Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/308

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

ture? What representation do "if," "because," "as though," "although," "either—or," and all the other conjunctions, without which we cannot understand a phrase or a sentence, receive in the dream?

At first we must answer that the dream has at its disposal no means for representing these logical relations among the dream thoughts. In most cases it disregards all these conjunctions, and undertakes the elaboration only of the objective content of the dream thoughts. It is left to the interpretation of the dream to restore the coherence which the activity of the dream has destroyed.

If the dream lacks ability to express these relations, the psychic material of which the dream is wrought must be responsible. The descriptive arts are limited in the same manner—painting and the plastic arts in comparison with poetry, which can employ speech; and here too the reason for this impotence is to be found in the material in the treatment of which the two arts strive to give expression to something. Before the art of painting had arrived at an understanding of the laws of expression by which it is bound, it attempted to escape this disadvantage. In old paintings little tags were hung from the mouths of the persons represented giving the speech, the expression of which in the picture the artist despaired of.

Perhaps an objection will here be raised challenging the assertion that the dream dispenses with the representation of logical relations. There are dreams in which the most complicated intellectual operations take place, in which proof and refutation are offered, puns and comparisons made, just as in waking thoughts. But here, too, appearances are deceitful; if the interpretation of such dreams is pursued, it is found that all of this is dream material, not the representation of intellectual activity in the dream. The content of the dream thoughts is reproduced by the apparent thinking of the dream, not the relations of the dream thoughts to one another, in the determination of which relations thinking consists. I shall give examples of this. But the thesis which is most easily established is that all speeches which occur in the dream, and which are expressly designated as such, are unchanged or only slightly modified copies of speeches which are likewise to be found in