Freud's Dream of Interpretation
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Frieden explores methods of dream interpretation in the Bible, the Talmud, and in the writings of Sigmund Freud, and brings to light Freud's troubled relationship to his Judaic forerunners. This book reveals unfamiliar associations in intellectual history and challenges received ideas in biblical, Talmudic, and Freudian scholarship.
Freud distanced himself from dream interpreters such as Joseph and Daniel by rejecting their intuitive methods and their claims to predict the future. While biblical and Talmudic dream interpretation generally involve prophecy, Freud sought to limit himself to the determination of prior causes in the dreamer's life. Nevertheless, Frieden demonstrates that Freud's strategies of interpretation, and especially his use of "free association," inevitably guide the dreamer toward a future. This resonance between ancient prophecy and modern psychology is merely one example of the concealed relationship between Judaic and psychoanalytic dream interpretation. Frieden shows the role both of actual influences and influences denied by Freud.
Ken Frieden is Assistant Professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Languages and Literatures and in the Comparative Literature Program at Emory University. He has authored Genius and Monologue, which traces the evolution of inspiration and individuality since ancient times.
"I particularly like the book's lucidity, the clarity of its argument, and the author's facility with Freud. " —Susan Handelman