Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Commonplace Entry


Among the dreams mentioned in earlier sections there were already several which could serve as examples of processing nervous stimuli, as they are called.  The dream of drinking water in great draughts is one of these;  in this case the somatic stimulus is apparently the sole source of the dream, and the wish deriving from the sensation--thirst--its only motive.  It is similar in other simple dreams, if the somatic stimulus by itself is capable of creating a wish.  The dream of the invalid who cast the cooling appliance off her cheek at night shows an unusual way of reacting to painful stimuli with a wish-fulfillment.  It seems that the invalid had temporarily contrived to numb her own sensations, and in doing so she foisted her pain on someone else.

from pp 179-180 of The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.  Joyce Crick, trans.  Oxford University Press, 1999 (1899)


cleopatra said...

How are you enjoying this book? For some insane reason I put it on my Classics Club list and it's the one that I'm dreading most out of the 170 books on the list. Can you offer some hopeful encouragement? ;-)

James said...


Thanks for your questions. This is a wonderful book to read and provides fascinating insights into Freud's discoveries about the importance of dreams for human psychology. Freud has a great prose style and he is informed by the classics as he was an inveterate reader of the great books. His discovery and naming of the Oedipus complex is an example of his background in the classics. I've read several of his books and would recommend them to all interested in psychoanalysis and human personality.