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Balter, L. (2005). Nested Ideation and the Problem of Reality: Dreams and Works of Art in Dreams. Psychoanal Q., 74(3):661-701.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 74(3):661-701

Original Articles

Nested Ideation and the Problem of Reality: Dreams and Works of Art in Dreams

Leon Balter, M.D.

This study uses seven well-analyzed dreams to establish three empirical generalizations about dreams and works of art nested in dreams: (1) Those dreams attempt to deny a painful reality in some way depicted in the nested element; (2) they present an antithetical view of that reality (both denying and affirming); and (3) they are consistently associated with the problem of reality (the problem of deciding what is real or true). The explanation of these empirical generalizations is based on a hypothesis derived from Freud's 1911 formulation of the dream within a dream.

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