“Dreams are brief, meager and laconic in comparison with the range and wealth of the dream-thoughts. If a dream is written out it may perhaps fill half a page. The analysis setting out the dream-thoughts underlying it may occupy six, eight or a dozen times as much space” (819).
While reading this particular passage from Freud, I was struck by all of our recent readings about the instability of a text, or a text as a living thing. The recording of the dream-thoughts, though a stable text, is open to myriad interpretations, in fact, Freud says that it is not possible “to be sure that a dream has been completely interpreted” (819). He considers (like literary critics) that a dream may have many interpretations. Where Freud seems to part with the deconstructionists is his consideration of the author. In order for Freud’s dream-work to be successful, he must examine the author. Freud’s author (the dreamer) is crucial to analysis, and to eliminate him/her is to limit the text, or dream-thoughts. Without an investigation of the author of the dream-thoughts, an analysis cannot be done. This appears to be in direct contrast with Barthes who claims that to consider the author is to apply limitations to the text. What to do???