THE  TECHNIQUE  OF  DREAM INTERPRETATION

[Reprinted from THE PSYCHOLOGICALI\ REVIEW, Vol. IV, No. l, Jan., 1917.)

TRANSLATION

THE TECHNIQUE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION 1

BY DR. WILHELM STEKEL TRANSLATED BY JOHN EDWARD LIND, M.D.
" Aristotle   says  somewhere :  ' When  we  are  awake  we  have  a  universal wc;rld,  when  we  dream,  then  everyone  has  his  own  particular   one.'    I  think this  last  sentence  should  be  turned  around  and  we  should  say:  If each  one  of different  men  has  his  own  particular   world,  then  it  is  to  be  presumed   that they  dream."-Kant.

One who has read my long array of chapters carefully could be easily led to believe that he is  a finished  interpreter  of  dreams  and has become a complete master of  this  new  science.  Now  I  have gone to a great deal of pains to perf ect the understanding of sym­ bolism according to our modern  standards  of  knowledge.  But with the knowledge  of  symbolism  everything  is  not  yet  accomplished. To be sure there are dreams which are so simple that one can trans­ late them without the assistance of the dreamer. But  these  dreams have also their overdetermination, their individual meanings, which cannot be discovered without the active aid of  the  dreamer.  The longer one works with a person, the more  intimately  one  gets  to know him. So that without  knowledge  of  the  dream  material  one can of ten discover two or even more meanings. One can see through many dreams at the first glance. Yet now and then even the  most skilful dream interpreter will meet dreams which remain a mystery to  him.    It is necessary  to have  the  help  of  the  dreamer.
The usual method of dream interpretation is the one laid down by Freud. We must record the ideas of the dreamer  scrupulously and keep our own to ourselves. So we have the dream told to us.  It is advantageous to have this recital made a second time. As Freud justly emphasizes, the variations from the first recital are very im­ portant. They contain the places which have been subjected to the greatest repression. Now and then the repetition coincides exactly. We begin then with the interpretation.
1Chapter XLVII, from his book,  " Die Sprache  des  Traumes," published by  J. F.  Bergmann,  1911.    Translated  with  the  consent  of  the author.

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We ask the dreamer, what occurs to him in connection with the dream. If he is a novice, he will invariably reply : "Nothing at all. What should occur to me ? " We then insist that the  dream must suggest occurrences.   If the resistance or the lack of understanding is  considerable, the dreamer   will   still  insist   that   nothing occurs to him.
Now there are various aids, nevertheless, to get him  to talk.  We ask him of what actual experience  the  dream  reminds  him. About this most people have some idea. They regard the dream as the distorted reproduction of  various  experiences  and  are  quite willing to offer these. Then one observes  that the presentation of  the dream has altered or falsified the experience, that strange elements have .insinuated themselves-and thus come unawares into the  anal­ ysis. Or one asks, what meaning  for the lif e of  the dreamer this  or that person occurring in the dream has, and thus brings the dreamer to speech. As a rule he then speaks on and reveals his suppressed material.
We will endeavor to represent the course of such a dream anal­ ysis and we choose for our paradigm a rather difficult theme. It concerns a man about forty years old who does not believe in the interpretation of  dreams and relates a dream to me.  I request  him to write down the dream, which he does. The two versions do not differ materially.
The dream is peculiar enough. It permits of no interpretation with the aid of our symbolism. We are dependent upon the  good will of the dreamer.   Listen, then, to the dream picture of one P.   F.

THE  DREAM  OF  THE DENT
"I  tell  a  mechanic  to  give  me  my  wife' s  bicycle.   As  I  look  at it I notice that it has  a  large  dent.  I  pitsh  it  into  the  workshop. There are a number of work men who stand at tables lik e composi­ tors.     One, a  friendly   young   man, asks  me  what  I want.
" Then I discuss the German Kaiser. ' H e is an energetic, vigor­ ous man,' I say to my companion. High  above  stands  the Kaiser Franz J osef .  ' You can say what you  lik e,' I  remark , ' Our Kaiser is a dear old man.'   M y  companion  agrees.
"Before or after: Two wonien, scantily  clad,  are  lying  on the fioor.    The one older, the other younger.   I wond er at the per fect
development of the younger one and sa y to the old er woman: ' You are indeed well-inf ormed, too.   But these per f ect legs!'At  that my
gaze wanders to the legs of the old woman which were almost H er­ culean in build  and  covered  with fine  hair."


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I acquaint the dreamer with the method of dream work and say : " Close your eyes, so that your attention is not  distracted  by the outer world. Tell me all  the  thoughts  that  are  passing  through your head."
P. F.: "Nothing is passing through my head."
"That  is impossible.Our  brain  works constantly.You must be thinking of  something."
P. F.: "Well, then, I am just thinking about the dream." "What do you think of the dream ? "
P. F.: "That it  is nonsense.How anyone can dream such stuff ! Absurd."
"What is absurd ? "
P. F. : "The whole dream is absurd.  The  business  about the bicycle, about the two kaisers, Wilhelm and Franz Josef ,  and  the affair  of  the two women."
" Of  whom do the two women remind you ? "
P.  F.:  " Of  no one.They were strangers, women  entirely  un­ known to me."
"Have you made a remark to any person about the shape ? To any woman ? "
P. F.: " Not that I remember.   Wait-something occurs to  me I was at the seashore. It certainly was a seeshore. One saw many strikingly beautiful women there. There I saw one, not so good looking, but rather flirtatious, a tempting sort of a person. She was lying on the sand and winked across at me, although her hus­ band was lying by her and whispering little pet names to her. I was struck with her ell-developed, Herculean limbs. She aroused my passion.  I thought, ' One could start something with her.' "
"Which  of  the two women  of  the dream  was  it ? "
P.  F. :  "The older.She had those astonishing, perhaps   some what too muscular thighs.For the size of the woman her legs ,vere much  too big. . .  ."
"And what  occurs to you  about  the  younger  woman ? "
P. F.: Is silent a long time and then says, hesitatingly, "No one !" "You  say that  so  dubiously,  that  I can  imagine  that someone
does  occur  to you."·
P. F.: " No ! No !  Positively no one !"
" Maybe so !  Be sure you speak frankly !"
P.  F.:  " Someon dges  occur  to  me.But  I  do  not  believe  that she belongs  in  this.She has  noth1.ngto do  with  the  dream."
"We  shall  see  about  that.Now  will  you  have the  goodness to


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tell me what occurs?    Or will you  abandon the interpretation of  the dream ? "
P. F. : " By no means ! Although I do not believe  in  it.  So listen : It has to do with my mistress. For several years past I have had an affair with a widow. She has one daughter, fourteen years old, as yet an innocent child.  I said to the mother recently : ' Mizzi is splendidly proportioned. She will have a beautiful shape one of these  days.' "
"And how is the mother proportioned ? "
P.  F. : "Very  large  and  sensual.   She is a  splendid  specimen of a woman.    Everyone  is envious of  me.''
" Is this lady conspicuously hairy ? "
P. F. :" No! Quite the contrary ! She has a snow-white, fault­ less body. She is constantly boasting about her complexion and her skin, saying, ' I have never had a pimple on my body.'   Quite    dif­ f erent  from me.   I am terribly hairy."
"And the pimples. . . .''
P. F.: "Well, you know my old trouble. Since I have recovered from the syphilis, I f ear that every pimple might be a relapse. I suffer very much from a skin eruption. The doctors always say, 'A harm­ less rash : Acne.' I worry nevertheless. An incident of my youth now occurs to me. I was still quite small when my father took me with him to a Turkish bath. There was a masseur who was covered all over with pimples. I heard my father remonstrate with the manager of the baths and seemed to hear something about ' con­ tagious ' and ' disgusting.' The manager said, ' That doesn't amount to anything. It is a harmless rash. The man has too much unused vigor.'  . .  . But has that anything to do with the dream ?  . .   ,"
"Perhaps so. . . . But what about this unused vigor ? "
P. F.: "In confidence ; I have still another mistress. My cham­ bermaid, a fine woman, but awfully passionate. She makes de­ mands on me which I cannot satisf y. To be sure, if I were younger."
" So you f eel old, then ?  Why, you  are a  man  in  the  prime of lif e.  . . .''
P. F. : "Yes, but in spite of that, I seem old to myself . Just look-my immense bald spot. Not a hair  on  my  bald  pate. My teeth are loose. My vitality is decreasing. I cannot  do as  much work  as formerly. . .  .''
Then  there  came a long pause.  One would  say that  the   riddles of  the dream  are not yet  solved.    Nothing  in the last part  about  the


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old  and  the  young  women.    Yet  we  notice  that  we  have  stumbled upon  a  sensitive  place  in  the  inmost  mind  of   Mr.  P.  F.    Like  all mankind,  he  would  gladly  be  young  again.    But  there  must  be  a definite  reason  for  this....which  is  concealed  in  the  dream.    The  hair which  he has  lost adorns  his  mistress  in  order  to  make  it less  desirable.    Something  else now  occurs to the dreamer  about  the hair.
P. F.: " That is a curious thing about the hair.   My mistress has a little moustache. She of ten says to me, ' Strange, where  it does not belong, there you cannot get rid of hair, but where it does belong it falls out.' "
" Does  anything  occur  to you  in connectionthe subject ' hairy ' ? "·
P. F.: "I love  beautiful  blonde  hair.  Mizzi,  the  daughter of my mistress, has beautiful, golden hair that she always wears loose. She also has a hairy birthmark."
" How do you know that ? "
P.  F. : "Her  mother  showed  it  to  me.   It  is  on  the  upper part of the thigh. The mother  asked  me  what  she could  do about  it,  if she should go to a skin specialist, a beauty doctor.  I  said  ' What for ? One does not uncover that part of the body,'  and  at that the mother  and  Mizzi  laughed  very much."
" Was  that  the end of  the incident ? "
P. F. : " Practically, yes, only later the mother said, ' You never can tell but what Mizzi might not some time have to uncover herself . It disfigures the girl.' I protested at this and argued that such a small birthmark was on the contrary rather piquant. With that the incident was closed.''
" It does not appear, however, to be closed, for you have dreamed about it.  You have attributed the ugly hair to the mother  in   order to make the younger one, the daughter, appear without a blemish.''
P. F. : " Why, that is nonsense. \i\That have I to do with  the little girl.   She will soon belong to  another."
He says this almost  in a tone  of  regret.Then  he  continues :
P. F. : "I admit this much to you, that the view of the uncovered thigh of Mizzi made. a certain impression on me. I am especially fond, as a rule, of the tender, half developed creature. Fidus ges­ talten-Do you know ' Ahasver in Rome ' by Hammerling. The scene in which the immature young girl, I think about thirteen or fourteen years old, is robbed of her virtue, made a great impres­ sion on me. I value that work very highly and read it with great enjoyment . . . .''


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Here the beginning of a perversion reveals itself : the love of children. But listen to the further  associations.  I ask  what  next occurs  to  him,  especiallyabout  the  mistress.  " She  must certainly be a well-developed  woman of  middle age ? "
P. F.: "You're right, she is not my style ; she is too coarse for me. Then, too, she has a faulf; she has, since the birth of her daughter, suffered from a large perineal tear."
"Do you know  that  that  is represented  in the dream ?  "
P. F.: "Where ? "
"You give the bicycle  of  your wif e to be repaired of  a dent ? "
P. F.: "Yes, but the mistress is not my wife ; I have been divorced from her these many years."
" That means-now the mistress is your wife ; she replaces your wife.  Isn't that so ? "
P. S.: " Ye!, that is so, and furthermore I have advised her to have an operation. Doctor Fleischmann (a gynecologist in Vienna) has told her ' Nothing but an operation  will help you.'  I made a joke about it and said, ' It is only a little repair work, go into a sani­ tarium, and let them mend the hole for you.' "
Here  the  first  analysis  was ended. It consumed a whole hour.
Next  day we began again. We took as the theme : The dent.
P. F. : "You probably know what a dent means-a bent, useless wheel. Af ter a collision or a heavy fall a wheel loses its beautiful, circular shape. . . . It receives a dent.  In past  years  I have  trav­ eled a great deal on a wheel. So have my mistress and her daughter. My mistress had, as a matter of fact, at one time a dent."
" Doesn't the connection occur to  you  between  the  last  part of the dream and the bent wheel ? A patched-up hole-a patched-up wheel."
P. F. : "Yes,  it  is astonishing.  I have  alluded  to  every  mistress as a wheel.  I have  now  a new  wheel,  means  a new  mistress.  My wif e, the real one, from whom  I have  been  divorced,  had  a wheel too much  in her  head.
" It had the appearance as if I were busy in the dream with old bicycles, when I would rather have new, perf ect wheels. I am,  to be sure, a Don Juan ; I would like to have a new mistress every week. Best of  all an untouched young- "
"What occurs to you about the mechanic? "
P. F. : "A man by the name of Schlager ; although he certainly occurs to me, it is a mystery why. He is employed in a printing office as a manager.  I have not seen him for many years.  At one


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time, I  read  proof  on various printedatter  and  had  recourse to him."
"It deals with the correction  of  a fault.Then it agrees."
P. F.: "But something else agrees. I have been waiting a long time now for a ' Schlager ' (theatrical success or ' hit ') ; my last pieces have not made a hit. I have now finished two pieces for the theater. I hope that one will be a success. Then the word Schlager has an association with my wif e. I discovered her in an act of infidelity and struck her in anger, so that I was in reality a ' Schlager ' (one who strikes).   I subsequently regretted  it very much.  . .  ."
" That  was, then, the  reason  for the  divorce? "
P. F.: "If that had but been the only reason. As I found out later, my wif e had a number of lovers, who, so to speak, had ' worked with her.'   She was a practised hussy.''
" Do you not remember the part of the dream,  ' There  are a number  of  workmen  who stand at tables like compositors ? ' "
P. F.: "Yes, I see now, that represents all the people who have worked with her."
" Who, then, is the friendly young man ? "
P. F.: "He reminds me of my son,-wait-a scene now appears to me : Once when I lef t my wif e in anger, the boy said, ' \iVhat do you want with mamma ? ' I of ten think of this occurrence.  Once the boy said, ' If you take me away from mamma, I will die.' His mother had taught him to say that. For he is well contented now with his governess and does not want to see his mother. Before many years I am going to marry again. I am a Catholic. A Cath­ olic marriage in Austria is only dissolved by death. . .  .''
"You want to  risk  the  experiment  of  matrimony  once  more, then ? "
P. F.: "Yes,  it was a charming young girl.  I was   passionately in love with her, yet out of regard for my children I gave up the project. At that time my wif e was very sick, her lif e was despaired of. I conf ess to you, that I wished in a corner of my soul she might die.   Then I could have married the young  girl.''
" Do you entertain similar wishes now about your mistress ? "
P. F.: "Very candidly, yes ; I can get rid of them only with diffi­ culty. When I spoke of the operation for the perinea! tear, the  case of a friend who lost his wif e by this innocent operation came cu­ riously enough to my mind.''
"It is as if the dream wanted to compare the mother and daughter  and wished  to say : ' The daughter  is much prettier. If


THE   TECHNIQUE   OF  DREAM   INTERPRETATION91

the mother dies, you can  start  something  with  the  daughter.'  And the blow ? "
P. F.: "Is perhaps the heavy blow, which should happen to me, the death of the loved one. Moreover-her father died a year ago from apoplexy " (Herzschlag).
"Therefore, the mechanic, who will make everything right, who only can dissolve the  Catholic marriage,  is   death.''
P. F.: "I am very  much  interested  in  death.   I  occupy myself a great deal with thoughts of death, even in regard to my children. Of ten I picture them as an encumbrance. Such a brutal  egoist  is the human being. I, to picture myself a hypochondriac! Yet I am enough of a philosopher not to get any gray hair about it."
" The friendly young man in the dream, your son, represents the virtuous opposition of your inmost mind. He asks you, what  you wish.''
P. F.: "Yes, as if he would say : ' Old donkey, haven't you done enough foolishness in your lif e ? ' "
" One section of the dream we haven't yet cleared up, the part about the two kaisers."
P. F.: " I saw our Kaiser last year several times. The remark, which the dream contains, has been made to me by someone or other. By whom ?  . . .''
Here the  dreamer  stops.  There come no  other reminiscences. A great opposition makes every further interpretation impossible. We therefore stop the interpretation.
"The meaning of a dream," says Freud, " does not reveal itself always at once, not infrequently one finds his resources (capacity for work) exhausted when he is following a chain of associations. The dream says nothing more on that day, then it  is  well  to  stop and return to work  the  next  day.  Then  another  part  of  the  dream claims the attention and one finds the way to a new layer of dream thoughts. This may be called  the  ' fractional '  dream interpreta­ tion.''     (T.  D., 322.)
On the third day he came again and showed that he had not cor­ rectly given the part about the Kaiser. He did not find the right impression there. In any case it  did  not  happen  in  the  dream the way he  told  it  to me.
This doubt also2 belongs  to  the  dream  material.  It  has  to  do with  an  important,  suppressed complex.
2 " The doubt concerning the  correct  representation  of  the  dream, or  of its individual data, is again only an offshoot of  the dream  censor-that  is, of the  resistance  against  penetration  to  consciousness  of  the  dream  thoughts.


At the next sitting the dreamer is very reticent . For a long time he has very f ew associations until I call his attention to a circum­ stance. The whole dream concerns the contrast of youth and age. The old mechanic-the young workman. The old wheel-the new wheel. The old mistress-the young  daughter.  The  old  Kaiser, Franz  Josef-the  young  Kaiser, Wilhelm.
P. F.: " You are right. The contrast is striking. As if the old Kaiser should represent the old mistress and Kaiser Wilhelm the young daughter. Now something occurs to me. I had some crazy thoughts a f ew days ago. If I were younger, I could marry the daughter of my mistress. Then I thought : 'You old donkey. She would have the horns placed on you then.'   And then I thought : ' You could make the young one your mistress.' But yet I have pity for my  ' old  one.'   You  can  say what  you  like, she is still a good fellow."
"Do you not notice that you have used  the same expression in the dream ?   'You  can say what  you like,  . . ., etc.? ' "
P. F.: "Sure enough ! You are right. Still I beg of  you  what could I do with the young one ? It would be the same with me as with  my father.''
"How  do you mean ? "
P. F.: "My father was already an old man, when he took my mother home. Everyone talked about it. In confidence, I am sup­ posed to be the son of  a cousin of my mother . . .  .''
This  resistance  has  not  entirely  exhausted  itself   in  bringing   about  the  dis­ placements  and  substitutions,.  and  it  therefore  adheres  as  doubt  to  what  has been  allowed  to  pass   through.    We  can  recognize  this  doubt  all  the  easier through  the  fact  that  it  takes  care  not  to  attach  the  intensive  elements  of  the dream,  but  only  the  weak  and  indistinct  ones.    For  we  already  know  that  a transvaluation   of   all  the  psychic  values  has  taken  place  between  the  dream thoughts  and  the  dream.    The  disfigurement  has  been  made  possible  only  by the  alteration  of   values ; it  regularly  manif ests  itself   in  this  way  and  occa­ sionally  content's   itself   with   this.    If  doubt  attaches   itself   to   an   indistinct element  of  the  dream  content,  we  may,  following  the  hint,  recognize  in  this element  a  direct  offshoot  of  one  of  the  outlawed  dream  thoughts.    It is  here just  as  it  was  af ter  a  great  revolution  in  one  of  the  republics  of  antiquity  or of  the  Renaissance.    The  former  noble  and  powerful  ruling  families  are  now banished ; all  high  positions  are  filled  by  upstarts ;  in  the  city  itself   only  the very  poor  and  powerless  citizens  or  the  distant  followers  of  the  vanquished party  are  tolerated.    Even  they  do  not  enjoy  the  full  rights  of   citizenship. They  are  suspiciously  watched.    Instead  of   the  suspicion  in  the  comparison, we  have  in  our  case  the  doubt."    The  Interpretation  of  Dreams,  page  40<).


" Whose name is Wilhelm.  . . ."
P. F. : " How do you know that ? "
" I have only mentioned it incidentally, because the younger Kaiser is called ' Wilhelm.' "
P. F.: " Marvelous ! He also was called Wilhelm ; he is dead, and my father's name was Franz.
"Then you have had two fathers ? "
P. F. : " Curiously enough, yes. For Wilhelm lef t me his whole fortune af ter his death. To him I owe my whole existence in every sense."
Now is the opposition explained. It concerns  a  taint  of his mother.   The two kaisers  are the two  fathers.   The  dear  old man­ his impotent father. "You can say what you like," the  people are talking about it.  The  energetic,  vigorous  man  is  his  own  father. The relation between young and  old  is a  constellation  from youth. He indentifies himself with his mother. He  might  also  have  the young  one af ter the old.
The dream still contains a number of puzzles. Especially in the second part a companion appears, who agrees. "Of whom does the companion remind  you ? "
P. F.: " No one."
"You are beginning  again.Some one will soon come to  you."
P. F.: "Yes,-a Dr. Spiegelglas, who died a long time ago. He was small, bald-headed, had goggle eyes, glasses and hideous rat­ like teeth. We named him af ter a Roman figure by Arne Geborg, the ' Death of  Lubeck.' "
"In other words : The companion is death.  The hidden  sense  of the dream is then this, death might  remove  your  mistress  and your wif e in order that you can marry the young one. Also the striker (Schlager) was death.'' (" The  stroke  shall  attack  them "3  is  in­ deed  a  familiar curse.)
P. F.: " My mistress is very fat and said lately, ' I will certainly die soon of apoplexy '" ( Herzschlag).
Now I shall conclude the analysis in this form. The relations  of this dream to the infantile are of many kinds. He believes  he has reason to think that his mother could scarcely wait for his nominal father to die.  In short,  it  appears  to  be  the  typical  family  story, this time with a real  foundation.  The  dreamer  has  concluded  that the dream is not nonsense. It was the source of a secret commu­ nication  and a great psychic  unburdening.
3 A common expression of ill-will in Austria, equivalent to the English, "The devil  take you I "   Trans.

Is this dream analysis complete ? No prof essor of dream inter­ pretation could say for sure.  We have uncovered  the upper  strata of the dream material. His love for  the  immature  girl  and  the death wish about her mother. We have brought up fragments from the deep layers, the doubt  of  his  origin,  which  was brought  out as his doubt about  the repetition  of  the  dream.
A further research into the secrets of the dream affords a longer working with this dream: For the dreamer is a neurotic,  who has applied to me in order to become cured of an unbearable anxiety, insomnia and slight melancholia ; it is  certainly  our  duty  to go into the deeper layers. We note already, he is afraid of himself and his secret thoughts ; he does not sleep because in imagination he is always unfortunate in his sexual experiences ; he suffers from depression, because  he renounces  a strong wish  (to possess  a maiden) .
We  continue  our  work.We  lead  the  dreamer  on  step  by step and  bring  him  to  further associations.It  appears  that  each  word still  has  many  determinations.The  analysis  has  lasted  already   a week  and we are not  yet finished.The whole  neurosis  is contained in  the dream.This  is  peculiarly  the rule.The  dream  is  a micro­ scopic world, which reproduces in miniature  the  whole psychic world.
I would have to write a whole book, the story of his life and of his neurosis, in order to explain the dream.4  I shall only  mention two examples of the remarkable condensation of the dream. They are the words  " Mechanic " and "Dent."
He has a lot of material to relate to me about a mechanic. He himself is a mechanic. He makes his affair with his mistress purely mechanical. He has  to  imagine  himself  with  the  daughter  to have an erection. (This is the substance of his anxiety  neurosis.)  A mechanic repaired a wheel for him once badly.  It was  almost  use­ less.  He  tripped  and lay  for several weeks  in a hospital.  Now  his wif e has such a bad  wheel.  She ought  to trip  and  lose her  life so that he is free. She has an inguinal hernia and an  osteopath (me­ chanic) had taken  her  measure.  He  was jealous  at  that  time. To­ day he doesn't  care  a  bit.  On the contrary  he  would  be  happy  if she would  console  herself .  Nevertheless,  his  mistrust  breaks through the dream. His mistress likewise has had  a  number  of lovers. She deceives him  (there  are  a  number  of  workmen who stand  at tables) .    He has  the  right  to hold  himself blameless.
4 I shall carry out this idea sometime-a supplement to this work, which only considers the surface of the dream ; an analysis which is complete and­ as far as this is possible-contains  all overdeterminations  and relations.


Still in connection with mechanics there occurs to him a young typesetter  who impressed him very  favorably.  He is so skillful  that he can repair a part of the wheel better than a mechanic. The type­ setter appeared to him  to  be  a  homosexualist.  For  he  was never with a woman.   He always blushes  when he meets him.   He  wishes to exchange his loved one  for  the  typesetter.  The  typesetter  is called  "Wilhelm " the  same  as the  German Kaiser.
Thus we see two things already fulfilled  in  our  progress.  We have discovered the death symbol and  bisexuality.  We  are  still always  in  the  upper strata.
Further investigations uncover also associations of onanism : The dreamer calls his penis " The Machine " in contradiction to his mis­ tresses.  He  suffers  from  premature  ejaculation,   especially  when the charm of the object is inf erior. It is only  a  comparative pre­ mature ejaculation,  like  most  of  this  variety.  Several  months ago he was alone with an old woman who was not very good looking. Matters came to a coitus ; he played the underneath part.5 Then he was amazed at his virility. He was able to  satisf y  the  lady three times, and she, who had a large experience, told him  that  she had never met  with  such manly  vigor  before  in her  lif e.6  When young he was a constant  onanist.  He  masturbated  indeed  continuously from his eighth to his eighteenth year. Then for several years fol­ lowing he was psychically impotent. He had read in a work that masturbation was the cause of impotence. He is  therefore  the mechanic  who  has  ruined  the  work  of  his machine.   He has made a dent in himself .  Therefore  he  thinks now  more  charitably about his first wif e. She became untrue to him because  he could  not  sat­ isfy her. Thus she has to take a "crowd of  workmen " instead of the mechanic.
About mechanics there occurs to him also a mechanic " Schneider " who once had an affair with a Stampiglie ( Penis!) and  on  that account  was  christened  Stampiglius.He  is skinny  and  was  of ten ridiculed when young  on account of  his lack of   weight.He always seemed  to  be weak.He  was  impotent  because  he  was  too weak. He envied large, strong men  ( Schlager,  a  fighter)  who  could "stamp "  (stempeln )   properly.Here  comes  to notice  the  sense of
5 That is called in Vienna, " To make a boy." I  don't  know  for what reason.
6 That is worthy of note! It is this way  with  most  psychic impotency. When it comes to a specifically adequate satisfaction, then the psychic im­ potency disappears.


WILHELM  STEKEL

inf eriority on which Adler justly lays such great weight. But from Schneider a vein goes back into youth and reveals a series of dis­ honesties,  which he had  committed.  He was  a liar, thief  and  forger in his youth and  developed  into  an extremely  moral  man ; a  model of  truth,  honor  and propriety.
His thef ts were mostly from his father. He never remembered having stolen from his mother. Here we come upon the great oppo­ sition to his father. . . . A scene appears suddenly to  him !  His father had surprised him and given him  a  sound  drubbing with hand and foot. His father had struck him blindly and cried : "You misguided boy. You will certainly end in jail or on the gallows !" We notice that the " dear old man " is intended  ironically.   For   he is indeed the striker (Schlager) and would not have dared to  speak cut such a prophecy.   (" You can say what you like.")    Besides he is dead from apoplexy  (Herzschlag).  His  younger  brother  had dealt him a blow (Schlag)  in the stomach.  He lost  consciousness for a second.7
Now for the first time it appears that another  sexual  object of his childhood, his brother, is concealed behind the young compositor. Yet  we cannot  pursue  the subject  further.We will  only give several associations of dent (Krampe) as best we can.His mistress suffers  from  spasms  of  the  heart  (Herzkrampf en).It  occurs to him that he has sold the old rubbish in the yard (Bodenkram) . Also his mistress is old rubbish  (Krampel).Still more significant is the approach (Rampe) to the university  which  was  destroyed during the last riot.He envied young people in those days.  . . . Yes,  who could  fight  and  carouse.There  occurred   to  him  a  girl  named Kramer, whom he had often kissed  in  secret.Later  she became a light woman.He has always a marked fancy for light women.He has  in that  matter  a  loose  system  of morals.He  is  not narrow­ minded  like  a  shopkeeper  (Kramer).From  shopkeeper  an asso­ ciation leads to Kramer, as an admirer of  his  sister  was called. Now something significant occurs to him.His sister suffered when young  from  severe  cramps  (Krampf en)  at her menstruation.He was at that time seven years old and was sent for the doctor.In the house lived a grocer (Kramer) who had a son named Wilhelm, who said to him, "Tell your sister she ought to let the business be brushed out by me.I have a little ' brush.'"His wif e had bought herself
7 The most important root is the criminal. He is not an energetic, vig­ orous man, otherwise he would slay (erschlagen) the old " Krampe " (Vien­ nese expression for an old horse).   He wishes to be the slayer   (Schlager).

a little brush several days before for  cleaning  her  wheel.  A little brush is his penis, with whose size he is very much dissatisfied unjustly.
Now a number of scenes from his earliest childhood occur to him. One from later years. He was sixteen years old when he sneaked at night to the servant girl. His  mother  woke  up  and asked where he was going. He answered stammeringly that he had been "outside," he had such violent cramps in the stomach (Bauch­ krampf e). Then his poor mother got up and made him warm appli­ cations.   As she did so, he saw her astonishing large legs. . . .
But enough of this analysis. I believe that the reader  has  been more than convinced that with a symbolic translation only one mean­ ing of the dream can be brought out and that the most important material is to be had from the dreamer himself.  Also bear  this  in mind, that the symbol does not have to mean the same thing invari­ ably.    It has a marked  individual  meaning in every  case.
Bishop Synesios, a noted investigator of dreams of the fourth century,  says very  strikingly :
" There  are people  who  create  little  dictionaries  about  dream  in­ terpretation.     I,  for  my  part,  laugh  at  all this  argument  and  hold  it to be completely  worthless.    The imagination  of  man  is not  as easily classified  as the build  and  the  physiognomy  of  the  body-which  can always  form the s.,_ubject  of  a general  scientific  observation.
"If a Phemonoe or a Melampus or some one else ventures to pose as an expounder of universal laws of dream interpretation I might ask if then both concave and convex lenses or mirrors out of different materials reflect objects in the same way, for everyone has individual attributes and it is impossible that the same dream picture should have for all of them the same meaning." ( Cod. Theodos, XVI,  ro/I7.   Edikt  von Jahre  392.)
I can only confirm these words. All symbolism is relative and applies only to the great majority of cases. Exceptions are always possible even though they  seldom  occur.
In many cases the knowledge of the case history aids us to un­ derstand  the dream.
I shall give here an interesting series of criminal dreams  of  a single night which  I could  interpret  without  the aid  of  the dreamer. ( 584 )   "I  was tying a bouquet  of  autumn leaves together, then I had a wond erfully pretty red rose that  I  wanted  to  put  with  it, but while I was tyin_q them to_qether all the petals  but  one  f ell  off  and then that fell off too.  Afterwards  I  brought  the bouquet  to a lady and   thought   they  belonged   in  this vase."

WILHELM  STEKEL

( 585) "H ans was sick . Dr. St.'s maid was bathing his abdo­ men, but I rinsed out his genitals in the tea in his father' s tea cup. They ap peared lik e a heart and kidneys and were held together by means of shreds of fat.  While I  was rinsing them out I was  think­ ing that the ligament would  tear."
( 586 ) "Papa lay sick in bed and this had to be mad e up while he lay in it. Supplement: Papa was sitting up in bed ; he ap peared miserable and had a large dirty white counterpane under his  body." ( 587 ) " The maid brought me a note which had been lying in the letter box.On the pa per  was: 'Shary was with us at home to-day.' Dr. St. had had a prescription in the pharmacy. The paper gave me the impression  that Dr. St. wanted  to  tell  me that something  from me was with you."
( 588) "I went out.  The  pharmacist  met  me,  he  looked  lik e uncle Fred and kissed  me aff  ectionately."
( 589 )   "Later   I   went   into   the forest.There  I   came  across Trude and  Erich  who  had  been in  the f orest  with  the  pharmacist." ( 590 )   "I  was  sick  and  took  a  bath.   I  said  to  mother, 'I hope
it  is  nothing  serious,'  but  'then I  said  in M uller  you  are  advised  to bathe."
( 59r)   "Looking   out  from   my  room  I   saw  peo ple  swimming.
N ear me was my bed uncovered."
( 592) "I ran across the fields to the peo ple in the houses.  All the time I was doing this I was losing my und erskirt. Then I  saw Dr. St. with his wif e and children on the street and then she passed me and I thought if she only wouldn't see that I was  losing my skirts."
The dreamer,  a  woman,  presented  these  nine  dreams ;  not  one of them have any basis. I know the  facts  of  her  sexual  lif e.  She loves only married men  and  pictures  herself  circumstances  which free them  so that  she can  marry  them.
In the transf er I am the last ideal in a long series which has its origin in her father. The last dream (No. 592) showed me that  she has the idea she is losing her  skirts.
My wif e and children appeared her  last  obstacle  to  happiness. Her thoughts and endeavors are all towards removing this obstacle. How does she picture that in the dream ? Dreams 590 and  591  ex­ plain this. She bathes during the time of her period because it is recommended  in  Miiller  ( Geschlechtsmoral  und  Lebensgliick ).
An association came to me. A bath during  menstruation-is a blood bath.    In the next dream, 591, the people swim.    Of  course-


THE   TECHNIQUE   OF  DREAM   INTERPRETATION99

they swim in blood.Nearby  her bed  stands uncovered.The blood bath means to her a bridal   bed.
Still bloodier are the phantasies in the dreams 585 and 589.  The two children in the forest are common occurrences in  fairy  tales. From former analyses I knew that the fairy tale about Snow White had played an important role in her phantasy. At once the scene occurred to me where the hunter is to cut out the intestines of poor Snow White so that the bad queen could eat  them.  (Necrophilic instinct !) The whole dream is a frequent occurrence and  charac­ teristic  of  the most  unbelievable  sadistic fancies.
Every bouquet in her dreams is  a  funeral  wreath.  This  holds good here. The bouquet of leaves and the leafless rose in dream 584 represent a death wish whose  red  color  ref ers  to  the  blood  bath. My wif e was to receive this ominous present while my children were sent out of  the  world  by the druggist.   (The  messenger  of  death !) In dream 589 my son Erich becomes identified  with  her  brother Hans, to whom was assigned the same fate as poor Snow White in consequence of her boundless jealousy. She tore asunder the band which bound her to him ; she also tore asunder the band which bound her beloved man to another ; also  she  allowed  her  father  to  die in her  fancy because  he stood in the way of  her plans   (586).
The next dream (587) brings the romantic criminal fancy of a secret agreement between her and me. I did away with my wif e. Prescription and pharmacist usually form a poison complex. This interpretation I explained to her (zettel). The last dream is  cer­ tainly 588; there the goal is attained. The dearly  beloved uncle (uncle instead of pharmacist) both are in this dream and in  the minds of evil-minded people-poison-mixers.
The physician and the pharmacist are also symbols of death. · She suffers a just punishment and receives the kiss of  death.  She strug­ gles  contifmously  with  suicidal impulses.
Further analysis of this case confirms the complete truth of this dream interpretation which was possible to me only through the knowledge of the history  of  her  illness.  The  association  of  the blood  bath  furnished  the key.
That was a dream with an individual symbolism which one not acquainted with it could  scarcely  have  seen  through.  The  next dream shows a quite typical symbolism. In many dream interpre­ tations we can quickly discover the  sense  of  a dream  with  the  help of symbolism. A further progress  depends upon the associations  of the  dreamer.  A  short  dream  may  require  a  complicated  analysis. A long dream of ten leads back  to a  single  thought.


IOOWILHELM   STEKEL

We present for illustration of this  fact  two  dreams.  The one very long and the other fragmentary of which only two words remain.    The long dream is by  Dame  Frau Alpha  and runs :
( 593)   " The scene  of   the action:  The new Armory  at Schotten­ ring.    A  large,  handsome  room  filled   with  a  number  of   gymnastic and   electrical  ap paratus.Dr.  H ochstetter  was  standing  in  scanty attire on a sort  of  an automatic weighing  machine  and  made a mock­ ing face  just   lik e  a  bad  child  who  says  'I  am not  going  to  pla y  any more.'The  d octor  goes  to  him  and  says,  'For  shame,  d octor, you behave  yoursel f   lik e  a   bad   boy.'    N o  use-Dr.  H ochstetter   con­ tinues  to  be  stubborn.  As  I   observed   the  culprit   closer  I  noticed that  he  had  nothing  on  but  a  pair   of   spotlessly   clean  pants   and  a dirty, flimsy   shirt  that  would  almost  stand   alone,  and  that  had  be­ szd es numberless  spots and  tears.    N ext I  also  noticed  that he didn't have  buttons  on  his  linen.    I   think   to  myself   how  disgusting  this Dr. H ochstetter  is, and  closer  observation  mad e  him  look  consid er­ ably  more  so.    At  that  I  look ed  down  at  myself   and  noticed  that  I was  not  pro perly   clothed,  without  being  the  least  embarrassed .   I dressed  myself   calmly; with  that I  f ell  to the floor.They ask ed  me why  I  cried  so  at  this, whereupon  I  answered,  ' The whole  left  half of   my  body  hurts me so.' They laughed  and  it is very surprising  to me  that  I   said   the  word   left   for   this  means  something   unheard of .   I  corrected   myself   quickly,  'perha ps   the right, I  d on!t  know.' Thereupon  I   finished    dressing   111,yself.They  talk ed   f or   a  while with  my  husband   and   explained   all  the  many  ap paratuses   to  him,. Then you  sit  down and  unpack   a  newly  arrived  ap paratus,  whereat you   explain  that  you  will  use  it  on  me.    'Will it  d o  me  good?'   I ask ed,  to  which  you   ans-&er,  'I   tell  you  in  such  cases  electricity really  works  marvels.I  electrif y  all  my  patients  before  I  discharge them from  'the  cure.'I  ask ed  you  then why  Dr. H ochstetter  stands up  there so  pugnaciously   on his ped estal.    ' Why, he is being  electri­ fied /  you  say;  ' Yes, but,' I  ask, ' does  he  have  to  be undressed  for it?'' Of  coitrse, because he has silk  lining in his clothes; that would interf ere,' was the answere I  received .   Strange  that a man with silk lining  in  his  clothes  should   have  such  und erclothes.With  that  I wok e up."
For the  experienced  this dream explains  itself .  The lady  wishes to give up the psychoanalysis. Before that she wants to receive electrical  treatment.  The  new  apparatus  with  which  she  wishes to be worked upon is a new apparatus to her, my penis. Already poor Dr.  Hochstetter  serves  to  symbolize  this  conceived   wish.     (Hoch-


THE  TECHNIQUE   OF  DREAM  INTERPRETATIONIOI

stetter =Hoch  steht  er = he  stands  on  high.)     The  opposition   of Dr.   Hochstetter,   his   filth,   are   remonstrances   which   are   directed toward  me.    Then   one   observes  the   awful   power   of   my  phallus which  continues  a very  long time  pugnaciously  on the  apparatus.
At the close the hitherto passable logic suffers a shock. To the question, why Dr. Hochstetter had to be undressed follows the absurd answer, because he had silk lining ; that  would  interf ere. We besought the lady to explain this passage to us. She was silent awhile for she imagined this part of the dream was senseless and absurd.
According to Freud, in this criticism lies  an  important  affect of the  dream  material.
"Thus the dream is made absurd if there occurs as one of the elements in the dream thoughts  the  judgment ' That  is nonsense,' and in general if disdain and criticism are the motives for one of the trains of  unconscious  thought. Hence absurdity becomes  one of the means by which the dream activity expresses contradiction, as it does by reversing a relation in the material between the  dream thoughts and dream content, and by utilizing sensations of motor impediment. But absurdity in the dream is not simply to be trans­ lated by ' no,' but is rather intended to reproduce the disposition of the dream thoughts, this being to show mockery  and  ridicule along with the contradiction. It is only for this purpose that the dream activity produces anything ridiculous. Here  again  it transforms  a part  of  the latent content into a manif est f arm."
And  in another place :
" Thus  my  solution  of  the problem  of  the  absurdity  of  dreams  is that the  dream  thoughts  are never  absurd-at least not  those belong­ ing to the dreams  of  sane persons-and  that  the  dream  activity  pro­ c!uces  absurd  dreams  and  dreams  with  individual  absurd  elements, if  criticism,  ridicule,  and  derision  in  the  dream  thoughts  are  to  be represented  by  it  in  its  manner  of  expression.    My  next  concern  is to  show  that  the  dream  activity  is  primarily  brought  about  by  the cooperation  of  the  three  factors  which  have  been  mentioned-and of   a   fourth   one  which   remains   to  be   cited-that   it  accomplishes nothing  short  of   a  transposition  of   the  dream  thoughts,  observing the  three  conditions  which  are  prescribed  for  it,  and  that  the  ques­ tion  whether  the mind  operates  in the dream  with  all its  faculties,  or only  with  a  portion  of  them,  is  deprived  of  its  cogency  and  is  inap­ plicable  to  the  actual  circumstances.     But  since  there  are  plenty  of dreams  in  which  judgments   are  passed,  criticisms  made,  and  facts


102WILHEL:ll  STEKEL

recognized, in which astonishment at some single element  of  the dream appears, and arguments and explanations are attempted,  I must meet the objections which may be inf erred from these occur­ rences  by the citation  of  selected examples."
My answer  is as  follows : Everything  in the dream which occurs as an  apparent  exercise  of  the  critical  faculty  is to  bero-arded,  not as  an  intellectual  accomplishment  of  the  dream  activity,  but  as  be­ longing  to  the  material  of  the  dream  thoughts,  and  it  has  found  its way  from  them  as  a  finished  structure  to  the  manif est  dream  con­ tent.    I may go even  further  than  this.    Even  the  judgments  which are passed  upon  the  dream as it is remembered  af ter  awakening  and the  f eelings  which  are  aroused  by  the  reproduction  of  the  dream, belong  in  good  part  to  the  latent  dream  content,  and  must  be  fitted into  their  place  in  the  interpretation  of   the  dream."     (The  Interpretation  of  Dreams,  p.  351.)
\Ve  now  ask the  dreamer  to  pay  attention  so that  she can  notice especially  the reproaches  which  appear  ridiculous  in connection  with this  passage.    \Ve  could  draw  out  nothing  about  this  because  the dreamer  will  not  understand.    In  this  last  hour   (it  is  one  of   her last  dreams)  she does  not  ";_sh to  listen.
\\Te  can  now  f ully  understand  the  meaning  of  the  reproach.    It is  directed  against  me.    She  supposes  that  I  ha,e  desired  ardently through  the  whole  course  of  the  psychoanalysis   (permanent  erec­ tion).    K ow  she  says  to  me,  "\Yhy  that  is  absurd,  that  is  simply ridiculous;  you know what sort of a treatment would help me, then help me."8
And  the  association  to  silken  lining.    She  presents  no  associa­ tions.    From  earlier  dreams, I know  her  vacillations  between  ardent sexual  desire  (silken  lining)  and  strict  continence  (designation  for soiled  linen).    \Ve  can also hazard the guess: Futt,  etc.,  but  it  remains a guess. It only occurred  to me  later that this place  signified abuse,  reviling  of  my  rightf ul lining. At any rate the whole dream is useless for the knowledge of the deeper strata because the material is ";_th.held.
\Ve bring out only the superficial relations ; how altogether different is the analysis  of  the ne).".i: dream.The  dreamer, Ir.  B. D., tells us he had when he woke up only two words in his ear, "snake " and  "Iesopotamia." He  produced his associations  immediately. In Iesopotamia was paradise. It must also have reference to the s I refer  to  the eunuch's dream, in which this patient, out of revenge, because I hate not done as she desired,  made me impotent  by castration.


THE  TECHNIQUE   OF  DREAM   INTERPRETATION103

f emale genitals, for Mesa in the years of his youth called the vagina this.  The Euphrates  and the Tiber  form a delta  which  reminds  one of  the legs of  a woman.
Further associations cease to flow. I call his attention to the connection between snake and paradise. It certainly deals largely with original sin. Yesterday he hesitated for the space of a moment whether he should go to a prostitute ; finally he did not do it. Fur­ thermore he was pious for a long time ; now he is a free thinker. He is not able by himself to present further associations to the two words. I now ask him to construct a sentence in which both words occur. He is unable to do it and says " It can't be done." "Another question occupies me much more. I am always thinking whether there are any snakes at all in Mesopotamia-whether the snakes belong to Mesopotamia. I believe they were first discovered in India." In border India or  interior  India.  (Literally, Front India or Back India, Trans.)
We set about the construction of a sentence. He says : "The snake is the source of all evil " and "In Mesopotamia, at one time, Paradise was supposed to lie."
We notice that he returns to his religious  complex.  He tells us with what interest he read a small illustrated Bible history. He is reminded of pictures and  suddenly  of  a scene at a christening.  He was seven years old ; a lady sang a couplet at the christening of his sister at a late hour, whose refrain caused great laughter to all those present.    The refrain  had  clung to  him  tenaciously.    It goes :
"When Adam in the apple bit,
From  very  fear  . . . his  trousers split."
That occupied him a great deal at that time.  What does the apple mean ? Did the good Lord drive mankind out of Paradise on account of such an act of foolishness ?  Was  that  not  too severe? Then he was silent and his associations failed.
We have noticed that he could not compose a sentence with "snake " and " Mesopotamia." We return to this doubt.  The doubt has to do apparently only deliberately with the propagation of the serpent.
"You mean," he says suddenly, "that I do not know where my penis belongs ? Whether I ought to go to women or men ?  Border or Interior  India? "   (Vide supra.)
So he himself gives the explanation, the while he supposes it to me. But  the analysis is not yet finished. It is diverted  to the word "Mesopotamia." He begins to explain it in French. Pot became chamber. He thinks immediately of  chamber  pot.  A  number  of scenes occur to him from the paradise-like condition of  childhood where all were in one room before each other and were not ashamed. He saw different things and distinguished various noises. He con­ jectured as to the size of an opening from the loudness  of  the  noise. He set about his phallic studies at home and in the toilet and arrived
finally at the question whether "amien " could have a meaning. He analyzed "a mien," "la mienne " my people  ( f .), and "la mien " my people  (m.).   Yet, the most  important  of  all, he failed to see  (ami = the friend ). That, of course,  "amien "  contains  the  anxious question ?   Man or woman ? (Where does the   snake belong ? Border or Interior  India?   Front or back. Un  ami or une amie ?)
Finally it occurs to him that Amiens is a city in France, in which the Maid of  Orleans  was  born.  (The typical  bisexual symbol-as the Amazons and the Valkyries : the woman with the lance.) That proved to be a false memory.   He has forgotten that there  occurred a fierce battle between the English and the  French.  The two na­ tions represent to him the "pure morals " and  the  "lax  morals." Paris is for him a Babel of sin. . . . The angel triumphs over  the devil. But the most important (association ) about Amiens is that there General Manteuf el struck the French on the head. He had known  this very well and quite  forgotten  it  for the minute.
We  come to the answer : Man  is  for  him  the devil.   He is afraid of homosexuality.  He  is  pure  concerning  women  because  they do not  appeal  to him.
We have been able to form weighty conclusions out of insignifi­ cant material, out of two words,9 while the long dream of the gym­ nastic apparatus does  not  lead  us  nearly  so  deep  into  the  problem of  the neurosis.
Of ten dreamers bring only a single word, that they have retained out of a dream. Such an example  is  the  word  "Ronather,"  the name of a Viennese pleasure establishment. The analysis showed that it stood for "Acheron " and  " Charon " and in  addition served to symbolize f ear of hell and its punishments.
This coining of words meets with the greatest opposition on the part of the uninitiated. And Artemidoros relates a  classical  in­ stance that was famed a thousand years ago. "It seems to me," he says, "that Aristandros  gave a fortunate interpretation  to Alexander
9 Compare my analysis of an example of a slip of the tongue in  Zentral­ blatt  fiir  Psychoanalyse,   1910,  Hef t   1-2.


THE  TECHNIQUE   OF  DREAM   INTERPRETATION105

of Macedonia. When he had shut in and beleaguered Tyre and on account of this great loss of time was depressed and moody of coun­ tenance, he saw a satyr dancing on his shield ; by chance Aristandros found himself in the vicinity of Tyre and in the presence of the king who was besieging the Tyrians. When he separated the word Satyr into la and_ Tvpo (Tyre is yours), he brought it to pass that the king took the siege aggressively in hand, so that he became the master of the city."
To-day, 2,200 years af ter, we are obliged to return to the genial technique of Aristandros. Examples of  this same art are not lack­ ing in this book. The methods of dream interpretation are more varied than one would believe.
The associations of the dreamer, his conversation, his affects, his reservations, his opposition and his agreements all belong to the dream material. A knowledge of symbolism is absolutely neces­ sary because one can call the dreamer's attention to many of them and thereby lead to a more thorough analysis : The more convinced the dreamer is of the art of dream interpretation, the more willingly does he set about the work of interpretation.  Complete  knowledge of the language of dreams is indispensable to convince the dreamer. Moreover, no dream can be interpreted with the best associations without adequate technique. The psychoanalyst receives only raw material. He must be able to make out of that the corresponding picture.
Also we have learned to know the different structure of the dream. The dream of the " Gymnastic  apparatus  in  the  office hours " is a dream fantasy, which portrays the repetition of  a perhaps consciously constructed day-dream in the mind of the dreamer. She shows only a minimal secondary elaboration as Freud calls the rationalizing activity of the dream. The dream  endeavors by moulding and reinforcing to make sense out of nonsense.  But this secondary elaboration according to my view must not be under­ estimated. Like the hysterical symptom or the obsession it betrays exactly as much of the suppressed material as it wishes to conceal. The dreamer of the apparatus dream has not given herself the trou­ ble to undertake a secondary elaboration. The dreamer of the two words, however, whose dream shows a thorough secondary elabo­ ration, had himself been anxious not to hinder  an interpretation. Two words by themselves could hardly overcome the opposition of the unconscious and penetrate into the conscious.
Of   course,  dream  interpretation  is  much  easier,  the  longer one works with a dream at analysis ; certain symbols reappear ; the method of dream formation is as a rule typical and shows f ew vari­ ations with a simple nature ; one recognizes the earmark of his most important object of love ; one recognizes his conflicts and can pick them out much easier. The first dreams are always the most diffi­ cult. ( Cf. the  chapter,  " First  Dreams.")  If an interpretation fails, one need not be disappointed. The theme reappears in many variations until the interpretation is successful. I have already mentioned that all too many dreams are many times signs of oppo­ sition and only serve the purpose of occupying the psychoanalyst and leading him away from the important complex. One can guard one's self against this if one consistently remains with the one dream or disregards the dreams entirely. Now many patients reveal an incredible facility in the manufacture of interesting dreams, which appear to be capable of an exact interpretation. They bring the dream, explanation and conf ession which the analyst solicits. One is easily led astray, then, to explain and soon finds himself in a blind alley. The skilled analyst can scarcely distinguish there whether he is the dupe or the wise man . . . in such cases it pays to remain with one dream until it goes absolutely no further. . . .
Many times, however, the dream gives a  long-desired  explana­ tion. It explains for us a previous  dream.10  In short, it serves in place of an interpretation. How interesting it is, e. g., that the dreamer in the "electric machine dream " corrects herself  and changes the lef t side  into the  right.  The  difference  between  lef t and right she has already learned from me. She applied this knowl­ edge in order to indicate her wish. She wishes to be united to me legally.  Then  a  dream  also  can  make  us  observant  of  a  fault  in the dream interpretation and the psychoanalysis.  I shall give such an example here because it makes us familiar with the technique of the neurotic. It shows us  how  the  unconscious  does  not  always reveal itself frankly, but will allow itself to be  caught.  We  are reminded of  the  play  of  the  bride  robber.  The  bridegroom  must first conquer his bride. Thus the unconscious also demands that the doctor himself shall solve the riddle. Otherwise what is he a dream interpreter   for ?     Fraulein  Etha dreams.
( 594) "I came back from  the  country  with  Bru1io  into our former   town  resid ence.There  a  large,  blond e  Frenchwoman was waiting  and  gave him lessons and  with whom he had  an aff air.   H e
10 Cf. the admirable dream analysis by Otto Rank : "A dream, which explains itself."   Jahrbuch II, 2, 1910.


THE  TECHNIQUE  OF  DREAM  INTERPRETATION107

presented   me  to  her  as  his  cousin  and  left   us  there  alone  awhile. The French  woman  was very  sad  and  ap peared   to  me  to  be jealous. She was  quite sympathetic  to me and  I  thought: ' Why, then, is this cousin  comedy  necessary?    I f   I   told  her  that  I  was  his  sister, she would  be just  as well  satisfied. '    But  I  did  not  wish  to  do  it against his will.    Then Bruno  came back  again and  the French  woman said : 'Are you  near relations?'     ' Yes,' I  cried, laughing.    ' We resemble each other very much.    We have the same  hands, the same pro files, ' and  thought:  'N ow  she  will  catch  on.'   But  she  noit,iced  nothmg. Then I  went  hap pily  and  quietly  to my  room and  lay  down  to sleep. Curious  that  I  am  so  happy,  I   thought.    Dr.  Stek el  will  certainly say: Because  I  feel  myself  free  now  that Bruno  has an affair.
II.  " Then I  saw  a  garden  with  several  persons,  and  then I  was in the hall of  a home, lying rigidly on an opened  wardrobe and  await­ ing  death.    M y  limbs  were fixed,  but  my  head  whirled  around  and I  thought:  'Mimi  is  dead  now,  too, she  can  tell  me  how  it  is,' and I  dreaded  an intense pain  and  thought it must  be a f eeling  lik e when one is hung  and  all  the blood  ritshes forcibl y  to the head.    I  wished, nevertheless, to force  death, bu't it did  not  come; then for  the present I  gave  up  the thought  of   dying."
This dream came af ter a series of dreams, which I could not in­ terpret.  We know  already : The dreamer has had  different  things to do with her brother. But the teacher of the children was a Frenchwoman. I ought then to recognize  that  the  Frenchwoman is also her teacher. That is to be sure from the secondary elaboration. This dream should inform me that she expects from me an entirely different  treatment  than the psychoanalytic.  She loves me and I  do not observe it.  For  that  she  is  happy.  But  happy  people  do not wish to die. I treat her as  a  sister.  She  wishes,  however,  to be treated as a stranger. She does not wish, moreover, to tell anything about her true relations  with  her  brother.  She  was  more  than  a sister  to him.
By this dream the experience with the brother and the French­ woman were brought to light. I recognized immediately that the reproach, " But she noticed nothing," was a home thrust at me. Fi­ nally the dream thoughts have  to  do  with  what  Dr.  St.  will  say. She desires  to  free herself   from  these things.
The end appears to be a defloration fantasy, which  pictures  itself in death (stiff  limb,  intense  pain.  Mimi  is  her  Mama,  who could tell her  how  it is).
The  dream warns  me  of  the transf er ; reproaches  me,  that  I  do not notice her ; reproaches, that I did not interpret the last dream correctly. It gives the correct one af ter a few unfortunate interpre­ tations. Yes, it forces the right interpretation ( forcibly-forces-I did not wish to do it against his will, etc.).
The objection that one places something in the dream which was not contained in it, is disposed of by such examples : The dreamer does not accept the false interpretation. Do not misunderstand me. Very many interpretations are rejected  by  the  dreamer.  But the next dream brings a new confirmation of the same. Or the dreamer brings other material that proves just  the thing which he  disputed so strenuously before.
If an interpretation is wrong, then there comes a subsequent dream which teaches us better. The danger of accepting false inter­ pretations is not too great if one lets himself be guided by the dreamer. But there are exceptions.  I know overly clever  persons who from conscious or unconscious motives hinder the work of in­ terpretation through associations fantastically constructed, or where a superficially associated wealth of material makes a passage  into the  depths illusory.
Finally, all dream interpretation depends upon the self -knowl­ edge of the analyst. I have seen intelligent  colleagues  who  could not interpret simple  dreams.
Every psychoanalyst has also his individual complexes for which he has then no understanding in the psychoanalysis, if they have not become known to him. I call this phenomenon, "The psycho­ analytical skotoma." It is therefore necessary to learn one's own dream analysis and in the first line to know oneself .
We are all no better than dreamers ! This knowledge ought  to lighten our way through the darkness of the false passages of dreams.Moreover,  we  are  thrown  into  lif e  with  a  breast  f ull of hate and have with difficulty overcome our wild desires and instincts. Then, too, we first  must  need  to  learn love.That is the great knowl­ edge  which  I have  gained  through  my  work  with dreams.Hate  is instinctive  in  human beings.Incest  love  or  love  which  appears to us to be incest love, if it becomes fixed through  overmastering reac­ tion to the emotion of hatred should teach the child to overcome the hate.The  child  learns  from  his  home  lif e.    He  learns  to  control the criminal in himself, not alone from f ear of a higher  power ; No ! For  love  of  good,  beauty,  from  ethical  motives.Then  his  sexual desire which accordingly is kept in bounds by all other  emotions renders  him  the  worthiest service.


THE  TECHNIQUE   OF  DREAM   INTERPRETATION109

The meaning of the criminal in persons is explained by this book. For cure of a neurosis a knowledge of the "inner criminal " is posi­ tively necessary. What  could  easier  unmask  him  than  the  art  of the  dream  interpreter ?
The interpretation of dreams aff ords long years of study and practice. Not  every  one is equal to this work.  It is the task  of  an artist and cannot become mechanical.  The  psychoanalyst  must be able to place himself in the unconscious of a dreamer.  He must  be able to think  with  him and like  him.
Then come lightning-like  revelations  and  connections which r.ave something of inspiration in them. Then  the  dream interpre­ tation  is  a  " Miterleben."  That  is  certainly  the  most  difficult task af ter that  of  the priest.
We must be able to rejoice and suffer with our  patients.  Their pains must be our pains. Their deliverance from the bonds of  a neurosis our deliverance. By this difficult task the dream interpre­ tation renders an invaluable service. If my work can help psycho­ analysts and similarly employed colleagues, then is its mission ful­ filled.




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