Freud's three essays

When we collated the results, we were startled by what we found. The anxious, preoccupied group was far more likely to recall dreams than the securely attached; they took less time to enter REM sleep and had many more dreams featuring aggression against competitors. But both the anxious and the securely attached recalled more dreams than avoidant participants. That is precisely the pattern one would predict if dream sleep were directly related to long-term sexual strategies. The anxious individual is passionately interested in getting into a relationship with a romantic target, and thus recalls more especially vivid and emotional dreams filled with content concerning intimacy. The avoidant individual, conversely, suppresses the subconscious call for sexual closeness as reflected in dreams.

On his final page, Freud acknowledges that his theorising "in turn raises a host of other questions to which we can at present find no answer". [37] Whatever legitimate reservations there may be about "the improbability of our speculations. A queer instinct, indeed, directed to the destruction of its own organic home", [38] Freud's speculative essay has proven remarkably fruitful in stimulating further psychoanalytic research and theorising, both in himself and in his followers; and we may consider it as a prime example of Freud in his role "as a problem finder — one who raises new questions ... called attention to a whole range of human phenomena and processes". [39] Thus for example André Green has suggested that Freud "turned to the biology of micro-organisms ... because he was unable to find the answers to the questions raised by psychoanalytic practice": the fruitfulness of the questions — in the spirit of ' Maurice Blanchot 's sentence, " La réponse est le malheur de la question " [The answer is the misfortune of the question]' [40] — remains nonetheless unimpaired.

During World War I, Freud continued to write and lecture, but patients were few and international communications were impossible. When the war ended, however, the International Psychoanalytic Association resumed its meetings in an atmosphere much more conducive to psychoanalysis than that before the war. Unfortunately, the post-war years were extremely difficult in Vienna: inflation was rampant, supplies were few, and patients were rare. Freud's reputation, however, was growing, and in 1919 he was made a full professor at the University of Vienna.

Freud's three essays

freud's three essays

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