Caroline: The Navel of the Dream: Freud, Derrida and Lacan on the Gap where “Something Happens”

Sigler, David. “The Navel of the Dream: Freud, Derrida and Lacan on the Gap where “Something Happens.”  SubStance 39.2 (2010): pp. 17-38. Web. 26 June 2016.

This essay begins by pointing out how Freud’s famous “Irma’s injection” dream is one of the most crucial parts of his book The Interpretation of Dreams. It is considered to be a conventional text that various analysts throughout history have dissected and studied. It is a major one when it comes to any study concerning psychoanalysis. Freud himself refers back to this dream to interpret the unconscious. Jacques Derrida published an essay “Resistances” where he attempted to closely study this dream.

The essay tries to understand how Freud deconstructed this dream and how Derrida in his essay either “crisscrosses or even structures Freud’s work.” Freud believed that every dream has that one spot where it cannot be examined or deciphered and calls this spot “the navel” of the dream.

Derrida questions the navel of the dream. He claims that Freud did not study the “Irma’s injection” dream enough. He asks whether the navel of the dream needs to be studied further so that the dream can be interpreted completely and also if the navel is the end point where the dream can no longer be analysed. Derrida’s main question is then that if the navel is the end point of the interpretation of dreams then is it considered to be psychoanalytic any more.


Caroline: Victor Turner, Sigmund Freud and the return of the Repressed

Oring, Elliot. “Victor Turner, Sigmund Freud and the Return of the Repressed,” Ethos 21.3 (Sep. 1993): pp.273-294. Web. 23 June 2016.


This article talks about how Victor Turner was influenced by Freud’s style which made him understand the Ndembu ritual symbolism better. In his article “Encounter with Freud: The Making of a Comparative Symobolist” he mentions about Freud’s style when it comes to analysis and interpretation of ritual symbols.

In his article Turner dismisses Freud’s psychoanalytical claim that ritual symbols have the “same properties as dream symbols.” Turner is known for his contribution in the hermeneutics to the field of anthropological discourse of symbols. This can be clearly seen in his “Symbols in African Rituals where he decodes how ritual symbols hold certain meanings within them and the process of unveiling them. His interpretations of these rituals also claim that these ritual symbols are multi-layered and do not hold just one meaning.

Freud is specially known for his sexual symbols while interpreting dreams but one needs to note that these symbols take up minimum space in his work. He wrote a lot more on various other symbols that did not grab attention as much as the sexual ones did.


Caroline:Psychoanalytic Theory and Criticism

Slade, Andrew. “Sigmund Freud and the Itinerary of Psychoanalysis”, Psychoanalytic Theory and Criticism. pp 1-15. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan Private Limited, 2016. Print.


This first chapter in the book gives a brief introduction to Sigmund Freud’s history and background and short descriptions of the theories coined by him. It also discusses how even though analysts have made developments in psychoanalysis opposing few of Freud’s ideas, his basic theories about the unconscious and dreams still hold significance and is considered the foundation of psychoanalysis.

In describing Freud’s psychoanalytic journey, Slade begins with his experience under Josef Breuer where he treated hysteria with hypnosis. This method was called the cathartic method in which the patients would be helped to get rid of thought that was causing his or her suffering. It was famously called the “talking cure” as it required the patients to talk about the conflicts that brought them to the clinic. According to Freud the major cause of hysteria was that the patients would see a past event in their life as the present and causes suffering because of its emotional appeal.

Later, Slade talks about Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams where he regards dreams as the effect of the unconscious. This was one of his major works where he claimed that dreams are everything that one’s unconscious mind wishes for and that “the unconscious is a dynamic, primary, mental process that seeks its satisfaction through wishing.”

Caroline: A Short Introduction to Psychoanalysis

Milton, Jane; Polmear, Caroline and Fabricius, Julia. A Short Introduction to Psychoanalysis. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2004. 1-17. Print.


The book provides an introduction to psychoanalysis, written specifically for professionals who are looking for explanations with the help of examples referring to patients and the problems that they face. The book guides one through a therapy which is otherwise considered to be misinterpreted. It includes the recent developments in psychoanalysis and how it has progressed both in theory and practice.

In pages 1-17 the authors try and familiarize their readers to what is psychoanalysis exactly. Before they do this, they try to answer the question of who are the patients. In this section the book gives examples of patients and their situations and how psychoanalysis is of help to them. Most of these patients seemed to have difficulty in dealing with milestones in life and having to get out of a comfort level or a secure environment. The patients are aware of their condition and they themselves realize that they are n need of help.

Later paragraphs in the chapter discuses what psychoanalysis is. Psychoanalysis is therapy that concerns itself with the inner world of the patient, which is troubling or disturbing his or her outer or external developments. The chapter also talks about the environment set in during the sessions, its duration and also the whole psychoanalytic process.