Dream Life: A Re-examination of the Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique

Author(s) : Donald Meltzer

Part of The Harris Meltzer Trust Series - more in this series

Dream Life: A Re-examination of the Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique

Book Details

  • Publisher : Harris Meltzer Trust
  • Published : 2009
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 188
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 27505
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855756199
  • ISBN 10 : 1855756196

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"Dreams are my landscape", said Meltzer. In this book he re-establishes psychoanalysis as the art of reading dreams, and dream-life as the core of mental processes. Dreams are not just puzzles to be decoded, the effluence of past trauma or future wish-fulfilment; they are the psyche's attempt - with a varying level of aesthetic achievement - to symbolise its present emotional conflicts in order to re-orient itself toward "the real world - meaning external and internal reality".

Reviews and Endorsements

'Meltzer reviews the metapsychology of dream theory through Freud, Klein and Bion. Employing Ella Sharpe's creative contribution of the "poetic diction" of the dream and Chomsky's internal grammar, and ranging through the philosophy of Susanne Langer and Ernst Cassirer, he explores the nature of language and communication. With a virtuoso use of clinical material, he suggests how the collaboration between patient and analyst can take on an aesthetic quality. The book adds hitherto unexplored layers of meaning to the analytic process, and culminates with the importance of the "fugue" of vocalisation and image in the content of the dream. To borrow Meltzer's quote: "Be amazed".'
- Ellie Roberts, child and adolescent psychotherapist and supervisor, Oxford

'In this inspired book, essential for contemporary psychoanalysis, Meltzer considers "dream life" (dreams and unconscious waking thinking) as the internal theatre in which the symbolical representations and meaning of our emotions are generated and incremented. He creatively conceives dreams as "aesthetic objects", whose external beauty perceived by the senses arouses anguish but also a desire to know its essentially mysterious interior, which can only be conceived by imagination. Not the interpretation but the "exploration of dreams" enables thinking about the core of our intimate relations.'
- Raul Hartke, training analyst, Sociedade Psicanalitica de Porto Alegre, Brazil

About the Author(s)

Donald Meltzer (1923-2004) is widely known as a psychoanalyst and teacher throughout Europe and South America. He is the author of many works on psychoanalytic theory and practice, including The Psychoanalytical Process, Sexual States of Mind, Explorations in Autism, The Kleinian Development, Dream Life, Studies in Extended Metapsychology, and The Claustrum, all published by Karnac Books.

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