117 Years Of Freud's Interpretation Of Dreams

The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli (1781).

Freud spent the summer of 1895 at manor Belle Vue near Grinzing in Austria, where he began the inception of The Interpretation of Dreams. In a 1900 letter to Wilhelm Fliess, he wrote in commemoration of the place:

"Do you suppose that some day a marble tablet will be placed on the house, inscribed with these words: 'In this house on July 24, 1895, the secret of dreams was revealed to Dr. Sigm. Freud'? At the moment I see little prospect of it." — Freud in a letter to Wilhelm Fliess, June 12, 1900

In 1963, Belle Vue manor was demolished, but today a memorial plate with just that inscription has been erected at the site by the Austrian Sigmund Freud Society.

Memorial plate in commemoration of the place where Freud began The Interpretation of Dreams, near Grinzing, Austria


The book introduces Freud's theory of the unconscious with respect to dream interpretation, and also first discusses what would later become the theory of the Oedipus complex. Freud revised the book at least eight times and, in the third edition, added an extensive section which treated dream symbolism very literally, following the influence of Wilhelm Stekel. Freud said of this work, "Insight such as this falls to one's lot but once in a lifetime."



The initial print run of the book was very low — it took many years to sell out the first 600 copies. However, the work gained popularity as Freud did, and seven more editions were printed in his lifetime.

Because the book is lengthy and complex, Freud also wrote an abridged version called On Dreams. The original text is widely considered one of Freud's most important works.


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