‘Delusion and Dream in Jensen’s Gradiva & Other Essays’ by Sigmund Freud

Published by Beacon Press in 1967.

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Delusion and Dream in Jensen’s Gradiva (German: Der Wahn und die Träume in W. Jensens “Gradiva”) is a long essay written in 1907, an analysis of the German novelist Wilhelm Jensen’s story Gradiva, is his first work to deal explicitly and systematically with literature and aesthetics, although he had commented at some length on Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and Hamlet by Shakespeare in Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams published in 1900.

In asserting that dreams have meaning, psychoanalysts are aligned with the ancients, a ‘superstitious’ public and creative writers. Through the close analysis of a story that Jensen termed a “Pompeiian phantasy”, Freud considers “the class of dreams that have never been dreamt at all—dreams created by imaginative writers and ascribed to invented characters in the course of a story.

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