Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/12

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viii
THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

anything unfinished as finished, and that I have always striven to change my assertions in accordance with my advancing views; but in the realm of the dream life I have been able to stand by my first declarations. During the long years of my work on the problems of the neuroses, I have been repeatedly confronted with doubts, and have often made mistakes; but it was always in the "interpretation of dreams" that I found my bearings. My numerous scientific opponents, therefore, show an especially sure instinct when they refuse to follow me into this territory of dream investigation.

Likewise, the material used in this book to illustrate the rules of dream interpretation, drawn chiefly from dreams of my own which have been depreciated and outstripped by events, have in the revision shown a persistence which resisted substantial changes. For me, indeed, the book has still another subjective meaning which I could comprehend only after it had been completed. It proved to be for me a part of my self-analysis, a reaction to the death of my father—that is, to the most significant event, the deepest loss, in the life of a man. After I recognised this I felt powerless to efface the traces of this influence. For the reader, however, it makes no difference from what material he learns to value and interpret dreams.

Berchtesgaden, Summer of 1908.