A grammar of dreams by David Foulkes

By David Foulkes

Five elements and appendices. '....a significant synthesis of Freudian dream method psychology and Chomsky's structural linguistics...'-from the jacket

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Additional resources for A grammar of dreams

Example text

He needed the sort of data only he was likely ever to have collected : dream reports plus free associations to those reports. This meant he had, essentially, two choices: (1) to use his own dreams or (2) to use those of his patients. Freud imagined the objections of his readers that patients' dreams would be special cases, and, besides, The Interpretation of Dreams was intended as a contribution to general psychology . Thus, Freud was left in the situation that he must use his own dreams to illustrate his new method of dream explanation.

The dream is a drama, and, as such, has a tightly woven inner structure. Moreover, it is possible that the structure of all such dramatic expression is necessarily linguistically mediated. While elementary propositions can be formed nonlinguistically, indeed, are implicit in sensorimotor organization, it may be only with the development of linguistic com- Dreaming and Language 15 petence that propositions can be hierarchically and serially organized in structures as complicated as thematic narratives.

Dream content is, he says, like "a pictographic script, the characters of which [in dream interpretation] have to be transposed individually into the language of the dream-thoughts" (p. 277). ). Free association is the technique for providing the original script with which the dream pictures are to be compared . As described in the body of his lengthy and brilliant sixth chapter, Freud's dream-work mechanisms (condensation, displacement, pictorial representability, and secondary revision) are attempts to characterize the grammatical rules governing the translation of a finite set of underlying, personally significant propositions into the infinitely various forms of dream imagery.

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