Abstract

Textual evidence shows that dream interpretation preceded Freud by several millennia, but his method was unprecedented. In asserting that the dream's remembered, or manifest, content was merely a disguise for censored, latent meaning, he associated manifest content with notions of animism and magical thinking that characterized colonialist attitudes toward non-European cultures. This paper examines Freud's investment in devaluing dream imagery and relates his distrust at once to the dream books that originated in the classical period and to those that, with pretensions to an ancient lineage, were popular in his time. In examining the anti-Semitism present in dream books of both periods, the paper identifies ways in which Freud's theories evolved as a cultural construction rather than being, as he claimed, the "discovery" of innate psychic functioning.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-7931
Print ISSN
0065-860X
Pages
pp. 211-230
Launched on MUSE
2009-08-07
Open Access
No
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