Study Guide

Louise N. in The Interpretation of Dreams

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Louise N.

Freud doesn't tell us much about this woman. So, what do we actually know about her?

Freud tells us that Louise N. was a lady of his acquaintance—someone who was a close enough friend of his family to visit his house and borrow his books (6.8.47).

Yeah, that's about all we know about the real-life woman. Dream-Louise, on the other hand, appears in Freud's Dissection Dream (6.8.46), in which his senior colleague Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke tasks Freud with a dissection of his own body. Yikes. As Freud calmly dissects his own pelvis and legs, Louise N. is on-hand to assist him. Does this make her a nurse in the dream? Is there some latent hanky-panky going on? Freud leaves a lot to the imagination here.

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