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Everett, P.R. (2015). The Dreams of Mabel Dodge. Ann. Psychoanal., 38:52-70.

(2015). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 38:52-70

The Dreams of Mabel Dodge

Patricia R. Everett, Ph.D.

In her dream world, where anything is possible, Mabel Dodge, an only child, can have a brother. She can be pregnant (and then become so in real life), and she can attempt to convince her father to try psychoanalysis. Her son, John Evans, can bite her hand and then transform into a dog. Dodge herself can be bundled in upholstery and fall down the stairs. A piece of excrement can be yards long. Her nosebleed can soak the bed with blood, and her father can actually be cheerful. Dodge can light dynamite and explode it in a confined place. and sheep covered in manure can jump into the sea and become white again.

Born in 1879 into a wealthy family in Victorian Buffalo, Mabel Ganson was an only child who married four times. Had she retained all of her names, she would have been Mabel Ganson Evans Dodge Sterne Luhan. Her first husband, the father of her son, was killed in a hunting accident. She then married Edwin Dodge and became a patron of the arts, establishing active salons in both Florence and New York. An early supporter of modernist art and a pioneer in her fascination with psychoanalysis, she began hosting evenings at her 23 Fifth Avenue apartment in January of 1913, where artists, intellectuals, and activists met to exchange ideas with revolutionary fervor. Many of Dodge's guests had their first glimpse of psychoanalysis when, in 1915, she arranged a salon at which psychoanalyst A. A. Brill spoke about Freudian theory.

Smith Ely Jelliffe and Brill were two of the most prominent psychoanalysts in New York at this time. Dodge was in analysis twice, first with Jelliffe, for the first six months of 1916, and then with Brill, beginning that summer (when she couldn't bear the depression that arose when Jelliffe was away on vacation), and continuing until she moved to New Mexico in December of 1917 (where, having divorced her two previous husbands, she soon met Antonio Luhan, a Pueblo Native American, marrying him in 1923 and remaining with him until her death in 1962).

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