Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), an Austrian neurologist, was a pioneer of psychiatry. One of his major works was The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), which introduced dream analysis in psychology practice.
After noting that Tomas understood the import of Tereza’s nightmares, which made him feel awful, the narrator criticizes Freud for having overlooked the aesthetic component of the dreaming process in his narrow focus upon psychological meaning alone.
“The dreams were eloquent, but they were also beautiful. That aspect seemed to have escaped Freud in his theory of dreams. Dreaming is not merely an act of communication (or coded communication, if you like); it is also an aesthetic activity, a game of the imagination, a game that is a value in itself.”
The narrator will illustrate his point with the arc of Tereza’s dreams through the story, as well as a couple of Tomas’s incidental dreams near the end.