Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams, Chapter 5B
B -- INFANTILE EXPERIENCES AS THE SOURCE OF DREAMS
As the third of the peculiarities of the dream-content, we have adduced the fact, in agreement with all other writers on the subject (excepting Robert), that impressions from our childhood may appear in dreams, which do not seem to be at the disposal of the waking memory. It is, of course, difficult to decide how seldom or how frequently this occurs, because after waking the origin of the respective elements of the dream is not recognised. The proof that we are dealing with impressions of our childhood must thus be adduced objectively, and only in rare instances do the conditions favour such proof. The story is told by A. Maury, as being particularly conclusive, of a man who decides to visit his birthplace after an absence of twenty years. On the night before his departure he dreams that he is in a totally unfamiliar locality, and that he there meets a strange man with whom he holds a conversation. Subsequently, upon his return home, he is able to convince himself that this strange locality really exists in the vicinity of his home, and the strange man in the dream turns out to be a friend of his dead father's, who is living in the town. This is, of course, a conclusive proof that in his childhood he had seen both the man and the locality. The dream, moreover, is to be interpreted as a dream of impatience, like the dream of the girl who carries in her pocket her ticket for a concert, the dream of the child whose father had promised him an excursion to the Hameau (p. 40), and so forth. The motives which reproduce just these impressions of childhood for the dreamer cannot, of course, be discovered without analysis.
One of my colleagues, who attended my lectures, and who boasted that his dreams were very rarely subject to distortion, told me that he had sometime previously seen, in a dream, his former tutor in bed with his nurse, who had remained in the household until his eleventh year. The actual location of this scene was realised even in the dream. As he was greatly interested, he related the dream to his elder brother, who laughingly confirmed its reality. The brother said that he remembered the affair very distinctly, for he was six years old at the time. The lovers were in the habit of making him, the elder boy, drunk with beer whenever circumstances were favourable to their nocturnal intercourse. The younger child, our dreamer, at that time three years of age, slept in the same room as the nurse, but was not regarded as an obstacle.
In yet another case it may be definitely established, without the aid of dream-interpretation, that the dream contains elements from childhood -- namely, if the dream is a so-called perennial dream, one which, being first dreamt in childhood, recurs again and again in adult years. I may add a few examples of this sort to those already known, although I have no personal knowledge of perennial dreams. A physician, in his thirties, tells me that a yellow lion, concerning which he is able to give the precisest information, has often appeared in his dream-life, from his earliest childhood up to the present day. This lion, known to him from his dreams, was one day discovered in natura, as a long-forgotten china animal. The young man then learned from his mother that the lion had been his favourite toy in early childhood, a fact which he himself could no longer remember.
If we now turn from the manifest dream-content to the dream-thoughts which are revealed only on analysis, the experiences of childhood may be found to recur even in dreams whose content would not have led us to suspect anything of the sort. I owe a particularly delightful and instructive example of such a dream to my esteemed colleague of the 'yellow lion'. After reading Nansen's account of his polar expedition, he dreamt that he was giving the intrepid explorer electrical treatment on an ice-floe for the sciatica of which the latter complained! During the analysis of this dream he remembered an incident of his childhood, without which the dream would be wholly unintelligible. When he was three or four years of age he was one day listening attentively to the conversation of his elders; they were talking of exploration, and he presently asked his father whether exploration was a bad illness. He had apparently confounded Reissen (journey, trips) with Reissen (gripes, tearing pains), and the derision of his brothers and sisters prevented his ever forgetting the humiliating experience.
We have a precisely similar case when, in the analysis of the dream of the monograph on the genus cyclamen, I stumble upon a memory, retained from childhood, to the effect that when I was five years old my father allowed me to destroy a book embellished with coloured plates. It will perhaps be doubted whether this recollection really entered into the composition of the dream-content, and it may be suggested that the connection was established subsequently by the analysis. But the abundance and intricacy of the associative connections vouch for the truth of my explanation: cyclamen-favourite flower-favourite dish-artichoke; to pick to pieces like an artichoke, leaf by leaf (a phrase which at that time one heard daily, àa propos of the dividing up of the Chinese empire); herbarium-bookworm, whose favourite food is books. I can further assure the reader that the ultimate meaning of the dream, which I have not given here, is most intimately connected with the content of the scene of childish destruction.
In another series of dreams we learn from analysis that the very wish which has given rise to the dream, and whose fulfilment the dream proves to be, has itself originated in childhood, so that one is astonished to find that the child with all his impulses survives in the dream.
I shall now continue the interpretation of a dream which has already proved instructive: I refer to the dream in which my friend R. is my uncle. We have carried its interpretation far enough for the wish-motive -- the wish to be appointed professor -- to assert itself palpably; and we have explained the affection felt for my friend R. in the dream as the outcome of opposition to, and defiance of, the two colleagues who appear in the dream-thoughts. The dream was my own; I may, therefore, continue the analysis by stating that I did not feel quite satisfied with the solution arrived at. I knew that my opinion of these colleagues, who were so badly treated in my dream-thoughts, would have been expressed in very different language in my waking life; the intensity of the wish that I might not share their fate as regards the appointment seemed to me too slight fully to account for the discrepancy between my dream-opinion and my waking opinion. If the desire to be addressed by another title were really so intense it would be proof of a morbid ambition, which I do not think I cherish, and which I believe I was far from entertaining. I do not know how others who think they know me would judge me; perhaps I really was ambitious; but if I was, my ambition has long since been transferred to objects other than the rank and title of Professor extraordinarius.
Whence, then, the ambition which the dream has ascribed to me? Here I am reminded of a story which I heard often in my childhood, that at my birth an old peasant woman had prophesied to my happy mother (whose first-born I was) that she had brought a great man into the world. Such prophecies must be made very frequently; there are so many happy and expectant mothers, and so many old peasant women, and other old women who, since their mundane powers have deserted them, turn their eyes toward the future; and the prophetess is not likely to suffer for her prophecies. Is it possible that my thirst for greatness has originated from this source? But here I recollect an impression from the later years of my childhood, which might serve even better as an explanation. One evening, at a restaurant on the Prater, where my parents were accustomed to take me when I was eleven or twelve years of age, we noticed a man who was going from table to table and, for a small sum, improvising verses upon any subject that was given him. I was sent to bring the poet to our table, and he showed his gratitude. Before asking for a subject he threw off a few rhymes about myself, and told us that if he could trust his inspiration I should probably one day become a 'minister'. I can still distinctly remember the impression produced by this second prophecy. It was in the days of the 'bourgeois Ministry' my father had recently brought home the portraits of the bourgeois university graduates, Herbst, Giskra, Unger, Berger and others, and we illuminated the house in their honour. There were even Jews among them; so that every diligent Jewish schoolboy carried a ministerial portfolio in his satchel. The impression of that time must be responsible for the fact that until shortly before I went to the university I wanted to study jurisprudence, and changed my mind only at the last moment. A medical man has no chance of becoming a minister. And now for my dream: It is only now that I begin to see that it translates me from the sombre present to the hopeful days of the bourgeois Ministry, and completely fulfils what was then my youthful ambition. In treating my two estimable and learned colleagues, merely because they are Jews, so badly, one as though he were a simpleton, and the other as though he were a criminal, I am acting as though I were the Minister; I have put myself in his place. What a revenge I take upon his Excellency! He refuses to appoint me Professor extraordinarius, and so in my dream I put myself in his place.
In another case I note the fact that although the wish that excites the dream is a contemporary wish it is nevertheless greatly reinforced by memories of childhood. I refer to a series of dreams which are based on the longing to go to Rome. For a long time to come I shall probably have to satisfy this longing by means of dreams, since at the season of the year when I should be able to travel Rome is to be avoided for reasons of health. Thus I once dreamt that I saw the Tiber and the bridge of Sant' Angelo from the window of a railway carriage; presently the train started, and I realised that I had never entered the city at all. The view that appeared in the dream was modelled after a well-known engraving which I had casually noticed the day before in the drawing-room of one of my patients. In another dream someone took me up a hill and showed me Rome half shrouded in mist, and so distant that I was astonished at the distinctness of the view. The content of this dream is too rich to be fully reported here. The motive, 'to see the promised land afar', is here easily recognisable. The city which I thus saw in the midst is Lübeck; the original of the hill is the Gleichenberg. In a third dream I am at last in Rome. To my disappointment the scenery is anything but urban: it consists of a little stream of black water, on one side of which are black rocks, while on the other are meadows with large white flowers. I notice a certain Herr Zucker (with whom I am superficially acquainted), and resolve to ask him to show me the way into the city. It is obvious that I am trying in vain to see in my dream a city which I have never seen in my waking life. If I resolve the landscape into its elements, the white flowers point to Ravenna, which is known to me, and which once, for a time, replaced Rome as the capital of Italy. In the marshes around Ravenna we had found the most beautiful water-lilies in the midst of black pools of water; the dream makes them grow in the meadows, like the narcissi of our own Aussee, because we found it so troublesome to cull them from the water. The black rock so close to the water vividly recalls the valley of the Tepl at Karlsbad. 'Karlsbad' now enables me to account for the peculiar circumstance that I ask Herr Zucker to show me the way. In the material of which the dream is woven I am able to recognise two of those amusing Jewish anecdotes which conceal such profound and, at times, such bitter worldly wisdom, and which we are so fond of quoting in our letters and conversation. One is the story of the 'constitution'; it tells how a poor Jew sneaks onto the Karlsbad express without a ticket; how he is detected, and is treated more and more harshly by the conductor at each succeeding call for tickets; and how, when a friend whom he meets at one of the stations during his miserable journey asks him where he is going, he answers: 'To Karlsbad -- if my constitution holds out.' Associated in memory with this is another story about a Jew who is ignorant of French, and who has express instructions to ask in Paris for the Rue Richelieu. Paris was for many years the goal of my own longing, and I regarded the satisfaction with which I first set foot on the pavements of Paris as a warrant that I should attain to the fulfilment of other wishes also. Moreover, asking the way is a direct allusion to Rome, for, as we know, 'all roads lead to Rome'. And further, the name Zucker (sugar) again points to Karlsbad, whither we send persons afflicted with the constitutional disease, diabetes (Zuckerkrankheit, sugar-disease). The occasion for this dream was the proposal of my Berlin friend that we should meet in Prague at Easter. A further association with sugar and diabetes might be found in the matters which I had to discuss with him.
A fourth dream, occurring shortly after the last-mentioned, brings me back to Rome. I see a street corner before me, and am astonished that so many German placards should be posted there. On the previous day, when writing to my friend, I had told him, with truly prophetic vision, that Prague would probably not be a comfortable place for German travellers. The dream, therefore, expressed simultaneously the wish to meet him in Rome instead of in the Bohemian capital, and the desire, which probably originated during my student days, that the German language might be accorded more tolerance in Prague. As a matter of fact, I must have understood the Czech language in the first years of my childhood, for I was born in a small village in Moravia, amidst a Slav population. A Czech nursery rhyme, which I heard in my seventeenth year, became, without effort on my part, so imprinted upon my memory that I can repeat it to this day, although I have no idea of its meaning. Thus in these dreams also there is no lack of manifold relations to the impressions of my early childhood.
During my last Italian journey, which took me past Lake Trasimenus, I at length discovered, after I had seen the Tiber, and had reluctantly turned back some fifty miles from Rome, what a reinforcement my longing for the Eternal City had received from the impressions of my childhood. I had just conceived a plan of travelling to Naples via Rome the following year when this sentence, which I must have read in one of our German classics, occurred to me: 'It is a question which of the two paced to and fro in his room the more impatiently after he had conceived the plan of going to Rome -- Assistant Headmaster Winckelmann or the great General Hannibal.' I myself had walked in Hannibal's footsteps; like him I was destined never to see Rome, and he too had gone to Campania when all were expecting him in Rome. Hannibal, with whom I had achieved this point of similarity, had been my favourite hero during my years at the 'gymnasium'; like so many boys of my age, I bestowed my sympathies in the Punic war not on the Romans, but on the Carthaginians. Moreover, when I finally came to realise the consequences of belonging to an alien race, and was forced by the anti-Semitic feeling among my classmates to take a definite stand, the figure of the Semitic commander assumed still greater proportions in my imagination. Hannibal and Rome symbolised, in my youthful eyes, the struggle between the tenacity of the Jews and the organisation of the Catholic Church. The significance for our emotional life which the anti-Semitic movement has since assumed helped to fix the thoughts and impressions of those earlier days. Thus the desire to go to Rome has in my dream-life become the mask and symbol for a number of warmly cherished wises, for whose realisation one had to work with the tenacity and single-mindedness of the Punic general, though their fulfilment at times seemed as remote as Hannibal's lifelong wish to enter Rome.
And now, for the first time, I happened upon the youthful experience which even today still expresses its power in all these emotions and dreams. I might have been ten or twelve years old when my father began to take me with him on his walks, and in his conversation to reveal his views on the things of this world. Thus it was that he once told me the following incident, in order to show me that I had been born into happier times than he: 'When I was a young man, I was walking one Saturday along the street in the village where you were born; I was well-dressed, with a new fur cap on my head. Up comes a Christian, who knocks my cap into the mud, and shouts, ''Jew, get off the pavement!'' ' -- 'And what did you do?' -- 'I went into the street and picked up the cap,' he calmly replied. That did not seem heroic on the part of the big, strong man who was leading me, a little fellow, by the hand. I contrasted this situation, which did not please me, with another, more in harmony with my sentiments -- the scene in which Hannibal's father, Hamilcar Barcas, made his son swear before the household altar to take vengeance on the Romans. Ever since then Hannibal has had a place in my fantasies.
I think I can trace my enthusiasm for the Carthaginian general still further back into my childhood, so that it is probably only an instance of an already established emotional relation being transferred to a new vehicle. One of the first books which fell into my childish hands after I learned to read was Thiers' Consulate and Empire. I remember that I pasted on the flat backs of my wooden soldiers little labels bearing the names of the Imperial marshals, and that at that time Masséna (as a Jew, Menasse) was already my avowed favourite. This preference is doubtless also to be explained by the fact of my having been born a hundred years later, on the same date. Napoleon himself is associated with Hannibal through the crossing of the Alps. And perhaps the development of this martial ideal may be traced yet farther back, to the first three years of my childhood, to wishes which my alternately friendly and hostile relations with a boy a year older than myself must have evoked in the weaker of the two playmates.
The deeper we go into the analysis of dreams, the more often are we put on to the track of childish experiences which play the part of dream-sources in the latent dream-content.
We have learned that dreams very rarely reproduce memories in such a manner as to constitute, unchanged and unabridged, the sole manifest dream-content. Nevertheless, a few authentic examples which show such reproduction have been recorded, and I can add a few new ones, which once more refer to scenes of childhood. In the case of one of my patients a dream once gave a barely distorted reproduction of a sexual incident, which was immediately recognised as an accurate recollection. The memory of it had never been completely lost in the waking life, but it had been greatly obscured, and it was revivified by the previous work of analysis. The dreamer had at the age of twelve visited a bedridden schoolmate, who had exposed himself, probably only by a chance movement in bed. At the sight of the boy's genitals he was seized by a kind of compulsion, exposed himself, and took hold of the member of the other boy who, however, looked at him in surprise and indignation, whereupon he became embarrassed and let it go. A dream repeated this scene twenty-three years later, with all the details of the accompanying emotions, changing it, however, in this respect, that the dreamer played the passive instead of the active role, while the person of the schoolmate was replaced by a contemporary.
As a rule, of course, a scene from childhood is represented in the manifest dream-content only by an illusion, and must be disentangled from the dream by interpretation. The citation of examples of this kind cannot be very convincing, because any guarantee that they are really experiences of childhood is lacking; if they belong to an earlier period of life, they are no longer recognised by our memory. The conclusion that such childish experiences recur at all in dreams is justified in psychoanalytic work by a great number of factors, which in their combined results appear to be sufficiently reliable. But when, for the purposes of dream-interpretation, such references to childish experiences are torn out of their context, they may not perhaps seem very impressive, especially where I do not even give all the material upon which the interpretation is based. However, I shall not let this deter me from giving a few examples.
With one of my female patients all dreams have the character of 'hurry'; she is hurrying so as to be in time, so as not to miss her train, and so on. In one dream she has to visit a girl friend; her mother had told her to ride and not walk; she runs, however, and keeps on calling. The material that emerged in the analysis allowed one to recognise a memory of childish romping, and, especially for one dream, went back to the popular childish game of rapidly repeating the words of a sentence as though it was all one word. All these harmless jokes with little friends were remembered because they replaced other less harmless ones.
The following dream was dreamed by another female patient: She is in a large room in which there are all sorts of machines; it is rather like what she would imagine an orthopaedic institute to be. She hears that I am pressed for time, and that she must undergo treatment along with five others. But she resists, and is unwilling to lie down on the bed -- or whatever it is -- which is intended for her. She stands in a corner, and waits for me to say 'It is not true.' The others, meanwhile, laugh at her, saying it is all foolishness on her part. At the same time, it is as though she were called upon to make a number of little squares.
The first part of the content of this dream is an allusion to the treatment and to the transference to myself. The second contains an allusion to a scene of childhood; the two portions are connected by the mention of the bed. The orthopaedic institute is an allusion to one of my talks, in which I compared the treatment, with regard to its duration and its nature, to an orthopaedic treatment. At the beginning of the treatment I had to tell her that for the present I had little time to give her, but that later on I would devote a whole hour to her daily. This aroused in her the old sensitiveness, which is a leading characteristic of children who are destined to become hysterical. Their desire for love is insatiable. My patient was the youngest of six brothers and sisters (hence, with five others), and as such her father's favourite, but in spite of this she seems to have felt that her beloved father devoted far too little time and attention to her. Her waiting for me to say 'It is not true' was derived as follows: A little tailor's apprentice had brought her a dress, and she had given him the money for it. Then she asked her husband whether she would have to pay the money again if the boy were to lose it. To tease her, her husband answered 'Yes' (the teasing in the dream), and she asked again and again, and waited for him to say 'It is not true.' The thought of the latent dream-content may now be construed as follows: Will she have to pay me double the amount when I devote twice as much time to her? -- a thought which is stingy or filthy (the uncleanliness of childhood is often replaced in dreams by greed for money; the word 'filthy' here supplies the bridge). If all the passage referring to her waiting until I say 'It is not true' is intended in the dream as a circumlocution for the word 'dirty', the standing-in-the-corner and not lying-down-on-the-bed are in keeping with this world, as component parts of a scene of her childhood in which she had soiled her bed, in punishment for which she was put into the corner, with a warning that papa would not love her any more, whereupon her brothers and sisters laughed at her, etc. The little squares refer to her young niece, who showed her the arithmetical trick of writing figures in nine squares (I think) in such a way that on being added together in any direction they make fifteen.
Here is a man's dream: He sees two boys tussling with each other; they are cooper's boys, as he concludes from the tools which are lying about; one of the boys has thrown the other down; the prostrate boy is wearing earrings with blue stones. He runs towards the assailant with lifted cane, in order to chastise him. The boy takes refuge behind a woman, as though she were his mother, who is standing against a wooden fence. She is the wife of a day-labourer, and she turns her back to the man who is dreaming. Finally she turns about and stares at him with a horrible look, so that he runs away in terror; the red flesh of the lower lid seems to stand out from her eyes.
This dream has made abundant use of trivial occurrences from the previous day, in the course of which he actually saw two boys in the street, one of whom threw the other down. When he walked up to them in order to settle the quarrel, both of them took to their heels. Cooper's boys -- this is explained only by a subsequent dream, in the analysis of which he used the proverbial expression: 'To knock the bottom out of the barrel.' Ear-rings with blue stones, according to his observation, are worn chiefly by prostitutes. This suggests a familiar doggerel rhyme about two boys: 'The other boy was called Marie': that is, he was a girl. The woman standing by the fence: after the scene with the two boys he went for a walk along the bank of the Danube and, taking advantage of being alone, urinated against a wooden fence. A little farther on a respectably dressed, elderly lady smiled at him very pleasantly, and wanted to hand him her card with her address.
Since, in the dream, the woman stood as he had stood while urinating, there is an allusion to a woman urinating, and this explains the 'horrible look' and the prominence of the red flesh, which can only refer to the genitals gaping in a squatting posture; seen in childhood, they had appeared in later recollection as 'proud flesh', as a 'wound'. The dream unites two occasions upon which, as a little boy, the dreamer was enabled to see the genitals of little girls, once by throwing the little girl down, and once while the child was urinating; and, as is shown by another association, he had retained in his memory the punishment administered or threatened by his father on account of these manifestations of sexual curiosity.
A great mass of childish memories, which have been hastily combined into a fantasy, may be found behind the following dream of an elderly lady: She goes out in a hurry to do some shopping. On the Graben she sinks to her knees as though she had broken down. A number of people collect around her, especially cab-drivers, but no one helps her to get up. She makes many vain attempts; finally she must have succeeded, for she is put into a cab which is to take her home. A large, heavily laden basket (something like a market-basket) is thrown after her through the window.
This is the woman who is always harassed in her dreams, just as she used to be harassed when a child. The first situation of the dream is apparently taken from the sight of a fallen horse, just as 'broken down' points to horse-racing. In her youth she was a rider; still earlier she was probably also a horse. With the idea of falling down is connected her first childish reminiscence of the seventeen-year-old son of the hall porter, who had an epileptic seizure in the street and was brought home in a cab. Of this, of course, she had only heard, but the idea of epileptic fits, of falling down, acquired a great influence over her fantasies, and later on influenced the form of her own hysterical attacks. When a person of the female sex dreams of falling, this almost always has a sexual significance; she becomes a 'fallen woman', and, for the purpose of the dream under consideration, this interpretation is probably the least doubtful, for she falls in the Graben, the street in Vienna which is known as the concourse of prostitutes. The market-basket admits of more than one interpretation; in the sense of refusal (German, Korb = basket = snub, refusal) it reminds her of the many snubs which she at first administered to her suitors and which, she thinks, she herself received later. This agrees with the detail: no one will help her up, which she herself interprets as 'being disdained'. Further, the market-basket recalls fantasies which have already appeared in the course of analysis, in which she imagines that she has married far beneath her station and now goes to the market as a market-woman. Lastly, the market-basket might be interpreted as the mark of a servant. This suggests further memories of her childhood -- of a cook who was discharged because she stole; she, too, sank to her knees and begged for mercy. The dreamer was at that time twelve years of age. Then emerges a recollection of a chambermaid, who was dismissed because she had an affair with the coachman of the household, who, incidentally, married her afterwards. This recollection, therefore, gives us a clue to the cab-drivers in the dream (who, in opposition to the reality, do not stand by the fallen woman). But there still remains to be explained the throwing of the basket; in particular, why is it thrown through the window? This reminds her of the forwarding of luggage by rail, to the custom of Fensterln in the country, and to trivial impressions of a summer resort, of a gentleman who threw some blue plums into the window of a lady's room, and of her little sister, who was frightened because an idiot who was passing looked in at the window. And now, from behind all this emerges an obscure recollection from her tenth year of a nurse in the country to whom one of the menservants made love (and whose conduct the child may have noticed), and who was 'sent packing', 'thrown out', together with her lover (in the dream we have the expression 'thrown into'); an incident which we have been approaching by several other paths. The luggage or box of a servant is disparagingly described in Vienna as 'seven plums'. 'Pack up your seven plums and get out!'
My collection, of course, contains a plethora of such patients' dreams, the analysis of which leads back to impressions of childhood, often dating back to the first three years of life, which are remembered obscurely, or not at all. But it is a questionable proceeding to draw conclusions from these and apply them to dreams in general, for they are mostly dreams of neurotic, and especially hysterical, persons; and the part played in these dreams by childish scenes might be conditioned by the nature of the neurosis, and not by the nature of dreams in general. In the interpretation of my own dreams, however, which is assuredly not undertaken on account of grave symptoms of illness, it happens just as frequently that in the latent dream-content I am unexpectedly confronted with a scene of my childhood, and that a whole series of my dreams will suddenly converge upon the paths proceeding from a single childish experience. I have already given examples of this, and I shall give yet more in different connections. Perhaps I cannot close this chapter more fittingly than by citing several dreams of my own, in which recent events and long-forgotten experiences of my childhood appear together as dream-sources.
I. After I have been travelling, and have gone to bed hungry and tired, the prime necessities of life begin to assert their claims in sleep, and I dream as follows: I go into a kitchen in order to ask for some pudding. There three women are standing, one of whom is the hostess; she is rolling something in her hands, as though she were making dumplings. She replies that I must wait until she has finished (not distinctly as a speech). I become impatient, and go away affronted. I want to put on an overcoat; but the first I try on is too long. I take it off, and am somewhat astonished to find that it is trimmed with fur. A second coat has a long strip of cloth with a Turkish design sewn into it. A stranger with a long face and a short, pointed beard comes up and prevents me from putting it on, declaring that it belongs to him. I now show him that it is covered all over with Turkish embroideries. He asks: 'How do the Turkish (drawings, strips of cloth . . .) concern you?' But we soon become quite friendly.
In the analysis of this dream I remember, quite unexpectedly, the first novel which I ever read, or rather, which I began to read from the end of the first volume, when I was perhaps thirteen years of age. I have never learned the name of the novel, or that of its author, but the end remains vividly in my memory. The hero becomes insane, and continually calls out the names of the three women who have brought the greatest happiness and the greatest misfortune into his life. Pélagie is one of these names. I still do not know what to make of this recollection during the analysis. Together with the three women there now emerge the three Parcae, who spin the fates of men, and I know that one of the three women, the hostess in the dream, is the mother who gives life and who, moreover, as in my own case, gives the child its first nourishment. Love and hunger meet at the mother's breast. A young man -- so runs an anecdote -- who became a great admirer of womanly beauty, once observed, when the conversation turned upon the handsome wet-nurse who had suckled him as a child, that he was sorry that he had not taken better advantage of his opportunities. I am in the habit of using the anecdote to elucidate the factor of retrospective tendencies in the mechanism of the psychoneuroses. -- One of the Parcae, then, is rubbing the palms of her hands together, as though she were making dumplings. A strange occupation for one of the Fates, and urgently in need of explanation! This explanation is furnished by another and earlier memory of my childhood. When I was six years old, and receiving my first lessons from my mother, I was expected to believe that we are made of dust, and must, therefore, return to dust. But this did not please me, and I questioned the doctrine. Thereupon my mother rubbed the palms of her hands together -- just as in making dumplings, except that there was no dough between them -- and showed me the blackish scales of epidermis which were thus rubbed off, as a proof that it is of dust that we are made. Great was my astonishment at this demonstration ad oculos, and I acquiesced in the idea which I was later to hear expressed in the words: 'Thou owest nature a death.' Thus the women to whom I go in the kitchen, as I so often did in my childhood when I was hungry and my mother, sitting by the fire, admonished me to wait until lunch was ready, are really the Parcae. And now for the dumplings! At least one of my teachers at the University -- the very one to whom I am indebted for my histological knowledge (epidermis) -- would be reminded by the name Knödl (Knödl means dumpling), of a person whom he had to prosecute for plagiarising his writings. Committing a plagiarism, taking anything one can lay hands on, even though it belongs to another, obviously leads to the second part of the dream, in which I am treated like the overcoat thief who for some time plied his trade in the lecture-halls. I have written the word plagiarism -- without definite intention -- because it occurred to me, and now I see that it must belong to the latent dream-content and that it will serve as a bridge between the different parts of the manifest dream-content. The chain of associations -- Pélagie--plagiarism--plagiostomi (sharks)--fish-bladder -- connects the old novel with the affair of Knödl and the overcoats (German: Überzieher = pullover, overcoat or condom), which obviously refer to an appliance appertaining to the technique of sex. This, it is true, is a very forced and irrational connection, but it is nevertheless one which I could not have established in waking life if it had not already been established by the dream-work. Indeed, as though nothing were sacred to this impulse to enforce associations, the beloved name, Brücke (bridge of words, see above), now serves to remind me of the very institute in which I spent my happiest hours as a student, wanting for nothing. 'So will you at the breasts of Wisdom every day more pleasure find'), in the most complete contrast to the desires which plague me (German: plagen) while I dream. And finally, there emerges the recollection of another dear teacher, whose name once more sounds like something edible (Fleischl -- Fleisch = meat -- like Knödl = dumplings), and of a pathetic scene in which the scales of epidermis play a part (mother--hostess), and mental derangement (the novel), and a remedy from the Latin pharmacopeia (Küche = kitchen) which numbs the sensation of hunger, namely, cocaine.
In this manner I could follow the intricate trains of thought still farther, and could fully elucidate that part of the dream which is lacking in the analysis; but I must refrain, because the personal sacrifice which this would involve is too great. I shall take up only one of the threads, which will serve to lead us directly to one of the dream-thoughts that lie at the bottom of the medley. The stranger with the long face and pointed beard, who wants to prevent me from putting on the overcoat, has the features of a tradesman of Spalato, of whom my wife bought a great deal of Turkish cloth. His name was Popovic, a suspicious name, which even gave the humorist Stettenheim a pretext for a suggestive remark: 'He told me his name, and blushingly shook my hand.' For the rest, I find the same misuse of names as above in the case of Pélagie, Knödl, Brücke, Fleischl. No one will deny that such playing with names is a childish trick; if I indulge in it the practice amounts to an act of retribution, for my own name has often enough been the subject of such feeble attempts at wit. Goethe once remarked how sensitive a man is in respect to his name, which he feels that he fills even as he fills his skin; Herder having written the following lines on his name:Der du von Göttern abstammst, von Gothen oder vom Kote So seid ihr Götterbilder auch zu Staub. Thou who art born of the gods, of the Goths, or of the mud. Thus are thy god-like images even dust.
I realise that this digression on the misuse of names was intended merely to justify this complaint. But here let us stop . . . The purchase at Spalato reminds me of another purchase at Cattaro, where I was too cautious, and missed the opportunity of making an excellent bargain. (Missing an opportunity at the breast of the wet-nurse; see above.) One of the dream-thoughts occasioned by the sensation of hunger really amounts to this: We should let nothing escape; we should take what we can get, even if we do a little wrong; we should never let an opportunity go by; life is so short, and death inevitable. Because this is meant even sexually, and because desire is unwilling to check itself before the thought of doing wrong, this philosophy of carpe diem has reason to fear the censorship, and must conceal itself behind a dream. And so all sorts of counter-thoughts find expression, with recollections of the time when spiritual nourishment alone was sufficient for the dreamer, with hindrances of every kind and even threats of disgusting sexual punishments.
II. A second dream requires a longer preliminary statement:
I had driven to the Western Station in order to start on a holiday trip to the Aussee, but I went on to the platform in time for the Ischl train, which leaves earlier. There I saw Count Thun, who was again going to see the Emperor at Ischl. In spite of the rain he arrived in an open carriage, came straight through the entrance-gate for the local trains, and with a curt gesture and not a word of explanation he waved back the gatekeeper, who did not know him and wanted to take his ticket. After he had left in the Ischl train, I was asked to leave the platform and return to the waiting-room; but after some difficulty I obtained permission to remain. I passed the time noting how many people bribed the officials to secure a compartment; I fully intended to make a complaint -- that is, to demand the same privilege. Meanwhile I sang something to myself, which I afterwards recognised as the aria from The Marriage of Figaro:
If my lord Count would tread a measure, tread a measure,
Let him but say his pleasure,
And I will play the tune.
(Possibly another person would not have recognised the tune.)
The whole evening I was in a high-spirited, pugnacious mood: I chaffed the waiter and the cab-driver, I hope without hurting their feelings; and now all kinds of bold and revolutionary thought came into my mind, such as would fit themselves to the words of Figaro, and to memories of Beaumarchais' comedy, of which I had seen a performance at the Comédie Française. The speech about the great men who have taken the trouble to be born; the seigneurial right which Count Almaviva wishes to exercise with regard to Susanne; the jokes which our malicious Opposition journalists make on the name of Count Thun (German, thun = do); calling him Graf Nichtsthun, Count Do-Nothing. I really do not envy him; he now has a difficult audience with the Emperor before him, and it is I who am the real Count Do-Nothing, for I am going off for a holiday. I make all sorts of amusing plans for the vacation. Now a gentleman arrives whom I know as a Government representative at the medical examinations, and who has won the flattering nickname of 'the Governmental bedfellow' (literally, 'by-sleeper') by his activities in this capacity. By insisting on his official status he secured half a first-class compartment, and I heard one guard say to another: 'Where are we going to put the gentleman with the first-class half-compartment?' A pretty sort of favouritism! I am paying for a whole first-class compartment. I did actually get a whole compartment to myself, but not in a through carriage, so there was no lavatory at my disposal during the night. My complaints to the guard were fruitless; I revenged myself by suggesting that at least a hole be made in the floor of this compartment, to serve the possible needs of passengers. At a quarter to three in the morning I wake, with an urgent desire to urinate, from the following dream:
A crowd, a students' meeting . . . A certain Count (Thun or Taaffe) is making a speech. Being asked to say something about the Germans, he declares, with a contemptuous gesture, that their favourite flower is coltsfoot, and he then puts into his buttonhole something like a torn leaf, really the crumpled skeleton of a leaf. I jump up, and I jump up, but I am surprised at my implied attitude. Then, more indistinctly: It seems as though this were the vestibule (Aula); the exits are thronged, and one must escape. I make my way through a suite of handsomely appointed rooms, evidently ministerial apartments; with furniture of a colour between brown and violet, and at last I come to a corridor in which a housekeeper, a fat, elderly woman, is seated. I try to avoid speaking to her, but she apparently thinks I have a right to pass this way, because she asks whether she shall accompany me with the lamp. I indicate with a gesture, or tell her, that she is to remain standing on the stairs, and it seems to me that I am very clever, for after all I am evading detection. Now I am downstairs, and I find a narrow, steeply rising path, which I follow.
Again indistinctly: It is as though my second task were to get away from the city, just as my first was to get out of the building. I am riding in a one-horse cab, and I tell the driver to take me to a railway station. 'I can't drive with you on the railway line itself,' I say, when he reproaches me as though I had tired him out. Here it seems as though I had already made a journey in his cab which is usually made by rail. The stations are crowded; I am wondering whether to go to Krems or to Znaim, but I reflect that the Court will be there, and I decide in favour of Graz or some such place. Now I am seated in the railway carriage, which is rather like a tram, and I have in my buttonhole a peculiar long braided thing, on which are violet-brown violets of stiff material, which makes a great impression on people. Here the scene breaks off.
I am once more in front of the railway station, but I am in the company of an elderly gentleman. I think out a scheme for remaining unrecognised, but I see this plan already being carried out. Thinking and experiencing are here, as it were, the same thing. He pretends to be blind, at least in one eye, and I hold before him a male glass urinal (which we have to buy in the city, or have bought). I am thus a sick-nurse, and have to give him the urinal because he is blind. If the conductor sees us in this position, he must pass us by without drawing attention to us. At the same time the position of the elderly man, and his urinating organ, is plastically perceived. Then I wake with a desire to urinate.
The whole dream seems a sort of fantasy, which takes the dreamer back to the year of revolution, 1848, the memory of which had been revived by the jubilee of 1898, as well as by a little excursion to Wachau, on which I visited Emmersdorf, the refuge of the student leader Fischof, to whom several features of the manifest dream-content might refer. The association of ideas then leads me to England, to the house of my brother, who used in jest to twit his wife with the title of Tennyson's poem Fifty Years Ago, whereupon the children were used to correct him: Fifteen Years Ago. This fantasy, however, which attaches itself to the thoughts evoked by the sight of Count Thun, is, like the facade of an Italian church, without organic connection with the structure behind it, but unlike such a facade it is full of gaps, and confused, and in many places portions of the interior break through. The first situation of the dream is made up of a number of scenes, into which I am able to dissect it. The arrogant attitude of the Count in the dream is copied from a scene at my school which occurred in my fifteenth year. We had hatched a conspiracy against an unpopular and ignorant teacher; the leading spirit in this conspiracy was a schoolmate who since that time seems to have taken Henry VIII of England as his model. It fell to me to carry out the coup d'état, and a discussion of the importance of the Danube (German, Donau) to Austria (Wachau!) was the occasion of an open revolt. One of our fellow-conspirators was our only aristocratic schoolmate -- he was called 'the giraffe' on account of his conspicuous height -- and while he was being reprimanded by the tyrant of the school, the professor of the German language, he stood just as the Count stood in the dream. The explanation of the favourite flower, and the putting into a buttonhole of something that must have been a flower (which recalls the orchids which I had given that day to a friend, and also a rose of Jericho) prominently recalls the incident in Shakespeare's historical play which opens the civil wars of the Red and the White Roses; the mention of Henry VIII has paved the way to this reminiscence. Now it is not very far from roses to red and white carnations. (Meanwhile two little rhymes, the one German, the other Spanish, insinuate themselves into the analysis: Rosen, Tulpen, Nelken, alle Blumen welken, and Isabelita, no llores, que se marchitan las flores. The Spanish line occurs in Figaro.) Here in Vienna white carnations have become the badge of the anti-Semites, red ones of the Social Democrats. Behind this is the recollection of an anti-Semitic challenge during a railway journey in beautiful Saxony (Anglo-Saxon). The third scene contributing to the formation of the first situation in the dream dates from my early student days. There was a debate in a German students' club about the relation of philosophy to the general sciences. Being a green youth, full of materialistic doctrines, I thrust myself forward in order to defend an extremely one-sided position. Thereupon a sagacious older fellow-student, who has since then shown his capacity for leading men and organising the masses, and who, moreover, bears a name belonging to the animal kingdom, rose and gave us a thorough dressing-down; he too, he said, had herded swine in his youth, and had then returned repentant to his father's house. I jumped up (as in the dream), became piggishly rude, and retorted that since I knew he had herded swine, I was not surprised at the tone of his discourse. (In the dream I am surprised at my German Nationalistic feelings.) There was a great commotion, and an almost general demand that I should retract my words, but I stood my ground. The insulted student was too sensible to take the advice which was offered him, that he should send me a challenge, and let the matter drop.
The remaining elements of this scene of the dream are of more remote origin. What does it mean that the Count should make a scornful reference to coltsfoot? Here I must question my train of associations. Coltsfoot (German: Huflattich), Lattice (lettuce), Salathund (the dog that grudges others what he cannot eat himself). Here plenty of opprobrious epithets may be discerned: Gir-affe (German: Affe = monkey, ape), pig, sow, dog; I might even arrive, by way of the name, at donkey, and thereby pour contempt upon an academic professor. Furthermore, I translate coltsfoot (Huflattich) -- I do not know whether I do so correctly -- by pisseen-lit. I get this idea from Zola's Germinal, in which some children are told to bring some dandelion salad with them. The dog -- chien -- has a name sounding not unlike the verb for the major function (chien, as pisser stands for the minor one). Now we shall soon have the indecent in all its three physical categories, for in the same Germinal, which deals with the future revolution, there is a description of a very peculiar contest, which relates to the production of the gaseous excretions known as flatus. And now I cannot but observe how the way to this flatus has been prepared a long while since, beginning with the flowers, and proceeding to the Spanish rhyme of Isabelita, to Ferdinand and Isabella, and, by way of Henry VIII, to English history at the time of the Armada, after the victorious termination of which the English struck a medal with the inscription: Flavit et dissipati sunt, for the storm had scattered the Spanish fleet. I had thought of using this phrase, half jestingly, as the title of a chapter on 'Therapy', if I should ever succeed in giving a detailed account of my conception and treatment of hysteria.
I cannot give so detailed an interpretation of the second scene of the dream, out of sheer regard for the censorship. For at this point I put myself in the place of a certain eminent gentleman of the revolutionary period, who had an adventure with an eagle (German: Adler) and who is said to have suffered from incontinence of the bowels, incontinentia alvi, etc.; and here I believe that I should not be justified in passing the censorship, even though it was an aulic councillor (aula, consiliarius aulicus) who told me the greater part of this history. The suite of rooms in the dream is suggested by his Excellency's private saloon carriage, into which I was able to glance; but it means, as it so often does in dreams, a woman (Frauenzimmer: German Zimmer -- room, is appended to Frauen -- woman, in order to imply a slight contempt). The personality of the housekeeper is an ungrateful allusion to a witty old lady, which ill repays her for the good times and the many good stories which I have enjoyed in her house. The incident of the lamp goes back to Grillparzer, who notes a charming experience of a similar nature, of which he afterwards made use in Hero and Leander (the waves of the sea and of love -- the Armada and the storm).
I must forego a detailed analysis of the two remaining portions of the dream; I shall single out only those elements which lead me back to the two scenes of my childhood for the sake of which alone I have selected the dream. The reader will rightly assume that it is sexual material which necessitates the suppression; but he may not be content with this explanation. There are many things of which one makes no secret to oneself, but which must be treated as secrets in addressing others, and here we are concerned not with the reasons which induce me to conceal the solution, but with the motive of the inner censorship which conceals the real content of the dream even from myself. Concerning this, I will confess that the analysis reveals these three portions of the dream as impertinent boasting, the exuberance of an absurd megalomania, long ago suppressed in my waking life, which, however, dares to show itself, with individual ramifications, even in the manifest dream-content (it seems to me that I am a cunning fellow), making the high-spirited mood of the evening before the dream perfectly intelligible. Boasting of every kind, indeed; thus, the mention of Graz points to the phrase: 'What price Graz?' which one is wont to use when one feels unusually wealthy. Readers who recall Master Rabelais's inimitable description of the life and deeds of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel will be able to enrol even the suggested content of the first portion of the dream among the boasts to which I have alluded. But the following belongs to the two scenes of childhood of which I have spoken: I had bought a new trunk for this journey, the colour of which, a brownish violet, appears in the dream several times (violet-brown violets of a stiff cloth, on an object which is known as a 'girl-catcher' -- the furniture in the ministerial chambers). Children, we know, believe that one attracts people's attention with anything new. Now I have been told of the following incident of my childhood; my recollection of the occurrence itself has been replaced by my recollection of the story. I am told that at the age of two I still used occasionally to wet my bed, and that when I was reproved for doing so I consoled my father by promising to buy him a beautiful new red bed in N. (the nearest large town). Hence, the interpolation in the dream, that we had bought the urinal in the city or had to buy it; one must keep one's promises. (One should note, moreover, the association of the male urinal and the woman's trunk, box.) All the megalomania of the child is contained in this promise. The significance of dreams of urinary difficulties in the case of children has already been considered in the interpretation of an earlier dream (cf. the dream on p.73 ff.). The psychoanalysis of neurotics has taught us to recognise the intimate connection between wetting the bed and the character trait of ambition.
Then, when I was seven or eight years of age another domestic incident occurred which I remember very well. One evening, before going to bed, I had disregarded the dictates of discretion, and had satisfied my needs in my parents' bedroom, and in their presence. Reprimanding me for this delinquency, my father remarked: 'That boy will never amount to anything.' This must have been a terrible affront to my ambition, for allusions to this scene recur again and again in my dreams, and are constantly coupled with enumerations of my accomplishments and successes, as though I wanted to say: 'You see, I have amounted to something after all.' This childish scene furnishes the elements for the last image of the dream, in which the roles are interchanged, of course for the purpose of revenge. The elderly man, obviously my father, for the blindness in one eye signifies his one-sided glaucoma, is now urinating before me as I once urinated before him. By means of the glaucoma I remind my father of cocaine, which stood him in good stead during his operation, as though I had thereby fulfilled my promise. Besides, I make sport of him; since he is blind, I must hold the glass in front of him, and I delight in allusions to my knowledge of the theory of hysteria, of which I am proud.
If the two childish scenes of urination are, according to my theory, closely associated with the desire for greatness, their resuscitation on the journey to the Aussee was further favoured by the accidental circumstance that my compartment had no lavatory, and that I must be prepared to postpone relief during the journey, as actually happened in the morning when I woke with the sensation of a bodily need. I suppose one might be inclined to credit this sensation with being the actual stimulus of the dream; I should, however, prefer a different explanation, namely, that the dream-thoughts first gave rise to the desire to urinate. It is quite unusual for me to be disturbed in sleep by any physical need, least of all at the time when I woke on this occasion -- a quarter to four in the morning. I would forestall a further objection by remarking that I have hardly ever felt a desire to urinate after waking early on other journeys made under more comfortable circumstances. However, I can leave this point undecided without weakening my argument.
Further, since experience in dream-analysis has drawn my attention to the fact that even from dreams the interpretation of which seems at first sight complete, because the dream-sources and the wish-stimuli are easily demonstrable, important trains of thought proceed which reach back into the earliest years of childhood, I had to ask myself whether this characteristic does not even constitute an essential condition of dreaming. If it were permissible to generalise this notion, I should say that every dream is connected through its manifest content with recent experiences, while through its latent content it is connected with the most remote experiences; and I can actually show in the analysis of hysteria that these remote experiences have in a very real sense remained recent right up to the present. But I still find it very difficult to prove this conjecture; I shall have to return to the probable role in dream-formation of the earliest experiences of our childhood in another connection (Chapter Seven).
Of the three peculiarities of the dream-memory considered above, one -- the preference for the unimportant in the dream-content -- has been satisfactorily explained by tracing it back to dream-distortion. We have succeeded in establishing the existence of the other two peculiarities -- the preferential selection of recent and also of infantile material -- but we have found it impossible to derive them from the motives of the dream. Let us keep in mind these two characteristics, which we still have to explain or evaluate; a place will have to be found for them elsewhere, either in the discussion of the psychology of the sleeping state or in the consideration of the structure of the psychic apparatus -- which we shall undertake later after we have seen that by means of dream-interpretation we are able to glance as through an inspection-hole into the interior of this apparatus.
But here and now I will emphasise another result of the last few dream-analyses. The dream often appears to have several meanings; not only may several wish-fulfilments be combined in it, as our examples show, but one meaning or one wish-fulfilment may conceal another, until in the lowest stratum one comes upon the fulfilment of a wish from the earliest period of childhood; and here again it may be questioned whether the word 'often' at the beginning of this sentence may not more correctly be replaced by 'constantly'.
I long ago learned that the fulfilment of such wishes only called for a little courage, and I then became a zealous pilgrim to Rome.
The writer in whose works I found this passage was probably Jean Paul Richter.
In the first edition of this book I gave here the name 'Hasdrubal', an amazing error, which I explained in my Psychopathology of Everyday Life.
The Jewish descent of the Marshal is somewhat doubtful.
[In the original this paragraph contains many plays on the word Hetz (hurry chase, scurry, game, etc.) -- TRANS.]
[This word is here used in the psychoanalytical sense. -- TRANS.]
[a street in Vienna -- TRANS.]
[Fensterln is the custom, now falling into disuse, found in rural districts of the German Schwarzwald, of lovers who woo their sweethearts at their bedroom windows, to which they ascend by means of a ladder, enjoying such intimacy that the relation practically amounts to a trial marriage. The reputation of the young woman never suffers on account of Fensterln unless she becomes intimate with too many suitors. -- TRANS.]
Both the affects pertaining to these childish scenes -- astonishment and resignation to the inevitable -- appeared in a dream of slightly earlier date, which first reminded me of this incident of my childhood.
I do not bring in the plagiostomi arbitrarily; they recall a painful incident of disgrace before the same teacher.
Popo = backside, in German nursery language.
This repetition has crept into the text of the dream, apparently through absent-mindedness, and I have left it because analysis shows that it has a meaning.
This is an error and not a slip, for I learned later that the Emmersdorf in Wachau is not identical with the refuge of the revolutionist Fischof, a place of the same name.
Not in Germinal, but in La Terre -- a mistake of which I became aware only in the analysis. -- Here I would call attention to the identity of letters in Huflattich and Flatus.
An unsolicited biographer, Dr F. Wittels, reproaches me for having omitted the name of Jehovah from the above motto. The English medal contains the name of the Deity, in Hebrew letters, on the background of a cloud, and placed in such a manner that one may equally well regard it as part of the picture or as part of the inscription.
Another interpretation: He is one-eyed like Odin, the father of the gods -- Odin's consolation. The consolation in the childish scene: I will buy him a new bed.
Here is some more material for interpretation: Holding the urine-glass recalls the story of a peasant (illiterate) at the optician's, who tried on now one pair of spectacles, now another, but was still unable to read. -- (Peasant-catcher-girl-catcher in the preceding portion of the dream.) -- The peasants' treatment of the feeble-minded father in Zola's La Terre. -- The tragic atonement, that in his last days my father soiled his bed like a child; hence, I am his nurse in the dream. -- 'Thinking and experiencing are here, as it were, identical'; this recalls a highly revolutionary closet drama by Oscar Panizza, in which God, the Father, is ignominiously treated as a palsied greybeard. With Him will and deed are one, and in the book he has to be restrained by His archangel, a sort of Ganymede, from scolding and swearing, because His curses would immediately be fulfilled. -- Making plans is a reproach against my father, dating from a later period in the development of the critical faculty, much as the whole rebellious content of the dream, which commits lèse majesté and scorns authority, may be traced to a revolt against my father. The sovereign is called the father of his country (Landesvater), and the father is the first and oldest, and for the child the only authority, from whose absolutism the other social authorities have evolved in the course of the history of human civilisation (in so far as 'mother-right' does not necessitate a qualification of this doctrine). -- The words which occurred to me in the dream, 'thinking and experiencing are the same thing,' refer to the explanation of hysterical symptoms with which the male urinal (glass) is also associated. -- I need not explain the principle of Gschnas to a Viennese; it consists in constructing objects of rare and costly appearance out of trivial, and preferably comical and worthless material -- for example, making suits of armour out of kitchen utensils, wisps of straw and Salzstangeln (long rolls), as our artists are fond of doing at their jolly parties. I had learned that hysterical subjects do the same thing; besides what really happens to them, they unconsciously conceive for themselves horrible or extravagantly fantastic incidents, which they build up out of the most harmless and commonplace material of actual experience. The symptoms attach themselves primarily to these fantasies, not to the memory of real events, whether serious or trivial. This explanation had helped me to overcome many difficulties, and afforded me much pleasure. I was able to allude to it by means of the dream-element 'male urine-glass', because I had been told that at the last Gschnas evening a position-chalice of Lucretia Borgia's had been exhibited, the chief constituent of which had consisted of a glass urinal for men, such as is used in hospitals.
The stratification of the meanings of dreams is one of the most delicate but also one of the most fruitful problems of dream-interpretation. Whoever forgets the possibility of such stratification is likely to go astray and to make untenable assertions concerning the nature of dreams. But hitherto this subject has been only too imperfectly investigated. So far, a fairly orderly stratification of symbols in dreams due to urinary stimulus has been subjected to a thorough evaluation only by Otto Rank.