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Mahon, E.J. (2005). A Parapraxis in a Dream. Psychoanal Q., 74(2):465-484.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 74(2):465-484

A Parapraxis in a Dream

Eugene J. Mahon, M.D.

When a parapraxis is put on display in a dream, one can only wonder what service the willful mistake is rendering to resourceful dream work. Freud taught us that anything that appears in the manifest content of a dream may well be a disguise or a distortion of a subject that originally made an anxiety-provoking, and hence short-lived, first appearance in latent dream thoughts. Dreams in dreams and jokes in dreams have been examined from this perspective (Mahon 2002a, 2002b), and this paper focuses on the appearance and meaning of a parapraxis in a dream, with the argument that seemingly casual “mistakes” are highlighted in the manifest display to cover up some latent, much more deliberate subject matter.

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