­ tion of the inhibition of a movement gives a more forcible ex­ pression to the same contradiction-it expresses a volition which is opposed by a counter-volition. Thw the sensation ofthe inhibi­ tion of a movement represents a conjlut ofwill. [Cf. p. 246.] We shall learn latcr[p. 567f.] thatthe motor paralysisaccompanying sleep is precisely one of the fundamental determinants of the psychical process during dreaming. Now an impulse transmitted along the motor paths is nothing other than a volition, and the fact of our being so certain that we shall feel that impulse inhibited during sleep is what makes the whole process so admir­ ably suited for representing an act of volition and a 'no• which opposes it. It is also easy to sec, on my explanation of anxiety, why the sensation ofan inhibition ofwill approximates so closely to anxiety and is so often linked with it in dreams. Anxiety is a 1 In the complete analyaia there wu a reference to an event in my childhood, reached by the following chain of aaociation. 'Der Mohr hat aeiQe Schuldigkeit getan, der Mohr kallll gdwn.' ('The Moor bu done his duty, the Moor can go.' (Schiller, Fiueo, III, 4.) '&/uddituil' ('duty') ii actually a milquotatiou for 'Arllal' ('work').] Then came a facetious conundrum: 'How old was the Moor when be had done his duty?'­ 'One year old, because then he could go ['gdlffl'-both 'to go' and 'to walk'].' (It appean that I came into the world with Neb a tangle or black hair that my young mother declared I was a little Moor.)-My not being able to find my hat was an occurrence from waking life which was used in more than one ICDIC. Our howemaid, who wu a genius at putting things away, had hidden it.-The end of this dream also con­ cealed a rejection of 10111e melancholy thoughta about death: 'I am far from having done my duty, 10 I must not go yct.'-Birth and death were dealt with in it, just u they had been in the dream of Goethe and the paralytic patient, which I had dreamt a short time before. (See pp. 327, 439 ff'. [and 448 ff'.].)



libidinal impulse which has its origin in the unconscious and is inhibited by the prcconscious.1 When, therefore, the sensation of inhibition is linked with anxiety in a dream, it must be a question of an act of volition which was at one time capable of generating libido-that is, it must be a question of a sexual impulse. I shall deal elsewhere (sec below [p. 488 f.]) with the mean­ ing and psychical significance of the judgement which often turns up in dreams expressed in the phrase 'after all this is only a dream'.• Herc I will merely say in anticipation that it is intended to detract from the importance ofwhat is being dreamt. The interesting and allied problem, as to what is meant when some of the content of a dream is described in the dream itself as 'drcamt'-thc enigma of the 'dream within a drcam'-has been solved in a similar sense by Stckcl [1909, 459 ff.], who has analysed some convincing examples. The intention is, once again, to detract from the importance of what is 'dreamt' in the dream, to rob it of its reality. What is dreamt in a dream after waking from the 'dream within a dream' is what the dream­ wish seeks to put in the place of an obliterated reality. It is safe to suppose, therefore, that what has been 'dreamt' in the dream is a representation of the reality, the true recollection, while the continuation of the dream, on the contrary, merely represents what the dreamer wishes. To include something in a 'dream within a dream' is thus equivalent to wishing that the thing described as a dream had never happened. In other words,1 if a particular event is inserted into a dream as a dream by the dream-work itself, this implies the most decided confirmation of the reality of the event-the strongest oJftmuJlion of it. The dream-work makes use of dreaming as a form of repudiation, and so confirms the discovery that dreams arc wish-fulfilments.• • [Footnoll adMd 1930:] In the light of later knowledge this statement can no longer stand. [a. p. 161, n. 2. See also p. 499 n.] • [This paragraph (except for its penultimate IClltcncc and part of its last 1C11tcncc) waa added in 1911.] • [This sentence waa added in 1919.] • [The last clause waa added in 1919.]




Translated from the German under the General Editorship oj JAM E S S T R AC H E Y

I n Collaboration with ANNA F REUD





The Interpretation of Dreams (SECOND PART) and

On Dreams
















This Edition first Published in 1953 RepriTiUd with Corrections 1958



All rights reserved. No part of this publica­ tion may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photo­ copying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of The Hogarth Press Ltd.

















Considerations of Representability



Representation by Symbols in Dreams-Some Further Typical Dreams


(F) Some Examples-Calculations and Speeches in Dreams


(0) Absurd Dreams-I ntellectual Activity in Dreams



Affects in Dreams



Secondary Revision





The Forgetting of Dreams









Arousal by Dreams-The Function of DreamsADlciety-Dreams


The Primary and Secondary Processes- Repression


The Unconscious and Consciousness-Reality


(E) (p)






A Premonitory Dream Fulfilled


List of Writings by Freud dealing predominantly or largely with Dreams






page 631



BIBLIOGRAPHY (A) List of Works Quoted and Author Index (B) List of Works on Dreams Published before 1900






(A) Freud's Own Dreams 715 (B) OtherPeople's Dreams 717





(D) CONSIDERATIONS OF REPRESENTABILITY WE have been occupied so far with investigating the means by which dreams represent the relations between the dream­ thoughts. In the course of this investigation, however, we have more than once touched upon the further topic of the general nature of the modifications which the material of the dream­ thoughts undergoes for the purpose of the formation of a dream. We have learnt that that material, stripped to a large extent of its relations, is submitted to a process of compression, while at the same time displacements of intensity between its elements necessarily


about a psychical transvaluation of the

material. The displacements we have hitherto considered turned out to consist in the replacing of some one particular idea by another in some way closely associated with it, and they were used to facilitate condensation in so far as, by their means, instead of two elements, a single common element intermediate between them found its way into the dream. We have not yet referred to any other sort of displacement. Analyses show us, however, that another sort exists and that it reveals itself in a change in the verbal expression of the thoughts concerned. In both cases there is a displacement along a chain of associations; but a process of such a kind can occur in va�ious psychical spheres, and the outcome of the displacement may in one case be that one element is replaced by another, while the outcome in another case may be that a single element has its

verbal form

replaced by another. This second species of displacement which occurs in dream­ formation is not only of great theoretical interest but is also specially well calculated to explain the appearance of fantastic absurdity in which dreams are disguised. The direction taken by the displacement usually results in a colourless and abstract expression ih the dream-thought being exchanged for a pictorial and concrete one. The advantage, and accordingly the purpose, of such a change jumps to the eyes. A thing that is pictorial is, 339



from the point of view of a dream, a thing that is capable of being it can be introduced into a situation in which


abstract expressions offer the same kind of difficulties to repre­ sentation in dreams as a political leading article in a newspaper would offer to an illustrator. But not only representability, but the interests of condensation and the censorship as well, can be the gainers from this exchange. A dream-thought is unusable so long as it is expressed in an abstract form; but when once it has been transformed into pictorial language, contrasts and ideQtifications of the kind which the dream-work requires, and which it creates if they are not already present, can be estab­ lished more easily than before between the new form of expres­ sion and the remainder of the material underlying the dream. This is so because in every language concrete terms, in con­ sequence of the history of their development, are richer in associations than conceptual ones. We may suppose that a good part of the intermediate work done during the formation of a dream, which seeks to reduce the dispersed dream-thoughts to the most succinct and unified expression possible, proceeds along the line of finding appropriate verbal transformations for the individual thoughts. Any one thought, whose form of expression may happen to be fixed for other reasons, will operate in a determinant and selective manner on the possible forms of expression allotted to the other thoughts, and it may do so, perhaps, from the very start-as is the case in writing a poem. If a poem is to be written in rhymes, the second line of a couplet is limited by two conditions: it must express an appro­ priate meaning, and the expression of that meaning must rhyme with the first line. No doubt the best poem will be one in which we fail to notice the intention of finding a rhyme, and in which the two thoughts have, by mutual influence, chosen from the very start a verbal expression which will allow a rhyme to emerge with only slight subsequent adjustment. In a few instances a change of expression of this kind assists dream-condensation even more directly, by finding a form of words which owing to its ambiguity is able to give expression to more than one of the dream-thoughts. In this way the whole domain of verbal wit is put at the disposal of the dream-work. There is no need to be astonished at the part played by words in dream-formation. Words, since they are the nodal points of numerous ideas, may be regarded as predestined to ambiguity;



and the neuroses (e.g. in framing obsessions and phobias) , no less than dreams, make unashamed use of the advantages thus offered by words for purposes of condensation and disguise.1 It is easy to show that dream-distortion too profits from displace­ ment of expression. If one ambiguous word is used instead of two unambiguous ones the result is misleading; and if our everyday, sober method of expression is replaced by a pictorial one, our understanding is brought to a halt, particularly since a dream never tells us whether its elements are to be interpreted literally or in a figurative sense or whether they are to be con­ nected with the material of the dream-thoughts directly or through the intermediary of some interpolated phraseology.2 In interpreting any dream-element it is in general doubtful (a) whether it is to be taken in a positive or negative sense (as an antithetic relation) , (b) whether it is to be interpreted historically (as a recol­ lection) , (c) whether it is to be interpreted symbolically, or (d) whether its interpretation is to depend on its wording. Yet, in spite of all this ambiguity, it is fair to say that the productions of the dream-work, which, it must be remembered, are not made with the intention of being understood, present no greater difficulties to their translators than do the ancient hieroglyphic scripts to those who seek to read them. I have already given several examples of representations in dreams which are only held together by the ambiguity of their wording. (For instance, 'She opened her mouth properly' in the dream oflrma's injection [po 111] and 'I could not go after all' in the dream which I last quoted [po 336 f.].) I �ill now record a dream in which a considerable part was played by the turning of abstract thought into pictures. The distinction between dream-interpretation of this kind and interpretation by means of symbolism can still be drawn quite sharply. In the case of symbolic dream-interpretation the key to the symbolization is 1 [Footnote added 1909:] See my volume on jokes (1905c) [especially the later part of Chapter VI] and the use of 'verbal bridges' in the solu­ tion of neurotic symptoms. [See, e.g., the synthesis of Dora's first dream at the end of Section II of Freud, 1905e (where the term 'switch-words' is also used), and the solution of the 'Rat Man's' rat-obsession in Section I(G) of Freud, 1909d.] I [The remainder of this paragraph was added as a footnote in 1909 and included in the text in 1914.]



arbitrarily chosen by the interpreter; whereas in our cases of verbal disguise the keys are generally known and laid down by firmly established linguistic usage. If one has the right idea at one's disposal at the right moment, one can solve dreams of this kind wholly or in part even independently of information from the dreamer. A lady of my acquaintance had the following dream: She was at the Opera. A Wagner opera was being performed, and had lasted till a quarter to eight in the morning. There were tables set out in the stalls, at which people were eating and drinking. Her cousin, who had just got backfrom his honeymoon, was sitting at one of the fables with his young wife, and an aristocrat was sitting beside them. Her cousin's wife, so it appeared, had brought him back with her from the honeymoon, quite openly, just as one might bring back a hat. In the middle of the stalls there was a high tower, which had a plaiform on top of it surrounded by an iron railing. High up at the top was the conductor, who had the features of Hans Richter. He kept running round the railing, and was perspiring violentlyj and from that position he was conducting the orchestra, which was grouped about the base of the tower. She herself was sitting in a box with a woman friend (whom I knew). Her ),ounger sister wanted to hand her up a large lump of coalfrom the stalls, on the ground that she had not known it would be so long, and must be simply freezing by now. (As though the boxes required to be heated during the long performance.) Even though the dream was well focused on a single situation, yet in other respects it was sufficiently senseless: the tower in the middle of the stalls, for instance, with the conductor directing the orchestra from the top of it! And above all the coal that her sister handed up to her! I deliberately refrained from asking for an analysis of the dream. But since I had some knowledge of the dreamer's personal relations, I was able to interpret certain pieces of it independently of her. I knew she had had a great deal of sympathy for a musician whose career had been pre­ maturely cut short by insanity. So I decided to take the tower in the stalls metaphorically. It then emerged that the man whom she had wanted to see in Hans Richter's place towered high above the other members of the orchestra. The tower might be described as a composite picture formed by apposition. The lower part of its structure represented the man's greatness; the railing at the top, behind which he was running round



like a prisoner or an animal in a cage-this was an allusion to the unhappy man's name I-represented his ulti m a te fate. The two ideas might have been brought together in the word

'Narrenturm'.1 Having thus discovered the mode of representation adopted by the dream, we might attempt to use the same key for solving its second apparent absurdity-the coal handed up to the dreamer by her sister. 'Coal' must mean 'secret love':

Kein Feuer, keine Kahle kann brennen so heiss als wie heimliche Liebe, von der niemand nichts weiss.3 She herself and her woman friend had been left unmarried [German 'sitzen geblieben', literally 'left sitting']. Her younger sister, who still had prospects of marriage, handed her up the coal 'because she had not known did not specify


it would be so long'.

The dream

would be so long. If it were a story, we

should say 'the performance'; but since it is a dream, we may take the phrase as an independent entity, decide that it was used ambiguously and add the words 'before she got married.' Our interpretation of 'secret love' is further supported by the mention of the dreamer's cousin sitting with his wife in the stalls, and by the open love-affair attributed to the:; latter. The dream was dominated by the antithesis between secret and open love and between the dreamer's own fire and the coldness of the young wife. In both cases, moreover, there was someone 'highly-placed'-a term applying equally to the aristocrat and to the musician on whom such high hopes had been pinned.' The foregoing discussion has led us at last to the discovery of a third factorS whose share in the transformation of the dream1 S

[Footnote added 1 925:] Hugo Wolf. [Literally 'Fools' Tower'-an old term for an insane asylum.] 8 [Nofire, no coal So hotly glows As

secret love

Of which no one knows. German Volkslied.] , [The element of absurdity in this dream is commented upon on p. 4 35. ] 6 [The two previous ones being condensation and displacement.]



thoughts into the dream-content is not to be underrated: namely, considerations of representability in the peculiar psychical material of which dreams make use-for the most part, that is, representability in visual images. Of the various subsidiary thoughts attached to the essential dream-thoughts, those will be preferred which admit of visual representation; and the dream­ work does not shrink from the effort of recasting unadaptable thoughts into a new verbal form-even into a less usual one­ provided that that process facilitates representation and so re­ lieves the psychological pressure caused by constricted think­ ing. This pouring of the content of a thought into another mould may at the same time serve the purposes of the activity of condensation and may create connections, which might not otherwise have been present, with some other thought; while this second thought itself may already have had its original form of expression changed, with a view to meeting the first one half-way. Herbert Silberer (1909) 1 has pointed out a good way of directly observing the transformation of thoughts into pictures in the process of forming dreams and so of studying this one factor of the dream-work in isolation. If, when he was in a fatigued and sleepy condition, he set himself some intellectual task, he found that it often happened that the thought escaped him and that in its place a picture appeared, which he was then able to recognize as a substitute for the thought. Silberer describes these substitutes by the not very appropriate term of 'auto-symbolic'. I will here quote a few examples from Silberer's paper [ibid., 519-22], and I shall have occasion, on account of certain characteristics of the phenomena concerned, to return to them later. [See p. 503 fr.] 'Example 1.-1 thought of having to revise an uneven passage in an essay. 'Symbol.-I saw myself planing a piece of wood.'

'Example 5.-1 endeavoured to bring home to myself the aim of certain metaphysical studies which I was proposing to make. Their aim, I reflected, was to work one's way through to ever . higher forms of consciousness and layers of existence, in one's search for the bases of existence. 1 [This paragraph and the subsequent quotation from Silberer were added in 1 914.J



'Symbol.-I was pushing a long knife under a cake, as though to lift out a slice. 'Interpretation.-My motion with the knife meant the "work­ ing my way through" which was in question.. . . Here is the explanation of the symbolism. It is from time to time my business at meals to cut up a cake and distribute the helpings. I perform the task with a long, flexible knife-which demands some care. In particular, to lift out the slices cleanly after they have been cut offers certain difficulties; the knife must be pushed carefully under the slice (corresponding to the slow "working my way through" to reach the "bases") .But there is yet more symbolism in the picture.For the cake in the symbol was a "Dobos" cake-a cake with a number of "layers" through which, in cutting it, the knife has to penetrate (the "layers" of consciousness and thought) . ' 'Example 9.-1 had lost the thread in a train of thought. I tried to find it again, but had to admit that the starting-point had completely escaped me. 'Symbol.-Part of a compositor'S forme, with the last lines of type fallen away. ' In view of the part played by jokes, quotations, songs and proverbs in the mental life of educated people, it would fully agree with our expectations if disguises of such kinds were used with extreme frequency for representing dream-thoughts. What, for instance, is the meaning in a dream of a number of carts, each filled with a different sort of vegetable? They stand for a wishful contrast to 'Kraut und Ruben' [literally, 'cabbages and turnips'], that is to say to 'higgledy-piggledy', and accordingly signify 'disorder'. I am surprised that this dream has only been reported to me once.l A dream-symbolism of universal validity has only emerged in the case of a few subjects, on the basis of generally familiar allusions and verbal substitutes. Moreover a good part of this symbolism is shared by dreams with psycho­ neuroses, legends and popular customs. a Indeed, when we look into the matter more closely, we must recognize the fact that the dream-work is doing nothing 1


[Footnote added 1 925:] I have in fact never met with this image again;

have lost confidence in the correctness of the interpretation. [The subject of dream-symbolism is treated at length in the next section.] I




original in making substitutions of this kind. In order to gain its ends-in this case the possibility of a representation hampered by censorship-it merely follows the paths which it finds already laid down in the unconscious; and it gives prefer­ ence to those transformations of the repressed material which can also become conscious in the form of jokes or allusions and of which the phantasies of neurotic patients are so full. At this point we suddenly reach an understanding of Scherner's dream­ interpretations, whose essential correctness I have defended else­ where [pp. 83 fr. and 227]. The imagination's pre-occupation with the subject's own body is by no means peculiar to dreams or characteristic only of them. My analyses have shown me that it is habitually present in the unconscious thoughts of neurotics, and that it is derived from sexual curiosity, which, in growing youths or girls, is directed to the genitals of the other sex, and to those of their own as well. Nor, as Scherner [1861] and Volkelt [1875] have rightly insisted, is a house the only circle of ideas employed for symbolizing the body; and this is equally true of dreams and of the unconscious phantasies of neurosis. It is true that I know patients who have retained an architectural symbolism for the body and the genitals. (Sexual interest ranges far beyond the sphere of the external genitalia.) For these patients pillars and columns represent the legs (as they do in the Song of Solomon) , every gateway stands for one of the bodily orifices (a 'hole') , every water-pipe is a reminder of the urinary apparatus, and so on. But the circle of ideas centring round plant-life or the kitchen may just as readily be chosen to conceal sexual images.l In the former case the way has been well prepared by linguistic usage, itself the precipitate of imaginative similes reaching back to remote antiquity: e.g. the Lord's vineyard, the seed, and the maiden's garden in the Song of Solomon. The ugliest as well as the most intimate details of sexual life may be thought and dreamt of in seemingly innocent allusions to activities in the kitchen; and the symptoms of hysteria could never be interpreted if we forgot that sexual symbolism can find its best hiding-place behind what is common­ place and inconspicuous. There is a valid sexual meaning behind the neurotic child's intolerance of blood or raw meat, or his nausea at the sight of eggs or macaroni, and behind the 1 [Footnote added 1914:] Abundant evidence of this is to be found in the three supplementary volumes to Fuchs (1909-12).



enormous exaggeration in neurotics of the natural human dread of snakes. Wherever neuroses make use of such disguises they are following paths along which all humanity passed in the earliest periods of civilization-paths of whose continued exist­ ence to-day, under the thinnest of veils, evidence is to be found in linguistic usages, superstitions and customs.

I will now append the 'flowery' dream dreamt by one of my women patients which I have already [po 315] promised to record. I have indicated in small capitals those elements in it that are to be given a sexual interpretation. The dreamer quite lost her liking for this pretty dream after it had been interpreted.

(a) INTRODUCTORY DREA M: She went into the kitchen, where her two maidservants were, and found fault with them for not having got her 'bite oJ'jood' ready. At the same time she saw quite a quantiry of crockery standing upside down to drain, common crockery piled up in heaps. Later addition: The two maidservants went tofttch some water and had to step into a kind of river which came right up to the house ( into the yard. 1 (b) MAIN DREAM!: She was descending from a heightS over some strangely constructed palisades or fences, which were put together into large panels, and consisted of small squares of wattling.' It was not intendedfor climbing overj she had trouble infinding a place to put her feet in andfelt glad that her dress had not been caught anywhere, so that she had stayed respectable as she went along." She was holding a BIG BRANCH in her handSj actually it was like a tree, covered over with Rl!D BLOSSOMS, branching and spreading out.7 There was an idea of their being cherrY-BLoSSOMSj but they also looked like double CAMELLIAS, though of course those do not grow on trees. As she went down, first she 1 For the interpretation of this introductory dream, which is to be interpreted as a causal dependent clause, see p. 315; [Cf. also pp. 319 and 325.] I Describing the course of her life. 8 Her high descent: a wishful antithesis to the introductory dream. , A composite picture uniting two localities: what were known as the 'attics' of her family home, where she used to play with her brother, the object of her later phantalies, and a farm belonging to a bad uncle who used to tease her. I A wishful antithesis to a real recollection of her uncle's farm, where she used to throw off her clothes in her sleep. • Just as the angel carries a sprig of lilies in pictures of the Annuncia­ tion. . 7 For the explanation of this composite image see p. 319: innocence, menstruation, La dame awe cam/tw.





had ONE, then suddenly TWO, and later again ONE.l When she got down, the lower BLOSSOMS were already a good deal FADED. Then she saw, after she had got down, a manservant who-she felt inclined to say-was combing a similar tree, that is to say he was using a PIECE OF WOOD to drag out some THICK TUFTS OF HAIR that were hanging down from it like moss. Some other workmen had cut down similar BRANCHES from a GARDEN and thrown them into the ROAD, where they LAY ABOUT, so that A LOT OF PEOPLE TOOK SOME. But she asked whether that was all right-whether she might TAKE ONE TOO.2 A young MAN (someone she knew, a stranger) was standing in the garden; she went up to him to ask how BRANCHES of that kind could be TRANSPLANTED INTO HER OWN GARDEN.3 He embraced her; whereupon she struggled and asked him what he was thinking of and whether he thought people could embrace her like that. He said there was no harm in that: it was allowed. " He then said he was willing to go into the OTHER GARDEN with her, to show her how the planting was done, and added something she could not quite understand: 'Anyhow, I need three YARDS (later she gave it as: three square yards) or threefathoms of ground.' It was as though he were asking her for something in return for his willingness, as though he intended TO COMPENSATE HIMSELF IN HER GARDEN, or as though he wanted to CHEAT some law or other, to get some advantage from it without causing her harm. Whether he really showed her something, she had no idea. This dream, which I have brought forward on account of its symbolic elements, may be described as a 'biographical' one. Dreams of this kind occur frequently during psycho-analysis, but perhaps only rarely outside it. II

Referring to the multiplicity of the people involved in her phantasy That is whether she might pull one down, i.e. masturbate. ['Sich einen herunterreissen' or 'ausreissen' (literally, 'to pull one down' or 'out') are vulgar German terms equivalent to the English 'to toss oneself off'. Freud had already drawn attention to this symbolism at the end of his paper on 'Screen Memories' (lB 99a); see also below, p. 3BB f.] 8 The branch had long since come to stand for the male genital organ; incidentally it also made a plain allusion to her family name. , This, as well as what next follows, related to marriage precautions. I [This paragraph was added in 1925.-Footnote added (to the preceding paragraph) 1911:] A similar 'biographical' dream will be found below as the third of my examples of dream-symbolism [po 364]. Another' one has been recorded at length by Rank [1910], and another, which must be read 'in reverse', by Stekel (1909, 4B6).-[A reference to 'biographi­ cal' dreams will be found near the end of Freud's 'History of the Psycho­ Analytic Movement' (19l4d).] 1




I naturally have at my disposall a superfluity of material of this kind, but to report it would involve us too deeply in' a consideration of neurotic conditions. It all leads to the same conclusion, namely that there is no necessity to assume that any peculiar symbolizing activity of the mind is operating in the dream-work, but that dreams make use of any symbolizations which are already present in unconscious thinking, because they fit in better with the requirements of dream-construction on account of their representability and also because as a rule they escape censorship. 1 [In the first three editions, 1900, 1909 and 1911, this paragraph was preceded by another, which was omitted from 1914 onwards. The deleted paragraph ran as follows: 'I must mention another circle of ideas which often serves as a disguise for sexual material both in dreams and in neuroses: namely ideas connected with changing house. "Chang­ ing house" may easily be replaced by the word "Ausziehen" [meaning both "moving house" and "undressing"], and is thus connected with the subject of "clothing". If there is also a lift or elevator in the dream, we shall be reminded of the English word "to lift", that is, "to lift one's clothes".']


The analysis of this last, biographical, dream is clear evidence that I recognized the presence of symbolism in dreams from the very beginning. But it was only by degrees and as my experience increased that I arrived at a full appreciation of its extent and significance, and I did so under the influence of the contribu­ tions of Wilhelm Steke1 (l �H 1) J about whom a few words will not be out of place here. [1925.] That writer, who has perhaps damaged psycho-analysis as much as he has benefited it, brought forward a large number of unsuspected translations of symbols; to begin with they were met with scepticism, but later they were for the most part con­ firmed and had to be accepted. I shall not be belittling the value of Steke1's services if I add that the sceptical reserve with which his proposals were received was not without justification. For the examples by which he supported his interpretations were often unconvincing, and he made use of a method which must be rejected as scientifically untrustworthy. Stekel arrived at his interpretations of symbols by way of intuition, thanks to a peculiar gift for the direct understanding of them. But the existence of such a gift cannot be counted upon generally, its effectiveness is exempt from all criticism and consequently its findings have no claim to credibility. It is as though one sought 1 [With the exception o( two paragraphs (on p. 393 f.) none of Section E of this chapter appeared in the first edition of the book. As explained in the Editor's Introduction (p. xiii), much of the material was added in the 1909 and 1911 editions, but in them it was included in Chapter V under the heading of 'Typical Dreams' (Section D of that chapter). In the edition of 1914 the present section was first constituted, partly from the material previowly added to Chapter V and partly from further new material. Still more material was added in subsequent editions. In view of these complications, in this section a date has been added in square brackets at the end of each paragraph. It will be under­ stood from what has been said that material dated 1909 and 1911 originally appeared i n Chapter V and w as transferred t o its present position in 1914.]




to base the diagnosis of infectious diseases upon olfactory im­ pressions received at the patient's bedside-though there have undoubtedly been clinicians who could accomplish more than other people by means of the sense of smell (which is usually atrophied) and were really able to diagnose a case of enteric fever by smell. [1925.] Advances in psycho-analytic experience have brought to our notice patients who have shown a direct understanding of dream-symbolism of this kind to a surprising extent. They were often sufferers from dementia praecox, so that for a time there was an inclination to suspect every dreamer who had this grasp of symbols of being a victim of that disease.! But such is not the case. It is a question of a personal gift or peculiarity which has no visible pathological significance. (1925.] When we have become familiar with the abundant use made of symbolism for representing sexual material in dreams, the question is bound to arise of whether many of these symbols do not occur with a permanently fixed meaning, like the 'gramma­ logues' in shorthand; and we shall feel tempted to draw ·up a new 'dream-book' on the decoding principle (see p. 97 f.]. On that point there is this to be said: this symbolism is not peculiar to dreams, but is characteristic of unconscious ideation, in par­ ticular among the people, and it is to be found in folklore, and in popular myths, legends, linguistic idioms, proverbial wisdom and current jokes, to a more complete extent than in dreams. [1909.] I t would therefore carry us far beyond the sphere of dream­ interpretation if we were to do justice to the significance of symbols and discuss the numerous, and to a large extent still unsolved, problems attaching to the concept of a symbol.! We must restrict ourselves here to remarking that representation by a symbol is among the indirect methods of representation, but that all kinds of indications warn us against lumping it in with other forms of indirect representation without being able to 1 [Freud remarks elsewhere (19l3a) that, j us t as the presence of dementia praecox facilitates the interpretation of symbols, so an obsessional neurosis makes it more difficult.] B [Footnote 1911:] Cf. the works of Bleuler [1910] and of his ZUrich pupils, Maeder [1908], Abraham [1909], etc., on symbolism, and the non-medical writers to whom they refer (Kleinpaul, etc.). [Added 1914:] What is most to the point on this subject will be found in Rank and Sachs (1913, Chapter I). [Added 1925:] See further Jones (1916).



form any clear conceptual picture of their distinguishing features. In a number of cases the element in common between a symbol and what it represents is obvious; in others it is con­ cealed and the choice of the symbol seems puzzling. It is pre­ cisely these latter cases which must be able to throw light upon the ultimate meaning of the symbolic relation, and they indicate that it is of a genetic character. Things that are symbolically connected to-day were probably united in prehistoric times by conceptual and linguistic identity.l The symbolic relatioJl seems to be a relic and a mark of former identity. In this con­ nection we may observe how in a number of cases the use of a common symbol extends further than the use of a common language, as was already pointed out by Schubert (1814).2 A number of symbols are as old as language itself, while others (e.g. 'airship'. 'Zeppelin') are being coined continuously down to the present time. [1914.] Dreams make use of this symbolism for the disguised repre­ sentation of their latent thoughts. Incidentally. many of the symbols are habitually or almost habitually employed to

Ii ! , I

express the same thing. Nevertheless, the peculiar plasticity of the psychical material [in dreams] must never be forgotten. Often enough a symbol has to be interpreted in its proper mean­ ing and not symbolically; while on other occasions a dreamer may derive from his private memories the power to employ as sexual symbols all kinds of things which are not ordinarily employed as such. a If a dreamer has a choice open to him between a number of symbols, he will decide in favour of the 1 [Footnote added 1925:] This view would be powerfully supported by a theory put forward by Dr. Hans Sperber (1912). He is of the opinion that all primal words referred to sexual things but afterwards lost their sexual meaning through being applied to other things and activities which were compared with the sexual ones. I [This last clause was added in 1919.-Footnote 1914:] For instance, according to Ferenczi [see Rank, 1912a, 100], a ship moving on the water occurs in dreams of micturition in Hungarian dreamers, though the term 'schiffen' ['to ship'; cf. vulgar English 'to pumpship'] is unknown in that language. (See also p. 367 f. below.) In dreams of speakers of French and other Romance languages a room is used to symbolize a woman, though these languages have nothing akin to the German expression 'Fraueru;immer'. [See p. 214 n.] a [In the editiOIlll of 1909 and 1911 only, the following sentence appeared at this point: 'Moreover the ordinarily used sexual symbols are not invariably unambiguous.']



one which is connected in its subject-matter with the rest of the material of his thoughts-which, that is to say, has individual grounds for its acceptance in addition to the typical ones. [1909; last sentence 1914.] Though the later investigations since the time of Schemer have made it impossible to dispute the existence of dream­ symbolisQ1-even Havelock Ellis [1911, 109] admits that there can be no doubt that our dreams are full of symbolism-yet it must be confessed that the presence of symbols in dreams not


only facilitates t.b.eir interpretation but also makes it more diffi­ cult. As a rule the technique of interpreting according to the dreamer's free associations leaves us in the lurch when we come to the symbolic ele�ents in the dream-content. Regard for scientific criticism forbids our returning to the arbitrary judge­ ment of the dream-interpreter, as it was employed in ancient times and seems to have been revived in the reckless inter­ pretations of Stekel. We are thus obliged, in dealing with those elements of the dream-content which must be recognized as symbolic, to adopt a combined technique, which on the one hand rests on the dreamer's associations and on the other hand fills the gaps from the interpreter's knowledge of symbols. We must combine a critical caution in resolving symbols with a careful study of them in dreams which afford particularly clear instances of their use, in order to disarm any charge of arbitrari­ ness in dream-interpretation. The uncertainties which still attach to our activities as interpreters of dreams spring in part from our incomplete knowledge, which can be progressively improved as we advance further, but in part from certain char­ acteristics of dream-symbols themselves. They frequently have more than one or even several meanings, and, as with C hinese script, the correct interpretation can only be arrived at on each occasion from the context. This ambiguity of the symbols links up with the characteristic of dreams for admitting of 'over­ interpretation' [see p. 279]-for representing in a single piece of content thoughts and wishes which are often widely divergent in their nature. [1914.] Subject to these qualifications and reservations I will now proceed. The Emperor and Empress (or the King and Queen) as a rule really represent the dreamer's parents; and a Prince or Princess represents the dreamer himo;elf or herself. [1909.]



But the same high authority is attributed to great men as to the Emperor; and for that reason Goethe, for instance, appears as a father-symbol in some dreams (Hitschmann, 1913). [1919.] -All elongated objects, such as sticks, tree-trunks and um­ brellas (the opening of these last being comparable to an erection) may stand for the male organ [1909]-as well as all long, sharp weapons, such as knives, daggers and pikes [1911]. Another frequent though not entirely intelligible symbol of the same thing is a nail-file-possibly on account of the rubbing up and down. [1909.]-Boxes, cases, chests, cupboards and ovens represent the uterus [1909], and also hollow objects, ships, and vessels of all kinds [1919].-Rooms in dreams are usually women ('Frauenzimmer', [see p. 214 n.]); if the various ways in and out of them are represented, this interpretation is scarcely open to doubt. [1909.)1 In this connection interest in whether the room is open or locked is easily mtelligible. (Cf. Dora's first dream in my 'Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria', 1905e [Footnote near the beginning of Section II].) There is no need to name explicitly the key that unlocks the room; in his ballad of Count Eberstein, Uhland has used the symbolism of locks and keys to construct a charming piece of bawdry. [1911.] -A dream of going through a suite of rooms is a brothel or harem dream. [1909.] But, as Sachs [1914] has shown by some neat examples, it can also be used (by antithesis) to represent marriage. [1914.]-We find an interesting link with the sexual researches of childhood when a dreamer dreams of two rooms which were originally one, or when he sees a familiar room divided into two in the dream, or vice versa. In childhood the female genitals and the anus are regarded as a single area-the 1 [Footnote added 1919:] 'One of my patients, who was living in � boarding-house, dreamt that he met 0116 of the maid-servants and asked her what her number was. To his surprise she answered: cc 14". He had in fact started a liaison with this girl and had paid several visits to her in her bedroom. She had not unnaturally been afraid that the landlady might become suspicious, and, on the day before the dream, she had proposed that they should meet in an unoccupied room. This room was actually "No. 14", while in the dream it was the woman herself who bore this number. It would hardly be possible to imagine clearer proof of an identification between a woman and a room.' (jones, 1914a.) cr. Arte­ midorus, Oneirocritica, Book II, Chapter X: 'Thus, for instance, a bed­ chamber stands for a wife, if such there be in the house.' (Trans. F. S.

Krauss, 1881, 110.)



'bottom' (in accordance with the infantile 'cloaca theory')! ; and it is not until later that the discovery is made that this region of the body comprises two separate cavities and orifices. [1919.] -Steps, ladders or staircases, or, as the case may be, walking up or down them, are representations of the sexual act.lI­ Smooth walls over which the dreamer climbs, the fa�ades of houses, down which he lowers himself-often in great anxiety -correspond to erect human bodies, and are probably repeat­ ing in the dream recollections of a baby's climbing up his parents or nurse. The 'smooth' walls are men; in his fear the dreamer often clutches hold of 'projections' in the fa�ades of houses. [1911.]-Tables, tables laid for a meal, and boards also stand for women-no doubt by antithesis, since the contours of their bodies are eliminated in the symbols. [1909.] 'Wood' seems, from its linguistic connections, to stand in general for female 'material'. The name of the Island of 'Madeira' means 'wood' in Portuguese. [1911.] Since 'bed and board' constitute marriage, the latter often takes the place of the former in dreams and the sexual complex of ideas is, so far as may be, transposed on to the eating complex. [1909.]-& regards articles of clothing, a woman's hat can very often be inter­ preted with certainty as a genital organ, and, moreover, as a 1 [See the section on 'Theories of Birth' in the second of Freud's Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905d).] • [Footnote 1911:] I will repeat here what I have written on this sub­ ject elsewhere (Freud, 191Od): 'A little time ago I heard that a psycholo­ gist whose views are somewhat different from ours had remarked to one of us that, when all was said and done, we did undoubtedly exaggerate the hidden sexual significance of dreams: his own commonest dream was of going upstairs, and surely there could not be.anything sexual in that. We were put on the alert by this objection, and began to turn our atten­ tion to the appearance of steps, staircases and ladders in dreams, and were soon in a position to show that staircases (and analogous things) were unquestionably symbols of copulation. It is not hard to discover the basis of the comparison: we come to the top in a series of rhythmical movements and with increasing breathlessness and then, with a few rapid leaps, we can get to the bottom again. Thus the rhythmical pat­ tern of copulation is reproduced in going upstairs. Nor must we omit to bring in the evidence of linguistic usage. It shows us that "mounting" [German "steigen"] is used as a direct equivalent for the sexual act. We speak ofa man as a "Steiger" [a "mounter"] and of "na.chsteigen" ["to run after", literally "to climb after"]. In French the steps on a staircase are called "marcMs" and "un vieux marcheur" has the same meaning as our "ein alter Steiger" ["an old rake"].' [Cf. also p. 285 ff.]



man's. The same is true of an overcoat [German 'Mantel'], though in this case it is not clear to what extent the use of the symbol is due to a verbal assonance. In men's dreams a necktie often appears as a symbol for the penis. No doubt this is not only because neckties are long, dependent objects and peculiar to men, but also because they can be chosen according to taste­ a liberty which, in th ‘agreeable* (literally ‘worthy of love*). The word she actually used, liebenszuidrig\ would mean literally repelling to love*.]



Equally self-revealing is the following, which Rank (1913) describes as a ‘witty slip of the tongue*. ‘A married woman, who enjoyed hearing anecdotes and who was said not to be altogether averse to extra-marital affairs if they were reinforced by adequate gifts, was told the following time-honoured story, not without design on his part, by a young man who was eager to obtain her favours. One of two business friends was trying to obtain the favours of his partner’s some­ what prudish wife. In the end she consented to grant them to him in exchange for a present of a thousand gulden.1 When, therefore, her husband was about to start on a journey, his partner borrowed a thousand gulden from him and promised to pay them back next day to his wife. He then, of course, paid the sum to the wife, implying that it was the reward for her favours; and she supposed she had been caught at last when her husband on his return asked for the thousand gulden and thus found insult added to injury. When the young man reached the point in his story at which the seducer says: “ I ’ll repay the money to your wife tomorrow” , his listener interrupted with the highly revealing words: “Let me see, haven’t you repaid me that—I ’m sorry—I mean told2 me that already?” She could hardly have given a clearer indication, without actually putting it into words,of her willingness to offer herself on the same terms.’ A good example8 of this kind of self-betrayal, which did not lead to serious consequences, is reported by Tausk (1917) under the title of ‘The Faith of our Fathers’. ‘As my fiancee was a Christian’, H err A. related, ‘and was unwilling to adopt the Jewish faith, I myself was obliged to be converted from Judaism to Christianity so that we could marry. I did not change my religion without some internal resistance, but I felt it was justified by the purpose behind it, the more so because it involved abandoning no more than an outward adherence to Judaism, not a religious conviction (which I had never had). Notwithstanding this, I always continued later on to acknow­ ledge the fact of my being a Jew, and few of my acquaintances know I am baptized. I have two sons by this marriage, who were 1 [About £ 8 0 or $400.] 1 [There is no resemblance between the two German words for ‘repaid* and ‘told’.] 8 [Added in 1919.]



given Christian baptism. When the boys were sufficiently old they were told of their Jewish background, so as to prevent them from being influenced by anti-semitic views at their school and from turning against their father for such a superfluous reason. Some years ago I and my children, who were then at their primary school, were staying with the family of a teacher at the summer resort in D. One day while we were sitting at tea with our otherwise friendly hosts, the lady of the house, who had no inkling of her summer guests’ Jewish ancestry, launched some very sharp attacks on the Jews. I ought to have made a bold declaration of the facts in order to set my sons the example of “having the courage of one’s convictions”, but I was afraid of the unpleasant exchanges that usually follow an avowal of this sort. Besides, I was alarmed at the possibility of having to leave the good lodgings we had found and of thus spoiling my own and my children’s in any case limited holiday period, should our hosts’ behaviour towards us take an unfriendly turn because of the fact that we were Jews. As however I had reason to expect that my sons, in their candid and ingenuous way, would betray the momentous truth if they heard any more of the conversation, I tried to get them to leave the company by sending them into the garden. I said: “ Go into the garden, Juden [Jews] ”, quickly correcting it to “Jungen [youngsters]” . In this way I enabled the “courage of my con­ victions” to be expressed in a parapraxis. The others did not in fact draw any conclusions from my slip of the tongue, since they attached no significance to it; but I was obliged to learn the lesson that the “faith of our fathers” cannot be disavowed with impunity if one is a son and has sons of one’s own.’ The effect produced by the following slip of the tongue,1 which I would not report had not the magistrate himself made a note of it for this collection during the court proceedings, is anything but innocent: A soldier charged with housebreaking stated in evidence: ‘Up to now I ’ve not been discharged from military Dietsstellung;2 so at the moment I ’m still in the army.’ 1 [Added in 1920.] 1 [He meant to say *Dienststellung’, ‘service’, literally ‘service [Dienst] position \Stellung\\ Instead he said iDiebsstellung\ which would mean literally ‘thief position’.]



A slip of the tongue1 has a more cheering effect during psycho-analytic work, when it serves as a means of providing the doctor with a confirmation that may be very welcome to him if he is engaged in a dispute with the patient. I once had to interpret a patient’s dream in which the name ‘J auner’ occurred. The dreamer knew someone of that name, but it was impossible to discover the reason for his appearing in the con­ text of the dream; I therefore ventured to suggest that it might be merely because of his name, which sounds like the term of abuse *Gauner’ [swindler]. My patient hastily and vigorously contested this; but in doing so he made a slip of the tongue which confirmed my guess, since he confused the same letters once more. His answer was: ‘T hat seems to me too jewagt [instead of “gewagt (far-fetched)”].’2 When I had drawn his attention to his slip, he accepted my interpretation. If one of the parties involved in a serious argument makes a slip of the tongue which reverses the meaning of what he intended to say, it immediately puts him at a disadvantage with his opponent, who seldom fails to make the most of his improved position. This makes it clear3 that people give slips of the tongue and other parapraxes the same interpretation that I advocate in this book, even if they do not endorse theoretically the view I put forward, and even if they are disinclined, so far as it applies to themselves, to renounce the convenience that goes along with tolerating parapraxes. The amusement and derision which such oral slips are certain to evoke at the crucial moment can be taken as evidence against what purports to be the generally accepted convention that a mistake in speaking is a lapsus linguae and of no psychological significance. It was no less a person than the German Imperial Chancellor Prince Biilow who protested on these lines in an effort to save the situation, when the wording of his speech in defence of his Emperor (in November, 1907) was given the opposite meaning by a slip of 1 [This paragraph and the following one were added in 1907. The ‘Jauner’ slip was also quoted by Freud in his late paper on ‘Con­ structions in Analysis’ (1937d).] 2 [In vulgar speech, particularly in North Germany, ‘g’ at the begin­ ning of a word is often pronounced like the German ‘j ’ (English ‘y ’) instead of like the hard English ‘g’.] 8 [This paragraph and the two following ones were added in 1910.]



the tongue. ‘As for the present, the new epoch of the Emperor Wilhelm II, I can only repeat what I said a year ago, namely that it would be unfair and unjust to speak o f a coterie o f responsible advisers round our Emperor . . .’ (loud cries of ‘irresponsible’) ‘. . . irresponsible advisers. Forgive the lapsus linguae.’ (Laughter.) In this case, as a result of the accumulation of negatives, Prince Bulow’s sentence was somewhat obscure; sympathy for the speaker and consideration for his difficult position prevented this slip from being put to any further use against him. A year later another speaker in the same place was not so fortunate. He wished to appeal for a demonstration with no reserves [:riickhaltlos] in support of the Emperor, and in doing so was warned by a bad slip of the tongue that other emotions were to be found within his loyal breast. ‘Lattmann (German National Party): On the question of the Address our position is based on the standing orders of the Reichstag. According to them the Reichstag is entitled to tender such an address to the Emperor. It is our belief that the united thoughts and wishes of the German people are bent on achieving a united demonstration in this m atter as well, and if we can do so in a form that takes the Emperor’s feelings fully into account, then we should do so spinelessly [“riickgratlos”] as well.’ (Loud laughter which continued for some minutes.) ‘Gentlemen, I should have said not “riickgratlos” but “ riickhaltlos [unreservedly]” ’ (laughter), ‘and at this diffi­ cult time even our Emperor accepts a manifestation by the people—one made without reserve—such as we should like to see.’1 The [social-democratic paper] Vorwarts of November 12, 1908, did not miss the opportunity of pointing to the psycho­ logical significance of this slip of the tongue: ‘Probably never before in any parliament has a member, through an involuntary self-accusation, characterized his own attitude and that of the parliamentary majority towards the Emperor so exactly as did the anti-Semitic Lattmann, when, speaking with solemn emotion on the second day of the debate, he slipped into an admission that he and his friends wished to express their opinion to the Emperor spinelessly. Loud laughter from all sides drowned the remaining words of this unhappy man, who 1 [Freud later alluded to this slip in the fourth of his Introductory Lectures (1916-17).]



thought it necessary explicitly to stammer out by way of apology that he really meant “unreservedly’V I will add a further instance,1 in which the slip of the tongue assumed the positively uncanny characteristics of a prophecy. Early in 1923 there was a great stir in the world of finance when the very young banker X.—probably one of the newest of the ‘nouveaux riches’ in W., and at any rate the richest and youngest—obtained possession, after a short struggle, of a majority of the shares of th e Bank; and as a further con­ sequence, a remarkable General Meeting took place at which the old directors of the bank, financiers of the old type, were not re-elected, and young X. became president of the bank. In the valedictory speech which the managing director Dr. Y. went on to deliver in honour of the old president, who had not been re-elected, a number of the audience noticed a distressing slip of the tongue which occurred again and again. He con­ tinually spoke of the expiring [dahinscheideni] president instead of the outgoing [ausscheidend] president. As it turned out, the old president who was not re-elected died a few days after this meeting. He was, however, over eighty years old! (From Storfer.) A good example of a slip of the tongue2 whose purpose is not so much to betray the speaker as to give the listener in the theatre his bearings, is to be found in [Schiller’s] Wallenstein [Piccolomini, Act I, Scene 5); and it shows us that the dramatist, who here availed himself of this device, was familiar with the mechanism and meaning of slips of the tongue. In the preceding scene Max Piccolomini has ardently espoused the Duke’s [Wallenstein’s] cause, and has been passionately describing the blessings of peace, of which he has become aware on the course of a journey while escorting Wallenstein’s daughter to the camp. As he leaves the stage, his father [Octavio] and Questenberg, the emissary from the court, are plunged in consterna­ tion. Scene 5 continues: Q u e s t e n b e r g Alas, alas! and stands it so?

W hat friend! and do we let him go away In this delusion—let him go away? N ot call him back immediately, not open His eyes upon the spot? 1 [Added in 1924.]

4 [Added in 1907.]



O c t a v io (recovering himself out o f a deep study)

Q uest. O ct. Q uest. O ct.

H e has now open’d mine, And I see more than pleases me. What is it?

Curse on this journey! But why so? W hat is it? Come, come along, friend! I must follow u p T he ominous track immediately. M ine eyes Are open’d now, and I must use them. Come! {Draws Q,. on with him) W hat now? Where go you then?

Q uest. O ct. To her herself. Q u est. T o— O c t . {correcting himself) To the Duke. Come let us go.

[Coleridge’s translation.]

The small slip of saying ‘to her* instead of ‘to him* is meant to reveal to us that the father has seen through his son’s motive for espousing the Duke’s cause, while the courtier complains that he is ‘talking absolute riddles’ to him .1 Another example2 in which a dramatist makes use of a slip of the tongue has been discovered by Otto Rank (1910) in Shakespeare. I quote Rank’s account: ‘A slip of the tongue occurs in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (Act III, Scene 2), which is from the dramatic point of view extremely subtly motivated and which is put to brilliant technical use. Like the slip in Wallenstein to which Freud has drawn attention, it shows that dramatists have a clear under­ standing of the mechanism and meaning of this kind of parapraxis and assume that the same is true of their audience. Portia, who by her father’s will has been bound to the choice of a husband by lot, has so far escaped all her unwelcome suitors by a fortunate chance. Having at last found in Bassanio the suitor who is to her liking, she has cause to fear that he too will choose the wrong casket. She would very much like to tell him that even so he could rest assured of her love; but she is prevented by her vow. In this internal conflict the poet makes her say to the suitor she favours: I pray you tarry; pause a day or two, Before you hazard: for, in choosing wrong, 1 [Octavio realizes that his son’s motive springs from love of the Duke’s daughter.—This example and the next were quoted by Freud in the second of his Introductory Lectures (1916-17).] * [Added in 1912.]


PSY C H O P A T H O L O G Y OF E V E R Y D A Y LIFE I lose your company; therefore, forbear awhile: There’s something tells me (but it is not love) I would not lose you . . . . . . I could teach you H ow to choose right, but then I am forsworn; So will I never be; so may you miss me; But if you do you’ll make m e wish a sin, That I have been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes, They have o’er looked me, and divided me; One half of me is yours, the other half yours,— Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours, And so all yours.

‘The thing of which she wanted to give him only a very subtle hint, because she should really have concealed it from him altogether, namely, that even before he made his choice she was wholly his and loved him—it is precisely this that the poet, with a wonderful psychological sensitivity, causes to break through openly in her slip of the tongue; and by this artistic device he succeeds in relieving both the lover’s unbearable un­ certainty and the suspense of the sympathetic audience over the outcome of his choice.’1 In view of the interest that is lent to our theory of slips of the tongue by support of this nature from great writers, I feel justified in citing a third such instance which has been reported by Ernest Jones2 (191 li, 496): ‘In a recently published article Otto Rank drew our atten­ tion to a pretty instance of how Shakespeare caused one of his characters, Portia, to make a slip of the tongue which revealed her secret thoughts to an attentive member of the audience. I propose to relate a similar example from The Egoist, the master­ piece of the greatest English novelist, George Meredith. The plot of the novel is, shortly, as follows: Sir Willoughby Patteme, an aristocrat greatly admired by his circle, becomes engaged to a Miss Constantia Durham. She discovers in him an intense egoism, which he skilfully conceals from the world, and to escape the marriage she elopes with a Captain Oxford. Some 1 [In reproducing this in the second of his Introductory Lectures, Freud added a further comment of his own.] 2 [This example—also added in 1912—appears in Freud’s book in a German translation. We here give the original English.]



years later Patteme becomes engaged to a Miss Clara Middle­ ton, and most of the book is taken up with a detailed description of the conflict that arises in her mind on also discovering his egoism. External circumstances, and her conception of honour, hold her to her pledge, while he becomes more and more distasteful in her eyes. She partly confides in his cousin and secretary, Vernon Whitford, the man whom she ultimately marries; but from loyalty to Patteme and other motives he stands aloof. ‘In a soliloquy about her sorrow Clara speaks as follows: “ ‘If some noble gentleman could see me as I am and not disdain to aid me! Oh! to be caught out of this prison of thorns and brambles. I cannot tear my own way out. I am a coward. A beckoning of a finger1 would change me, I believe. I could fly bleeding and through hootings to a comrade , . . Constantia met a soldier. Perhaps she prayed and her prayer was answered. She did ill. But, oh, how I love her for it! His name was Harry Oxford . . . She did not waver, she cut the links, she signed herself over. Oh, brave girl, what do you think of me? But I have no Harry Whitford; I am alone . • .’ The sudden con­ sciousness that she had put another name for Oxford struck her a buffet, drowning her in crimson.” ‘The fact that both men’s names end in “ford” evidently renders the confounding of them more easy, and would by many be regarded as an adequate cause for this, but the real underlying motive for it is plainly indicated by the author. In another passage the same lapsus occurs, and is followed by the spontaneous hesitation and sudden change of subject that one is familiar with in psycho-analysis and in Ju n g ’s association ex­ periments when a half-conscious complex is touched. Sir Willoughby patronisingly says of Whitford: “ ‘False alarm. The resolution to do anything unaccustomed is quite beyond poor old Vernon.’ ” Clara replies: “ ‘But if M r Oxford—W hitford. . . your swans, coming sailing up the lake, how beautiful they look when they are indignant! I was going to ask you, surely men 1 Note by the [German] translator [J. Theodor von K alm ir]: I had originally proposed to translate the English words ‘beckoning of a finger’ by 'leiser Wink? [‘slight hint’] till I realized that by suppress­ ing the word ‘finger* I was robbing the sentence of a psychological subdety. S.F. VI— H



witnessing a marked admiration for someone else will naturally be discouraged?’ Sir Willoughby stiffened with sudden en­ lightenment.” ‘In still another passage, Clara by another lapsus betrays her secret wish that she was on a more intimate footing with Vernon Whitford. Speaking to a boy friend, she says: “ ‘Tell Mr. Vernon—tell Mr. Whitford.’ ” 51 The view2 of slips of the tongue which is advocated here can meet the test even in the most trivial examples. I have repeatedly been able to show that the most insignificant and obvious errors in speaking have their meaning and can be explained in the same way as the more striking instances. A woman patient who was acting entirely against my wishes in planning a short trip to Budapest, but who was determined to have her own way, justified herself by telling me that she was going for only three days; but she made a slip of the tongue and actually said ‘only three weeks9. She was betraying the fact that, to spite me, she would rather spend three weeks than three days there in the company which I considered unsuitable for her.—One evening I wanted to excuse myself for not having fetched my wife home from the theatre, and said: ‘I was at the theatre at ten past ten.’ I was corrected: ‘You mean ten to ten.* O f course I meant ten to ten. After ten o’clock would have been no excuse. I had been told that the theatre bills said the per­ formance ended before ten. When I reached the theatre I found the entrance-hall in darkness and the theatre empty. The performance had in fact ended earlier and my wife had not waited for me. When I looked at the clock it was only five to ten. But I decided to make my case out more favourable when I got home and to say it had been ten to ten. Unfortun­ ately, my .slip of the tongue spoilt my plan and revealed my disingenuousness, by making me confess more than there was to confess. This leads on to those speech-disturbances which cannot any 1 [Footnote added 1920:] Other instances of slips of the tongue which the writer intends to be taken as having a meaning and usually as being self-revealing can be found in Shakespeare’s Richard II (Act II, Scene 2), and in Schiller’s Don Carlos (Act. II, Scene 8; a slip made by Princess Eboli). There would doubtless be no difficulty in extending this list. * [This paragraph was added in 1907; the one which follows dates back to 1901.]



longer be described as slips of the tongue because what they affect is not the individual word but the rhythm and execution of a whole speech: disturbances like, for instance, stammering and stuttering caused by embarrassment. But here too, as in the former cases, it is a question of an internal conflict, which is betrayed to us by the disturbance in speech. I really do not think that anyone would make a slip of the tongue in an audience with his Sovereign, in a serious declaration of love or in defending his honour and name before a jury—in short, on all those occasions in which a person is heart and soul engaged. Even in forming an appreciation of an author’s style we are permitted and accustomed to apply the same elucidatory prin­ ciple which we cannot dispense with in tracing the origins of individual mistakes in speech. A clear and unambiguous man­ ner of writing shows us that here the author is at one with himself; where we find a forced and involved expression which (to use an apt phrase) is aimed at more than one target, we may recognize the intervention of an insufficiently worked-out, complicating thought, or we may hear the stifled voice of the author’s self-criticism.1 Since this book first appeared2 friends and colleagues who speak other languages have begun to turn their attention to slips of the tongue which they have been able to observe in countries where their language is spoken. As was to be expected they have found that the laws governing parapraxes are inde­ pendent of the linguistic material; and they have made the 1 [Footnote added 1910:] Ce qu’on congoit bien S’announce clairement Et les mots pour le dire Arrivent ais6ment. [What is well thought out Presents itself with clarity, And the words to express it Come easily.] Boileau: Art pottique. [In a letter to Fliess of September 21,1899 (Freud, 1950a, Letter 119). Freud applied a criticism of this precise kind to what he felt was his own unsatisfactory style in The Interpretation of Dreams. The passage will be found quoted in Standard Ed., 4, xx.] 2 [This paragraph and the example that follows were added in 1912.]



same interpretations that have been exemplified here in in­ stances coming from speakers of the German language. O f countless examples I include only one: Brill (1909) reports of himself: CA friend described to me a nervous patient and wished to know whether I could benefit him. I remarked: “ I believe that in time I could remove all his symptoms by psycho-analysis because it is a durable case”— wishing to say “curable”!*1 In conclusion,2 for the benefit of readers who are prepared to make a certain effort and to whom psycho-analysis is not unfamiliar, I will add an example which will enable them to form some picture of the mental depths into which the pursuit even of a slip of the tongue can lead. It has been reported by Jekels (1913). ‘On December 11, a lady of my acquaintance addressed me (in Polish) in a somewhat challenging and overbearing manner, as follows: “Why did I say to-day that I have twelve fingers?” At my request she gave an account of the scene in which the remark was made. She had got ready to go out with her daughter to pay a visit, and had asked her daughter—a case of dementia praecox then in remission—to change her blouse; and this she in fact did, in the adjoining room. On re-entering, the daughter found her mother busy cleaning her nails, and the following conversation ensued: ‘Daughter: “There! I ’m ready now and you’re not!” ‘Mother: “Yes, but you have only one blouse and I have twelve nails” ‘Daughter: “What?” 1 [This example is given in English in the original.—In the 1912 edition only, the following passage appeared in the text at this point: ‘An extremely instructive instance of the way in which a simple slip of the tongue may be made use of in a psycho-analysis has been reported by Stekel (1910): ‘ “A patient suffering from agoraphobia said during the analysis: ‘If I start on a subject I keep “dablei” [for “dabei”, “at it”] with some obstinacy.’ When his attention had been drawn to his slip, he went on: ‘I have done what children do and said “1” instead of “r” —“blei” instead of “brei” so making a second slip of the tongue. * “This slip was obviously of great significance. The syllables ‘bei —brei—blei’ [in German: ‘at’, ‘broth’, ‘lead’] carried important associations,” ’] 2 [The rest of the chapter was added in 1917.]



‘M other (impatiently): “Well, of course I have; after all, I have twelve fingers” ‘A colleague who heard the story at the same time as I did asked what occurred to her in connection with twelve. She answered equally quickly and definitely: “ Twelve means nothing to me—it is not the date of anything (of importance).” ‘To finger she gave the following association after a little hesitation: “Some of my husband’s family were bom with six fingers on their feet (Polish has no specific word for ‘toe’). When our children were bom they were immediately examined to see if they had six fingers.” For external reasons the analysis was not continued that evening. ‘Next morning, December 12, the lady visited me and told me with visible excitement: “W hat do you suppose has hap­ pened? For about the last twenty years I have been sending congratulations to my husband’s elderly uncle on his birthday, which is to-day, and I have always written him a letter on the 11th. This time I forgot about it and had to send a telegram just now.” ‘I myself remembered, and I reminded the lady, how posi­ tive she had been the evening before in dismissing my col­ league’s question about the number twelve—which was in fact very well fitted to remind her of the birthday—by remarking that the twelfth was not a date of importance to her. ‘She then admitted that this uncle of her husband’s was a wealthy man from whom she had in fact always expected to inherit something, quite especially in her present straitened financial circumstances. Thus, for instance, it was he, or rather his death, that had immediately sprung to her mind a few days before when an acquaintance of hers had predicted from cards that she would receive a large sum of money. I t flashed through her mind at once that the uncle was the only person from whom money could possibly come to her or her children; and this same scene also instantly reminded her of the fact that this uncle’s wife had once promised to remember the lady’s children in her will. But in the meanwhile she had died intes­ tate; had she perhaps given her husband appropriate instruc­ tions? ‘The death-wish against the uncle must clearly have emerged with very great intensity, for she said to the friend who made



the prophecy: “You encourage people to make away with others.” In the four or five days that elapsed between the prophecy and the uncle’s birthday she was constantly looking at the obituary columns in the newspapers from the town where the uncle lived. Not surprisingly, therefore, in view of the intensity o f her wish for his death, the event and the date of the birthday he was about to celebrate were so strongly suppressed that not only was a resolution which had been carried out for years forgotten in consequence, but even my colleague’s ques­ tion failed to bring them to consciousness. Tn the slip “twelve fingers” the suppressed “twelve” had broken through and had helped to determine the parapraxis. I say “helped to determine” , for the striking association to “finger” leads us to suspect the existence of some further motivations. It also explains why the “twelve” had falsified precisely this most innocent phrase, “ten fingers” . The associa­ tion ran: “ Some members of my husband’s family were born with six fingers on their feet.” Six toes are a sign of a particular abnormality. Thus six fingers mean one abnormal child and twelve fingers two abnormal children. And that was really the fact in this case. The lady had married at a very early age; and the only legacy left her by her husband, a highly eccentric and abnormal person who took his own life shortly after their marriage, were two children whom the doctors repeatedly pronounced to be abnormal and victims of a grave hereditary taint derived from their father. The elder daughter recently returned home after a severe catatonic attack; soon afterwards, the younger daughter, now at the age of puberty, also fell ill from a serious neurosis. ‘The fact that the children’s abnormality is here linked with the death-wish against the uncle, and is condensed with this far more strongly suppressed and psychically more powerful element, enables us to assume the existence of a second deter­ minant for the slip of the tongue, namely a death-wish against the abnormal children. ‘But the special significance of twelve as a death wish is already indicated by the fact that the uncle’s birthday was very intimately associated in the lady’s mind with the idea of his death. For her husband had taken his life on the 13th —one day, that is, after the uncle’s birthday} and the uncle’s



wife had said to the young widow: “ Yesterday he was sending his congratulations, so full of warmth and kindness—and to-day . . . !” T may add that the lady had real enough reasons as well for wishing her children dead; for they brought her no pleasure at all, only grief and severe restrictions on her independence, and she had for their sake renounced all the happiness that love might have brought her. On this occasion she had in fact gone to exceptional lengths to avoid putting the daughter with whom she was going to pay the visit in a bad mood; and it may be imagined what demands this makes on anyone’s patience and self-denial where the case is one of dementia praecox, and how many angry impulses have to be suppressed in the process. ‘The meaning of the parapraxis would accordingly be: ‘ “The uncle shall die, these abnormal children shall die (the whole of this abnormal family, as it were), and I will get their money.” ‘This parapraxis bears, in my view, several indications of an unusual structure: ‘(ia) Two determinants were present in it, condensed in a single element. ‘(J) The presence of the two determinants was reflected in the doubling of the slip of the tongue (twelve nails, twelve fingers). ‘(r) It is a striking point that one of the meanings of “twelve”, viz., the twelve fingers which expressed the children’s abnor­ mality, stood for an indirect form of representation; the psychical abnormality was here represented by the physical abnormality, and the highest part of the body by the lowest.’


M I S R E A D I N G S A N D SLIPS OF THE PEN1 W h e n w e c o m e to m is ta k e s i n r e a d in g a n d w r itin g , w e f in d t h a t o u r g e n e r a l a p p r o a c h a n d o u r o b s e rv a tio n s i n r e g a r d to m is ta k e s in s p e a k in g h o ld g o o d h e r e to o — n o t s u r p ris in g ly , i n v ie w o f th e clo se k in s h ip b e tw e e n th e s e fu n c tio n s . I s h a ll c o n ­ fin e m y s e lf h e r e to r e p o r tin g a fe w c a r e f u lly a n a ly s e d e x a m p le s , a n d s h a ll m a k e n o a t t e m p t to c o v e r e v e ry a s p e c t o f th e phenom ena.

(A) M is r e a d in g s (1) I was sitting in a cafiS, turning over the pages of a copy of the Leipziger Illustrierte [an illustrated weekly] (which I was holding up at an angle), when I read the following legend under a picture that stretched across the page: *A Wedding Celebration in the Odyssee [Odyssey].’ I t caught my attention; in surprise I took hold of the paper in the proper way and then corrected my error: ‘A Wedding Celebration on the Ostsee [Baltic].* How did I come to make this absurd mistake in reading? My thoughts at once turned to a book by Ruths (1898), Experimentaluntersuchungen iiber Musikphantomea . . . , which had occupied me a good deal recently since it trenches on the psychological problems that I have been concerned with. The author promised that he would shortly be bringing out a book to be called ‘Analysis and Principles of Dream Phen­ omena*. Seeing that I have just published an Interpretation of Dreams it is not surprising that I should await this book with the keenest interest. In Ruths’ work on music phantoms I 1 [The earlier portion o f this chapter, up to p. 110, dates back to 1901.] 1 [‘Experimental investigations o f music phantoms.’ These ‘music phantoms’ are, according to Ruths, a ‘group o f psychical phenomena which make an [involuntary] appearance in the brains of many people while they are listening to music’.] 106



found at the beginning of the list of contents an announcement of a detailed inductive proof that the ancient Greek myths and legends have their main source of origin in phantoms of sleep and music, in the phenomena of dreams and also in deliria. Thereupon I at once plunged into the text to find out whether he also realized that the scene in which Odysseus appears before Nausicaa was derived from the common dream of being naked. A friend had drawn my attention to the fine passage in Gott­ fried Keller’s Der Griine Heinrich which explains this episode in the Odyssey as an objective representation of the dreams of a sailor wandering far from home; and I had pointed out the connection with exhibitionist dreams of being naked.1 I found nothing on the subject in Ruths’ book. In this instance it is obvious that my thoughts were occupied with questipns of priority. (2) How did I come to read in a newspaper one day: *Im Fass [in a tub] across Europe’, instead of 'Zu [°n foot]’? Solving this problem caused me prolonged difficulties. The first associations, it is true, indicated that it must have been the tub of Diogenes that I had in mind; an d T had recently been reading about the art of the age of Alexander in a history of art. From there it was easy to recall Alexander’s celebrated remark: T f I were not Alexander I should like to be Diogenes.’ I also had some dim recollection of a certain Hermann Zeitung2 who had set out on his travels packed in a trunk. But the train of associations declined to run on further, and I did not succeed in rediscovering the page in the history of art on which the remark had caught my eye. I t was not till months later that the problem, which I had meanwhile set aside, sud­ denly sprang to my mind once more; and this time it brought its solution with it. I recalled the comment of a newspaper article on the strange means of transport [Bejorderung] that people were then choosing in order to go to Paris for the International Exhibition [of 1900]; and the passage, I believe, went on with a joking account of how one gentleman intended to get himself rolled in a tub to Paris by another gentleman. Needless to say the only motive of these people would be to draw attention to themselves by such folly. Hermann Zeitung 1 The Interpretation o f Dreams (1900a), Standard E d 4, 246-7. 1 here a proper name, is also the German for ‘newspaper’.]



was in fact the name of the man who had provided the first instance of such extraordinary methods of transport. It then struck me that I once treated a patient whose pathological anxiety about reading newspapers was to be explained as a reaction against his pathological ambition to see himself in print and to read of his fame in the newspapers. Alexander of Macedon was undoubtedly one of the most ambitious men that ever lived. He even complained that he would find no Homer to sing of his exploits. But how could I possibly have failed to recall that there is another Alexander who is closer to me, that Alexander is the name of my younger brother?1 I now immediately found the objectionable thought about this other Alexander that had had to be repressed, and what it was that had given rise to it at the present time. My brother is an authority on matters connected with tariffs and transport, and at a certain date he was due to receive the title of professor for his work in teaching at a commercial college. Several years ago my own name had been suggested at the University for the same promotion [Beforderung], without my having obtained it.2 At the time, our mother expressed her surprise that her younger son was to become a professor before her elder. This had been the situation when I was unable to solve my mistake in reading. Subsequently my brother too met with difficulties; his prospects of becoming professor sank even lower than my own. But at that point the meaning of the misreading suddenly became clear to me; it was as though the fading of my brother’s prospects had removed an obstacle. I had be­ haved as if I was reading of my brother’s appointment in the newspaper and was saying to myself: ‘How curious that a person can appear in the newspaper (i.e. can be appointed professor) on account of such stupidities (which is what his profession amounts to)!’ Afterwards I had no difficulty in find­ ing the passage about Hellenistic art in the age of Alexander, 1 [According to Ernest Jones (1953, 21) the name ‘Alexander’ had been chosen at Freud’s own suggestion—his brother was ten years younger than he was—and on the specific ground of Alexander the Great’s military prowess and generosity.] * [This question is repeatedly discussed in connection with Freud’s dreams in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a). See, for instance, Standard Ed.> 4 1 136 ff. He received the appointment ultimately, in 1902, the year following the first publication of this paragraph.]



and to my astonishment convinced myself that in my previous search I had repeatedly read parts of the same page and had each time passed over the relevant sentence as if I was under the dominance of a negative hallucination. However, this sentence did not contain anything at all to enlighten me—any­ thing that would have deserved to be forgotten. I suspect that the symptom consisting of my failure to find the passage in the book was only formed with the purpose of leading me astray. I was intended to search for a continuation of the train of thought in the place where my enquiries encountered an obstacle—that is, in some idea connected with Alexander of Macedon; in this way I was to be more effectively diverted from my brother of the same name. In fact the device was entirely successful; all my efforts were directed towards redis­ covering the lost passage in the history of art. In this case the ambiguity of the word ‘Beforderung' [‘trans­ port5 and ‘promotion5] forms the associative bridge between the two complexes,1 the unimportant one which was aroused by the newspaper article, and the more interesting but objec­ tionable one which asserted itself here in the form of a disturb­ ance of what was to be read. It can be seen from this example that it is not always easy to explain occurrences such as this mistake in reading. At times one is even forced to postpone solving the problem to a more favourable time. But the harder the work of solving it proves to be, the more certainly can one anticipate that the disturbing thought which is finally disclosed will be judged by our conscious thinking as something alien and opposed to it. (3) One day I received a letter from the neighbourhood of Vienna which brought me a piece of news that shocked me. I immediately called my wife and broke the news to her that ‘die arme [the poor]2 Wilhelm M .5 had fallen very seriously ill and been given up by the doctors. There must, however, have been a false ring about the words I chose to express my sorrow, 1 [In 1901 and 1904: ‘circles o f thoughts’. The word ‘complexes’ replacing this in the 1907 edition, marks the beginning of Jung’s in­ fluence on Freud.—For the similar use o f verbal bridges in the con­ struction of dreams, jokes and neurotic symptoms see Standard Ed., 5, 341 n. See also p. 274, n. 1, below.] 1 [The use of *die’, the feminine form of the definite article, implied that the person concerned was a woman.]



for my wife grew suspicious, asked to see the letter and declared she was certain it could not read as I had said it did, since no one called a wife by her husband’s first name, and in any case the lady who wrote the letter knew the wife’s first name per­ fectly well. I obstinately defended my assertion and referred to the very common use of visiting cards on which a woman styles herself by her husband’s first name. I was finally com­ pelled to pick up the letter, and what we in fact read in it was ‘der1 arme W .M .’, or rather something even plainer: ‘der arme Dr. W. M .’, which I had entirely overlooked. My mistake in reading therefore amounted to a kind of convulsive attem pt to shift the sad news from the husband to the wife. The title that stood between the article, adjective and name did not fit in well with my requirement that the wife should be the one referred to. For this reason it was simply done away with in the process of reading. My motive for falsifying the message was not, how­ ever, that my feelings for the wife were less warm than those I had for her husband, but that the poor m an’s fate had excited my fears for another person in close contact with me. This person shared with him what I knew to be one of the deter­ minants of the illness. (4)2 There is one misreading which I find irritating and laughable and to which I am prone whenever I walk through the streets of a strange town on my holidays. On these occasions I read every shop sign that resembles the word in any way as ‘Antiquities’. This betrays the questing spirit of the collector. (5)3 Bleuler relates in his important book, Affektivitat, Suggestibilitat, Paranoia (1906, 121): ‘Once while I was reading I had an intellectual feeling that I saw my name two lines further down. To my astonishment I only found the word “Blutkorperchen [blood-corpuscles]” . I have analysed many thousands of misreadings in the peripheral as well as the central visual field; but this is the grossest instance. Whenever I imagined I saw my name, the word that gave rise to the notion usually resembled my name much more, and in most cases every single letter of my name had to be found close together before I could make such an error. In this case, however, the delusion of reference and the illusion could be explained very easily: what Vm





I had just read was the end of a comment on a type of bad style found in scientific works, from which I did not feel free.* (6)1 Hanns Sachs reports having read: ‘The things th at strike other people are passed over by him in his “Steijleinenheit [pedantry]” .’ ‘This last word’, Sachs proceeds, ‘surprised me, and on looking more closely I discovered that it was “Stilfeinheit [elegance of style]” . The passage occurred in the course of some remarks by an author whom I admired, which were in ex­ travagant praise of a historian whom I do not find sympathetic because he exhibits the “ German professorial manner” in too marked a degree.’ (7)2 Dr. Marcell EibenschUtz (1911) describes an instance of misreading in the course of his philological studies. ‘I was engaged in studying the literary tradition of the Book o f Martyrs, a Middle High German legendary which I had undertaken to edit in the series of “ German Mediaeval Texts” published by the Prussian Akademie der Wissenschaften. Very little was known about the work, which had never seen print. There was a single essay on it in existence, by Joseph H aupt (1872,101 ff.). H aupt based his work not on an old manuscript but on a copy of the principal source, M anuscript C (Klostemeuburg).This copy had been made at a comparatively recent date (in the nineteenth century). I t is preserved in the Hofbibliothek [Imperial Library]. At the end of the copy the following sub­ scription3 is to be found: ‘ “Anno Domini MDCCCL in vigilia exaltacionis sancte crucis ceptus est iste liber et in vigilia pasce anni subsequentis finitus cum adiutorio omnipotentis per me H artm anum de K rasna tunc temporis ecclesie niwenburgensis custodem.” 4 ‘Now in his essay H aupt quotes this subscription in the belief that it comes from the writer of G himself, and supposes G to have been written in 1350—a view involving a consistent mis­ reading of the date 1850 in Roman numerals—in spite of his 1 [Added 1919.] « [Added 1912.] * [I.e. signature or explanatory paragraph at the end o f a document.] 4 [‘This book was begun on the Eve of Holy Cross Day in the Year of Our Lord 1850, and was finished on Easter Saturday in the following f l f f ■* | |

»• — * tW A flrt

4 L *i

it* 1


l» - i

L la tv * -------*■=»



having copied the subscription perfectly correctly and in spite of its having been printed perfectly correctly (i.e. as MDCCCL) in the essay, in the passage referred to. ‘H aupt’s information proved the source of much embarrass­ ment to me. In the first place, being an entire novice in the world of scholarship, I was completely dominated by H aupt’s authority, and for a long time I read the date given in the subscription lying in front of me—which was perfectly clearly and correctly printed—as 1350 instead of 1850, just as H aupt had done. I did this even though no trace of any subscription could be found in the original Manuscript C, which I used, and though it further transpired that no monk by the name of H artm an had lived at Klostemeuburg at any time in the fourteenth century. And when at last the veil fell from before my eyes I guessed what had happened; and further investiga­ tion confirmed my suspicion. The subscription so often referred to is in fact to be found only in the copy used by H aupt, and is the work of its copyist, P. H artm an Zeibig, who was bom at Krasna in Moravia, was Master of the Augusdnian choir at Klostemeuburg, and who as sacrist of the monastery made a copy of Manuscript G and appended his name in the ancient fashion at the end of his copy. The mediaeval phraseology and the old orthography of the subscription doubtless played their part in inducing H aupt always to read 1350 instead of 1850, alongside his wish to be able to tell his readers as much as possible about the work he was discussing, and therefore also to date Manuscript C. (This was the motive for the parapraxis.)’ (8)1 In Lichtenberg’s Witzige und Satirische Einfalle [1853] a remark occurs which is no doubt derived from a piece of observation and which comprises virtually the whole theory of misreading: ‘He had read Homer so much that he always read “Agamemnoif' instead of "angenommen [supposed]” .’* For in a very large number of cases® it is the reader’s pre­ paredness that alters the text and reads into it something which 1 [Added 1910.] * [Also quoted by Freud in his book on jokes (1905c, Standard Ed., 8, 93) and at the end of Lecture II o f his Introductory Lectures (191617).] * [This paragraph and Examples 9 and 10 were added in 1917.]



he is expecting or with which he is occupied. The only contri­ bution towards a misreading which the text itself need make is that of affording some sort of resemblance in the verbal image, which the reader can alter in the sense he requires. Merely glancing at the text, especially with uncorrected vision, un­ doubtedly increases the possibility of such an illusion, but it is certainly not a necessary precondition for it. (9) I have an impression that no parapraxis was so greatly encouraged by war conditions—which brought us all such con­ stant and protracted preoccupations—as this particular one of misreading. I have been able to observe a large number of instances of it, but unfortunately I have kept records of only a few of them. One day I picked up a mid-day or evening paper and saw in large print: ‘Der Friede von Gorz [The Peace of Gorizia].5 But no, all it said was: ‘Die Feinde vor Gorz [The Enemy before Gorizia]/ I t is easy for someone who has two sons fighting at this very time in that theatre of operations to make such a mistake in reading.—Someone else found an ‘old Brotkarte [bread card]’ mentioned in a certain context; when he looked at this more attentively, he had to replace it by ‘old Brokate [brocades]5. It is perhaps worth mentioning that at a particular house, where this man is often a welcome guest, it is his habit to make himself agreeable to the mistress by handing his bread cards over to her.—An engineer, whose equipment had never stood up for long to the dampness in a tunnel that was under construction, was astonished to read a laudatory advertisement of goods made of ‘Schundleder [shoddy leather]5. But tradesmen are not usually so candid; what was being recommended was ‘Seehundleder [sealskin]5. The reader5s profession or present situation, too, determines the outcome of his misreading. A philologist, whose most recent, and excellent, works had brought him into conflict with his professional colleagues, read ‘Sprachstrategie [language strategy]5 in mistake for ‘Schachstrategie [chess strategy]5.—A man who was taking a walk in a strange town just when the action of his bowels was timed to occur by a course of medical treatment read the word ‘Closet-House5 on a large sign on the first storey of a tall shop-building. His satisfaction on seeing it was mixed with a certain surprise that the obliging establishment should be in such an unusual place. The next moment, however, his



satisfaction vanished; a more correct reading of the word on the sign was ‘Corset-House5.1 (10) In a second group of cases the part which the text con­ tributes to the misreading is a much larger one. It contains something which rouses the reader5s defences—some informa­ tion or imputation distressing to him—and which is therefore corrected by being misread so as to fit in with a repudiation or with the fulfilment of a wish. In such cases we are of course obliged to assume that the text was first correctly understood and judged by the reader before it underwent correction, although his consciousness learnt nothing of this first reading. Example (3) above [p. 109] is of this kind; and I include here a further, highly topical one given by Eitingon (1915), who was at the military hospital at Igl6 at the time. ‘Lieutenant X., who is in our hospital suffering from a traumatic war neurosis, was one day reading me a poem by the poet Walter Heymann, who fell in battle at so early an age. With visible emotion he read the last lines of the final stanza as follows. W o aber steht’s geschrieben, frag5 ich, dass von alien Ich iibrig bleiben soli, ein andrer fur m ich fallen? Wer immer von euch fallt, der stirbt gewiss fur mich; U nd ich soli iibrig bleiben? warum denn nicht? 2 [But where is it decreed, I ask, that out o f all I should alone be left, my fellow for m e fall? W hoever o f you falls, for me that m an doth die; And I— am I alone to live? Why should not I7\

‘My surprise caught his attention, and in some confusion he read the line correctly: U nd ich soli iibrig bleiben? warum denn ich? [And I— am I alone to live then? W hy should I?]

‘I owe to Case X. some analytic insight into the psychical material of these “traumatic war neuroses55, and in spite of the 1 [First quoted by Freud in Lecture IV of his Introductory Lectures (1916-17).] 2 From ‘Den Ausziehenden’ [‘To Those who have Gone Forth’] in Kriegsgedichte und Feldpostbriefe [War Poems and Letters from the Front] by Walter Heymann.



circumstances prevailing in a war hospital with a large number of patients and only a few doctors—circumstances so unfavour­ able to our way of working—it was then possible for me to see a little way beyond the shell explosions which were so highly esteemed as the “cause55 of the illness. ‘In this case, too, were to be seen the severe tremors which give pronounced cases of these neuroses a similarity that is so striking at the first glance, as well as apprehensiveness, tearful­ ness, and a proneness to fits of rage, accompanied by convulsive infantile motor manifestations, and to vomiting (“ at the least excitement55). ‘The psychogenic nature of this last symptom in particular —above all in its contribution to the secondary gain from the illness—must have impressed everyone. The appearance in the ward of the hospital commandant who from time to time in­ spected the convalescent cases, or a remark made by an acquaintance in the street—“You look in really excellent form, you5re certainly fit now55—is enough to produce an immediate attack of vomiting. ‘ “ F i t . . . go back to service . . . why should I?55 5 (11)1 Dr. Hanns Sachs (1917) has reported some other cases of ‘war5 misreading: ‘A close acquaintance of mine had repeatedly declared to me that when his turn came to be called up he would not make any use of his specialist qualifications, which were attested by a diploma; he would waive any claim based on them for being found suitable employment behind the lines and he would enlist for service at the front. Shortly before the call-up date in fact arrived, he told me one day in the curtest way, and without giving any further reason, that he had submitted the evidence of his specialist training to the proper authorities and as a result would shortly be assigned to a post in industry. Next day we happened to meet in a post-office. I was standing up at a desk and writing; he came in, looked over my shoulder for a while and then said: “ Oh! the word at the top there5s ‘Druckbogen [printers proofs]5—I 5d read it as ‘Drilckeberger [shirker]5.55 5 (12) ‘I was sitting in a tram and reflecting on the fact that many of the friends of my youth who had always been taken as frail and weakly were now able to endure the most severe 1 [The remainder of this section (Examples 11-13) was added in 1919.] S.F, v i — I



hardships—ones which would quite certainly be too much for me. While in the middle of this disagreeable train of thought, I read, only half attentively, a word in large black letters on a shop-sign that we were passing: “ Iron Constitution” . A moment later it struck me that this word was an inappropriate one to be found on the board of a business-firm; I turned round hastily and catching another glimpse of the sign saw that it really read: “Iron Construction” .’ (Sachs, ibid.) (13) ‘The evening papers carried a Reuter message, which subsequently proved to be incorrect, to the effect that Hughes had been elected President of the United States. This was followed by a short account of the supposed President’s career, in which I came across the information that Hughes had com­ pleted his studies at Bonn University. I t struck me as strange that this fact had received no mention in the newspaper dis­ cussions during all the weeks before the day of the election. O n taking a second look I found that all the text in fact con­ tained was a reference to Brown University [at Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.], The explanation of this gross case, in which the misreading had called for a fairly violent twist, depended—apart from my haste in reading the newspaper— chiefly upon my thinking it desirable that the new President’s sympathy for the Central European Powers, as the basis for good relations in the future, should be based on personal motives as well as political ones.’ (Sachs, ibid.) (B) S u p s

of t h e

P en

(1)1 On a sheet of paper containing short daily notes mainly of a business kind I was surprised to find, among some entries correctly dated ‘September’, the wrongly written date ‘Thurs­ day, October 20’. I t is not difficult to explain this anticipation —and to explain it as the expression of a wish. A few days before, I had returned fresh from my holiday travels, and I felt ready for plenty of professional work; but there were not yet many patients. On my arrival I had found a letter from a patient to say she was coming on October 20. When I made an entry for the same day of the month in September I may well have 1 [Example 1, apart from the penultimate and final sentences (added in 1907 and 1912 respectively), and Example 2 date back to 1901.]



thought: ‘X, should have been here already; what a waste of a whole month!’, and with that thought in mind I brought the date forward a month. In this case the disturbing thought can scarcely be called an objectionable one; and for this reason I knew the solution of the slip of the pen as soon as I had noticed it.—In the autumn of the following year I made an­ other slip of the pen which was precisely analogous and had a similar motive.—Ernest Jones [191 li] has made a study of slips like these in writing dates; in most cases they could be clearly recognized as having [psychological] reasons. (2) I had received the proofs of my contribution to the Jahresbericht fu r Neurologie und Psychiatries and I had naturally to revise the names of authors with particular care, since they are of various nationalities and therefore usually cause the compositor very great difficulty. I did in fact find some foreignsounding names which were still in need of correction; but strangely enough there was one name which the compositor had corrected by departingfrom my manuscript. He was perfectly right to do so. W hat I had in fact written was ‘Buckrhard’, which the compositor guessed should be ‘Burckhard’. I had actually praised the useful treatise which an obstetrician of that name had written on the influence of birth upon the origin of children’s palsies, and I was not aware of having anything to hold against him; but he has the same name as a writer in Vienna who had annoyed me by an unintelligent review of my Interpretation o f Dreams.2 I t is just as if in writing the name Burckhard, meaning the obstetrician, I had had a hostile thought about the other Burckhard, the w riter;8 for distorting 1 [Annual Review of Neurology and Psychiatry. Freud wrote the abstracts and reviews for the section ‘Cerebrale Kinderl&hmung’ [infantile cere­ bral palsy] in the first three volumes of this annual; the contribution here referred to appeared in the third (‘1899’) volume (Freud, 1900£).] 2 [Max Burckhard. His review appeared in Die £eit on January 6 and 13, 1900. A comment on it by Freud will be found in his letter to Fliess of January 8, 1900 (1950a, Letter 127).] 8 Compare the scene in Julius Caesar, III, 3: C in n a Truly, my name is Cinna. A C it iz e n Tear him to pieces; he’s a conspirator. C in n a I am Cinna the p o e t. . . I am not Cinna the conspirator. A n o t h e r C it iz e n . It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but



names is very often a form of insulting their owners, as I have mentioned above [p. 83] in discussing slips of the tongue. (3)1 This assertion is very neatly confirmed by a self-observa­ tion of Storfer’s (1914), in which the author exposes with commendable frankness the motives that prompted him to re­ collect the name of a supposed rival wrongly and then to write it down in a distorted form: ‘In December, 1910,1 saw a book by Dr. Eduard Hitschmann in the window of a bookshop in Zurich. Its subject was Freud’s theory of the neuroses and it was new at the time. Just then I was at work on the manuscript of a lecture on the basic principles of Freud’s psychology, which I was shortly to give before a University society. In the introductory part of the lecture which I had already written, I had referred to the historical development of Freud’s psychology from his re­ searches in an applied field, to certain consequent difficulties in giving a comprehensive account of its basic principles, and also to the fact that no general account of them had yet appear­ ed. When I saw the book (whose author was till then unknown to me) in the shop window, I did not at first think of buying it. Some days later, however, I decided to do so. The book was no longer in the window. I asked the bookseller for it and gave the author’s name as “D r Eduard H a rtm a n n The bookseller corrected me: “ I think you mean Hitschmann” , and brought me the book. ‘The unconscious motive for the parapraxis was obvious. I had so to speak given myself the credit for having written a comprehensive account of the basic principles of psycho­ analytic theory, and obviously regarded Hitschmann’s book with envy and annoyance since it took some of the credit away from me. I told myself, on the lines of The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, that the changing of the name was an act of unconscious hostility. At the time I was satisfied with this explanation. ‘Some weeks later I noted down this parapraxis. O n this his name out of his heart, and turn him going. [In the original this footnote is wrongly attached to the end of the sentence.] 1 [Added 1917.]



occasion I raised the further question of why Eduard Hitschmann had been altered precisely to Eduard Hartmann. Could I have been brought to the name of the well-known philoso­ pher1 merely because it was similar to the other one? My first association was the memory of a pronouncement which I once heard from Professor Hugo von Meltzl, an enthusiastic admirer of Schopenhauer, and which ran roughly as follows: "Eduard von Hartm ann is a botched Schopenhauer, a Schopenhauer turned inside out.” The affective trend by which the substitutive formation for the forgotten name was determined was there­ fore: "No, there will probably not be much in this Hitschmann and his comprehensive account; he probably stands to Freud as H artm ann does to Schopenhauer.” ‘I had, as I say, noted down this case of [psychologically] determined forgetting with the forgotten word replaced by a substitute. ‘Six months later I came upon the sheet of paper on which I had made the note. I then observed that instead of Hitsch­ mann I had throughout written Hintschmann.’2 (4)3 Here is what seems to be a more serious slip of the pen; I might perhaps equally well have included it among ‘bungled actions5 [Chapter V III]: I intended to draw the sum of 300 kronen4 from the Post Office Savings Bank, which I wanted to send to an absent relative for purposes of medical treatment. At the same time I noticed that my account stood at 4,380 kronen and decided to bring it down on this occasion to the round sum of 4,000 kronen which was not to be touched in the near future. After I had duly written out the cheque and cut off the figures corresponding to the sum,5 I suddenly noticed that I had not asked for 380 kronen as I intended, but for exactly 438 kronen, and I took alarm at the unreliability of my conduct. I soon 1 [Eduard von Hartmann (1842-1906), author of Philosophie des Unbewussten {Philosophy of the Unconscious).] 2 [‘Hintsch’ is a dialect word for ‘asthma’ or, more generally, ‘pest’.] 8 [This example dates back to 1901.] 4 [At that time equivalent to about £12 10s. or $62.] 5 [In Austria at that time, withdrawals from the Post Office Savings Bank involved cutting off portions of a sheet of paper printed with columns of digits: the point at which the cut was made indicated the number o f kronen to be withdrawn.]



realized that my alarm was not called for; I was not now any poorer than I had been before. But it took me a good deal of reflection to discover what influence had disturbed my first intention, without making itself known to my consciousness. To begin with I started on the wrong line; I tried subtracting 380 from 438, but I had no idea afterwards w hat to do with the difference. Finally a thought suddenly struck me which showed me the true connection. Why, 438 was ten per cent of the total account, 4,380 kronen! Now a ten per cent discount is given by booksellers. I recalled that a few days earlier I had picked out a number of medical books in which I was no longer interested in order to offer them to a bookseller for precisely 300 kronen. He thought the price I was asking was too high, and promised to give me a definite answer within the next few days. I f he accepted my offer he would replace the exact sum which I was to spend on the invalid. There is no doubt that I regretted this expenditure. My affect on perceiving my error can be under­ stood better as a fear of growing poor as a result of such ex­ penditures. But both these feelings, my regret at the expenditure and my anxiety over becoming poor that was connected with it, were entirely foreign to my consciousness; I did not have a feeling of regret when I promised the sum of money, and would have found the reason for it laughable. I should probably not have believed myself in any way capable of such an im­ pulse had I not become fairly familiar, through my psycho­ analytic practice with patients, with the part played by the repressed in mental life, and had I not had a dream a few days before which called for the same solution.1 (5)2 I quote the from Wilhelm Stekel,3 and can also vouch for its authenticity: ‘A simply incredible example of a slip of the pen and mis­ reading occurred in the editing of a widely-read weekly 1 This is the one which I took as the specimen dream in my short work On Dreams (1901a). [The dream in question is discussed at many points in the course of that work, which was published very shortly before the publication of the parapraxis in the text above. The episode at the root of both the parapraxis and the dream will be found men­ tioned in Standard Ed,y5,656. Another episode related to the same dream is mentioned below, on p. 136.] * [Added 1907.] 8 [In 1907 and 1910 only: ‘my colleague Wilhelm Stekel.*]



periodical. The proprietors in question had been publicly des­ cribed as “venal” ; and an article in defence and vindication was clearly called for. One was in fact prepared: it was written with great warmth and feeling. The editor-in-chief read the article, while the author naturally read it several times in manuscript and then once more in galley-proof; everyone was perfectly satisfied. Suddenly the printer’s reader came forward and pointed out a small mistake which had escaped everyone’s notice. There it was, plainly enough: “ O ur readers will bear witness to the fact that we have always acted in the most selfseeking manner for the good of the community.” It is obvious that it should have read: “in the most unself-seeking manner” . But the true thoughts broke through the emotional statement with elemental force.’1 (6)2 A reader of the Pester Lloydf Frau K ata Levy of Buda­ pest, recently came across a similar unintended display of candour in a telegram from Vienna which appeared in the paper on October 11, 1918: Tn view of the complete mutual confidence which has pre­ vailed between ourselves and our German allies throughout the war, it may be taken for certain that the two Powers would ' reach a unanimous decision in all circumstances. It is unneces­ sary to state specifically that active and interrupted co-operation between the allied diplomatists is taking place at the present stage as well.’ Only a few weeks later it was possible to express one’s opinion more frankly about this ‘mutual confidence’, and there was no longer any need to take refuge in a slip of the pen (or misprint). (7)4 An American living in Europe who had left his wife on bad terms felt that he could now effect a reconciliation with * her, and asked her to come across the Atlantic and join him on a certain date. Tt would be fine,’ he wrote, ‘if you could come on the Mauretania as I did.’ He did not however dare to send the sheet of paper which had this sentence on it. He 1 [Also mentioned by Freud in Lecture IV of his Introductory Lectures (1916-17).] 8 [Added 1919.] 8 [The well-known Budapest German-language daily.] 4 [Added 1920.]



preferred to write it out again. For he did not want her to notice how he had had to correct the name of the ship. He had first written *Lusitania:’. This slip of the pen needs no explanation: its interpretation is perfectly plain. But a happy chance enables a further point to be added. Before the war his wife paid her first visit to Europe after the death of her only sister. I f I am not mistaken, the Mauretania is the surviving sister-ship of the Lusitania, which was sunk in the war. (8)1 A doctor had examined a child and was making out a prescription for it, which included the word ‘alcohol’. While he was occupied in doing so the child’s mother pestered him with stupid and unnecessary questions. He privately determined not to let this make him angry, and actually suceeded in keeping his temper, but made a slip of the pen in the course of the interruptions. Instead of alcohol the word ackol2 could be read on the prescription. (9)8 The following example, which Ernest Jones [191 lb, 501] reports about A. A. Brill, has a similar subject-matter, and I therefore insert it here. Although by custom a total abstainer, he allowed himself to be persuaded by a friend to drink a little wine. Next morning an acute headache gave him cause to re­ gret having yielded in this way. He had occasion to write the name of a patient called Ethel; instead he wrote Ethyl.* It was no doubt of some relevance that the lady in question used to drink more than was good for her. (10)5 Since a slip of the pen on the part of a doctor who is writing a prescription possesses a significance which goes far beyond the practical importance of ordinary parapraxes [cf. p. 177 ff.], I take the oppprtunity of reporting in full the only analysis published up to now of such a slip made by a doctor: From Dr. Eduard Hitschmann (1913A): ‘A colleague tells me that several times over a period of years he had made an error in prescribing a certain drug for women patients of an ad­ vanced age. On two occasions he prescribed ten times the 1 [Added 1910.] •Approximately [in classical Greek]: ‘No choler [anger].* • [Added 1912.] 4 I.e. ethyl alcohol [the chemical name for ordinary alcohol]. • [Added 1917.]



correct dose; only later did he suddenly realize this and was obliged, in the greatest anxiety in case he had harmed his patient and put himself in a very unpleasant position, to take the most hurried steps to recall the prescription. This singular symptomatic act deserves to be clarified by a more precise description of the individual instances and by an analysis. ‘First instance: In treating a poor woman bordering on ex­ treme old age who was suffering from spastic constipation the doctor prescribed belladonna suppositories ten times too strong. He left the out-patients’ department, and his error suddenly sprang to his mind about an hour later while he was at home reading the paper and having lunch; he was overcome by anxiety, rushed first to the out-patients’ department to obtain the patient’s address and hastened from there to her home, which was a long way off. He was delighted to find that the old woman had not yet had the prescription made up, and he returned home much relieved. The excuse that he gave himself on this occasion was the not unjustified one that the talkative head of the out-patients’ department had looked over his shoulder while he was writing the prescription and had distracted him. ‘Second instance: The doctor was obliged to tear himself away from a consultation with a flirtatious and provocatively attractive patient in order to pay a professional visit to an elderly spinster. He took a taxi, not having much time to spare for the visit; for he was due to keep a secret rendezvous with a girl he was in love with, at a certain time, near her house. Here, too, belladonna was indicated because of troubles analogous to those in the first instance. Once again he made the mistake of prescribing a quantity ten times too strong. The patient raised a question that was of some interest but irrelevant to the matter in hand; the doctor, however, showed impatience, though his words denied it, and left the patient, so that he appeared at the rendezvous in very good time. Some twelve hours later, at about seven o’clock in the morning, the doctor woke up; the thought of his slip of the pen and a feeling of anxiety came almost simultaneously to his consciousness, and he sent a hasty message to the patient in the hope that the medicine had not yet been collected from the chemist’s, and asked for the prescription to be sent back in order to be revised.



On receiving it however he found that the prescription had already been made up; with a somewhat stoical resignation and an optimism born of experience he went to the chemist, where the dispenser reassured him by explaining that he had naturally (or perhaps by mistake too?) made up the drug in a smaller dose. ‘Third instance: The doctor wanted to prescribe a mixture of Tinct. belladonnae and Tinct. opii in a harmless dose for his old aunt, his mother’s sister. The prescription was immediately taken to the chemist by the maid. A very short time later it occurred to the doctor that instead of “ tincture” he had written “ extract”, and immediately afterwards the chemist telephoned to question him about the error. The doctor gave as an excuse the untruthful explanation that he had not completed the pre­ scription—it had been carried off from his table with unexpec­ ted suddenness, so it was not his fault. ‘These three errors in making out prescriptions have the following striking points of resemblance. Up to now it has only happened to the doctor with this one drug; each time it involved a woman patient of advanced years, and each time the dose was too strong. From the brief analysis it emerged that the doc­ tor’s relation to his mother must have been of decisive import­ ance. For he recalled that on one occasion—one, moreover, which most probably occurred before these symptomatic acts— he had made out the same prescription for his mother, who was also an old woman; he had ordered a dose of 0.03, although he was more familiar with the usual dose of 0.02. This, as he told himself, was in order to give her radical help. His frail mother reacted to the drug with congestion in the head and an un­ pleasant dryness of the throat. She complained of this, alluding half-jokingly to the risks that could come from a consultation with a son. There were in fact other occasions when his mother, who was, incidentally, a doctor’s daughter, raised similar critical and half jocular objections to drugs recommended at various times by her doctor son, and spoke of being poisoned. ‘So far as the present writer can fathom this son’s relations with his mother, there is no doubt that he is an instinctively affectionate child, but his mental estimate of his mother and his personal respect for her are by no means exaggerated. He shares a household with a brother a year younger than himself



and with his mother, and has felt for years that this arrange­ ment was inhibiting his erotic freedom. We have, of course, learnt from psycho-analytic experience that such reasons are readily misused as an excuse for an internal [incestuous] attach­ ment. The doctor accepted the analysis, being fairly well satis­ fied with the explanation, and laughingly suggested that the word *belladonna* (i.e., beautiful woman) could also have an erotic reference. He had also occasionally used the drug himself in the past.’ In my judgement serious parapraxes like the present ones are brought about in exactly the same way as the innocent ones that we normally investigate. (11)1 The next slip of the pen, reported by S&ndor Ferenczi, will be thought quite especially innocent. It can be understood as being an act of condensation, resulting from impatience (com­ pare the slip of the tongue, ‘Der Apfe*, above, p. 61); and this view might have been maintained if a penetrating analysis of the occurrence had not revealed a stronger disturbing factor: ‘ “ I am reminded of the Anektode” ,21 once wrote in my note­ book. Naturally I meant “Anekdote [anecdote]” ; actually it was the one about a gipsy who had been sentenced to death [Tode], and who asked as a favour to be allowed himself to choose the tree from which he was to be hanged. (In spite of a keen search he failed to find any suitable tree,)* (12) On the other hand there are times when the most in­ significant slip in writing can serve to express a dangerous secret meaning. An anonymous correspondent reports: T ended a letter with the words: “Herzlichste Grtisse an Ihre Frau Gemahlin und ihren Sohn.” 3 Just before I put the sheet in the envelope I noticed the error I had made in the first letter of “ihren” and corrected it. On the way home from my last visit to this married couple the lady who was with me had remarked that the son bore a striking resemblance to a family friend and was in fact undoubtedly his child.* 1 [This example and No. 12 were added in 1919.] 2 [A non-existent word; but the last part of it, ‘Tode\ means ‘death’.] 8 [‘Warmest greetings to your wife and her son.’ The German possessive adjective *ihr', as spelt with a small ‘i’, means ‘her’; when spelt with a capital ‘I’, it means ‘your’.]



(13)1 A lady sent her sister a message of good wishes on the occasion of her taking up residence in a new and spacious house. A friend who was present noticed that the writer had put the wrong address on the letter. She had not even addressed it to the house that her sister had just left, but to her first house which she had moved into immediately after her marriage and had given up long before. This friend drew the lady’s attention to the slip. Y ou’re right’, she was forced to confess; ‘but how did the idea come into my head? Why did I do it?’ T think’, said her friend, ‘you probably grudge her the fine large home which will now be hers, while you feel yourself cramped for space; and therefore you put her back in her first home where she was no better off than you are.’ ‘I certainly grudge her her new home’, the other frankly admitted, and added: ‘W hat a pity one’s always so petty in such things!’ (14)2 Ernest Jones [1911^, 499] reports the following slip of the pen, which was supplied to him by A. A. Brill: ‘A patient wrote to him [Dr. Brill] on the subject of his sufferings, which he tried to attribute to worry about his financial affairs induced by a cotton crisis: “ My trouble is all due to that d d frigid wave; there isn’t even any seed.” (By “wave” he meant of course a trend in the money market.) W hat he really wrote, however, was not “wave” but “wife” . In the bottom of his heart he cherished half-avowed reproaches against his wife on account of her sexual anaesthesia and child­ lessness, and he dimly realized, with right, that his life of en­ forced abstinence played a considerable part in the genesis of his symptoms.’ (15) Dr. R. Wagner (1911) relates of himself: ‘In reading through an old lecture note-book I found that I had made a small slip in the hurry of taking down the notes. Instead of “Epithel [epithelium]” , I had written “Edithel” . If we stress the first syllable we have the diminutive form of a girl’s name.8 The retrospective analysis is simple enough. At the time I made the slip I was only very superficially acquainted with the lady of this name; it was not till much later that our 1 [Added 1910.] * [Examples 14-16 were added in 1912.] • [In Austria ‘1* is the common diminutive termination.]



relations became intimate. The slip of the pen is therefore a neat indication of the break-through of the unconscious attrac­ tion I felt to her at a time when I myself actually had no inkling of it, and my choice of the diminutive form at the same time showed the nature of the accompanying feelings/ (16) From Frau Dr. von Hug-Hellmuth (1912): ‘A doctor prescribed “Leviticowasser [Levitical water]” for a woman patient instead of “Levicowasser” This error, which gave a chemist a welcome opportunity for passing adverse comments, may very well be viewed in a milder light if one looks out for the possible motivations arising from the uncon­ scious and is prepared at any rate to concede them a certain plausibility—even though they are merely the subjective con­ jectures of someone who is not closely acquainted with the doctor. In spite of his habit of using somewhat harsh language to scold his patients for their far-from-rational diet—to read them a lecture [“die Leviten lesen”], so to speak—the doctor enjoyed great popularity, so that his waiting-room was crowded before and during his consulting hour; and this provided a justification for his wish that the patients he had seen should dress as quickly as possible—“ vite, vite” [French for: “quickly, quickly”]. I f I remember correctly, his wife was French by birth: this lends some support to my seemingly rather bold assumption that he used French in his wish for greater speed from his patients. It is in any case a habit of many people to draw on foreign words to express such wishes: my own father hurried us along as children on our walks by calling out “avanti gioventh” [Italian for “forward, youth”] or “marchez au pas” [French for “forward march”]; while a very elderly physician, with whom I was in treatment for a throat complaint as a girl, used to try to inhibit my movements, which seemed much too hasty to him, by murmuring a soothing “piano, piano” [Italian for “gently, gently”]. Thus I can very easily imagine that the other doctor had the same habit too, and so made the slip of writing “Leviticowasser” instead of “Levicowasser” .’ The same paper contains other examples recalled from its author’s youth frazosisch’ instead of ifranzosisch\ and a slip in writing the name ‘K arl’). 1 [A mineral water from the arsenical and chalybeate springs of Levico, a health-resort in South Tyrol.]



(17)1 I have to thank H err J . G., who also contributed an example mentioned above* for the following account of a slip of the pen. In content it is identical with a notorious bad joke, but in this case the intention of making a joke could be definitely ruled out: ‘While I was a patient in a (lung-) sanatorium I learnt to my regret that the same illness which had forced me to seek treat­ ment in an institution had been diagnosed in a close relative of mine. In a letter to my relative I recommended him to go to a specialist, a well-known professor, with whom I was myself in treatment, and of whose authority in medical matters I was fully satisfied, while having at the same time every reason to deplore his discourteousness: for, only a short time before, this same professor had refused to write me a testimonial which it was very im portant for me to have. In his reply to my letter my relative drew my attention to a slip of the pen which, since I immediately recognized the cause of it, gave me particular amusement. In my letter I had used the following phrase: “ and so I advise you to insult Professor X. without delay” . I had of course, intended to write “consult” . I should perhaps point out that my knowledge of Latin and French rules out the possibility of explaining it as a mistake due to ignorance.’ (18)* Omissions in writing have naturally a claim to be con­ sidered in the same light as slips of the pen. Dattner (1911) has reported a curious instance of a ‘historical parapraxis’. In one of the sections of the law dealing with the financial obligations of Austria and Hungary, settled in the ‘Compromise’ of 1867 between the two countries, the word ‘actual’ was left out of the Hungarian translation; and Dattner makes it plausible to suppose that the unconscious desire of the Hungarian parlia­ mentary draftsmen to grant Austria the least possible advan­ tages played a part in causing the omission.4 We have every reason to suppose,® too, th at the very frequent 1 [Added 1920.] * [This other example seems actually to appear below, on p. 224.] * [Added 1912.] 4 [Dattner’s article gives a detailed account of the intricate way in which the omission of the word would have damaged Austria financially.] * [This paragraph and the next one were added in 1917.]



repetitions of the same word in writing and copying—‘perse­ verations’—are likewise not without significance. I f the writer repeats a word he has already written, this is probably an indi­ cation that it was not so easy for him to get away from it: that he could have said more at that point but had omitted to do so, or something of the kind. Perseveration in copying seems to be a substitute for saying ‘I too’. I have had lengthy medico­ legal ‘opinions’ before me which show perseverations on the copyist’s part at particularly im portant passages. The interpretation I should have liked to give them would be that, bored with his impersonal role, the copyist was intro­ ducing his own gloss: ‘J ust my case* or ‘it’s just the same with us.’ (19) Furthermore, there is nothing to prevent our treating misprints as ‘writing mistakes’ on the compositor’s part, and our regarding them as being in a very great measure [psycho­ logically] motivated. I have notset about making a systematic collection of such parapraxes, which could be very amusing and instructive. In the work which I have already referred to a number of times, Jones [19116, 503^1] has devoted a special section to misprints. The distortions1 found in the text of telegrams can also at times be understood as writing mistakes on the telegraphist’s part. In the summer holidays I received a telegram from my publishers, the text of which was unintelligible to me. I t ran: ‘Vorrate erhalten, Einladung X. dringend.’ [‘Provisions re­ ceived, invitation X. urgent.’] The solution of the riddle starts from the name X. mentioned in it. X. was the author of a book to which I was to write an *Einleitung [introduction]’. This ‘Einleitung’ was what had been turned into the ‘Einladung [invitation]*. I was then able to recall that some days earlier I had sent my publishers a ‘Vorrede [preface]’ to another book; so this was the acknowledgement of its arrival. The true text had very probably run: ‘Vorrede erhalten, Einleitung X. dringend.’ [‘Preface received, introduction X. urgent.’] We may assume that it had fallen victim to a revision by the tele­ graphist’s hunger-complex, in the course of which, moreover, the two halves of the sentence became linked more closely than 1 [This paragraph was added in 1920, and the reference to Silberer’s paper in 1924.]



the sender had intended. I t is, incidentally, a pretty instance of the ‘secondary revision’ that can be seen at work in most dreams.1 The possibility of ‘tendentious misprints’ has been discussed by Herbert Silberer (1922). (20)2 From time to time other writers have drawn attention to misprints the tendentiousness of which cannot easily be challenged. See, for example, Storfer’s paper ‘The Political Demon of Misprints’ (1914) and his short note (1915) which I reprint here: ‘A political misprint is to be found in the issue of Marz for April 25 of this year. A dispatch from Argyrokastron re­ ported some remarks made by Zographos, the leader of the insurgent Epirotes in Albania (or, if that is preferred, the Presi­ dent of the Independent Government of the Epirus). I t in­ cluded the following phrase: “Believe me: a self-governing Epirus would be in the most fundamental interest of Prince Wied. He could fall down [“sick stiirzen”, a misprint for “sich stiitzen”, “support himself”] on it.” Even without this fatal misprint the Prince of Albania is no doubt well aware that the acceptance of the support [“Stiitze”] offered him by the Epirotes would mean his downfall [“Sturz”] \ (21)1 myself recently read an article in one of our Vienna daily papers, the title of which—‘The Bukovina under Rumanian Rule’—would have at least to be called premature, since at the time Rumania had not yet disclosed herself as an enemy. From the content of the article it was quite clear that the word should have been ‘Russian’, not ‘Rumanian’; yet the censor, too, seems to have found the phrase so little surprising that even he over­ looked this misprint. It is hard3 to avoid suspecting a ‘political’ misprint on coming across the following ‘literal’ misprint in a circular from the celebrated (formerly the Imperial and Royal) printing firm of Karl Prochaska in Teschen: ‘By a decree of the Entente Powers, fixing the frontier at the River Olsa, not only Silesia but Teschen as well have been 1 Cf. [Section I of] the chapter on the dream-work in my Inter­ pretation of Dreams [1900a, Standard Ed., 5, 488 ff.]. 2 [Examples 20 and 21 were added in 1917.] 8 [This example and the following one were added in 1924.]



divided into two parts, of which one zuviet1 to Poland and the other to Czecho-Slovakia.’ Theodor Fontane was once obliged to take up arms in an amusing way against a misprint which was only too full of meaning. O n March 29, I860, he wrote to the publisher Julius Springer: ‘Dear Sir, ‘I seem to be fated not to see my modest wishes fulfilled. A glance at the proof sheets2 which I enclose will tell you what I mean. W hat is more, I have been sent only one set of proofs, although I need two, for reasons which I have already given. And my request that the first set should be returned to me for further revision— with special regard to the English words and phrases—has not been carried out. I set great store by this. For instance, on page 27 of the present sheets a scene between John Knox and the Queen contains the words: ‘‘worauf M aria aasrief.” 3 In the face of such a fulminating mistake, it would be a relief to know that it has really been removed. The unfor­ tunate “aas” for “aus” is made all the worse by there being no doubt that she (the queen) must really have called him that to herself. ‘Yours faithfully, ‘Theodor Fontanel W undt (1900, 374) gives an explanation4 which deserves notice for the fact (which can easily be confirmed) that we make slips of the pen more readily than slips of the tongue. ‘In the course of normal speaking the inhibitory function of the will is continuously directed to bringing the course of ideas and the articulatory movements into harmony with each other. If the expressive movement which follows the ideas is retarded 1 [‘Too much.’ The word should have been the similarly pronounced ‘zufteVy ‘fell to the share of*. The German-Austrian compositor objected to the distribution of what had been part of the Hapsburg Empire.] 2 The book in question was Beyond the Tweed: Sketches and Letters from Scotland, which Julius Springer published in 1860. 8 [‘On which Mary “aasrief” ’: i.e., cried *Aas* (literally, ‘carrion’; colloquially, ‘filthy blackguard’). The word should have been ‘aasrief” meaning simply ‘cried out*.] 4 [This paragraph and the following one date back to 1901.] S.F. VI— K



through mechanical causes, as is the case in writing . . . , such anticipations make their appearance with particular ease.’1 Observation of the conditions under which misreadings occur gives rise to a doubt which I should not like to leave unmen­ tioned, because it can, I think, become the starting-point for a fruitful investigation. Everyone knows how frequently the reader finds that in reading aloud his attention wanders from the text and turns to his own thoughts. As a result of this digression on the part of his attention he is often unable, if interrupted and questioned, to give any account of what he has read. He has read, as it were, automatically, but almost always correctly.2 I do not think that under such conditions mistakes in reading show a noticeable increase. There is in fact a whole series of functions which we are accustomed to assume will be performed most exactly when done automatically—that is, with scarcely any conscious attention.8 From this it seems to follow that the factor of attention in mistakes in speaking, reading and writing must be determined in a different way from that described by W undt (cessation or diminution of attention). The examples which we have subjected to analysis have not really justified us in assuming that there was a quantitative lessening of atten­ tion; we found something which is perhaps not quite the same thing: a disturbance of attention by an alien thought which claims consideration. Between ‘slips of the pen’ and ‘forgetting54 may be inserted the case of someone who forgets to append a signature. An unsigned cheque comes to the same thing as a forgotten cheque. For the significance of a forgetting of a similar kind I will cite a passage from a novel, which Dr. Hanns Sachs came upon: ‘A very instructive and transparent example of the sureness 1 [For an example (from Meringer and Mayer, 1895) of what Wundt means by an ‘anticipation’ see pp. 53^4 above.] 2 [Freud had commented on this fact in his monograph on aphasia (1891£, 78). A translation of the passage in question will be found in Appendix G to the English version of his paper on ‘The Unconscious* (1915*), Standard Ed., 14, 212.] 8 [Instances of attention interfering with the automatic process involved in the appreciation of jokes will be found in Freud’s book on jokes (1905c). See Standard Ed., 8, 151-2. Cf. also p. 273 below.] 4 [The remainder of the chapter was added in 1919.]



with which imaginative writers know how to employ the mechanism of parapraxes and symptomatic acts in the psycho­ analytic sense is contained in John Galsworthy’s novel The Island Pharisees. The story centres round the vacillations of a young man of the well-to-do middle-class between his strong social sympathy and the conventional attitudes of his class. Chapter X X V I portrays the way in which he reacts to a letter from a young ne’er-do-well, to whom—prompted by his original attitude to life—he had supplied help on two or three occasions. The letter contains no direct request for money, but paints a picture of great distress which can have no other meaning. Its recipient at first rejects the idea of throwing the money away on a hopeless case instead of using it to support charitable causes. “To give a helping hand, a bit of himself, a nod of fellowship to any fellow-being irrespective of a claim, merely because he happened to be down, was sentimental nonsense! The line must be drawn! But in the muttering of this conclusion he experienced a twinge of honesty. ‘Humbug! You don’t want to part with your money, that’s all!’ ” ‘Thereupon he wrote a friendly letter, ending with the words: “I enclose a cheque. Yours sincerely, Richard Shelton.” * “Before he had written out the cheque, a moth fluttering round the candle distracted his attention, and by the time he had caught and put it out he had forgotten that the cheque was not enclosed.” The letter was posted in fact just as it was. ‘There is however an even subtler motivation for the lapse of memory than the break-through of the selfish purpose, which had apparently been surmounted, of avoiding giving away the money. ‘At the country seat of his future parents-in-law, surrounded by his fiancee, her family and their guests, Shelton felt isolated; his parapraxis indicates that he longed for his proteg6 who, as a result of his past and of his view of life, forms a complete con­ trast to the irreproachable company, uniformly moulded by one and the same set of conventions, that surround him. And in fact this person, who can no longer keep his place without being supported, does in fact arrive some days later to get an explanation of why the promised cheque was not there.’


TH E F O R G E T T I N G OF IM P R E S S I O N S AN D I N T E N T I O N S 1 I f anyone should feel inclined to over-estimate the state of our present knowledge of mental life, a reminder of the function of memory is all that would be needed to force him to be more modest. No psychological theory has yet succeeded in giving a connected account of the fundamental phenomenon of remem­ bering and forgetting; in fact, the complete analysis of what can actually be observed has so far scarcely been begun. To-day, forgetting has perhaps become more of a puzzle than re­ membering, ever since we have learnt from the study of dreams and pathological phenomena that even something we thought had been forgotten long ago may suddenly re-emerge in consciousness.2 There are, it is true, a few indications already in our pos­ session which we expect to be accepted generally. We assume that forgetting is a spontaneous process which may be regarded as requiring a certain length of time. We lay stress on the fact that forgetting involves a certain selection taking place from among the impressions presented to us, and similarly from among the details of each impression or experience. We know some of the conditions enabling what would otherwise have been forgotten to be retained in the memory and to be re­ awakened. Nevertheless, on countless occasions in daily life we can observe how imperfect and unsatisfactory our understand­ ing of these conditions is. Thus we may listen to two people 1 [The first part of this chapter, up to p. 140, dates back to 1901.] 1 [The following note is to be found at this point in Freud’s inter­ leaved copy of the 1904 edition (cf. Editor’s Introduction, p. xiii): ‘Normal forgetting takes place by way of condensation. In this way it becomes the basis for the formation of concepts. What is isolated is perceived clearly. Repression makes use of the mechanism of condensa­ tion and produces a confusion with other similar cases.—In addition, trends from other quarters take possession of the indifferent material and cause it to be distorted and falsified.’ Cf. a footnote added in 1907, p. 274 below, where these ideas are developed.]




who were in receipt of the same external impressions—who took a journey together, for example [cf. p. 30 ff.]—exchanging recol­ lections at some later date. W hat has remained firm in the memory of one of them has often been forgotten by the other, as if it had never happened; and this is true even where there is no justification for assuming that the impression was psychic­ ally of greater importance for the one than for the other. A whole quantity of factors determining the choice of what is to be remembered are obviously still beyond our ken. With the aim of making a small contribution to our know­ ledge of the determinants of forgetting I make it my practice to submit to a psychological analysis those cases in which I myself forget something. I am as a rule only concerned with a certain group of these cases, namely those in which the forgetting sur­ prises me because I should have expected to know the thing in question. I may add that I am not in general inclined to forget things (things I have experienced, that is, not things I have learned!), and that for a short period of my youth some unusual feats of memory were not beyond me. When I was a schoolboy I took it as a matter of course that I could repeat by heart the page I had been reading; and shortly before I entered the University I could write down almost verbatim popular lec­ tures on scientific subjects directly after hearing them. In the period of tension before my final medical examination I must have made use once more of what remained of this faculty, for in some subjects I gave the examiners, as though it were auto­ matically, answers which faithfully followed the words of the textbook that I had skimmed through only once in the greatest haste. Since then the command that I have over my store of memories has steadily deteriorated; yet right up to the most recent times I have convinced myself over and over again that with the aid of a certain device I can remember far more than I would otherwise have believed possible. When, for instance, a patient in my consulting hour claims that I have seen him before and I can recall neither the fact nor the time, I help myself by guessing: that is to say, I quickly think of a number of years, counting back from the present. In cases where records or more definite information from the patient enable me to check what has come to my mind, they show that I have rarely



been more than half a year out in ten.1 1 have a similar experi­ ence when I meet a distant acquaintance and out of politeness enquire after his small children. If he describes their progress I try to think at random of the child’s present age. I afterwards check my estimate by what the father tells me; and at the most I am wrong by a month, or with older children by three months, although I am unable to say on what my estimate was based. I have latterly grown so bold that I always produce my estimate spontaneously without running any risk of offending the father by exposing my ignorance about his offspring. In this way I extend my conscious memory by invoking my uncon­ scious memory, which is in any case far more extensive. I shall accordingly cite some striking examples of forgetting, most of which I observed in myself. I distinguish the forgetting of impressions and experiences—ie., of knowledge—from the forgetting of intentions—i.e., from omission to do things. I can state in advance the invariable result of the entire series of observations: in every case the forgetting turned out to be based on a motive of unpleasure. (A)

T h e F o r g e t t in g


I m pressio n s


K now ledge

(1) One summer holiday my wife made me greatly annoyed though the cause was innocent enough. We were sitting at table d’hfite opposite a gentleman from Vienna whom I knew and who no doubt remembered me too. However, I had reasons of my own for not renewing the acquaintance. My wife, who had peard no more than his distinguished name, revealed too hlainly that she was listening to his conversation with his neigh­ bours, for from time to time she turned to me with questions that took up the thread of their discussion. I became impatient and finally irritated.2 Some weeks later I was complaining to a relative about this behaviour on my wife’s part but was unable to recall a single word of the gentleman’s conversation. As I am normally rather apt to harbour grievances and can forget no 1 In the course of the subsequent consultation the details of the previous visit usually emerge into my consciousness. 2 [The episode appears also among the associations to a dream related in On Dreams (1901 a), Standard Ed., 5, 638. This dream is referred to above in connection with another episode. See footnote 1, p. 120.]



detail of an incident that has annoyed me, my amnesia in the present case was probably motivated by consideration for my wife. A short time ago I had a similar experience. I wished to have a good laugh with an intimate friend over a remark made by my wife only a few hours before, but was prevented from doing so by the singular fact that I had utterly forgotten what she had said. I had first to ask my wife to remind me what it was. It is easy to understand my forgetfulness here as being analogous to1 the typical disturbance of judgement to which we are subject where those nearest to us are concerned. (2) I had undertaken to get a lady who was a stranger to Vienna a small strong-box for her documents and money. When I offered my services I had in my mind’s eye an unusually vivid picture of a shop-window in the Inner Town2 in which I was sure I had seen boxes of the kind. I could not, it was true, recall the name of the street, but I felt sure that I would find the shop if I walked through the town, since my memory told me I had passed it on countless occasions. To my chagrin I had no success in finding the shop-window with the strong-boxes, though I walked all over the Inner Town in every direction. I decided that the only course left was to look up the firms of safe-manufacturers in a trades directory, so as to be able to identify the shop on a second walk round the town. Such extreme measures, however, did not prove necessary; among the addresses given in the directory was one which I imme­ diately recognized as the one I had forgotten. It was true that I had passed the shop-window innumerable times—every time, in fact, that I had visited the M. family, who have lived for many years in the same building. O ur intimate friendship later gave place to a total estrangement; after that, I fell into the habit—the reasons for which I never considered—of also avoid­ ing the neighbourhood and the house. On my walk through the town in search of the shop-window with the strong-boxes I had passed through every street in the district but this one, which I had avoided as if it were forbidden territory. The motive of unpleasure responsible in the present case for my failure to find my way is easy to recognize. The mechanism of forgetting, however, is not so simple here as in the preceding example. My aversion naturally applied not to the safe-manufacturer but to 1 [In 1901 only: ‘an instance of*.]

1 [The central part of Vienna.



another person, whom I did not want to think about; and from this latter person it was then transferred to this occasion where it produced the forgetting. The case of ‘Burckhard* [p. 117] was very similar; my grudge against one person of this name induced me to make a slip in writing the same name when it referred to someone else. The part there played by identity of name in establishing a connection between two essentially different groups of thoughts was able to be replaced in the example of the shop-window by spatial contiguity, in­ separable proximity. This latter case was, incidentally, more firmly knit; there was a second connection there, one involving its subject-matter, for money played a p art1 among the reasons for my estrangement from the family living in the building. (3) I was requested by the firm of B. and R. to pay a pro­ fessional visit to one of their staff. On my way there I was possessed by the thought that I must repeatedly have been in the building where their firm had its premises. It was as if I had noticed their plate on a lower storey while I was paying a pro­ fessional visit on a higher one. I could however recall neither what house it was nor whom I had visited there. Although the whole m atter was of no importance or consequence, I neverthe­ less turned my mind to it and finally discovered in my usual roundabout way, by collecting the thoughts that occurred to me in connection with it, that the premises of the firm of B. and R. were on the floor below the Pension Fischer, where I have frequently visited patients. At the same time I also re­ called the building that housed the offices and the pension. It was still a puzzle to me what motive was at work in this forget­ ting. I found nothing offensive to my memory in the firm itself or in the Pension Fischer or the patients who lived there. More­ over, I suspected that nothing very distressing could be in­ volved; otherwise I would hardly have succeeded in recovering in a roundabout way what I had forgotten, without resorting to external assistance as I had in the previous example. It finally occurred to me that while I was actually on my way to this new patient, a gentleman whom I had difficulty in recog­ nizing had greeted me in the street. I had seen this man some months before in an apparently grave condition and had passed sentence on him with a diagnosis of progressive paralysis; but 1 [In 1901, 1904 and 1907 only: ‘a great part’.]



later I heard he had recovered, so that my judgement must have been wrong. Unless, that is, there had been a remission of the type that is also found in dementia paralytica—in which case my diagnosis would be justified after all! The influence that made me forget where the offices of B. and R. were came from my meeting with this person, and my interest in solving the problem of what I had forgotten was transferred to it from this case of disputed diagnosis. But the associative link (for there was only a slender internal connection—the man who recovered contrary to expectation was also an official in a large firm which used to recommend patients to me) was provided by an identity of names. The physician with whom I had seen the supposed case of paralysis was also called Fischer, like the pension which was in the building and which I had for­ gotten. (4) Mislaying something is really the same as forgetting where it has been put. Like most people who are occupied with writing and books I know my way about on my writing-table and can lay my hands straight away on what I want. W hat appears to other people as disorder is for me order with a his­ tory behind it. Why, then, did I recently mislay a bookcatalogue, which had been sent to me, so that it was impossible to find it? I had in fact intended to order a book, Uber die Sprache [On Language], which was advertised in it, since it was by an author whose witty and lively style I like and whose insight in psychology and knowledge of the history of civiliza­ tion I have learnt to value. I believe that this is precisely why I mislaid the catalogue. For it is my habit to lend books by this author to my acquaintances for their enlightenment, and a few days previously one of them had remarked as he returned a copy: ‘His style reminds me very much of your own, and his way of thinking, too, is the same as yours.5The speaker did not know w hat he was touching on by that remark. Years before, when I was younger and in greater need of outside contacts, an elder colleague to whom I had praised the writings of a wellknown medical author had made almost the same comment: ‘I t’s just your style and your manner.5Prompted by this remark I had written a letter to the author seeking closer relations with him, but had been put in my place by a chilly answer. Perhaps still earlier discouraging experiences as well lie concealed behind



this one, for I never found the mislaid catalogue and was in fact deterred by this omen from ordering the advertised book, although the disappearance of the catalogue formed no real hindrance since I could remember the names of both book and author.1 (5)2Another case of mislaying merits our interest on account of the conditions under which the mislaid object was redis­ covered. A youngish man told me the following story: ‘Some years ago there were misunderstandings between me and my wife. I found her too cold, and although I willingly recognized her excellent qualities we lived together without any tender feelings. One day, returning from a walk, she gave me a book which she had bought because she thought it would interest me. I thanked her for this mark of ‘attention’, promised to read the book and put it on one side. After that I could never find it again. Months passed by, in which time I occasionally remem­ bered the lost book and made vain attempts to find it. About six months later my dear mother, who was not living with us, fell ill. My wife left home to nurse her mother-in-law. The patient’s condition became serious and gave my wife an oppor­ tunity of showing the best side of herself. One evening I re­ turned home full of enthusiasm and gratitude for what my wife had accomplished. I walked up to my desk, and without any definite intention but with a kind of somnambulistic certainty8 opened one of the drawers. On the very top I found the longlost book I had mislaid.’ 4 (6) 5 A case of mislaying which shares the last characteristic of the above example—namely, the remarkable sureness shown in finding the object again once the motive for its being mislaid had expired—is reported by Starcke (1916): ‘A girl had spoilt a piece of material in cutting it out to make a collar; so the dressmaker had to come and do her best to put it right. When she had arrived and the girl wanted to fetch the 1 Accidental occurrences of various sorts which since Theodor Vischer [see footnote 1, p. 170 below] have been put down to ‘the per­ verseness of things’ might, I think, be similarly explained. * [Added 1907.] * [See footnote 1, p. 168, below.] 4 [Later quoted by Freud in the third of his Introductory Lectures (1916-17).] 6 [Added 1917.]



badly-cut collar, she went to the drawer where she thought she had put it; but she could not find it. She turned the contents upside down without discovering it. Sitting down in exaspera­ tion she asked herself why it had suddenly disappeared and whether there was not some reason why she did not want to find it. She came to the conclusion that of course she felt ashamed in front of the dressmaker for having bungled something so simple as a collar. After this reflection she stood up, went to another cupboard and was able to lay her hands straight away on the badly-cut collar.’ (7)1 The following example of ‘mislaying’ is of a type that has become familiar to every psycho-analyst. I may remark that the patient responsible for it found the solution himself: CA patient, whose psycho-analytic treatment was interrupted by the summer holidays at a time when he was in a state of resistance and felt unwell, put his bunch of keys in its usual place—or so he thought—when he undressed for the night. Then he remembered that there were a few more things that he needed for his journey next day—the last day of treatment and the date on which his fee was due—and he went to get them out of the writing-desk, in which he had also put his money. But the keys had disappeared. He began to make a systematic but increasingly agitated search of his small flat— with no success. Since he recognized the “mislaying” of the keys as a symptomatic act—that is, as something he had done inten­ tionally—he woke his servant in order to continue the search with the aid of an “unprejudiced” person. After another hour he gave it up and was afraid he had lost the keys. Next morning he ordered new keys from the makers of the desk, and they were hastily made for him. Two friends, who had come home with him in the same cab, thought they remembered hearing some­ thing fall with a clink on the ground as he stepped out of the cab. He was convinced that his keys had fallen from his pocket. T hat evening the servant triumphantly presented him with the keys. They had been found lying between a thick book and a thin pamphlet (a work by one of my pupils) which he wanted to take away to read on his holiday. They were so cleverly placed that no one would have suspected they were there. He » [Added 1910.]



found himself afterwards unable to replace them so that they were equally invisible. The unconscious dexterity with which an object is mislaid on account of hidden but powerful motives is very reminiscent of “somnambulistic certainty” .1 The motive, as one would expect, was ill-temper at the treatment being interrupted and secret rage at having to pay a high fee when he was feeling so unwell.’ (8)2 ‘A man’, Brill [1912] relates, ‘was urged by his wife to attend a social function in which he really took no interest . . . Yielding to his wife’s entreaties, he began to take his dress-suit from the trunk when he suddenly thought of shaving. After accomplishing this he returned to the trunk and found it locked. Despite a long, earnest search the key could not be discovered. No locksmith was available on Sunday evening, so that the couple had to send their regrets. When he had the trunk opened the next morning the lost key was found within. The husband had absent-mindedly dropped the key into the trunk and sprung the lock. He assured me that this was wholly un­ intentional and unconscious, but we know that he did not wish to go to this social affair. The mislaying of the key therefore lacked no motive.’ Ernest Jones [191 lb, 506] observed in himself that he was in the habit of mislaying his pipe whenever he had smoked too much and felt unwell in consequence. The pipe then turned up in all sorts of places where it did not belong and where it was not normally put away. (9)3 An innocent case, in which the motivation was admitted, is reported by Dora Muller (1915): ‘Fraulein Erna A. told me two days before Christmas: “ Can you imagine? Yesterday evening I took a piece of my ginger­ bread from the packet and ate it; at the same time I thought I would have to offer some to Fraulein S.” (her mother’s com­ panion) “when she came to say goodnight to me. I didn’t par­ ticularly want to, but I made up my mind to do so all the same. Later on when she came I reached out to get the packet from my table; but it was not there. I had a look for it and found it 1 [See below, footnote 1, p. 168.] * [Added 1912.—This is quoted from Brill’s original, of which Freud has made a very slightly modified translation.] 8 [This example and No. 10 were added in 1917.]



inside my cupboard, I had put the packet away there without realizing.” No analysis was necessary; the narrator herself understood the sequence of events. The impulse of wanting to keep the cake all to herself, which had just been repressed, had nevertheless achieved its end in the automatic act, though in this case it was cancelled out once more by the subsequent conscious act.* (10) Sachs describes how, by a similar act of mislaying, he once avoided the duty of working: ‘Last Sunday afternoon I hesitated for some time over whether I should work or take a walk and pay a visit at the end of it; but after a bit of a struggle I decided in favour of the former. After about an hour I noticed that my supply of paper was exhausted. I knew that somewhere in a drawer there was a stack of paper that I had had for years, but I looked in vain for it in my writing desk and in other places where I thought I might find it, although I went to a lot of trouble and rummaged round in every possible place—old books, pamphlets, letters and soon. Thus I finally found myself compelled to break off my work and go out after all. When I returned home in the evening, I sat down on the sofa, and, sunk in thought and half absent-mindedly, gazed at the book­ case in front of me. A box caught my eye and I remembered that I had not examined its contents for a long time. So I went over and opened it. At the very top was a leather portfolio containing unused paper. But it was only when I had taken it out and was on the point of putting it in the drawer of my desk that it occurred to me that this was the very same paper I had been unsuccessfully looking for in the afternoon. I must add here that although I am not ordinarily thrifty I am very careful with paper and keep any scraps that can be used. It was obviously this practice of mine, which is nourished by an instinct, that enabled my forgetfulness to be corrected as soon as the imme­ diate motive for it had disappeared.’ If a survey is made of cases of mislaying,1 it in fact becomes hard to believe that anything is ever mislaid except as a result of an unconscious intention. (11)2 One day in the summer of 1901 I remarked to a friend 1 [This paragraph was added in 1907.] 2 [Except where otherwise specified, the whole of what follows down to p. 149 dates back to 1901.]



with whom I used at that time to have a lively exchange of scientific ideas:1 ‘These problems of the neuroses are only to be solved if we base ourselves wholly and completely on the assumption of the original bisexuality of the individual.’ To which he replied: ‘T hat’s what I told you two and a half years ago at Br. [Breslau] when we went for that evening walk. But you wouldn’t hear of it then.’ I t is painful to be requested in this way to surrender one’s originality. I could not recall any such conversation or this pronouncement of my friend’s. One of us must have been mistaken and on the ‘cui prodestV prin­ ciple2 it must have been myself. Indeed, in the course of the next week I remembered the whole incident, which was just as my friend had tried to recall it to me; I even recollected the answer I had given him at the time: ‘I ’ve not accepted that yet; I ’m not inclined to go into the question.’ But since then I have grown a little more tolerant when, in reading medical litera­ ture, I come across one of the few ideas with which my name can be associated, and find that my name has not been mentioned. Finding fault with one’s wife, a friendship which has turned into its opposite, a doctor’s error in diagnosis, a rebuff by some­ one with similar interests, borrowing someone else’s ideas—it can hardly be accidental that a collection of instances of forget­ ting, gathered at random, should require me to enter into such distressing subjects in explaining them. On the contrary, I sus­ pect that everyone who is willing to enquire into the motives behind his lapses of memory will be able to record a similar sample list of objectionable subjects. The tendency to forget what is disagreeable seems to me to be a quite universal one; the capacity to do so is doubtless developed with different degrees of strength in different people. It is probable that many instances of disowning which we encounter in our medical work 1 [In 1901 and 1904 only: ‘One day in the summer of this year I remarked to my friend FL, with whom I have a lively exchange . . .’ The friend was Wilhelm Fliess. The date of the conversation was not 1901 but 1900. This was in fact the last occasion on which the two men were together. A full account of the episode will be found in Jones, 1953, 344 ff. The present example was evidently written in the latter part of 1900 and afterwards erroneously dated.] 2 [‘Who benefits?’—the traditional question the answer to which points to the person guilty of a crime.]



are to be traced to forgetting.* It is true that our view of such forgetting limits the distinction between the two forms of be­ haviour [disowning and forgetting] to purely psychological factors and allows us to see in both modes of reaction the expression of the same motive. O f all the numerous examples of the disavowal of unpleasant memories which I have observed on the part of relatives of patients, one remains in my recol­ lection as especially singular. A mother was giving me informa­ tion about the childhood of her neurotic son, now in his 1 [Footnote added 1907:] If we ask someone whether he suffered from a luetic infection ten or fifteen years ago, we are too apt to overlook the fact that, from a psychical point of view, he will have regarded this illness quite differently from, let us say, an acute attack of rheumatism. —In the anamneses which parents give about their daughters’ neurotic illnesses, it is hardly possible to distinguish with certainty between what has been forgotten and what is being concealed, since everything stand­ ing in the way of a girl’s future marriage is systematically set aside, i.e. repressed, by the parents.—[Added 1910:] A man who had recently lost his dearly-loved wife from an affection of the lungs reported the following instance to me in which misleading answers given to the doctor’s enquiries could only be ascribed to forgetting of this kind. ‘As my poor wife’s pleuritis had still not improved after many weeks, Dr. P. was called into consultation. In taking the anamnesis he asked the usual questions, including whether there were any cases of lung illness in my wife’s family. My wife said there were none and I could not recall any either. As Dr. P. was leaving, the conversation turned, as though accidentally, to the subject of excursions and my wife said: “Yes, it’s a long journey, too, to Langersdorf, where my poor brother's buried." This brother died about fifteen years ago after suffering for years from tuberculosis. My wife was very fond of him and had often spoken to me about him. In fact it now occurred to me that at the time that her pleuritis was diagnosed she was very worried and remarked gloomily: “My brother died of a lung complaint too.” But now, the memory was so strongly repressed that even after her remark about the excursion to Langersdorf she was not led to correct the information she had given about illnesses in her family. I myself became aware of the lapse of memory at the very moment she spoke of Langersdorf.’— [Added 1912:] A completely analogous experience is related by Jones in the work to which I have referred several times already [Jones, 1911 A, 484]. A physician, whose wife suffered from an abdominal complaint the diagnosis of which was uncertain, remarked by way of comforting her: ‘It is fortunate at any rate that there has been no tuberculosis in your family.’ ‘Have you forgotten*, answered his wife in the greatest astonishment, ‘that my mother died of tuberculosis and that my sister recovered from it only after having been given up by the doctors?’



puberty, in the course of which she said that, like his brothers and sisters, he had been a bed-wetter till late on—a fact which is certainly of some significance in the case history of a neurotic patient. A few weeks later, when she was wanting to find out about the progress of the treatment, I had occasion to draw her attention to the signs of a constitutional disposition to illness on the young man’s part, and in doing so I referred to the bed­ wetting which she had brought out in the anamnesis. To my astonishment she contested this fact in regard both to him and to the other children, and asked me how I could know it. Finally I told her that she herself had informed me a short time before. She must therefore have forgotten it.1 There are thus abundant signs to be found in healthy, nonneurotic people that the recollection of distressing impressions and the occurrence of distressing thoughts are opposed by a resistance.2 But the full significance of this fact can be estimated In the days while I was engaged in writing these pages the following almost incredible instance of forgetting happened to me. On the first of January I was going through my medical engagement book so that I could send out my accounts. Under the month of June I came across the name ‘M P but could not recall who it belonged to. My be­ wilderment grew when I turned the pages and discovered that I treated the case in a sanatorium and made daily visits over a period of weeks. A patient treated under such conditions cannot be forgotten by a doctor after scarcely six months. Could it have been a man, I asked myself, a case of general paralysis, an uninteresting case? Finally the record of the fees I had received brought back to me all the facts that had striven to escape my memory. M 1 was a fourteen-year-old girl, the most remarkable case I had had in recent years, one which taught me a lesson I am not likely ever to forget and whose outcome cost me moments of the greatest distress. The child fell ill of an unmistakable hysteria, which did in fact clear up quickly and radically under my care. After this improvement the child was taken away from me by her parents. She still complained of abdominal pains which had played the chief part in the clinical picture of her hysteria. Two months later she died of sarcoma of the abdominal glands. The hysteria, to which she was at the same time predisposed, used the tumour as a provoking cause, and I, with my attention held by the noisy but harmless mani­ festations of the hysteria, had perhaps overlooked the first signs of the insidious and incurable disease. a [Footnote added 1910:] A. Pick (1905) has recently brought together a number of quotations from authors who appreciate the influence of affective factors on the memory and who—more or less clearly—recog­ nize the contribution towards forgetting made by the endeavour to fend



only when the psychology of neurotic people is investigated. We are forced to regard as one of the main pillars of the mechanism supporting hysterical symptoms an elementary endeavour of this kind tofend off ideas that can arouse feelings of unpleasure—an endeavour which can only be compared with the flight-reflex in the presence of painful stimuli. The assumption that a defensive trend of this kind exists cannot be objected to on the ground that one often enough finds it impossible, on the contrary, to get rid of distressing memories that pursue one, and to banish distressing affective impulses like remorse and the pangs of con­ science. For we are not asserting that this defensive trend is able to put itself into effect in every case, that in the interplay of psychical forces it may not come up against factors which, for other purposes, aim at the opposite effect and bring it about in spite of the defensive trend. It may be surmised that the archi­ tectonic principle of the mental apparatus lies in a stratification— a building up of superimposed agencies]; and it is quite possible that this defensive endeavour belongs to a lower psychical agency and is inhibited by higher agencies. At all events, if we can trace back processes such as those found in our examples of forgetting to this defensive trend, that fact speaks in favour of its existence and power. As we have seen, a number of things are forgotten on their own account; where this is not possible, the defensive trend shifts its target and causes something else at least to be forgotten, something less im portant which has come into associativeconnectionwith the thing that is really objectionable. The view developed here, that distressing memories succumb especially easily to motivated forgetting, deserves to find application in many spheres where no attention, or too little, has so far been paid to it. Thus it seems to me that it has still not yet been sufficiently strongly emphasized in assessing testi­ mony in courts of law,1 where the process of putting a witness off unpleasure. But none of us has been able to portray the phenomenon and its psychological basis so exhaustively and at the same time so impressively as Nietzsche in one of his aphorisms (Jenseits von Gut und Bose, IV, 68): * “I did this”, says my Memory. "I cannot have done this”, says my Pride and remains inexorable. In the end—Memory yields.* [Freud had had his attention drawn to this saying by the *Rat Man’, whose case history was published very shortly before the date of this footnote (1909^), Standard Ed., 10, 184.] 1 Cf. Gross (1898). [See footnote, p. 254, below.] s .f. v i— L



on oath is clearly expected to have much too great a purifying influence on the play of his psychical forces. It is universally acknowledged that where the origin of a people’s traditions and legendary history are concerned, a motive of this kind, whose aim is to wipe from memory whatever is distressing to national feeling, must be taken into consideration.1 Closer investigation would perhaps reveal a complete analogy between the ways in which the traditions of a people and the childhood memories of the individual come to be formed.—The great Darwin2 laid down a ‘golden rule’ for the scientific worker based on his insight into the part played by unpleasure as a motive for forgetting.3 In a very similar way to the forgetting of names [p. 1], the forgetting of impressions can be accompanied by faulty recol­ lection; and this, where it finds credence, is described as para­ mnesia. Paramnesia in pathological cases—in paranoia it actually plays the part of a constituent factor in the formation of the delusion—has brought forth an extensive literature in which I have entirely failed to find any hint whatever as to its motivation. As this is also a subject which belongs to the psychology of the neuroses it is inappropriate to consider it in the present context. Instead, I shall describe a singular para­ mnesia of my own, in which the motivation provided by unconscious, repressed material and the manner and nature of the connection with this material can be recognized clearly enough. While I was writing the later chapters of my book on dreaminterpretation, I happened to be at a summer resort without access to libraries and works of reference, and I was forced to 1 [Cfi above, p. 48.] 1 [This sentence was added in 1912.] 8 [Footnote added 1912:] Ernest Jones [191 lb, 480] has drawn atten­ tion to the following passage in Darwin’s autobiography [1958, 123], which convincingly reflects his scientific honesty and his psychological acumen: T had, during many years, followed a golden rule, namely, that whenever a published fact, a new observation or thought came across me, which was opposed to my general results, to make a memorandum of it without fail and at once; for I had found by experience that such facts and thoughts were far more apt to escape from the memory than favourable ones.’



incorporate in my manuscript from memory all sorts of refer­ ences and quotations, subject to later correction. In writing the passage on day-dreams11 thought of the excellent example of the poor book-keeper in Alphonse Daudet’s Le Nabab, in whose person the writer was probably portraying his own reveries. I imagined I had a distinct memory of one of the phantasies which this man—I called him Monsieur Jocelyn—hatched out on his walks through the streets of Paris; and I began to repro­ duce it from memory. I t was a phantasy of how Monsieur Jocelyn boldly threw himself at the head of a runaway horse in the street, and brought it to a stop; how the carriage door opened and a great personage stepped out, pressed Monsieur Jocelyn’s hand and said: ‘You are my saviour. I owe my life to you. W hat can I do for you?’ Any inaccuracies in my own account of this phantasy could, I assured myself, easily be corrected at home when I had the book in front of me. But when I finally looked through Le Nabab to check this passage in my manuscript, which was ready to go to press, I found, to my very great shame and consternation, no mention of any such reverie on the part of Monsieur Jocelyn; in fact the poor book-keeper did not have this name at all but was called Monsieur Joyeuse. This second error quickly gave me the key to the solution of the first one—the paramnesia. ‘Joyeux’, of which ‘Joyeuse’ is the feminine form, is the only possible way in which I could translate my own name, Freud, into French. Where then could the phantasy, which I had re­ membered wrongly and ascribed to Daudet, have come from? I t could only be a product of my own, a day-dream which I had formed myself and which had not become conscious or which had once been conscious and had since been totally for­ gotten. Perhaps I invented it myself in Paris where I fre­ quently walked about the streets, lonely and full of longings, greatly in need of a helper and protector, until the great Charcot took me into his circle. Later I more than once met the author of Le Nabab in Charcot’s house.2 1 [The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), Standard Ed., 5, 491 and 535.] ■ [In all the editions before 1924 this paragraph continued: ‘But the irritating part of it is that there is scarcely any group of ideas to which I feel so antagonistic as that of being someone’s prot£g6. What can be seen in our country o f this relation is enough to rob one of all desire for



Another paramnesia,1 which it was possible to explain satis­ factorily, is reminiscent of fausse reconnaissance, a subject that will be discussed later [p. 265 ff. below]. I had told one of my patients, an ambitious and capable man, that a young student had recently gained admittance to the circle of my followers on the strength of an interesting work, cDer Kiinstler, Versuch einer Sexualpsychologie9 [The Artist, an Attempt at a Sexual Psychology].2 When this work appeared in print a year and a quarter later, my patient maintained that he could remember with cer­ tainty having read an announcement of this book somewhere (perhaps in a bookseller’s prospectus) even before—a month or it, and the role of the favourite child is one which is very little suited indeed to my character. I have always felt an unusually strong urge “to be the strong man myself”. And yet I had to be reminded of day­ dreams like this—which, incidentally, were never fulfilled. Over and above this, the incident is a good illustration of the way in which the relation to one’s own self, which is normally kept back, but which emerges victoriously in paranoia, disturbs and confuses us in our objective view of things.’] [Footnote added 1924:] Some time ago one of my readers sent me a small volume from Franz Hoffmann’s Jugendbibliothek [Library for Young People] in which a rescue scene like the one in my phantasy in Paris is recounted in detail. The agreement between the two extends even to certain not quite ordinary expressions that occur in both. It is not easy to avoid suspecting that I had in fact read this children’s book while I was myself a boy. The library at my secondary school contained Hoffmann’s series and was always ready to offer these books to pupils in place of any other mental pabulum. The phantasy which, at the age of 4 3 ,1 thought I remembered as having been produced by someone else, and which I was subsequently forced to recognize as a creation of my own at the age of 28, may therefore easily have been an exact reproduction of an impression which I had received somewhere be­ tween the ages of 11 and 13. After all, the rescue phantasy which I attributed to the unemployed book-keeper in Le Nabab was merely meant to prepare the way for die phantasy of my own rescue, to make my longing for a patron and protector tolerable to my pride. This being so, it will not surprise anyone with an understanding of the mind to hear that in my conscious life I myself was highly resistant to the idea of being dependent on a protector’s favour, and that I found it hard to tolerate the few real situations in which something of that nature occurred. Abraham (19223) has brought to light the deeper meaning of phantasies with such a content [rescue phantasies] and has provided an almost exhaustive explanation of their special features. 1 [The rest of this section was added in 1907.] 2 [This was the first work of Otto Rank (1907).]



six months before—I had first mentioned it to him. This announcement, he said, had come into his mind at the time; and he further remarked that the author had changed the title: it no longer read ‘ VersucK but *Ansatze zu einer Sexualpsychologie [Approach to a Sexual Psychology], Careful enquiry of the author and a comparison of all the dates nevertheless showed that my patient was claiming to recall something impossible. No announcement of this work had appeared anywhere before publication, and certainly none a year and a quarter before it went to press. When I omitted to interpret this paramnesia, my patient produced a repetition of it of the same kind. He believed he had recently seen a work on agoraphobia in a bookshop window and was now looking through all the publishers’ cata­ logues in order to get a copy. I was then able to explain to him why his efforts were bound to be fruidess. The work on agora­ phobia existed only in his phantasy, as an unconscious inten­ tion: he meant to write it himself. His ambition to emulate the young man and become one of my followers on the strength of a similar scientific work was responsible for the first paramnesia and then for its repetition. Thereupon he recalled that the bookseller’s announcement which had led him to make this false recognition dealt with a work entitled ‘Genesis, das Gesetz der Zeugmg [Genesis, the Law of Generation]. However, it was I who was responsible for the change in the title mentioned by him, for I could remember having myself been guilty of that inaccuracy—cVersucK instead of ‘Ansatze9—in repeating the title. (B)

T h e F o r g e ttin g o f In te n tio n s 1

No group of phenomena is better qualified than the forget­ ting of intentions for demonstrating the thesis that, in itself, lack of attention does not suffice to explain parapraxes. An intention is an impulse to perform an action: an impulse which has already found approval but whose execution is postponed to a suitable occasion. Now it can happen that during the interval thus created a change of such a kind occurs in the motives involved that the intention is not carried out; but in that case it is not forgotten: it is re-examined and cancelled. 1 [Except where otherwise specified, the whole of this section dates back to 1901.]



The forgetting of intentions, to which we are subject every day and in every possible situation, is not a thing that we are in the habit of explaining in terms of such a revision in the balance of motives. In general we leave it unexplained; or we try to find a psychological explanation by supposing that at the time when the intention was due to be carried out the attention necessary for the action was no longer at hand—attention which was, after all, an indispensable precondition for the coming into being of the intention and had therefore been available for the action at that time. Observation of our normal behaviour in regard to intentions leads us to reject this attempt at an explana­ tion as being arbitrary. If I form an intention in the morning which is to be carried out in the evening, I may be reminded of it two or three times in the course of the day. It need not how­ ever become conscious at all throughout the day. When the time for its execution draws near, it suddenly springs to my mind and causes me to make the necessary preparations for the proposed action. If I am going for a walk and take a letter with me which has to be posted,1 it is certainly not necessary for me, as a normal individual, free from neurosis, to walk all the way with it in my hand and to be continually on the look-out for a letter-box in which to post it; on the contrary I am in the habit of putting it in my pocket, of walking along and letting my thoughts range freely, and I confidently expect that one of the first letter-boxes will catch my attention and cause me to put my hand in my pocket and take out the letter. Normal behaviour after an intention has been formed coincides fully with the experimentally-produced behaviour of people to whom what is described as a ‘post-hypnotic suggestion at long range’ has been given under hypnosis.2 This phenomenon is usually described in the following way. Thesuggested intention slumbers on in the person concerned until the time for its execution approaches. Then it awakes and impels him to perform the action. There are two situations in life in which even the layman is aware that forgetting—as far as intentions are concerned— cannot in any way claim to be considered as an elementary 1 [In 1901 only: ‘posted to-day’.] ■Cf. Bemheim (1891, [130 ff.]) [which Freud translated (Freud, 1892a)].



phenomenon not further reducible, but entitles him to conclude that there are such things as unavowed motives. What I have in mind are love-relationships and military discipline. A lover who has failed to keep a rendezvous will find it useless to make excuses for himself by telling the lady that unfortunately he completely forgot about it. She will not fail to reply: ‘A year ago you wouldn’t have forgotten. You evidently don’t care for me any longer.’ Even if he should seize on the psychological explanation mentioned above [p. 152] and try to excuse his forgetfulness by pleading pressure of business, the only outcome would be that the lady, who will have become as sharp-sighted as a doctor is in psycho-analysis, would reply: ‘How curious that business distractions like these never turned up in the past!’ 1 The lady is not of course wanting to deny the possibility of for­ getting; it is only that she believes, not without reason, that practically the same inference—of there being some reluctance present—can be drawn from unintentional forgetting as from conscious evasion. Similarly, under conditions of military service, the difference between a failure to carry out orders which is due to forgetting and one which is deliberate is neglected on principle—and justifiably so. A soldier must not forget what military service orders him to do. If he does forget in spite of knowing the order, that is because the motives that drive him to carry out the military order are opposed by other, counter-motives. A one year volunteer2 who at inspection tries to offer the excuse that he has forgotten to polish his buttons is sure to be punished. But this punishment is trifling in comparison to the one to which he would expose himself if he admitted to himself and his superiors that the motive for his failure to carry out orders was that ‘I ’m heartily sick of this wretched spit-and-polish’. For the sake of this saving of punishment—for reasons of economy, so to speak—he makes use of forgetting as an excuse, or it comes about as a compromise. 1 [An actual example o f a similar occurrence was related by Freud among his associations to the ‘Botanical Monograph1 dream in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), Standard Ed., 4, 169-70.] 2 [Young men of higher social and educational standing in Austria who volunteered might have their term of military service reduced to one year.]



Both the service of women and military service demand that everything connected with them should be immune to for­ getting. In this way they suggest the notion that, whereas in unimportant matters forgetting is permissible, in important matters it is a sign that one wishes to treat them as unimport­ ant, i.e. to deny their importance.1 This view, which takes psychical considerations into account, cannot in fact be rejected here. No one forgets to carry out actions that seem to himself important, without incurring suspicion of being mentally disordered. O ur investigation can therefore only extend to the forgetting of intentions of a more or less minor character; we cannot consider any intention as being wholly indifferent, for otherwise it would certainly never have been formed. As with the functional disturbances described on earlier pages, I have made a collection of the cases of omitting to do something as a result of forgetting which I have observed in myself, and I have endeavoured to explain them. I have in­ variably found that they could be traced to interference by unknown and unavowed motives—or, as one may say, to a counter-will.2 In a number of these cases I found myself in a position which was similar to being under conditions of service; I was under a constraint, against which I had not entirely given up struggling, so that I made a demonstration against it by forgetting. This accounts for the fact that I am especially prone to forget to send congratulations on occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, wedding celebrations and promotions. I keep on making new resolutions on the subject and become more and more convinced that I shall not succeed. I am now on the point of giving the effort up and of yielding consciously to the motives that oppose it. While I was in a transitional 1 [Footnote added 1912:] In Bernard Shaw’s play Caesar and Cleopatra, Caesar, as he is leaving Egypt, is worried for a time by the idea that there is something he has meant to do but has forgotten. Finally he remembers: he has forgotten to say goodbye to Cleopatra! This small detail is meant to illustrate—incidentally in complete contrast to the historical truth—how little Caesar cared for the young Egyptian prin­ cess. (From Jones, 1911^, 488n.) [This is also quoted in the third of the Introductory Lectures (1916-17).] 2 [‘Counter-will’ was a term that had been used by Freud in an early paper on treatment by hypnotism (1892-936).]



stage, a friend asked me to send a congratulatory telegram on a certain day on his behalf along with my own, but I warned him that I should forget both; and it was not surprising that the prophecy came true. It is due to painful experiences in the course of my life that I am unable to manifest sympathy on occasions where the expression of sympathy must necessarily be exaggerated, as an expression corresponding to the slight amount of my feeling would not be allowable. Since I have come to recognize that I have often mistaken other people’s ostensible sympathy for their real feelings, I have been in revolt against these conventional expressions of sympathy, though on the other hand I recognize their social usefulness. Condolences in the case of death are excepted from this divided treatment: once I have decided to send them I do not fail to do so. Where my emotional activity no longer has anything to do with social duty, its expression is never inhibited by forgetting. Writing from a prisoner-of-war cam p,1 Lieutenant T. reports an instance of a forgetting of this kind, in which an intention that had in the first place been suppressed broke through in the form of ‘counter-will’ and led to an unpleasant situation: ‘The most senior officer in a prisoner-of-war camp for officers was insulted by one of his fellow prisoners. To avoid further complications he wished to use the only authoritative measure at his disposal and have the officer removed and transferred to another camp. It was only on the advice of several friends that he decided—contrary to his secret wish—to abandon his plan and seek to satisfy his honour immediately, although this was bound to have a variety of disagreeable results. The same morning, as senior officer, he had to call the roll of the officers, under the supervision of the camp-guard. He had known his fellow officers for quite a long time and had never before made any mistakes over this. This time he passed over the name of the man who had insulted him, with the result that when all the others had been dismissed this man alone was obliged to remain behind till the error was cleared up. The name that had been overlooked was perfectly plainly written in the middle of a sheet. The incident was regarded by one party as a deliber­ ate insult, and by the other as an unfortunate accident that was 1 [This example was added in 1920.]



likely to be misinterpreted. Later on, however, after making the acquaintance of Freud’s Psychopathology of Everyday Life, the chief actor in the episode was able to form a correct picture of what had occurred.’ The conflict between a conventional duty and the unavowed view which we privately take of it similarly provides an ex­ planation for those cases in which we forget to carry out actions that we promised to do as a favour to someone. Here the regular result is that it is only the would-be benefactor who believes that forgetting has the power to act as an excuse; the person who asked the favour gives what is unquestionably the right answer: ‘He is not interested in the matter, otherwise he would not have forgotten.’ There are some people who are known as being forgetful in general, and who are for that reason excused their lapses in the same kind of way as short­ sighted people who fail to greet us in the street.1 These people forget all their small promises, and they fail to carry out any of the commissions they receive. In this way they show themselves unreliable in little things, and they demand that we should not take these minor offences amiss—that is, that we should not attribute them to their character but refer them to an organic idiosyncracy.2 I am not one of these people myself, and have 1 Women, with their subtler understanding of unconscious mental processes, are as a rule more apt to take offence when someone does not recognize them in the street and therefore fails to greet them, than to think of the most obvious explanations—namely that the offender is short-sighted, or was so engrossed in his thoughts that he did not notice them. They conclude that he would have seen them if he had ‘set any store by them’. a [Footnote added 1910:] Ferenczi reports that he himself was once an ‘absent-minded person* [ein ‘gerstreuter’] and that he was noted by acquaintances for the frequency and strangeness of his parapraxes. But, he says, the signs of this absent-mindedness have almost completely disappeared since he began treating patients by psycho-analysis and found himself obliged to turn his attention to the analysis of his own self as well. He thinks that one gives up these parapraxes in proportion as one learns to enlarge one*s own responsibility. He therefore justly maintains that absent-mindedness is a condition which is dependent on unconscious complexes and which can be cured by psycho-analysis. One day, however, he was blaming himself for having committed a technical error in a patient’s psycho-analysis. That day all his former absent-minded habits reappeared. He stumbled several times as he walked along the street (a representation of his faux pas [false step—



had no opportunity of analysing the actions of a person of this kind, so that, by examining the choice of occasions for forget­ ting, I might discover its motivation. I cannot however help suspecting on the basis of analogy that in these cases the motive is an unusually large amount of unavowed contempt for other people which exploits the constitutional factor for its own ends.1 In other cases the motives for forgetting are less easy to discover, and when found arouse greater surprise. Thus, for instance, in former years I noticed that, out of a fairly large number of visits to patients, I only forgot those to non-paying patients or to colleagues. My shame at this discovery led me to adopt the habit of making a note beforehand in the morning of the visits I intended to make during the day. I do not know if other doctors have arrived at the same practice by the same road. But in this way we get some idea of what causes the socalled neurasthenic patient to jo t down, in his notorious ‘notes’, the various things he wants to tell the doctor. The ostensible reason is that he has no confidence in the reproductive capacity of his memory. That is perfectly correct, but the scene usually8 proceeds as follows. The patient has recounted his various com­ plaints and enquiries in a very long-winded manner. After he has finished he pauses for a moment, then pulls out the jottings and adds apologetically: ‘I ’ve made some notes, as I can’t remember things.’ As a rule he finds that they contain nothing new. He repeats each point and answers it himself: ‘Yes, I ’ve asked about that already.’ With the notes he is probably only demonstrating one of his symptoms: the frequency with which his intentions are disturbed through the interference of obscure motives. I pass on to ailments that afflict the greater number of my healthy acquaintances as well as myself. I confess that— especially in former years—I was very apt to forget to return blunder] in the treatment), left his pocket book at home, tried to pay a kreutzer too little for his tram-fare, found his clothes were not properly buttoned, and so on. 1 [.Footnote added 1912:] In this connection Ernest Jones [19113, 483] observes: ‘Often the resistance is of a general order. Thus a busy man forgets to post letters entrusted to him—to his slight annoyance—by his wife, just as he may “forget** to carry out her shopping orders.* a [This word was added in 1904.]



borrowed books, which I kept for long periods, and that it came about especially easily that I put off paying bills by forgetting them. One morning not long ago I left the tobacco­ nist’s where I had made my daily purchase of cigars without having paid for them. It was a most harmless omission, as I am well known there and could therefore expect to be reminded of my debt next day. But my trivial act of negligence, my attem pt to contract a debt, was certainly not unconnected with budget­ ary thoughts which had occupied my mind during the preced­ ing day. Among the majority even of what are called ‘respect­ able’ people traces of divided behaviour can easily be observed where money and property are concerned. It may perhaps be generally true that the primitive greed of the suckling, who wants to take possession of every object (in order to put it into his mouth), has only been incompletely overcome by civilization and upbringing.1 I am afraid all the examples I have given up to now will 1 For the sake of preserving the unity of the subject [of money] I may perhaps interrupt the general arrangement I have adopted, and, in addition to what I have said above, point out that people’s memories show a particular partiality in money matters. Paramnesias of having already paid for something can often be very obstinate, as I know from my own experience. When free play is given to avaricious aims apart from the serious interests of life—for fun, in fact—, as in card-playing, the most honourable men show an inclination to make errors and mis­ takes in memory and counting, and, without quite knowing how, they even find themselves involved in petty cheating. The psychically refresh­ ing nature o f these games is partly due to liberties o f this kind. We must admit the truth of the saying that in play we can get to know a person’s character—that is, if we are not thinking of his manifest character. [In all the editions before 1924 this last clause ran: ‘if we are ready to add: his suppressed character.’] —If waiters still make unintentional mistakes in the bill, the same explanation obviously applies to them.—In com­ mercial circles a certain delay can frequently be observed in paying out sums of money (for settling accounts and so on) which in point of fact brings the owner no profit and can only be understood in psycho­ logical terms—as an expression of a counter-will against paying out money.— [The next sentence was added in 1912:] Brill [1912] puts the matter with epigrammatic brevity: ‘We are more apt to mislay letters containing bills than cheques.’—The fact that women in particular evince a special amount of unpleasure at paying their doctor is con­ nected with the most intimate impulses, which are very far from having been elucidated. Women patients have usually forgotten their purse and so cannot pay at the time of consultation; they then regularly forget to



seem merely commonplace. But after all it can only suit my aim if I come upon tilings that are familiar to everyone and that everyone understands in the same way, for my whole purpose is to collect everyday material and turn it to scientific use. I fail to see why the wisdom which is the precipitate of men’s common experience of life should be refused inclusion among the acquisitions of science. The essential character of scientific work derives not from the special nature of its objects of study but from its stricter method of establishing the facts and its search for far-reaching correlations. Where intentions of some importance are concerned, we have found in general that they are forgotten when obscure motives rise against them. In the case of rather less important intentions we can recognize a second mechanism of forgetting: a counter-will is transferred to the intention from some other topic, after an external association has been formed between the other topic and the content of the intention. Here is an example. I set store by high-quality blotting paper ['Lbschpapier*] and I decided one day to buy a fresh supply that afternoon in the course of my walk to the Inner Town.1 But I forgot for four days running, till I asked myself what reason I had for the omission. It was easy to find after I had recalled that though I normally write *Loschpapier5 I usually say cFliesspapier9 [another word for ‘blotting-paper’]. ‘Fliess’ is the name of a friend in Berlin2 who had on the days in question given me occasion for a worrying and anxious thought. I could not rid myself of this thought, but the defensive tendency (cf. above, p. 147) manifested itself by transferring itself, by means of the verbal similarity, to the indifferent intention which on account of its indifference offered little resistance. Direct counter-will and more remote motivation are found together in the following example of dilatoriness. I had written a short pamphlet On Dreams (1901a), summarizing the subject-matter of my Interpretation of Dreams [1900a], for the series Grenzfragen des Nerven- und Seelenlebens [Frontier Problems send the fee after they reach home, and thus arrange things so that one has treated them for nothing— ‘for the sake of their beaux yeux\ They pay one, as it were, by the sight of their countenance. 1 [See footnote 2, p. 137.] * [In 1901 and 1904 o n ly :. . . ‘my friend in Berlin’.]



of Nervous and M ental Life]. Bergmann [the publisher] of Wiesbaden had sent me the proofs, and had asked for them back by return of post, as the book was to be issued before Christmas. I corrected the proofs the same night and placed them on my desk so as to take them with me next morning. In the morning I forgot about them, and only remembered them in the after­ noon when I saw the wrapper on my desk. In the same way I forgot the proofs that afternoon, that evening and the follow­ ing morning, till I pulled myself together and took them to a letter-box on the afternoon of the second day, wondering what could be the reason for my procrastination. It was obvious that I did not want to send them off, but I could not discover why. However, in the course of the same walk I called in at my publisher’s in Vienna—the firm that had published my Inter­ pretation of Dreams.1 I placed an order for something and then said, as if impelled by a sudden thought: T suppose you know I ’ve written the dream-book over again?’—‘Oh, you can’t mean that!’ he said. ‘Don’t be alarmed’, I replied; ‘it’s only a short essay for the Lowenfeld-Kurella series.’ But he was still not satisfied; he was worried that the essay would interfere with the sales of the book. I disagreed with him and finally asked: ‘If I ’d come to you before, would you have forbidden my publishing it?’—‘No, I certainly wouldn’t.’ Personally I believe I acted quite within my rights and did nothing contrary to common practice; nevertheless it seems certain that a misgiving similar to that expressed by the publisher was the motive for my delay in sending back the proofs. This misgiving goes back to an earlier occasion, on which a different publisher raised difficulties when it seemed unavoidable for me to introduce unaltered a few pages from an earlier work of mine on children’s palsies published by another firm, into my monograph on the same subject in Nothnagel’s Handbuch.2 But in this case, as well, the reproach was not justified; this time, too, I had loyally informed my first publisher (the same one who published The Interpreta­ tion of Dreams) of my intention. However, if this chain of 1 [Franz Deuticke.] 1 [Published by Holder of Vienna (Freud, 1897 5, 456] I refer to the town of Marburg [in Hesse]—a name also found in Styria—as Schiller’s birthplace. The error occurs in the analysis of a dream which I had during a journey by night and and from which I was woken by the guard calling out the name of Marburg station. In the content of the dream someone asked a question about a book by Schiller. In fact Schiller was not born at the university town of Marburg [in Hesse] but at Marbach in Swabia. Moreover I can assert that I have always known this. (2) On page 135 [Standard Ed., 4, 197] H annibal’s father is 1 [The earlier portion of this chapter, up to p. 220, dates back to 1901.] 8 [Freud mentioned the first two of these errors in letters to Fliess immediately after the book was published, on November 5 and 11, 1899 (Freud, 1950a, Letters 123 and 124).]




called HasdrubaL This error annoyed me especially, but it furnished me with the strongest corroboration of my view of such errors. There must be few readers of my book who are better acquainted with the history of the house of Barca than its author, who penned this error and who overlooked it in three sets of proofs. The name of Hannibal’sfather was Hamilcar Barca—Hasdrubal was the name of Hannibal’s brother, as well as of his brother-in-law and predecessor in command. (3) On pages 177 and 370 [Standard Ed., 4, 256, and 5, 619] I state that Zeus emasculated his father Kronos and dethroned him. I was, however, erroneously carrying this atrocity a generation forward; according to Greek mythology it was Kronos who committed it on his father Uranus.1 How is it to be explained that my memory provided me at these points with what was incorrect, while otherwise—as the reader of the book can see for himself—it put at my disposal the most out-of-the-way and unusual material? And how, too, did I pass over these errors while I carefully went through three sets of proofs—as if I had been struck blind? Goethe said of Lichtenberg:2 ‘Where he makes a jest a problem lies concealed.’ Similarly it can be said of the passages in my book that I have quoted here: where an error makes its appearance a repression lies behind it—or more correctly, an insincerity, a distortion, which is ultimately rooted in repressed material. In analysing the dreams reported there I was com­ pelled, by the very nature of the themes to which the dreamthoughts related, on the one hand to break off the analysis at some point before it had been rounded off, and on the other hand to take the edge off some indiscreet detail by mild dis­ tortion. I could not do otherwise, and I had in fact no other choice if I wished to bring forward examples and evidence at all. My awkward position was a necessary result of the peculiar character of dreams, which consists in giving expression to repressed material—in other words, to material that is in1 This was not a complete error. The Orphic version of the myth makes Zeus repeat the process of emasculation on his father Kronos. (See Roscher’s Lexicon of Mythology.) [Cf. footnote 2, p. 198.] 2 [In 1901 and 1904 only: ‘It was said of Lichtenberg.’—Goethe’s re­ mark is also quoted by Freud in his book on jokes (1905c), Standard Ed., 8 , 93, a work in which many of Lichtenberg’s epigrams are discussed] as well as at the end of Lecture II in his Introductory Lectures (1916-17).



admissible to consciousness, (In spite of this it would seem that enough was still left to give offence to some sensitive souls,) I did not succeed, however, in carrying through the distortion or concealment of the thoughts, whose continuation was known to me, without leaving some trace of them behind- W hat I wanted to suppress often succeeded against my will in gaining access to what I had chosen to relate, and appeared in it in the form of an error that I failed to notice. Moreover, the same theme is at the bottom of all the three examples I have given: the errors are derivatives of repressed thoughts connected with my dead father.1 (1) Anyone who reads through the dream analysed on p. 266 [iStandard Ed.> 5,455 ff.] will in part find undisguisedly, and will in part be able to guess from hints, that I have broken off at thoughts which would have contained an unfriendly criticism of my father. In the continuation of this train of thoughts and memories there in fact lies an annoying story in which books play a part, and a business friend of my father’s who bears the name of Marburg—the same name that woke me when it was called out at M arburg station on the Siidbahn. In the analysis I tried to suppress this H err Marburg from myself and from my readers; he took his revenge by intruding where he did not belong and changing the name of Schiller’s birthplace from Marbach to Marburg. (2) The error of putting Hasdrubal instead of Hamilcar, the brother’s name instead of the father’s, occurred precisely in a context that concerned the Hannibal-phantasies of my schoolyears and my dissatisfaction with my father’s behaviour towards the ‘enemies of our people’.2 I could have gone on to tell how my relationship with my father was changed by a visit to England, which resulted in my getting to know my halfbrother, the child of my father’s first marriage, who lived there. My brother’s eldest son is the same age as I am. Thus the rela­ tions between our ages were no hindrance to my phantasies of how different things would have been if I had been bom the


1 [In his preface to the second edition of The Interpretation o f Dreams written in 1908, Freud remarked that after he had completed the book he found that it was *a portion of my own self-analysis, my reaction to my father’s death*. {Standard Ed., 4, xxvi.)] 1 [See The Interpretation o f Dreams Standard Ed.> 4, 196 ff.]




son not of my father but of my brother. These suppressed phantasies falsified the text of my book at the place where I broke off the analysis, by forcing me to put the brother’s name for the father’s. (3) I t is to the influence of the memory of this same brother that I attribute my error in advancing by a generation the mythological atrocities of the Greek pantheon. One of my brother’s admonitions lingered long in my memory. ‘One thing,’ he had said to me, ‘that you must not forget is that as far as the conduct of your life is concerned you really belong not to the second but to the third generation in relation to your father.’ O ur father had married again in later life and was therefore much older than his children by his second marriage. I made the error already described at the exact point in the book at which I was discussing filial piety. I t has also occasionally happened that friends and patients, whose dreams I have reported, or have alluded to in the course of my dream-analyses, have drawn my attention to the fact that the details of the events experienced by us together have been inaccurately related by me. These again could be classified as historical errors. After being put right I have examined the various cases and here too I have convinced myself that my memory of the facts was incorrect only where I had purposely distorted or concealed something in the analysis. Here once again we find an unobserved error taking the place of an intentional concealment or repression.1 These errors that derive from repression are to be sharply distinguished from others which are based on genuine ignor­ ance. Thus, for example, it was ignorance which made me think during an excursion to the Wachau that I had come to the home of Fischhof, the revolutionary leader. The two places merely have the same name: Fischhof’s Emmersdorf is in Carinthia. I, however, knew no better. [Cf. Standard Ed., 4,211.] (4)2 Here is another instructive error that put me to shame, 1 [Another possible example of this is discussed in Appendix A to Studies on Hysteria (1895(f), Standard Ed., 2 ,307-9. An instance of the same mechanism appears in Section IV of ‘A Seventeenth-Century Demonological Neurosis’ (1923