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Alnæs, R. (1980). The Development of Psychoanalysis in Norway: An historical overview. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 3(2):55-101.

(1980). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 3(2):55-101

The Development of Psychoanalysis in Norway: An historical overview

Randolf Alnæs, M.D.

In many of his literary works Henrik Ibsen deals with dynamic processes and defence mechanisms which Sigmund Freud was later to highlight in his psychoanalytical papers. In several places he refers to Ibsen's plays, and notes how often Ibsen returns to the “ancient conflict” between father and son. In particular Freud is referring to “Rosmersholm” from 1886 where the Oedipus complex and incest motif are accorded a broad significance (Freud, 1913a p. 380). He also comments on the Rat Wife's seductive effect on the principal character in “Lille Eyolf” from 1894 (Freud, 1906 p. 434).

In his writings, Freud (1900) (pp. 41,228,399) also refers several times to John Mourly Vold's dream research. Vold was professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo at the turn of the century and published two books on dream studies in German (Vold, 1910–12). His particular interest focused on the effect of physical stimuli on dream content. He carried out several systematic investigations in this field.

Freud praised Vold's research for its accuracy and recommended others to study his work. Vold's writings anticipated some of Freud's later findings.

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