Study Guide

Freud's Nephew John in The Interpretation of Dreams

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Freud's Nephew John

Late in The Interpretation of Dreams, as Freud teases out all of the associations that emerged from his Non Vixit Dream, he tells his readers about his nephew "John"—a childhood friend who made a lasting impression on him.

Freud describes John as "the playmate of [his] earliest years" and says: "We had loved each other and fought with each other; and this childhood relationship, as I have already hinted above, had a determining influence on all my subsequent relations with contemporaries" (6.7.55).

In fact, Freud writes that all of his friends "have in a certain sense been re-incarnations of this first figure" (6.9.50). Talk about having a type.

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