Geschichte aus Träumen

Traum-Erzählungen als Quellen der europäischen Kulturgeschichte


  • Isabel Richter Universität Bremen, Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft



dream narratives, cultural history, diaries, self, individualization process


The article focuses on the question whether dream narratives can be used as sources of European cultural history and moreover, how this might contribute specific insights into the history of subjectivity. The first part of the article provides an overview of different modes of dream analysis in cultural history. The author pays special attention to the relation between cultural history and psychoanalysis. In the second part the article presents a thick description of 21 dream narratives published in diaries of the late 18th and the 19th century. The author recognises a remarkable shift: Interpreting dreams becomes a part of the modern skill to construct one’s inner (or psychological) self, whereas in early modern times dream narratives followed the idea of divine destiny and collective human fate within the simultaneity of the present and the future. This is due to the European ‘individualization process’.



Richter, I. (2012). Geschichte aus Träumen: Traum-Erzählungen als Quellen der europäischen Kulturgeschichte. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften, 23(2), 140–160.



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