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Fisher, C. (1976). Spoken Words in Dreams a Critique of the Views of Otto Isakower. Psychoanal Q., 45:100-108.

(1976). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 45:100-108

Spoken Words in Dreams a Critique of the Views of Otto Isakower

Charles Fisher, M.D.


In 1974 Baudry confirmed Isakower's original and important concept that the spoken word in dreams may be a manifestation of the superego, but found that this is not always true and that there may be important contributions from drive and defense, according to the principle of multiple function. The particular type of dream speech most emphasized by Isakower—that characterized by a portentous, ominous, threatening, awe-inspiring, oracular tone—is extremely rare in dreams but may be observed in certain waking phenomena, e.g., psychotic delusions of self-observation or situations of life-threatening stress.

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