The Interpretation of Dreams (Oxford World's Classics)

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9780199537587: The Interpretation of Dreams (Oxford World's Classics)
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One hundred years ago Sigmund Freud published The Interpretations of Dreams, a book that, like Darwin's The Origin of Species, revolutionized our understanding of human nature. Now this groundbreaking new translation--the first to be based on the original text published in November 1899--brings us a more readable, more accurate, and more coherent picture of Freud's masterpiece.
The first edition of The Interpretation of Dreams is much shorter than its subsequent editions; each time the text was reissued, from 1909 onwards, Freud added to it. The most significant, and in many ways the most unfortunate addition, is a 50-page section devoted to the kind of mechanical reading of dream symbolism--long objects equal male genitalia, etc.--that has gained popular currency and partially obscured Freud's more profound insights into dreams. In the original version presented here, Freud's emphasis falls more clearly on the use of words in dreams and on the difficulty of deciphering them. Without the strata of later additions, readers will find here a clearer development of Freud's central ideas--of dream as wish-fulfillment, of the dream's manifest and latent content, of the retelling of dreams as a continuation of the dreamwork, and much more. Joyce Crick's translation is lighter and faster-moving than previous versions, enhancing the sense of dialogue with the reader, one of Freud's stylistic strengths, and allowing us to follow Freud's theory as it evolved through difficult cases, apparently intractable counter-examples, and fascinating analyses of Freud's own dreams.
The restoration of Freud's classic is a major event, giving us in a sense a new work by one of this century' most startling, original, and influential thinkers.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Review:

Whether we love or hate Sigmund Freud, we all have to admit that he revolutionized the way we think about ourselves. Much of this revolution can be traced to The Interpretation of Dreams, the turn-of-the-century tour de force that outlined his theory of unconscious forces in the context of dream analysis. Introducing the id, the superego, and their problem child, the ego, Freud advanced scientific understanding of the mind immeasurably by exposing motivations normally invisible to our consciousness. While there's no question that his own biases and neuroses influenced his observations, the details are less important than the paradigm shift as a whole. After Freud, our interior lives became richer and vastly more mysterious.

These mysteries clearly bothered him--he went to great (often absurd) lengths to explain dream imagery in terms of childhood sexual trauma, a component of his theory jettisoned mid-century, though now popular among recovered-memory therapists. His dispassionate analyses of his own dreams are excellent studies for cognitive scientists wishing to learn how to sacrifice their vanities for the cause of learning. Freud said of the work contained in The Interpretation of Dreams, "Insight such as this falls to one's lot but once in a lifetime." One would have to feel quite fortunate to shake the world even once. --Rob Lightner

From the Back Cover:

Freud's discovery that the dream is the means by which the unconscious can be explored is undoubtedly the most revolutionary step forward in the entire history of psychology. Dreams, according to his theory, represent the hidden fulfillment of our unconscious wishes.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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