We my best friend essay in present indefinite tense a solution of the dream from this latter, and not from the manifest dream content. We are also confronted for the first time with a problem which has not before existed, that of examining and tracing the relations between the latent dream thoughts and the manifest dream content, and the processes through which the former have grown into the latter.
The dream thoughts are at once intelligible to us as soon as we have ascertained them. The dream content is, as it were, presented in a picture-writing, whose signs are to be translated one by one into the language of the dream thoughts. It would of course be incorrect to try to read these signs according to their values as pictures instead of according to their significance as signs. I might now be tempted as a critic to consider this composition and its elements nonsensical.
A correct judgment of the picture-puzzle results only if I make no such objections to the whole and its parts, but if, on the contrary, I take pains to replace each picture by the syllable or word which it is capable of representing by means of any sort of reference, the words which are thus brought together are no longer meaningless, but may constitute a most beautiful and sensible expression. Now the dream is a picture-puzzle of this sort, and our predecessors in the field of dream interpretation have made the mistake of judging the rebus as an artistic composition. As such it appears nonsensical and worthless. The first thing which becomes clear to the investigator in the comparison of the dream content with the dream thoughts is that a tremendous work of condensation has taken place. The dream is reserved, paltry, and laconic when compared with the range and copiousness of the dream thoughts. I have been able to observe.