am 21. Januar 2000
This book changed my life in a profound way. Freud taught me that everything is connected. He used dreams to illustrate this. During the few weeks I was reading this book, I began looking at everything around me as possibly symbolic and/or connected. It is amazing what is available when you are receptive to this information. Freud can teach you to see the meaning in your dreams, but these lessons apply to all of life.
Freud also has such a disarming way of writing that I felt as if I knew the man as a friend once I was done reading.
am 9. Juni 2000
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].
Schizophrenics are hard to understand because much of their thinking is dominated by displacement and condensation while they are awake. Their speech has numerous layers of symbols - condensation.
In displacement, there is a manifest meaning [that which appears evident] and a latent meaning [that which one has to dig for by piercing the condensation of the displacements.
Any thinker, who chooses to simply understand, should avoid preconceptions or anger or a need to disdain or to repress. He or she should merely use the dynamics of dreaming to unravel his or her own dreams and daydreams [which can be analyzed with the same dynamics, except it is much easier because condensation is not as severe].
Freud was originally sceptical of his own insights and, as a result, he sat on this work for about a year, being reluctant to believe himself. He finally realized he was being defensive, that he was trying to repress disturbing truths about himself that were also true of us as a species.
In analysis, the analyst doesn't speak much because the best person in a position to understand himself is the patient . . . just as the best person in a position to understand his/her dream is the dreamer. Further, an analyst doesn't talk because he wants the patient to speak until he/she finally understands him/herself. That takes time.
It takes time for a person to crack the layers of condensation in his/her own thinking and to see all of the displacements.
After 100 years, Freud's book remains one of the great gifts anyone ever gave men and women to understand themselves.
am 24. Januar 1998
No philosopher has had such a profound influence on all subsequent thought as Sigmund Freud. His theories, particularly those of this volume, have become such an integral part of daily discourse that most people fail to even realize how much they buy into the psychobabble. However, Freud must be viewed as a philosopher, not as the scientist he believed he was. His conclusions are either backed by superficial research or, more commonly, no research at all, and this book's most famous theory, that of the Oediple Complex, is argued (poorly) through literary examples, not scientific ones. The fact is that Freud is simply following a long-standing METAPHYSICAL tradition of dream interpretation which goes all the way back to Ancient Greece and Biblical tribes. All he does is invent his own gods to send the messages. The underlying motives for the book are quite obvious, though often overlooked--this paranoid cocaine addict wished to deal with his own psychoses by projecting them onto everyone else. We laugh at comedians when they tell of common acts of stupidity, mainly because we are relieved that we're not the only ones who do such things. Similarly, Freud, who fell in love with his mother when he saw her naked at age 2, concluded that everyone must want to sleep with their mother, because to do otherwise would be to admit that he was mad, which indeed he was. This is not to say that the book should not be read, only that it should be read because of its influence, and not because its ideas have any validity whatsoever.
am 25. November 1997
I am not as smart as today's psychologists who say the validity of The Interpretation of Dream is perished. And I have not read other Frued's book yet, beside this. Furthermore, I can not say that I can completely understand what this book says. But I wonder why there is only one person writen a command about this book. And it was three years ago and I feel it is my responsibility to write one. There is a very common saying that the three most influential persons in the 20th century are: Karl Marx, for his book stirred up the world-wide communist revolution; Albert Einstein, for his General and Specific Theory of Relativity and his contribution to the nuclear weapon program of U.S., which changes the nature of war, good or bad; Sigmund Freud, for his theory attempted to reveal the true nature of human beings and denounce the absurdity in religion.
The book is the ealiest publication of Freud. He suggested many revoluntionary theories, and the later theories he developed were fundamented on that . One of the most significant book of Freud, I can say.
It deals with very normal but very difficult question: what is mind? Do we have completely control of our actions? Do we really know ourself? Then, it touches a philosophy problem: if we can't even control our actions, are we still responsible for every crime we commit? Is capital punishment correct? And then, if nobody actually has free-will, does what the heck is God doing on us? Does God exist? And it questions every piece of moral value of ours.
As a philosophy student, I want to tell everybody that this book is as important as reading Bible if you have any certain desire of knowing what life is, and you are trying to figure out the true meaning of life, just like me, then you must read the book. Even though you disagree every single part of your dream might be concerned with sex, egoism, or violence, just don't afraid to read it if you are pretty determined that you are clean from that.
Frued's Interpretation of Dreams is a logical explaination based on the symptoms on thousands of his cases. That is why the trueth-value is being doubted because it is still a pure hyponosis and you can't do any experiments to prove it; the scientist still can't understand the electrical function of our brains yet, and they don't know what experiment could they do to prove or disprove this theory. However, if you read this book, you probably would become one of the firm supporter of this book.
The first phenomenon I have after reading this book is to extract dreams from any friends I meet. I try interpretate their dreams as possible as I could, and I could always amazed them by telling them what are troubled them. And recently, they start to worship me as if I am a god.
Again, reading the book is a of the musts toward understanding the all aspects of life. Don't be like dull Christian or what. Have an open mind and read the book. So tomorrow, go and check the close libraries! Or order one from Amazon.com if you are too crazy to go out like me. Don't be a don't-know-anything idiot anymore.
am 20. Februar 2000
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.
am 8. März 1999
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.
am 17. Juli 2000
It's hip to disparage Freud, despite the circumspectness of his arguments. But for readers of FINNEGANS WAKE, Joyce's long and winding road WILL lead them to this door, - wordplay and repetitive number significance are touched upon. Freud suggests crucial ideas for a "universal grammar" of dream-consciousness, (consult Noam Chomsky, or Leonard Bernstein's "The Unanswered Question" videos).
1. "I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN, ..."
Remember Molly Bloom's "Yes, yes, yes..." dialogue at the conclusion of ULYSSES, before dozing off? There ain't no "no" in Mr. Sandman's lexicon. Instead, negation is expressed by ideas stood on their heads or made insensible, (compare with Joseph Campbell's appraisal of Picasso's handling of mythic imagery).
2. "YOU WERE PUMPING IRON WHILE I WAS PUMPING IRONY"
A vague idea may be signifying its direct opposite. Freud compares this to primitive proto-language etymology, where either extreme is expressed by one and the same word. (I have known people like this!)
3. "I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE"
Condensation of ideas and personalities occurs to shortcircuit "inner censoring" and "prefrontal control"... For example, not-dreamed-about Ms. A is indirectly indicated by investing dreamed-about Mr. B with details reminiscent of Ms. A. Ostensibly about Mr. B, the dream in fact revolves around Ms. A. Googols of cross-references ad infinitum, while round and down she goes...
Joyceans- just say YES. To all others, an OK+ that will put you to sleep. And if it puts you to sleep...
am 9. März 1999
Though we all know Freud was sometimes wrong, his ideas and interpretations of dreams are revolutionary. Though it is very long and thorough it is almost never plodding. Those who wish to try a shorter version of the same volume should purchase Freud's "On Dreams." But the pioneering work in question here is a must for those interested in Freud or dreams.
am 14. November 1998
I am somewhat amazed that people give so much credit to Freud and trust him for curing them when Freud himself was not a happy or even a particularly sane individual. His interpretation of dreams is extremely rational and hopeless. If you are really interested in dreams then you should read Carl Gustav Jung.
am 13. Oktober 1998
This is the most important book published in the last century; further, it is fascinating and brilliantly written. Emotionally unstable readers should avoid it, however; their need to deny their own problems often leads them to attack the messenger: read through the other reviews to see what I mean.