Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/15

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TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE


Since the appearance of the author's Selected Papers on Hysteria and other Psychoneuroses, and Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory,[1] much has been said and written about Freud's works. Some of our readers have made an honest endeavour to test and utilise the author's theories, but they have been handicapped by their inability to read fluently very difficult German, for only two of Freud's works have hitherto been accessible to English readers. For them this work will be of invaluable assistance. To be sure, numerous articles on the Freudian psychology have of late made their appearance in our literature;[2] but these scattered papers, read by those unacquainted with the original work, often serve to confuse rather than enlighten. For Freud cannot be mastered from the reading of a few pamphlets, or even one or two of his original works. Let me repeat what I have so often said: No one is really qualified to use or to judge Freud's psychoanalytic method who has not thoroughly mastered his theory of the neuroses—The Interpretation of Dreams, Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, and Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious, and who has not had considerable experience in analysing the dreams and psychopathological actions of himself and others. That there is required also a thorough training in normal and abnormal psychology goes without saying.

The Interpretation of Dreams is the author's greatest and most important work; it is here that he develops his psychoanalytic technique, a thorough knowledge of which is absolutely indispensable for every worker in this field. The difficult task of making a translation of this work has, therefore, been

  1. Translated by A. A. Brill (Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company).
  2. Cf. the works of Ernest Jones, James J. Putnam, the present writer, and others.

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