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Mautner, B. (1994). Freud's 'Lost' Dream and the Schism with Wilhelm Fliess. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:321-333.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:321-333

Freud's 'Lost' Dream and the Schism with Wilhelm Fliess

Barbara Mautner


Although there was only one specimen dream in the first draft of 'The Interpretation of Dreams' that Freud would describe as fully analysed, he removed this dream from the text on the insistence of his friend, Wilhelm Fliess. The content of this 'lost dream' has been one of the great mysteries in psychoanalytic history. In this paper the author, working from clues in Freud's letters to Fliess and elsewhere, demonstrates that Freud's submission to Fliess caused him great anguish. The author contends that rather than discarding the lost dream as it has been assumed he did, Freud dismembered, disguised and resurrected it, along with the entire dream analysis, in the essay 'Screen memories'. A reconstruction of the lost dream and Freud's analysis as it appeared in the first draft of 'The Interpretation of Dreams', is attempted. The fate of the lost dream was the catalysing element in the dissolution of Freud's relationship with Fliess, it is maintained. Along with the transferential aspects of his relationship with Fliess, Freud's personal circumstances and the realities of the historical moment in Vienna are considered as contributing to his state of mind at the time.

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