Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/55

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37
LITERATURE OF THE DREAM

compositions are by their very nature incapable of being remembered, and they are forgotten because they usually crumble together the very next moment. To be sure, these conclusions are not in full accord with the observation of Radestock54 (p. 168), that we retain best just those dreams which are most peculiar.

According to Strümpell, there are still other factors effective in the forgetting of dreams which are derived from the relation of the dream to the waking state. The forgetfulness of the waking consciousness for dreams is evidently only the counterpart of the fact already mentioned, that the dream (almost) never takes over successive memories from the waking state, but only certain details of these memories which it tears away from the habitual psychic connections in which they are recalled while we are awake. The dream composition, therefore, has no place in the company of psychic successions which fill the mind. It lacks all the aids of memory." In this manner the dream structure rises, as it were, from the soil of our psychic life, and floats in psychic space like a cloud in the sky, which the next breath of air soon dispels" (p. 87). This is also aided by the fact that, upon awakening, the attention is immediately seized by the inrushing sensory world, and only very few dream pictures can withstand this power. They fade away before the impressions of the new day like the glow of the stars before the sunlight.

As a last factor favouring the forgetting of dreams, we may mention the fact that most people generally take little interest in their dreams. One who investigates dreams for a time, and takes a special interest in them, usually dreams more during that time than at any other; that is, he remembers his dreams more easily and more frequently.

Two other reasons for the forgetting of dreams added by Bonatelli (given by Benini3) to those of Strümpell have already been included in the latter; namely, (1) that the change of the general feeling between the sleeping and waking states is unfavourable to the mutual reproductions, and (2) that the different arrangement of the presentation material in the dream makes the dream untranslatable, so to speak, for the waking consciousness.

It is the more remarkable, as Strümpell observes, that, in