In a psycho-analysis one learns to interpret propinquity in time as representing connection in subject-matter. Two thoughts which occur in immediate sequence without any apparent connection are in fact part of a single unity which has to be discovered; in just the same way, if I write an ‘a’ and a ‘b’ in succession, they have to be pronounced as a single syllable ‘ab.’ The same is true of dreams.

Sigmund Freud 1899 Interpretation of Dreams, page 265


In the first place, dreams take into account in a general way the connection which undeniably exists between all the portions of the dream-thoughts by combining the whole material into a single situation or event. They reproduce logical connection by simultaneity in time. Here they are acting like the painter who, in a picture of the School of Athens or of Parnassus, represents in one group all the philosophers or all the poets. It is true that they were never in fact assembled in a single hall or on a single mountain-top; but they certainly form a group in the conceptual sense.

Dreams carry this method of reproduction down to details. Whenever they show us two elements close together, this guarantees that there is some specially intimate connection between what correspond to them among the dream-thoughts. In the same way, in our system of writing, ‘ab’ means that the two letters are to be pronounced in a single syllable. If a gap is left between the ‘a’ and the ‘b’, it means that the ‘a’ is the last letter of one word and the ‘b’ is the first of the next one.* So, too, collocations in dreams do not consist of any chance, disconnected portions of the dream-material, but of portions which are fairly closely connected in the dream-thoughts as well.

* [This simile is a favourite one of Freud’s. He uses it above on p. 265 and again in the middle of Section I of the case history of Dora (1905c). It is possibly derived from a lyric of Goethe’s (‘Schwer in Waides Busch’) in which the same image occurs.]

Sigmund Freud 1899 Interpretation of Dreams, page 330


(It is a rule of psycho-analytic technique that an internal connection which is still undisclosed will announce its presence by means of a contiguity – a temporal proximity of associations; just as in writing, if ‘a’ and ‘b’ are put side by side, it means that the syllable ‘ab’ is to be formed out of them.)

Sigmund Freud 1901 Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria








interesting, propinquus is what penguins are: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/propinquity http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/propinquus http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/prope – and then comes prox http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/proximus http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/proxy – fear thy proxy as thyself





by the way, i wonder how these two are different:
(1) propinquity in time & have to be pronounced
(2) temporal proximity & to be formed out of

(2) appears to be the one that can be modelled by a markov chain (statistical method). (1) cannot, because it refers to voice and obligation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s