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The Interpretation of Dreams: The Complete and Definitive Text Paperback – February 23, 2010

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The Interpretation of Dreams: The Complete and Definitive Text + A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis + Civilization and Its Discontents (Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud)
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Editorial Reviews

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"What a delight, then, to have a new translation of 'The Interpretation of Dreams,' on ethat strips off the scientistic veneer and gives us a Freud who is fresh and alive.... Lovely translation." --The New York Times Book Review


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a clinical neurologist living and practicing in Vienna. His ground breaking theories of the id, ego, and super-ego of the mind continue to be studied throughout the world.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465019773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465019779
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is one of the twentieth century's greatest minds and the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology. His many works include The Ego and the Id; An Outline of Psycho-Analysis; Inhibitions; Symptoms and Anxiety; New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis; Civilization and Its Discontent, and others.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Karen Batres on February 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Make up your own mind about Freud, but in the meantime, this is one of his great works that anyone can read without having technical knowledge about psychology. Freud included much about his own dreams, and the reader will suspect that he didn't "tell all" about his own introspection--nor would most of us! But this work, along with "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life" and "Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious" are for all readers. It is worth your while to peruse one of the most influential books in human history. As for the violence of the controversy that Freud inspires--well, that vehemence must mean something: a hundred years later, we are still at it. Decide for yourself.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Steve Proctor on November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a psychotherapist I recognize that dreams are not the doorway to the unconscious but rather the window to the unconscious mind, its desires, impulses, and motivations. People like to give their egos and conscious minds too much credit for the decisions and actions in their daily lives. One must take into consideration that the average person has about 80,000 thoughts per day and according to most psychologists about 95% of those are repetitive thoughts that also occurred in their conscious mind yesterday or the day before. This helps to illustrate that we are, for the most part, driving on auto pilot in our daily lives. This begs the question of who is in charge, or as biologist Bruce Lipton has phrased it, "who is the wizard behind the curtain" in our choices and actions in our lives? The answer to this is question is that our unconscious minds are the real driver and pilot navigating our lives and not our conscious mind that is thinking redundant thoughts, like a broken record, throughout most of our day.

In order to gain a better understanding of the `wizard behind the curtain"--the pilot of our lives-- we must be willing to take an honest and uncensored examination and assessment of our dreams. It is in our dreams, when our conscious mind is unable to censor our true desires and motivations, that the "wizard" is revealed to us. Strachey's translation of Freud's "The Interpretation of Dreams: The Complete and Definitive Text" provides an excellent and comprehensive foundation to the topic of understanding, deciphering, and interpreting and understanding how our unconscious reveals itself to us via our dreams.

While some reviewers have stated that Strachey's translation is hard to read and has too many "archaic words" and lengthy sentences, I would have to disagree.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
The best translation available is by J. Strachey. Don't get the one by Brill. This books is no light reading, even for those accustomed to reading serious books. Freud's style presents no difficulties, but moral courage is needed. Nevertheless for those courageous enough there is also enormous entertainment here. Personally I find it extremely difficult to read it often. It's too dense and challenging. And much of it is also deeply flawed because the author was overly confident. Despite all this, this may well be the greatest book of the 20th century, and those who want to take the challenge ought to try it. My pragmatic advice is to skip the first chapter, which is a rather dated review of literature.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Richard Stephenson on June 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most reviewers see the value of this great work, which lays out the dynamics of the unconscious mind. Others have a variety of misconceptions: first, he was not a cocaine addict. He misunderstood cocaine [as most people did] and, briefly, recommended it to others, including his fiancee. When his close friend died of it, Freud realized his error.
Second, one reader states that you can't find "measurements" to prove anything about dreams. As one who has practiced in the field, I can say that the reader can measure the truth of Freud's theory by using it to understand him or herself, by analyzing one's own dreams.
The dynamics of dreams are:
first, dreams are phylogenetic, i.e., inherited as a species; they are not ontogenetic, i.e., created by environmental factors.
R.E.M. studies have shown for fifty years that our eyes move rapidly while dreaming as is we were watching a film. However, all of the people in a dream are different fragments of ourselves, of our wishes, of our interests.
Second: this phylogenetic inheritance includes an innate propensity to think in pictures. Moving up the scale of consciousness, in Ucs. [unconsciousness, thinking is mostly pictorial but sometimes verbal]; in Pcs. [preconsciousness, i.e., in daydreaming, thinking is pictorial and verbal and partly in our control]; in Cs. [consciousness, thinking is mostly verbal but partly pictorial].
Dreams have two main dynamics: one, displacement [in which the mind protects itself by displacing the troubling thought with a symbol]; two, condensation [in which the mind places symbols on top of one another in layers in order to make the troubling thought hard to find].
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Charles Sniadecki on March 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Freud's thesis, The Interpretation of Dreams, can be summed up as follows - all dreams are the mind's subconscious effort at wish fulfillment. For some dreams this is obvious - if you eat salty foods before going to bed, you may then dream that you are drinking water. This is a simple example of you wanting something and your subconscious trying to fulfill that wish. For most dreams, quite a bit more analysis is required to undercover what exactly you are wishing for, and Freud dedicates the bulk of his book to giving examples of such analysis. Freud argues that dreams are distorted because the upper layer of the mind is trying to censor what the lower layers of the mind are wishing for - usually out of embarrassment, guilt, etc. For example, I may be envious of my friend's success, so I will dream that my friend fails, but I am also embarrassed at wishing ill will on my friend, so the dream is distorted - perhaps the activity that he fails at will be obscure, twisted, strange, etc. Freud also makes the point that all dreams have their trigger in the preceding day's events, and once triggered the dream has access to all the experiences a person has gathered during his lifetime, as long as the experiences can be linked back somehow to the trigger event. Since the mind thinks in terms of symbols, the dreams must by analyzed by trying to understand how the various symbols can be translated into wishes, or the suppression of wishes. Thus the inner layers of the mind, or the Ego (prime desires), will generate a basic wish based on the experiences of the previous day. The Super Ego (refined sense of culture, guilt, morality, consciousness, etc.) then regulates the Ego's basic wish to fit within the mind's framework of right and wrong behavior.Read more ›
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