The Fictions of Dreams: Dreams, Literature, and Writing



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The Fictions of Dreams explores the close connection between the narrative nature of dreams and the narrative devices employed in literature and creative writing. The book is unique in its confluential approach, linking the fictions of dreams with literary fictions and case studies which illuminate the centrality of dream analysis in therapeutic work.

Dreams and literature are closely related. The dream’s essence lies in its narrative facility. Dreams are autobiographical fictions which tell the story of the dreamer’s life history, her insertion in transgenerational family themes, and her ethnic and cultural identity. In that sense dreams are psycho-social depositories and makers, not unlike what can be found in world literature: the recreation of interiority and historicity of a given time period.

The interconnected worlds of dreaming and fiction writing tend to employ the same narrative devices: the memorial mode (Patrick Modiano), multi-temporality (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), poeisis (Kafka, Ted Hughes, Colm Toibin), historical consciousness (Irene Némirowsky), and ‘infinite connectivity’ (Patrick White).

The poetry of dreams and world literature also share the exposition of human motivation, as can be seen in the complex interiority of dreams and fictional characters. Both dreams and literature bring to the fore that which is hidden but seeks expression, such as the conundrum of fear, the propensity for destructiveness, the search for love, the search for knowledge, the search for beauty, the ‘will to power’, and the search for the spiritual.

The theories employed are psychoanalysis, literary criticism, quantum physics, chaos theory, sleep research, the study of historical consciousness, theories of the ancient dreamers (Artemidorus, Aristotle), and theories of the social nature of dreaming. Case studies, actual dream fictions, will be used to illuminate the dream theories presented.


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