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Stewart, H. (1986). Dream-Life. A Re-Examination of the Psycho-Analytical Theory and Technique: By Donald Meltzer. Perthshire: Clunie Press. 1984. Pp. 184.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 67:382-384.

(1986). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 67:382-384

Dream-Life. A Re-Examination of the Psycho-Analytical Theory and Technique: By Donald Meltzer. Perthshire: Clunie Press. 1984. Pp. 184.

Review by:
Harold Stewart

Since 'The interpretation of dreams', there have been a number of theoretical advances on this topic. Jung developed his views on dreams, Ella Sharpe, in Dream Analysis noted the resemblance between dream-work and poetic diction. The neurophysiologists added considerably with their more objective scientific approach to the subject, and Charles Rycroft, in The Innocence of Dreams advanced his critique of Freud together with his own viewpoints. Now, this present book concerns itself with a revision of Freud's theory formulated in terms of the theories of Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion. One of the problems for this reviewer is that at no place in the book is there a succinct account of his formulations, which may be accounted for by the complexity of the issues involved. The author notes that he is laying a groundwork for a new theory of dreams. In view of this, the reviewer can only try to give as objective an assessment as he can, with the danger that he may not do sufficient justice to the author's views.

The book is divided into three parts; 'Theoretical Background', 'A Revised Theory of Dream-Life', and 'The Practice of Dream Investigation'. The first begins with a critique of Freud's theory as developed in 'The interpretation of dreams' and his subsequent papers on this topic. To quote: 'But a truly critical, rather than merely appreciative, view of his accomplishment runs almost immediately into the problem, writ large in the early days of his psychological career, of a baffling division between his tendency to form and prove rigid theories, and his extraordinary capacity for observation and imaginative speculation' (p.

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