The Interpretation of Dreams
Category: Ideas
Genres: Psychology
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Sigmund Freud is the mind behind psychoanalysis, and The Interpretation of Dreams is one of his greatest works. Dive into fascinating theories and subjects such as the unconscious, dream symbolism, and new ways of interpreting dreams. Freud revised the book many times, adding more insight and sections he believed necessary to explain the subjects further. Read the words of the master of psychanalysis as he tackles one of the most mysterious subjects, dreams.

The Interpretation of Dreams

Sigmund Freud

Translated by
A. A. Brill

The Interpretation of Dreams

Introductory Remarks

In attempting a discussion of the Interpretation of Dreams, I do not believe that I have overstepped the bounds of neuropathological interest. For, on psychological investigation, the dream proves to be the first link in a chain of abnormal psychic structures whose other links, the hysterical phobia, the obsession, and the delusion must, for practical reasons, claim the interest of the physician. The dream (as will appear) can lay no claim to a corresponding practical significance; its theoretical value as a paradigm is, however, all the greater, and one who cannot explain the origin of the dream pictures will strive in vain to understand the phobias, obsessive and delusional ideas, and likewise their therapeutic importance.

But this relation, to which our subject owes its importance, is responsible also for the deficiencies in the work before us. The surfaces of fracture which will be found so frequently in this discussion correspond to so many points of contact at which the problem of the dream formation touches more comprehensive problems of psychopathology, which cannot be discussed here, and which will be subjected to future elaboration if there should be sufficient time and energy, and if further material should be forthcoming.

Peculiarities in the material I have used to elucidate the interpretation of dreams have rendered this publication difficult. From the work itself it will appear why all dreams related in the literature or collected by others had to remain useless for my purpose; for examples I had to choose between my own dreams and those of my patients who were under psychoanalytic treatment. I was restrained from utilising the latter material by the fact that in it the dream processes were subjected to an undesirable complication on account of the intermixture of neurotic characters. On the other hand, inseparably connected with my own dreams was the circumstance that I was obliged to expose more of the intimacies of my psychic life than I should like and than generally falls to the task of an author who is not a poet but an investigator of nature. This was painful, but unavoidable; I had to put up with the inevitable in order not to be obliged to forego altogether the demonstration of the truth of my psychological results. To be sure, I could not at best resist the temptation of disguising some of my indiscretions through omissions and substitutions, and as often as this happened it detracted materially from the value of the examples which I employed. I can only express the hope that the reader of this work, putting himself in my difficult position, will show forbearance, and also that all persons who are inclined to take offence at any of the dreams reported will concede freedom of thought at least to the dream life.

Preface to the Second Edition

If there has arisen a demand for a second edition of this rather difficult book before the end of the first decade, I owe no gratitude to the interest of the professional circles to whom I appealed in the preceding sentences. My colleagues in psychiatry, apparently, have made no effort to shake off the first surprise which my new conception of the dream evoked, and the professional philosophers, who are accustomed to treat the problem of dream life as a part of the states of consciousness, devoting to it a few — for the most part identical — sentences, have apparently failed to observe that in this field could be found all kinds of things which would inevitably lead to a thorough transformation of our psychological theories. The behaviour of the scientific critics could only justify the expectation that this work of mine was destined to be buried in oblivion; and the small troop of brave pupils who follow my leadership in the medical application of psychoanalysis, and also follow my example in analysing dreams in order to utilise these analyses in the treatment of neurotics, would not have exhausted the first edition of the book. I therefore feel indebted to that wider circle of intelligent seekers after truth whose co-operation has procured for me the invitation to take up anew, after nine years, the difficult and in so many respects fundamental work.

I am glad to be able to say that I have found little to change. Here and there I have inserted new material, added new views from my wider experience, and attempted to revise certain points; but everything essential concerning the dream and its interpretation, as well as the psychological propositions derived from it, has remained unchanged: at least, subjectively, it has stood the test of time. Those who are acquainted with my other works on the Etiology and Mechanism of the psychoneuroses, know that I have never offered anything unfinished as finished, and that I have always striven to change my assertions in accordance with my advancing views; but in the realm of the dream life I have been able to stand by my first declarations. During the long years of my work on the problems of the neuroses, I have been repeatedly confronted with doubts, and have often made mistakes; but it was always in the “interpretation of dreams” that I found my bearings. My numerous scientific opponents, therefore, show an especially sure instinct when they refuse to follow me into this territory of dream investigation.

Likewise, the material used in this book to illustrate the rules of dream interpretation, drawn chiefly from dreams of my own which have been depreciated and outstripped by events, have in the revision shown a persistence which resisted substantial changes. For me, indeed, the book has still another subjective meaning which I could comprehend only after it had been completed. It proved to be for me a part of my self-analysis, a reaction to the death of my father — that is, to the most significant event, the deepest loss, in the life of a man. After I recognised this I felt powerless to efface the traces of this influence. For the reader, however, it makes no difference from what material he learns to value and interpret dreams.

Berchtesgaden, Summer of 1908.

Preface to the Third Edition

Whereas a period of nine years elapsed between the first and second editions of this book, the need for a third edition has appeared after little more than a year. I have reason to be pleased with this change; but, just as I have not considered the earlier neglect of my work on the part of the reader as a proof of its unworthiness, I am unable to find in the interest manifested at present a proof of its excellence.

The progress in scientific knowledge has shown its influence on the Interpretation of Dreams. When I wrote it in 1899 the “Sexual Theories” was not yet in existence, and the analysis of complicated forms of psychoneuroses was still in its infancy. The interpretation of dreams was destined to aid in the psychological analysis of the neuroses, but since then the deeper understanding of the neuroses has reacted on our conception of the dream. The study of dream interpretation itself has continued to develop in a direction upon which not enough stress was laid in the first edition of this book. From my own experience, as well as from the works of W. Stekel and others, I have since learned to attach a greater value to the extent and the significance of symbolism in dreams (or rather in the unconscious thinking). Thus much has accumulated in the course of this year which requires consideration. I have endeavoured to do justice to this new material by numerous insertions in the text and by the addition of footnotes. If these supplements occasionally threaten to warp the original discussion, or if, even with their aid, we have been unsuccessful in raising the original text to the niveau of our present views, I must beg indulgence for the gaps in the book, as they are only consequences and indications of the present rapid development of our knowledge. I also venture to foretell in what other directions later editions of the Interpretation of Dreams — in case any should be demanded — will differ from the present one. They will have, on the one hand, to include selections from the rich material of poetry, myth, usage of language, and folklore, and, on the other hand, to treat more profoundly the relations of the dream to the neuroses and to mental diseases.

Mr. Otto Rank has rendered me valuable service in the selection of the addenda and in reading the proof sheets. I am gratefully indebted to him and to many others for their contributions and corrections.

Vienna, Spring of 1911.

Translator’s Preface

Since the appearance of the author’s Selected Papers on Hysteria and other Psychoneuroses, and Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory, much has been said and written about Freud’s works. Some of our readers have made an honest endeavour to test and utilise the author’s theories, but they have been handicapped by their inability to read fluently very difficult German, for only two of Freud’s works have hitherto been accessible to English readers. For them this work will be of invaluable assistance. To be sure, numerous articles on the Freudian psychology have of late made their appearance in our literature; but these scattered papers, read by those unacquainted with the original work, often serve to confuse rather than enlighten. For Freud cannot be mastered from the reading of a few pamphlets, or even one or two of his original works. Let me repeat what I have so often said: No one is really qualified to use or to judge Freud’s psychoanalytic method who has not thoroughly mastered his theory of the neuroses — The Interpretation of Dreams, Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, and Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious, and who has not had considerable experience in analysing the dreams and psychopathological actions of himself and others. That there is required also a thorough training in normal and abnormal psychology goes without saying.

The Interpretation of Dreams is the author’s greatest and most important work; it is here that he develops his psychoanalytic technique, a thorough knowledge of which is absolutely indispensable for every worker in this field. The difficult task of making a translation of this work has, therefore, been undertaken primarily for the purpose of assisting those who are actively engaged in treating patients by Freud’s psychoanalytic method. Considered apart from its practical aim, the book presents much that is of interest to the psychologist and the general reader. For, notwithstanding the fact that dreams have of late years been the subject of investigation at the hands of many competent observers, only few have contributed anything tangible towards their solution; it was Freud who divested the dream of its mystery, and solved its riddles. He not only showed us that the dream is full of meaning, but amply demonstrated that it is intimately connected with normal and abnormal mental life. It is in the treatment of the abnormal mental states that we must recognise the most important value of dream interpretation. The dream does not only reveal to us the cryptic mechanisms of hallucinations, delusions, phobias, obsessions, and other psychopathological conditions, but it is also the most potent instrument in the removal of these.

I take this opportunity of expressing my indebtedness to Professor F. C. Prescott for reading the manuscript and for helping me overcome the almost insurmountable difficulties in the translation.

A. A. Brill.

New York City.

The Scientific Literature on the Problems of the Dream

In the following pages I shall prove that there exists a psychological technique by which dreams may be interpreted, and that upon the application of this method every dream will show itself to be a senseful psychological structure which may be introduced into an assignable place in the psychic activity of the waking state. I shall furthermore endeavour to explain the processes which give rise to the strangeness and obscurity of the dream, and to discover through them the nature of the psychic forces which operate, whether in combination or in opposition, to produce the dream. This accomplished, my investigation will terminate, as it will have reached the point where the problem of the dream meets with broader problems, the solution of which must be attempted through other material.

I must presuppose that the reader is acquainted with the work done by earlier authors as well as with the present status of the dream problem in science, since in the course of this treatise I shall not often have occasion to return to them. For, notwithstanding the effort of several thousand years, little progress has been made in the scientific understanding of dreams. This has been so universally acknowledged by the authors that it seems unnecessary to quote individual opinions. One will find in the writings indexed at the end of this book many stimulating observations and plenty of interesting material for our subject, but little or nothing that concerns the true nature of the dream or that solves definitively any of its enigmas. Still less of course has been transmitted to the knowledge of the educated laity.

The first book in which the dream is treated as an object of psychology seems to be that of Aristotle. Aristotle asserts that the dream is of demoniacal, though not of divine nature, which indeed contains deep meaning, if it be correctly interpreted. He was also acquainted with some of the characteristics of dream life, e.g., he knew that the dream turns slight sensations perceived during sleep into great ones (“one imagines that one walks through fire and feels hot, if this or that part of the body becomes slightly warmed”), which led him to conclude that dreams might easily betray to the physician the first indications of an incipient change in the body passing unnoticed during the day. I have been unable to go more deeply into the Aristotelian treatise, because of insufficient preparation and lack of skilled assistance.

As every one knows, the ancients before Aristotle did not consider the dream a product of the dreaming mind, but a divine inspiration, and in ancient times the two antagonistic streams, which one finds throughout in the estimates of dream life, were already noticeable. They distinguished between true and valuable dreams, sent to the dreamer to warn him or to foretell the future, and vain, fraudulent, and empty dreams, the object of which was to misguide or lead him to destruction. This pre-scientific conception of the dream among the ancients was certainly in perfect keeping with their general view of life, which was wont to project as reality in the outer world that which possessed reality only within the mind. It, moreover, accounted for the main impression made upon the waking life by the memory left from the dream in the morning, for in this memory the dream, as compared with the rest of the psychic content, seems something strange, coming, as it were, from another world. It would likewise be wrong to suppose that the theory of the supernatural origin of dreams lacks followers in our own day; for leaving out of consideration all bigoted and mystical authors — who are perfectly justified in adhering to the remnants of the once extensive realm of the supernatural until they have been swept away by scientific explanation — one meets even sagacious men averse to anything adventurous, who go so far as to base their religious belief in the existence and co-operation of superhuman forces on the inexplicableness of the dream manifestations (Haffner). The validity ascribed to the dream life by some schools of philosophy, e.g. the school of Schelling, is a distinct echo of the undisputed divinity of dreams in antiquity, nor is discussion closed on the subject of the mantic or prophetic power of dreams. This is due to the fact that the attempted psychological explanations are too inadequate to overcome the accumulated material, however strongly all those who devote themselves to a scientific mode of thought may feel that such assertions should be repudiated. To write a history of our scientific knowledge of dream problems is so difficult because, however valuable some parts of this knowledge may have been, no progress in definite directions has been discernible. There has been no construction of a foundation of assured results upon which future investigators could continue to build, but every new author takes up the same problems afresh and from the very beginning. Were I to follow the authors in chronological order, and give a review of the opinions each has held concerning the problems of the dream, I should be prevented from drawing a clear and complete picture of the present state of knowledge on the subject. I have therefore preferred to base the treatment upon themes rather than upon the authors, and I shall cite for each problem of the dream the material found in the literature for its solution.

But as I have not succeeded in mastering the entire literature, which is widely disseminated and interwoven with that on other subjects, I must ask my readers to rest content provided no fundamental fact or important viewpoint be lost in my description.

Until recently most authors have been led to treat the subjects of sleep and dream in the same connection, and with them they have also regularly treated analogous states of psychopathology, and other dreamlike states like hallucinations, visions, &c. In the more recent works, on the other hand, there has been a tendency to keep more closely to the theme, and to take as the subject one single question of the dream life. This change, I believe, is an expression of the conviction that enlightenment and agreement in such obscure matters can only be brought about by a series of detailed investigations. It is such a detailed investigation and one of a special psychological nature, that I would offer here. I have little occasion to study the problem of sleep, as it is essentially a psychological problem, although the change of functional determinations for the mental apparatus must be included in the character of sleep. The literature of sleep will therefore not be considered here.

A scientific interest in the phenomena of dreams as such leads to the following in part interdependent inquiries:

(a) The Relation of the Dream to the Waking State. — The naïve judgment of a person on awakening assumes that the dream — if indeed it does not originate in another world — at any rate has taken the dreamer into another world. The old physiologist, Burdach, to whom we are indebted for a careful and discriminating description of the phenomena of dreams, expressed this conviction in an often-quoted passage, p. 474: “The waking life never repeats itself with its trials and joys, its pleasures and pains, but, on the contrary, the dream aims to relieve us of these. Even when our whole mind is filled with one subject, when profound sorrow has torn our hearts or when a task has claimed the whole power of our mentality, the dream either gives us something entirely strange, or it takes for its combinations only a few elements from reality, or it only enters into the strain of our mood and symbolises reality.”

L. Strümpell expresses himself to the same effect in his Nature and Origin of Dreams, (p. 16), a study which is everywhere justly held in high respect: “He who dreams turns his back upon the world of waking consciousness” (p. 17). “In the dream the memory of the orderly content of the waking consciousness and its normal behaviour is as good as entirely lost” (p. 19). “The almost complete isolation of the mind in the dream from the regular normal content and course of the waking state…”

But the overwhelming majority of the authors have assumed a contrary view of the relation of the dream to waking life. Thus Haffner (p. 19): “First of all the dream is the continuation of the waking state. Our dreams always unite themselves with those ideas which have shortly before been in our consciousness. Careful examination will nearly always find a thread by which the dream has connected itself with the experience of the previous day.” Weygandt (p. 6), flatly contradicts the above cited statement of Burdach: “For it may often be observed, apparently in the great majority of dreams, that they lead us directly back into everyday life, instead of releasing us from it.” Maury (p. 56), says in a concise formula: “Nous rêvons de ce que nous avons vu, dit, desiré ou fait.” Jessen, in his Psychology, published in 1855 (p. 530), is somewhat more explicit: “The content of dreams is more or less determined by the individual personality, by age, sex, station in life, education, habits, and by events and experiences of the whole past life.”

The ancients had the same idea about the dependence of the dream content upon life. I cite Radestock (p. 139): “When Xerxes, before his march against Greece, was dissuaded from this resolution by good counsel, but was again and again incited by dreams to undertake it, one of the old rational dream-interpreters of the Persians, Artabanus, told him very appropriately that dream pictures mostly contain that of which one has been thinking while awake.”

In the didactic poem of Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (IV, v. 959), occurs this passage: —

“Et quo quisque fere studio devinctus adhaeret,
aut quibus in rebus multum sumus ante morati
atque in ea ratione fuit contenta magis mens,
in somnis eadem plerumque videmur obire;
causidici causas agere et componere leges,
induperatores pugnare ac proelia obire,” &c., &c.

Cicero (De Divinatione, II) says quite similarly, as does also Maury much later: —

“Maximeque reliquiae earum rerum moventur in animis et agitantur, de quibus vigilantes aut cogitavimus aut egimus.”

The contradiction expressed in these two views as to the relation between dream life and waking life seems indeed insoluble. It will therefore not be out of place to mention the description of F. W. Hildebrandt (1875), who believes that the peculiarities of the dream can generally be described only by calling them a “series of contrasts which apparently shade off into contradictions” (p. 8). “The first of these contrasts is formed on the one hand by the strict isolation or seclusion of the dream from true and actual life, and on the other hand by the continuous encroachment of the one upon the other, and the constant dependency of one upon the other. The dream is something absolutely separated from the reality experienced during the waking state; one may call it an existence hermetically sealed up and separated from real life by an unsurmountable chasm. It frees us from reality, extinguishes normal recollection of reality, and places us in another world and in a totally different life, which at bottom has nothing in common with reality….” Hildebrandt then asserts that in falling asleep our whole being, with all its forms of existence, disappears “as through an invisible trap door.” In the dream one is perhaps making a voyage to St. Helena in order to offer the imprisoned Napoleon something exquisite in the way of Moselle wine. One is most amicably received by the ex-emperor, and feels almost sorry when the interesting illusion is destroyed on awakening. But let us now compare the situation of the dream with reality. The dreamer has never been a wine merchant, and has no desire to become one. He has never made a sea voyage, and St. Helena is the last place he would take as destination for such a voyage. The dreamer entertains no sympathetic feeling for Napoleon, but on the contrary a strong patriotic hatred. And finally the dreamer was not yet among the living when Napoleon died on the island; so that it was beyond the reach of possibility for him to have had any personal relations with Napoleon. The dream experience thus appears as something strange, inserted between two perfectly harmonising and succeeding periods.

“Nevertheless,” continues Hildebrandt, “the opposite is seemingly just as true and correct. I believe that hand in hand with this seclusion and isolation there can still exist the most intimate relation and connection. We may justly say that no matter what the dream offers, it finds its material in reality and in the psychic life arrayed around this reality. However strange the dream may seem, it can never detach itself from reality, and its most sublime as well as its most farcical structures must always borrow their elementary material either from what we have seen with our eyes in the outer world, or from what has previously found a place somewhere in our waking thoughts; in other words, it must be taken from what we had already experienced either objectively or subjectively.”

(b) The Material of the Dream. — Memory in the Dream. — That all the material composing the content of the dream in some way originates in experience, that it is reproduced in the dream, or recalled, — this at least may be taken as an indisputable truth. Yet it would be wrong to assume that such connection between dream content and reality will be readily disclosed as an obvious product of the instituted comparison. On the contrary, the connection must be carefully sought, and in many cases it succeeds in eluding discovery for a long time. The reason for this is to be found in a number of peculiarities evinced by the memory in dreams, which, though universally known, have hitherto entirely eluded explanation. It will be worth while to investigate exhaustively these characteristics.

It often happens that matter appears in the dream content which one cannot recognise later in the waking state as belonging to one’s knowledge and experience. One remembers well enough having dreamed about the subject in question, but cannot recall the fact or time of the experience. The dreamer is therefore in the dark as to the source from which the dream has been drawing, and is even tempted to believe an independently productive activity on the part of the dream, until, often long afterwards, a new episode brings back to recollection a former experience given up as lost, and thus reveals the source of the dream. One is thus forced to admit that something has been known and remembered in the dream that has been withdrawn from memory during the waking state.

Delbœuf narrates from his own experience an especially impressive example of this kind. He saw in his dream the courtyard of his house covered with snow, and found two little lizards half-frozen and buried in the snow. Being a lover of animals, he picked them up, warmed them, and put them back into a crevice in the wall which was reserved for them. He also gave them some small fern leaves that had been growing on the wall, which he knew they were fond of. In the dream he knew the name of the plant: Asplenium ruta muralis. The dream then continued, returning after a digression to the lizards, and to his astonishment Delbœuf saw two other little animals falling upon what was left of the ferns. On turning his eyes to the open field he saw a fifth and a sixth lizard running into the hole in the wall, and finally the street was covered with a procession of lizards, all wandering in the same direction, &c.

In his waking state Delbœuf knew only a few Latin names of plants, and nothing of the Asplenium. To his great surprise he became convinced that a fern of this name really existed and that the correct name was Asplenium ruta muraria, which the dream had slightly disfigured. An accidental coincidence could hardly be considered, but it remained a mystery for Delbœuf whence he got his knowledge of the name Asplenium in the dream.

The dream occurred in 1862. Sixteen years later, while at the house of one of his friends, the philosopher noticed a small album containing dried plants resembling the albums that are sold as souvenirs to visitors in many parts of Switzerland. A sudden recollection occurred to him; he opened the herbarium, and discovered therein the Asplenium of his dream, and recognised his own handwriting in the accompanying Latin name. The connection could now be traced. While on her wedding trip, a sister of this friend visited Delbœuf in 1860 — two years prior to the lizard dream. She had with her at the time this album, which was intended for her brother, and Delbœuf took the trouble to write, at the dictation of a botanist, under each of the dried plants the Latin name.

The favourable accident which made possible the report of this valuable example also permitted Delbœuf to trace another portion of this dream to its forgotten source. One day in 1877 he came upon an old volume of an illustrated journal, in which he found pictured the whole procession of lizards just as he had dreamed it in 1862. The volume bore the date of 1861, and Delbœuf could recall that he had subscribed to the journal from its first appearance.

That the dream has at its disposal recollections which are inaccessible to the waking state is such a remarkable and theoretically important fact that I should like to urge more attention to it by reporting several other “Hypermnesic Dreams.” Maury relates that for some time the word Mussidan used to occur to his mind during the day. He knew it to be the name of a French city, but nothing else. One night he dreamed of a conversation with a certain person who told him that she came from Mussidan, and, in answer to his question where the city was, she replied: “Mussidan is a principal country town in the Département de La Dordogne.” On waking, Maury put no faith in the information received in his dream; the geographical lexicon, however, showed it to be perfectly correct. In this case the superior knowledge of the dream is confirmed, but the forgotten source of this knowledge has not been traced.

Jessen tells (p. 55) of a quite similar dream occurrence, from more remote times. “Among others we may here mention the dream of the elder Scaliger (Hennings, l.c., p. 300), who wrote a poem in praise of celebrated men of Verona, and to whom a man, named Brugnolus, appeared in a dream, complaining that he had been neglected. Though Scaliger did not recall ever having heard of him, he wrote some verses in his honour, and his son later discovered at Verona that a Brugnolus had formerly been famous there as a critic.

Myers is said to have published a whole collection of such hypermnesic dreams in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, which are unfortunately inaccessible to me. I believe every one who occupies himself with dreams will recognise as a very common phenomenon the fact that the dream gives proof of knowing and recollecting matters unknown to the waking person. In my psychoanalytic investigations of nervous patients, of which I shall speak later, I am every week more than once in position to convince my patients from their dreams that they are well acquainted with quotations, obscene expressions, &c., and that they make use of these in their dreams, although they have forgotten them in the waking state. I shall cite here a simple case of dream hypermnesia because it was easy to trace the source which made the knowledge accessible to the dream.

A patient dreamed in a lengthy connection that he ordered a “Kontuszówka” in a café, and after reporting this inquired what it might mean, as he never heard the name before. I was able to answer that Kontuszówka was a Polish liquor which he could not have invented in his dream, as the name had long been familiar to me in advertisements. The patient would not at first believe me, but some days later, after he had realised his dream of the café, he noticed the name on a signboard at the street corner, which he had been obliged to pass for months at least twice a day.

I have learned from my own dreams how largely the discovery of the origin of some of the dream elements depends on accident. Thus, for years before writing this book, I was haunted by the picture of a very simply formed church tower which I could not recall having seen. I then suddenly recognised it with absolute certainty at a small station between Salzburg and Reichenhall. This was in the later nineties, and I had travelled over the road for the first time in the year 1886. In later years, when I was already busily engaged in the study of dreams, I was quite annoyed at the frequent recurrence of the dream picture of a certain peculiar locality. I saw it in definite local relation to my person — to my left, a dark space from which many grotesque sandstone figures stood out. A glimmer of recollection, which I did not quite credit, told me it was the entrance to a beer-cellar, but I could explain neither the meaning nor the origin of this dream picture. In 1907 I came by chance to Padua, which, to my regret, I had been unable to visit since 1895. My first visit to this beautiful university city was unsatisfactory; I was unable to see Giotto’s frescoes in the church of the Madonna dell’ Arena, and on my way there turned back on being informed that the little church was closed on the day. On my second visit, twelve years later, I thought of compensating myself for this, and before everything else I started out for Madonna dell’ Arena. On the street leading to it, on my left, probably at the place where I had turned in 1895, I discovered the locality which I had so often seen in the dream, with its sandstone figures. It was in fact the entrance to a restaurant garden.

One of the sources from which the dream draws material for reproduction — material which in part is not recalled or employed in waking thought — is to be found in childhood. I shall merely cite some of the authors who have observed and emphasized this.

Hildebrandt (p. 23): “It has already been expressly admitted that the dream sometimes brings back to the mind with wonderful reproductive ability remote and even forgotten experiences from the earliest periods.”

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