Toni’s Blog #5 (Freud)

From Freud:

“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???

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