Sigmund Freud hired Otto Rank as his secretary and funded Rank’s PhD in literature at the University of Vienna. In 1910, at age 26, Rank published ‘A Dream That Interprets Itself’. Freud could not praise the essay highly enough; impressed by Rank’s erudition, Freud invited his protégé to contribute two chapters, on poetry and myth, in 1914 to The Interpretation of Dreams. Thereafter, Rank’s name would appear under Freud’s on the title page of the foundational text of psychoanalysis for the next fifteen years.
Grateful for Freud’s generosity, Rank published a stream of articles and books advancing psychoanalytic thinking into almost every area of the arts and humanities, thus demonstrating to Freud’s critics that the validity of psychoanalysis did not hinge solely on his autobiographical work The Interpretation of Dreams. Rank died in 1939 and his work fell out of favor until a renaissance of interest beginning in the 1970s.
This is the first English translation of Rank’s masterpiece of dream interpretation, originally published in 1910 as “Ein Traum, der sich selbst deutet” in the journal Jahrbuch für Psychoanalytische und Psychopathologische Forschungen, 2(2): 465–540. It is accompanied by an in-depth introduction from editor Robert Kramer, the world’s only Rankian psychologist. The book is essential reading for all psychoanalytic scholars, practitioners, and historians, and those interested in dream analysis.