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Koppenfels, Martin von (2021): »Traumdeutung« und »Totenhemdchen«. Eine Fallstudie zur Poetik des Alptraums. In: Psyche : Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse und Ihre Anwendungen, Vol. 75, No. 12: pp. 1105-1130

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As Freud himself emphasized, the nightmare or bad dream as a phenomenon accords ill with certain basic assumptions underlying his theory of dreams. It is thus doubly surprising that he should have prefaced the theory chapter in his Interpretation of Dreams with a text that against his intentions can also be read as an account of a nightmare: the so-called dream of the burning child. In this text, dream and narrative are so indissolubly linked as to closely resemble narrative genres like the fairy-tale or the exemplum. It displays major similarities to one of Grimms' fairy-tales - The Shroud - a fact that has escaped critical attention so far. The present article proposes a comparative reading of the atypical dream and the atypical fairy-tale. This reading enables us to address psychological issues that are relevant both for dream theory and for literary theory. One is the question of the relationship between wish -fulfillment and the expression of fear, the other the inquiry into the elemental symbolic procedures that militate against a traumatic loss of dreamness.

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