Thursday, June 28, 2012

A book-lover in dreams as well

One of the games I play with dreams is to compare the character and behavior of the dream self with that of the waking self. In at least one respect, I find that my dream and waking personalities are identical; they are both passionate book-lovers.
     I am forever handling, appreciating and reading books in my dreams. Sometimes these are books I have not yet written, and when I am fortunate I am able to bring back a few paragraphs I can turn into a draft. More often, I am inspecting and reading books from a universal library, of authors I know well and those I have not yet discovered in regular life. To those dream researchers who claim (as several have done) that it is not possible to read in dreams and hold a clear impression of text, I say: look again. Some of us do it nightly.
    In one of my dreams last night, I pulled a selection of books from my shelves that included Tolkien's The Silmarillion and several of Michael Grant's histories of Rome. I became tremendously excited by what I re-discovered in these books, especially by Grant's limpid overview of the rise and fall of the Roman empire, and its myths and customs. I resolved, in the dream, to seek out more. I learned that there is a sequel or successor to The Silmarillion I had not yet read, and of course there is always more of Michael Grant to read; this British classicist was immensely prolific, to the chagrin of the plodding pedants in his field.
    I don't know what triggered my dream self's book selections overnight, though I am wondering now whether he was influenced in part by my late-night reading, an excellent historical mystery by Joseph Kanon (Istanbul Passage) set in Turkey right after World War II. Michael Grant was fluent in Turkish, and was in Turkey for part of World War II, and was no doubt involved in secret operations.
    I want simply to note the sheer enjoyment of my dream self as he perused his books. As I stirred into waking consciousness in the golden light of early morning, filtered by the drapes, I stayed with him, in his dream library, relishing this gentle literary recreation.
    Oh yes. I'll see if there is more of Tolkien, published after The Silmarillion (a posthumous collection of his mythopoeic works edited by his son Christopher) that I need to explore; and I have already placed some of Michael Grant's books about Rome at my left hand on my desk. Dreams set assignments.

1 comment:

Chas S. Clifton said...

I am now well into Istanbul Passage, thanks to your mentioning it, and it is mesmerizing.