The Dream as Writing: Freud's Theory

Herschel Farbman

in The Other Night

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228652
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235780 | DOI:
The Dream as Writing: Freud's Theory

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses Sigmund Freud's theory that holds the dream as writing. Freud's first thesis in the Interpretation of Dreams is that dreams are meaningful and capable of being interpreted. But he argues that they are not meaningful when considered as perceptual experiences. Rather, Freud finds that the meaning of a dream can be approached only if the dream is treated as what the dreamer can tell of it to another person and not as the perceptual experience that precedes and often seems to flee telling. In order to make sense of the dream, the interpreter has to look at the dream not in terms of its “pictorial value”, but as a “picture puzzle”, the solution of which is a linguistic expression. The first step in the Freudian interpretation of a dream is to distinguish between the manifest content of the dream and its latent content.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud; Interpretation of Dreams; dream; writing; latent content; manifest content; pictorial value; picture puzzle

Chapter.  10687 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.