Study Guide

Louise N. in The Interpretation of Dreams

By Sigmund Freud

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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