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Abstract, A. (1913). F. C. Prescott (Cornell University): Poetry and Dreams. (Journal of abnormal Psychology, vol. VII, Nr. 1 u. 2, April-Juni 1912.). Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1(2):183-185.

(1913). Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1(2):183-185

F. C. Prescott (Cornell University): Poetry and Dreams. (Journal of abnormal Psychology, vol. VII, Nr. 1 u. 2, April-Juni 1912.)

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Author's Abstract

There is an essential relation, as yet unexplained, between poetry and dreams. The words poetry and dream, poet and dreamer, have been used, both by the poets themselves and by the critics, as synonymous. Sully Prudhomme, for example, typically defines poetry as „le rêve par legnel l'homme aspire à une vie supérieure“. For the explication of poetry it is worth while to follow the clue thus offered. The theory of dreams, propounded by Professor Freud in „Die Traumdeutung“, promises to throw new light not only on dreams, but on the related subject of poetry. The object of this article is to apply some of Professor Freuds conclusions to literary problems for the purpose of explaining poetry, and also incidentally to find evidence in literature bearing on the Freudian theory. The fundamental question is: What have poetry and dreams, together with the related activities, day-dreams and hysterical hallucinations and illusions, in common?

The scenes of the dream which we remember are called by Professor Freud the „manifest content“. This is evolved from the „latent content“ by processes called the „dream work“. Every dream has the same latent purport — to represent the imaginary fulfilment of some ungratified wish. There is much evidence, both in language and in literature supporting the view. When our wishes are actually fulfilled the dreams which have afforded them imaginary fulfilment become prophetic; thus the universal belief in the mantic character of dreams is justified.

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