The Freud Museum


The museum of human excrement

A hill on which there was something like an open-air closet: a very long seat with a large hole at the end of it. Its back edge was thickly covered with small heaps of faeces and degrees of freshness. There were bushes behind the seat.

I urinated on the seat; a long stream of urine washed everything clean; the lumps of faeces came away easily and fell into the opening...

Why did I feel no disgust during this dream?

Because, as the analysis showed, the most agreeable and satisfying thoughts contributed to bringing the dream about.

The seat (except, of course, for the hole) was an exact copy of a piece of furniture which had been given to me as a present by a grateful woman patient. It thus reminded me of how much my patients honoured me.

Indeed,even the museum of human excrement could be given an interpretation to rejoice my heart.

The stream of urine which washed everything clean was an unmistakable sign of greatness. What at once occurred to me in the analysis were the Augean stables which were cleansed by Hercules.

But Gargantua, too, Rabelais' superman, revenged himself ... on the Parisians by sitting astride on Notre Dame and turning his stream of urine upon the city.

It was only on the previous evening that I had been turning over Garnier's illustrations to Rabelais. And, strangely enough, here was another piece of evidence that I was the superman.

.. during the evening I had delivered my lecture on the connection between hysteria and the perversions... I was tired and ... longed to be away from all this grubbing about in human dirt....

The day-time mood of revulsion and disgust persisted into the dream in so far as it was able to provide almost the entire material of its manifest content. But during the night a contrary mood of powerful and even exaggerated self-assertiveness arose and displaced the former one.

The content of the dream had to find a form which would enable it to express both the delusions of inferiority and the megalomania in the same material. The compromise between them produced an ambiguous dream-content; but it also resulted in an indifferent feeling-tone owing to the mutual inhibition of these contrary impulses.

For what is distressing may not be represented in a dream; nothing in our dream-thoughts which is distressing can force an entry into a dream unless it at the same time lends a disguise to the fulfilment of a wish.

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