The Freedom of Fiction Part 1.

On February 9, 1898 Sigmund Freud wrote to his close friend and confidant, Wilhelm Fliess, the Berlin based ear, nose and throat specialist.

fandfFreud said, ‘I am, by the way, for no accountable reason in a splendid mood and have found my daytime interest. I am deep in the dream book, am writing it fluently, and enjoy the thought of all the “head shaking” over all the indiscretions and audacities it contains. If only it weren’t necessary to do a lot of reading! I am already frustrated with what little literature there is.’

Of course Freud was happy. He was revelling in the sheer joy of letting his thoughts run free to create a whole new universe. The problem was that no hypothesis can stand in isolation, but has to be posited in the prevailing literature. What a theory is not, is almost as important as what it is. Audacity is fun, having to be cognizant with ideas that leave you cold is agony. If Freud had the freedom to write a fictional story on dreams as wish-fulfilment he would have had ̶ well ̶ his wishes fulfilled.

 

‘Everyday it’s the same old thing: Metaphor, Metaphor, Metaphor.’

Allan Tegg

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