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Greenacre, P. (1955). 'It'S my Own Invention': A Special Screen Memory of Mr. Lewis Carroll, its Form and its History. Psychoanal Q., 24:200-244.

(1955). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 24:200-244

'It'S my Own Invention': A Special Screen Memory of Mr. Lewis Carroll, its Form and its History

Phyllis Greenacre, M.D.


It is no news to anyone that Lewis Carroll was preoccupied with dreams. He stated it many times over. Both of the 'Alice' books are stated by him to be in dream form. In his extraordinary novel, Sylvie and Bruno, he showed a concern with shifts from one level of consciousness to another, which he characterized as 1, real life, 2, the 'eerie' stage in which one sees fairies, and 3, the trance in which the body sleeps but the individual does not. The third was not exactly dreaming, although somewhat related to it. These three forms or levels of consciousness were also somewhat based on observations of what analysts know as the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious, although here again, the comparison cannot be made very precise. It is interesting however that the shift from one level of consciousness to another often came about automatically through some switch word (a punning word) or when the subject was in a clearly musing or daydreamy state in which free association was likely to take the place of directed thinking, as while looking into the fire, riding on a railway train, looking at a shiny surface, or walking in the depth of the woods.

That Carroll had feelings of unreality in general about life and compared it to a dream was announced also in the poems with which he introduced these major works.

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