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As Achilles put it to Apollo, You have made a fool of me. All dreams of pure freedom. To surrender to one's innermost thoughts—without hesitation, without self-censorship, and without question—is to acknowledge the shock and power of desire.
As Achilles put it to Apollo, You have made a fool of me. All dreams of pure freedom. To surrender to one's innermost thoughts—without hesitation, without self-censorship, and without question—is to acknowledge the shock and power of desire. It is to give in to one's most dreaded hopes. Yet, by the very act of surrender, it is to eliminate obsession or delusion. It is to rediscover autonomy and self-control in a fully conscious existence. Or is it? The paradox is the secret of psychoanalysis, both its dream interpretation and its cure.
It is the enigma of each meaningful connection, in dreams as in a language. It is also the mystery of falling in love. Putting Freud on the couch: a dream Freud's own s of dream interpretation have dex heavy autobiographical element—his own associations, his own dreams. I want to discuss what Woomen one, from On Dreamsmight tell of his own investment in mastering the dream work.
I shall find Freud reasserting old desires, traditional gender roles, and long-tolerated excuses, and I shall trace them all to economic and professional motives. Freud's book is a valuable summary of his ideas. Frau E.
I removed her hand unresponsively. She then said: "But you've always had such beautiful eyes. I then had an indistinct picture wanh two eyes, as though it were a drawing or like the eex of a pair of spectacles. To protect his privacy, Freud himself breaks off a remarkable dream analysis before he can complete it, as if lifting the plastic sheet on the Mystic Writing Pad : "Considerations of a personal and not of a scientific motive prevent my doing so in public.
It tempts one strongly to speculate on the dream's conclusion and on Wmen he wished to protect. I am going to risk the arrogance of analyzing Freud. I shall be forced to ask about hidden attitudes toward women in his then-new psychology. First, Doa, let me mention some none-too-easy questions about gender and psychoanalysis. Images, words, and meanings: Freud's technique Free associations are always powerfully constrained, always on the way to be caught fast, displaced, condensed, transformed—and snagged once again.
Freud called this drama of a perpetual turning aside the dream work. As he wrote in On Dreams"the thre of association do not simply converge from the dream thoughts to the se content; they cross and interweave with each other many times over the course of their journey. His dreams are intensely visual and auditory, with images and dialogue as clearly perceived as in a movie.
As early critics of Freud quickly noted, this visual clarity does not hold for Womrn dreams. Conversely, and more strikingly, his exploration turns on verbal recounting of those images, including puns and other associations with a verbal record. As he himself comments, "it may seem strange that the dream work aex make such free use of verbal ambiguity. In analysis, associations must be seen with attention but not restrained.
A finished interpretation can then pull the multiple links together into a single node of meaning. His interpretations therefore rely on pun-like associations unique to a written or spoken language, as if the dream work added images to a screenplay. Conversely, the interpreter is like an art or film critic, teasing words into life under cover of images. They always offer more sec verbal attention, always reward that attention, and always seem to be just a little justifiably insulted by the insistent work of the reviewer.
Is Freud right, and the mind is tailor-made for language? So claims Jacques Lacanwho gave Freud to structuralism. Or Women want sex Dora he wrong, and imposing a theorist's view of the world? Like many an artist placed in the public eye, patients do feel insulted sometimes. Or is he right in using daytime associations to Womenn the depth of the patient, but foolish to consider that the origin of Dpra dream? Freud's work is famously hard to test scientifically, and that may be inherent in the puzzle of desire or of language.
Freud's talk of pulling thre of meaning together recalls another great metaphor. Wittgenstein compared linguistic expression to multiple strands tightly entwined in a rope. Perhaps Freud's mistake, if there is one, is inherent in the very dream of meaning.
The idea of freedom—whether in Wmoen association or, for aant matter, a free-market economy—is itself a dream. Powerful desires, what conservative economists and Freudians alike term "economic transactions," are always lurking. Old bargains and inherited restraints are ready and able to reestablish their terrifying sway. To quote On Dreams again, "The essential determining condition of displacement is.
He can be faulted for expecting a final mastery of the soul at his own hands, when his patients had a right to expect more. He can be denounced for letting the old games and old associations continue, when a woman has a right to cry out and break the chain. A sore point has been Freud's first important case history. Dora's father, Freud himself makes clear, wished to hand the girl over to another man. That way, he was free to pursue his own illicit affairs. Wojen may be a patient suffering from hysteriaCixous says, but she "is the name of a certain disturbing force that means that the little circus no longer runs.
She may as well have taken her complaint about the chain's old linkages from Freud himself: One day I discovered to my great astonishment esx the view of dreams which came nearest to the truth was not the medical but the popular one, half-involved though it still was in superstition [my stress]. But the little circus always runs and is always about to be condensed, transformed, or disrupted.
As the strands are torn off for examination, the rope acquires a firm and resistant meaning, and it becomes rigid and false. One begins with the hope of interpreting dreams with Womeen strings attached, and one ends with old desires reasserting themselves. A disturbing force is by no means an innocent one. Freud's inconsistent sexx may be just another disturbing force—a lingering distrust of liberated desires and meanings.
At his best, he sees sexual desire as a kind of root of the Wojen, and yet he lets those desires be as perplexingly layered and fluid as an individual's associations. At other times, as in Dora's case, he could just be failing to hold to that insight. Perhaps, as the literary critic Harold Bloom might say, I am acting them out when I wrestle with Freud. Freud's irritation at Victorian sexism is never in doubt, but the meaning of that wat might be.
For example, in his work sex never has the connotation of what one now calls gender. The latter was then mostly just a term in grammar. In the index of his most comprehensive early statement, Wo,en Interpretation of Dreamsreferences to sex lead only to sexuality or Women want sex Dora. Is Freud seeing the limits of everyday notions of gender?
Or is he denying the obvious, under pressure to reduce everything to his own maleness? Is it the master himself who sometimes lapses into distrust of psychoanalysis and breaks the chain? Or is he merely giving in to desires that old chains entail? It is difficult, even impossible, to decide just when amid the links of free associations an interpretation begins.
I shall now try to find that place in Freud's own dream. Love without a cost: Freud's dream Freud interprets his dream as about a wish for love without a cost. He sees the wish for love in the hand of a woman, which reminds him of a gesture once made by his wife. He sees the fear of a cost in two places. First, the "other woman" calls to mind friends who had left him footing the bill on various occasions, a taxi ride in particular.
Second, parents always exacted a price: he must eat his spinach. He has still to tie these thre together. Only tying them up would explain just what love he wants and what cost he wishes to avoid.
Now, dream interpretation, in Freud's particular insight, must be the work of the dreamer. I can only speculate; I may well be wrong.
However, consider his own circumstances at the time. He has brought forth a new psychology, and it is not getting him the respect he wants. His longer book on dream interpretation, still one of se key works of the century in any field, has sold barely four hundred copies. That is why he has to write On Dreams. In it, he says that every dream is triggered by some recent event, and in fact the dream at hand immediately precedes his setting out to write a popularization.
His need for respect meant more than a commitment to an intellectual challenge: it was a demand for love.
Consider why, not many years earlier, he had moved to a more fashionable address, close to the city center. Although still not quite in Vienna's "Ring," se new offices could attract paying customers. Freud was a struggling young man from a lower-middle-class household—that in a dense city where Jews, even secular Jewswere almost tolerated but still a very troubled minority.
To move was to accept a higher rent, probably some debt, and a greater commitment to the paying patient over the development of pure scholarship. Wamt his motive was his wishing to marry: he would need more income, and he wanted a better class of patients. This background suggests one crossing point between cost and the love of his wife. It may suggest why his wife's gesture has been displaced to another: he wants Wome cheaper. Something should have allowed him the fame that he ought by now to have received, the appreciation that would have made writing this book unnecessary.
Freud also is Wojen to think of his own parents' love. In light of psychoanalysis, it is hard to avoid the association with Oedipal struggles between father and son. As Henri F.
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