Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/56

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38
THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

spite of all these reasons for forgetting the dream, so many dreams are retained in memory. The continued efforts of the authors to formulate laws for the remembering of dreams amounts to an admission that here too there is something puzzling and unsolved. Certain peculiarities relating to the memory of dreams have been particularly noticed of late, e.g., that a dream which is considered forgotten in the morning may be recalled in the course of the day through a perception which accidentally touches the forgotten content of the dream (Radestock,54 Tissié68). The entire memory of the dream is open to an objection calculated to depreciate its value very markedly in critical eyes. One may doubt whether our memory, which omits so much from the dream, does not falsify what it retained.

Such doubts relating to the exactness of the reproduction of the dream are expressed by Strümpell when he says: "It therefore easily happens that the active consciousness involuntarily inserts much in recollection of the dream; one imagines one has dreamt all sorts of things which the actual dream did not contain."

Jessen36 (p. 547) expresses himself very decidedly: "Moreover we must not lose sight of the fact, hitherto little heeded, that in the investigation and interpretation of orderly and logical dreams we almost always play with the truth when we recall a dream to memory. Unconsciously and unwittingly we fill up the gaps and supplement the dream pictures. Rarely, and perhaps never, has a connected dream been as connected as it appears to us in memory. Even the most truth-loving person can hardly relate a dream without exaggerating and embellishing it. The tendency of the human mind to conceive everything in connection is so great that it unwittingly supplies the deficiencies of connection if the dream is recalled somewhat disconnectedly."

The observations of V. Eggers,20 though surely independently conceived, sound almost like a translation of Jessen's words: "...L'observation des rêves a ses difficultés spéciales et le seul moyen d'eviter toute erreur en pareille matière est de confier au papier sans le moindre retard ce que l'on vient d'éprouver et de remarquer; sinon, l'oubli vient vite ou total ou partiel; l'oubli total est sans gravité; mais l'oubli partiel