Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/451

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433
PSYCHOLOGY OF DREAM ACTIVITIES

unconscious material in her mind. Her nursemaid told her that her mother, who had died young (the patient was then only a year and a half old), had suffered from epileptic or hysterical convulsions, which dated back to a fright caused by her brother (the patient's uncle), who appeared to her disguised as a spectre with a sheet over his head. The vision contains the same elements as the reminiscence, viz. the appearance of the brother, the sheet, the fright, and its effect. These elements, however, are ranged in different relations, and are transferred to other persons. The obvious motive of the vision, which replaces the idea, is her solicitude lest her little son, who bore a striking resemblance to his uncle, should share the latter's fate. Both examples here cited are not entirely unrelated to sleep, and may therefore be unsuitable as proof for my assertion. I may therefore refer to my analysis of an hallucinatory paranoia,[1] and to the results of my hitherto unpublished studies on the psychology of the psychoneuroses in order to emphasize the fact that in these cases of regressive thought transformation one must not overlook the influence of a suppressed or unconscious reminiscence, this being in most cases of an infantile character. This recollection, so to speak, draws into the regression the thought with which it is connected, which is prevented from expression by the censor—that is, into that form of representation in which the recollection itself exists psychically. I may here mention as a result of my studies in hysteria that if we succeed in restoring infantile scenes to consciousness (whether recollections or fancies) they are seen as hallucinations, and are divested of this character only after reproduction. It is also known that the earliest infantile memories retain the character of perceptible vividness until late in life, even in persons who are otherwise not visual in memory.

If, now, we keep in mind what part is played in the dream thoughts by the infantile reminiscences or the phantasies based upon them, how often fragments of these reminiscences emerge in the dream content, and how often they even give origin to dream wishes, we cannot deny the probability that in the dream, too, the transformation of thoughts into visual

  1. Selected Papers on Hysteria and Other Psychoneuroses, p. 165, translated by A. A. Brill (Journal Mental and Nervous Disease Publishing Co.).

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