Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/295

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277
THE DREAM-WORK

images), and the construction of the common mean, these we have been able to recognise as details of the condensing process. The purpose which is served by condensation and the means by which it is brought about will be investigated when we come to study the psychic processes in the formation of dreams as a whole. Let us be content for the present with establishing dream condensation as an important relation between the dream thoughts and the dream content.

The condensing activity of the dream becomes most tangible when it has selected words and names as its object. In general words are often treated as things by the dream, and thus undergo the same combinations, displacements, and substitutions, and therefore also condensations, as ideas of things. The results of such dreams are comical and bizarre word formations. Upon one occasion when a colleague had sent me one of his essays, in which he had, in my judgment, overestimated the value of a recent physiological discovery and had expressed himself in extravagant terms, I dreamed the following night a sentence which obviously referred to this treatise: "That is in true norekdal style." The solution of this word formation at first gave me difficulties, although it was unquestionably formed as a parody after the pattern of the superlatives "colossal," "pyramidal"; but to tell where it came from was not easy. At last the monster fell apart into the two names Nora and Ekdal from two well-known plays by Ibsen. I had previously read a newspaper essay on Ibsen by the same author, whose latest work I was thus criticising in the dream.

II.[1] One of my female patients dreams that a man with a light beard and a peculiar glittering eye is pointing to a sign board attached to a tree which reads: uclamparia—wet.

Analysis. The man was rather authoritative looking, and his peculiar glittering eye at once recalled St. Paul's Cathedral, near Rome, where she saw in mosaics the Popes that have so far ruled. One of the early Popes had a golden eye (this was really an optical illusion which the guides usually call attention to). Further associations showed that the general physiognomy corresponded to her own clergyman (Pope), and the shape of the light beard recalled her doctor (myself), while the stature of

  1. Given by translator as author's example could not be translated.