In a letter to his confidant and friend, Wilhelm Fleiss, the then middle aged neurologist, Sigmund Freud, was in the midst of researching and writing his beloved 'dream book'. He wrote the following:
"Now I have finished and am thinking about the dream book again. I have been looking into the literature and feel like a Celtic imp."Oh, how I am glad that no one, no one knows..." No one suspects that the dream is not nonsense but wish fulfillment."
Indeed, this is the premise of Freud's entire thesis: dreams are no more than repressed unconscious wishes, battling for expression and consummation.
In his own words, Freud had 'dared' to rally against the 'objections of severe science, to take the part of the ancients and of superstition.' In 1900, the official year of the book's publication, its reception, despite its provoctive title, was tepid, and in the course of six years, only sold 351 copies. Freud never gave up hope, and 30 years later, in the preface of the third English edition, he wrote, "It contains, even according to my present day judgement, the most valuable of all the discoveries it has been my good fortune to make. Insight such as this falls to one's lot but once a lifetime.' In present day, one can question any Freud scholar about ~The Interpretation of Dreams~ and they will say the same thing: the book contains everything that 'is' psychoanalysis.
Anyone interested in the history of psychoanalysis and the mind of Sigmund Freud, reading this book is an absolute must. The reading runs along too, quite easily, as Freud was an excellent writer: his unique prose style even shines through some clumsy translations.
If you are interested in the book's process of development, I would suggest reading ~The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Fliess~; another gold mine for understanding the growth of psychoanalysis.