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The Interpretation of Dreams [Paperback]

Sigmund Freud
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 31 2010
This is the famous book about dreams by Sigmund Freud.

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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 --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

In her new translation, Crick (emeritus, German, Univ. Coll., London) gives us the first edition of Freud's magnum opus (1900) with historical context and notes on the theory and practice of translation. While this version lacks the fullness of Freud's intellectual development, it reveals the fundamental work clearly and in context. Serious students can have the best of both worlds by comparing Crick's work with James Strachey's 1953 work (a variorum of all eight editions, considered the "standard") in passages of particular interest. This more literal version, not beholden to the psychoanalytic movement and its defense of Freud as scientist, pays respect to Strachey while "attempting to render Freud's varying registers, listening for latent metaphors as well as his grand elucidatory analogies." Here we come closer to Freud's masterly German, yet, as with Strachey, it reads like good English. Recommended for academic and larger general libraries.AE. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ., Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good edition of the Book. Feb. 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This edition of "Interpretation of Dreams" hits all the marks-it has extensive introductory notes, bibliography, and a more than adequate index. Moreover, specific dreams in the text are referenced in a separate index. They also have the English translations of the foreign-language footnotes, which is always helful for those of us who only speak three and not seven languages. The editors understand all facets of "user friendly," which means that this book not only friendly to the user, but friendly for use. It has every bell and whistle that any student, scholar, or savant could want in a book, which is a rare thing.
Moreover, the cover art is very eye catching, since the blurred water-color profiles have a dream-like quality about them, reinforcing, but not distracting from the books subject and contents. In many ways, the book is the cover.
I admire the heavy secondary research Freud put into his book. Keeping in mind Freud's ideas were gestating in the late 1800's, when there was none of the perfected scientific research and research methods that we have today. Like Darwin, Galileo, or Newton, Freud did so much with so little in the way of technological gizmos. This adds even a greater luster to his genius.
However, there are two issues I have with Dr. Freud's methodology. First, his has a very odd universe of sampling, namely himself and his neurotic patients (136, 138). First of all, relying on his own dreams for analysis tends to make his research solipsistic, which is to say we may be looking more at Freud than his research and conclusions. Moreover, relying on neurotic patients does not yield statistically balanced data. His skewed sampling leads to a skewed conclusion.
Secondly, Freud comes to the reductionist conclusion that all dreams are wish fulfillment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loving and/or Hating Sigmund Freud Aug. 21 2001
Format:Hardcover
It does not really matter whether we love or hate Sigmund Freud. What is important to acknowledge is that he revolutionized the way we think about ourselves. Some of this revolution can be traced back to The Interpretation of Dreams, the turn of the century masterpiece that outlined his theory of unconscious forces in the context of dream analysis. Joyce Crick's groundbreaking new translation is based on the original text published in November 1899 and it is clearly a more readable and accurate picture of Freud's original work.
It is apparent that Freud concentrates to a larger extent on the use of words in dreams and on the difficulty of deciphering them. Freud's ideas of dreams as wish-fulfillment, his ideas of the retelling of the dream as a continuation, as well as the dream's manifest and latent content, are covered much more clearly than in any of the later editions of the same text. The fact that Joyce Crick's translation is faster-moving and definitively lighter than previous versions enhances the understanding of the material and engages the reader. It established a sense of dialogue with the reader.
While reading Joyce Crick's translation the author of the review remembered her first encounter with Freud's original German version Die Traumdeutung while she was an undergraduate student. The German version was definitely much more difficult to read and caused some confusion for the reader. The author valued Freud's elaboration on the symbols of dreams, but viewed the statement that all psychopathic phenomena derive from the suppression of sexual desires as difficult to comprehend (for an undergraduate student).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Freud's 100 years of dreaming Feb. 5 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Pseudoscience
For all those who need to get their baloney straight from the horse's mouth, this book is all the Freud you need to decide: visionary or fraud. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars a classic ponderously translated....
by the ever-turgid Strachey, who loves medical metaphors and Latinized phrasings more than Freud loved literary clarity; but aside from that, THE classic of psychoanalysis, and the... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2002 by Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA
5.0 out of 5 stars Good to Own
The value of this book as a reference can not be overstated, as it has consistantly been a help to me as an academic aid, in addition to a personally interesting read. Read more
Published on June 26 2001 by Eric Lindley
2.0 out of 5 stars Melancholy views and interpretations
This book, was far too long, and was not at all appealing. The length of the book, bored me to tears, and was too hard for people unfamiliar with his work (i am though somewhat... Read more
Published on June 3 2001 by high school student
5.0 out of 5 stars great sci classic, perhaps to be seen as copernicus someday
This is the book that started the revolution in our view of human psychology: it uncovered the (always disputed) existence of the unconscious mind as well as created an entirely... Read more
Published on May 25 2001 by Robert J. Crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars The unconsciousness - one of the most important discoveries
I read this book when I'm the student of a high school. It was not so easy to understand the theoretical part in contrast to the practical interpretation of dreams. Read more
Published on March 16 2001 by M. OKAZAKI
3.0 out of 5 stars "I'm a dreamin' man, yes that's my problem..."
It's hip to disparage Freud, despite the circumspectness of his arguments. But for readers of FINNEGANS WAKE, Joyce's long and winding road WILL lead them to this door, - wordplay... Read more
Published on July 17 2000 by John McConnell
5.0 out of 5 stars the dynamics of dreams are the bedrock of thinking
Most reviewers see the value of this great work, which lays out the dynamics of the unconscious mind. Others have a variety of misconceptions: first, he was not a cocaine addict. Read more
Published on June 9 2000 by Richard Stephenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the controversy
Make up your own mind about Freud, but in the meantime, this is one of his great works that anyone can read without having technical knowledge about psychology. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2000 by Karen Batres
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is like a dream
This book changed my life in a profound way. Freud taught me that everything is connected. He used dreams to illustrate this. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2000 by michele at teamworx.com
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