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Mahlendorf, U. (2000). A Structural and Intertextual Reading of Freud's “On Dreams”. Psychoanal Q., 69(2):369-395.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 69(2):369-395

A Structural and Intertextual Reading of Freud's “On Dreams”

Ursula Mahlendorf

By using the framework of a “quest” narrative based on literary allusions to Virgil's Aeneid and Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, Freud transformed the 500 pages of The Interpretation of Dreams into some fifty pages entitled “On Dreams.” This paper elucidates the narrative means by which Freud achieved the feat of turning a highly complex, lengthy theoretical work into an engaging narrative. Its main plot, provided by a specimen dream, reveals Freud's working through of the personal and professional conflicts of his life up to 1901, and serves as a practical demonstration of and paradigm for the process of working through in psychoanalysis.

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