Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/334

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THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

dream material directly or only through the agency of interpolated forms of speech.[1] Several examples of representations in the dream which are held together only by ambiguity have already been cited ("her mouth opens without difficulty," in the dream of Irma's injection: "I cannot go yet," in the last dream reported, p. 312), &c. I shall now cite a dream in the analysis of which the figurative expression of abstract thought plays a greater part. The difference between such dream interpretation and interpretation by symbolism may again be sharply distinguished; in the symbolic interpretation of dreams the key to the symbolism is arbitrarily chosen by the interpreter, while in our own cases of verbal disguise all these keys are universally known and are taken from established customs of speech. If the correct notion occurs at the right opportunity, it is possible to solve dreams of this sort completely or in part, independently of any statements made by the dreamer.

A lady, a friend of mine, dreams: She is in the opera-house. It is a Wagnerian performance which has lasted till 7.45 in the morning. In the parquette and parterre there are tables, around which people dine and drink. Her cousin and his young wife, who have just returned from their honeymoon, sit next to her at one of these tables, and next to them sits one of the aristocracy. Concerning the latter the idea is that the young wife has brought him back with her from the wedding journey. It is quite above board, just as if she were bringing back a hat from her trip. In the midst of the parquette there is a high tower, on the top of which is a platform surrounded by an iron grating. There, high up, stands the conductor with the features of Hans Richter; he is continually running around behind the grating, perspiring awfully, and from this position conducting the orchestra,

  1. In general it is doubtful in the interpretation of every element of the dream whether it—
    (a) is to be regarded as having a negative or a positive sense (relation of opposition);
    (b) is to be interpreted historically (as a reminiscence);
    (c) is symbolic; or whether
    (d) its valuation is to be based upon the sound of its verbal expression.
    In spite of this manifold signification, it may be said that the representation of the dream activity does not impose upon the translator any greater difficulties than the ancient writers of hieroglyphics imposed upon their readers.