Dreams in Myth, Medicine, and Movies

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - Psychology - 235 pages
3 Reviews

Cinema-invented just before psychoanalysis formally developed-primed the public and scholars to rethink ideas about dreams. The author describes how surrealist artists purposely applied Freudian dream theories to their art to make the public aware of modern ideas about dreams. Most of our current cultural consciousness about the psychological value of dreams is traced to classical and contemporary cinema. This work examines how residuals of past approaches to dreams make conceptions of dreams in psychoanalysis and science more complex than ever today.

Scholars and students in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, cinema, medicine, and religion may find this volume useful. The book also examines academic psychiatry's increased emphasis in dream study on neuropsychiatry and psychopharmocology, as well as managed care's decreased compensation for dream therapy.


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This book was chosen by Choice (American Library Association) as a top choice for 2003. It is used to teach psychiatry residents--but it is still readable and enjoyable by anyone, even if they are not schooled in psychiatry or psychology. The best parts link dream theories to art movements, such as Symbolism and Surrealism--but each chapter is worth the read. Even the chapter on Brain and Biology is timely. I can't wait to read an updated version that mentions more recent films. Bravo!  

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Came across this book in my research into Oneiromancy when Google books flagged it up, pages 86 and 87 in particular. Unfortunately I did not reach much of the book because on these two pages I found a glaring mistake. Leo Oppenheim certainly did not co-author any books with Freud, as Oppenheim's 'Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near East' was published around 56 years after Freud's 'Interpretation of Dreams'. Plus, Freud died in 1939, making any sort of colloboration with Oppenheim in 1956 rather difficult to say the least. 


Before We Begin
Dreams and Definitions
Myth and Meaning
Film and Photography
Cinema and Cyberspace
Sleep and Social Control
Science Fiction and Sleep
Deities and Demons
Reason and Romance
Symbolism and Surrealism
Psyche and Soul
Body and Brain
Foretelling the Future

Shamans and Sorcerers

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About the author (2002)

SHARON PACKER, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and Woodstock. She is Adjunct Professor in the Media Studies and Cultural Studies Department at the New School for Social Research.

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