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Abse, D.W. (1977). The Dream Screen: Phenomenon and Noumenon. Psychoanal Q., 46:256-286.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:256-286

The Dream Screen: Phenomenon and Noumenon

D. Wilfred Abse, M.D.

ABSTRACT

The dream screen as described by Lewin may have been confused at times with the phenomenon of functional symbolism portraying heightened repressive resistance, and at other times with a negative hallucination in secondary revision. In some dreams, when the sleep-guarding function of the preconscious is heavily threatened and requires reinforcement, a screen certainly appears. Its essential shielding function has evolved from oral fantasies of gratification at the breast, and this origin places it in the context of other phenomena, including the Isakower phenomenon. It is contended that Lewin's assumption that reported dreamless sleep indicates the presence of the screen without projections on its surface transcends development from the perceptual to the conceptual, to the noumenal. The manifest screen is shown to be part of the dream work to achieve pleasurable repose conducive to continued sleep; disturbing traumatic narcissistic injuries revisited under its shield are sometimes reworked in extravagant megalomanic efforts at repair.

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