Dreams pp 1-6 | Cite as


Contemplating Freud’s Navel
  • Kelly Bulkeley


In the one hundred years since the publication of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, the study of dreams has become a fruitful resource in the investigation of the deepest meaning-making capacities of the human mind. Dreams offer a unique insight into the creative imaginal space where religion, culture, history, and psyche join together in dynamic interplay. The aim of this book is to explore that creative space, to plumb the mysterious depths of the “dream navel,” in Freud’s haunting words. Dreams brings together a collection of provocative writings from scholars in religious studies, anthropology, history, and psychology. The twenty-three chapters highlight the most important theories, the most contentious debates, and the most exciting prospects in this growing field of study. For researchers, teachers, students, and general readers alike, Dreams provides a one-volume compendium of the best that contemporary dream study has to offer.


General Reader Creative Space Dream Experience Contentious Debate Dream Life 
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  1. 1.
    Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, trans. James Strachey (New York: Avon Books, 1965), p. 143, n2.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (New York: Dilithium, 1988), pp. 154–155.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    The only other recent book that aims to provide a broad cultural and historical survey of dreaming is Dream Cultures: Explorations in the Comparative History of Dreaming, edited by David Shulman and Guy Stroumsa (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). I would argue that the present book is more accessibly written, treats a wider variety of topics, and stimulates more interdisciplinary dialogue than Shulman and Stroumsa’s book—but of course I am hardly an unbiased reviewer. The book against which all dream anthologies must measure themselves isGoogle Scholar
  4. The Dream and Human Society, edited by G. E. Von Grunebaum and Roger Callois (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966). I have tried to emulate von Grunebaum and Callois’s success in bringing together the leading exponents of many different fields of dream research. The Dream and Human Society gives readers the sense of attending a kind of “summit meeting” of the best dream researchers around, and I have sought to generate that same feeling in the present collection.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    See Carol Schreier Rupprecht, ed., The Dream and the Text: Essays on Literature and Language, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    See Bert States, Dreaming and Storytelling (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    See Christopher Dreisbach, “Dreams in the History of Philosophy,” Dreaming vol. 10, no. 1 (2000): 31–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 9.
    See Naomi Epel, Writers Dreaming: Twenty-Six Writers Talk About Their Dreams and the Creative Process (New York: Crown, 1993).Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    See Patricia Cox Miller, Dreams and Late Antiquity: Studies in the Imagination of a Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994).Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    See Morton Kelsey, God, Dreams, and Revelation: A Christian Interpretation of Dreams (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1981).Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    See G.W. Trompf, Melanesian Religion (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    See M.C. Jedrej and Rosalind Shaw, eds., Dreams, Religion, and Society in Africa (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992).Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    See Anthony Shafton, Dream Reader: Contemporary Approaches to the Understanding of Dreams (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995).Google Scholar

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© Kelly Bulkeley 2001

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  • Kelly Bulkeley

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