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Grubrich-Simitis, I. (2000). Metamorphoses of the Interpretation of Dreams: Freud's Conflicted Relations with his Book of the Century. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 81(6):1155-1183.

(2000). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 81(6):1155-1183

Metamorphoses of the Interpretation of Dreams: Freud's Conflicted Relations with his Book of the Century

Ilse Grubrich-Simitis

The author takes the centenary of ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ at the turn of the twenty-first century as the occasion for a reconstruction of the metamorphoses of Freud's magnum opus, as revealed in his changing and conflicted relations with the book in the course of his life. She tracks the vicissitudes of this relationship from the period of the work's gestation at the end of the nineteenth century through the editions published in Freud's lifetime, distinguishing various phases of revision and demonstrating connections with some of his other key writings and the development of psychoanalytic theory. Attention is drawn to the changes in the structure and style of the work in the successive editions, to the varying distance adopted by Freud between himself and his ‘book of the century’, and to the role assigned to his colleagues in its evolution. It is pointed out that Freud himself considered psychoanalysis to have originated with the publication of ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’, and that he felt, in his last years, that his colleagues’ interest in dreams and their interpretation was flagging. The author concludes with a brief consideration of the significance of dream interpretation in present-day psychoanalytic theory and practice.

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