A grammar of dreams by David Foulkes

By David Foulkes

Five elements and appendices. '....a wonderful synthesis of Freudian dream procedure psychology and Chomsky's structural linguistics...'-from the jacket

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Grinstein points out that Freud already had identified a wish-fulfilling function for dreams. He concludes that what seems to be the most significant insight that Freud gained from this dream was that by systematically following the associations to the various dream elements, it was possible to see the existence of impulses and emotions that were not readily apparent in the manifest content and in this way to understand the meaning of the dream as a whole. 46] Likewise, Schur also considers the successful working out of a general explanatory model, rather than any particular entry therein, to have been the significance of "Irma": What Freud may have been attempting for the first time with the Irma dream was the systematic application of free association to every single element of the manifest dream, after which he connected these associations until a meaningful trend emerged.

Freud's Dream Theory 37 This situation, in turn, posed a new problem. Freud wanted to illustrate his method with great detail and clarity. Yet he also was understandably reluctant to reveal too much of the particular contents of his own mind to his readers. The compromise which Freud effected between these claims- partial self-revelation, with only a partial application of his method actually illustrated - if understandable, was unfortunate. The Interpretation of Dreams does not, in fact, illustrate Freud's full and final approach to dream explanation, in which associations are traced back to childhood sexual situations and in which the dream is placed in a narrative consisting of the dreamer's entire life-history (Sherwood, 1969).

Although Freud devoted little systematic attention to language per se and although Chomsky has, to my knowledge, devoted none to dreams, there are so many parallels both in the original subject matters and in the two theorists' treatment of them, that numerous possibilities must exist for cross-fertilization (cf. Edelson, 1972). Both dreams and speech have long been studied in disciplines separate from the mainstream of general human psychology. Both phenomena have been major explanatory problems for the ruling Simplicities of academic psychology.

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