commentary_on_kafka_3_1_1

commentary_on_kafka_3_1_1 - In advance to my commentary on...

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In advance to my commentary on “The Metamorphosis,” I’d like to give you a short commentary on Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams . I believe this will show that Freud’s work has considerable affinity with Kafka’s conception of writing/literature, that is, with a language that, as inherently “allusive,” disrupts conceptual thinking and selfsame, atomistic being. Commentary on Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams Two main points to keep in mind with Freud’s innovative approach to dreams are: 1. He discards the traditional or classical method of interpreting dreams by finding a fixed key to dream images, which ‘treats dreams as a kind of cryptography in which each sign can be translated into another sign having a known meaning…” (130) 2. What Freud calls the “latent content” of dreams or “dream thoughts” are not reducible to any form of conscious or conceptual thought. (311) What this means is that dream thoughts are never interpretable as conceptual units or in terms of unitary meaning where one word or phrase would refer to or represent one meaning only, but are to be treated like a “poetical phrase” (312), that is, like metaphor, which always alludes to at least two contradictory meanings. Freud expresses this when he writes that dream thoughts “are not infrequently trains of thought starting out from more than one centre” and that each “train of thought is almost invariably accompanied by its contradictory counterpart, linked to it by antithetical association.” (346) Freud goes on to say that “the nature of the psychical material out of which dreams are made” is devoid of the “logical connections” that are “the attributes of the trains of
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course MAP CONVWEST taught by Professor Ulfers during the Fall '07 term at NYU.

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commentary_on_kafka_3_1_1 - In advance to my commentary on...

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