FREUD’S DREAM OF IRMA’S INJECTION Erikson’s and Lacan’s Interpretation

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Freud's Dream of Irma, his patient whose psychotherapeutic treatment ended in only partial success, is exposed at the very beginning of „The Interpretation of Dreams“ as a confirmation of his theory of dreams as fulfillment of repressed desire. At the end of the dream analysis, Freud offers us the following interpretation: "The dream fulfilled my wish. I'm not to blame for Irma's illness. It's Otto's fault for giving her an injection of propylene..." Erikson and Lacan will, without pretending to better understand (interpret) the dream of Irma than Freud himself, continue hermeneutic work on the text of the dream. Both Erikson and Lacan observe the following: how is it that Freud, interpreting the dream of Irma, contented himself with recognizing a desire that could be situated in the system of the preconscious, if not in the system of the conscious? Secondly, the very phenomenology of sleep leads us to distinguish between its two parts: in the first part Freud reveals a frightening image of Irma's mouth, something like Medusa's head, something that, Lacan says, cannot be named, something that represents a primitive object par excellence. Such an image would be expected to awaken the dreamer. But Freud continues to sleep and continues to dream. This phenomenon (Lacan and Erikson both agree) requires interpretation. Erikson believes that Freud did not wake up due to regression in the service of the ego; Lacan says that that we are not dealing with the antecedent state of the ego, but with the spectral decomposition of the function of the ego.

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VULEVIĆ, G. ., & MILIĆ, M. . (2022). FREUD’S DREAM OF IRMA’S INJECTION: Erikson’s and Lacan’s Interpretation. Arhe, 18(36), 385–406.


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