Cairo, January 5, 1850
You ask me whether the Orient is up to what I imagined it to be. Yes, it is, and more than that it extends far beyond the narrow idea I had of it. I have found, clearly delineated, everything that was hazy in my mind. Facts have taken the place of suppositions – so excellently that it is often as though I were suddenly coming upon old and forgotten dreams.
Flaubert and Madame Bovary
In this dream play the author has, as in his former dream play, To Damascus* attempted to imitate the inconsequent yet apparently logical form of a dream. Everything can happen, everything is possible and probable. Time and place do not exist; on an insignificant basis of reality the imagination spins and weaves new patterns: a blend of memories, experiences, spontaneous ideas, absurdities, and improvisations.
The characters split, double, multiply, evaporate, condense, disperse, and converge. But one consciousness holds sway over them all, that of the dreamer; for him there are no secrets, no incongruities, no scruples, no law. He neither acquits nor condemns, but merely relates, and, just as a dream is more often painful than happy, so a tone of melancholy and pity for all mortal beings runs through this uncertain tale. Sleep, the liberator, often seems a source of torment, but when the torture is at its worst the sufferer awakes and is reconciled with reality—which, however painful, is yet a mercy, compared with the torment of the dream.
A Dream Play
Miss Julie and Other Plays (Oxford World’s Classics)
Johan August Strindberg
Most of the commercials we produced were thirty- and sixty-second spots for products like Maxwell House Coffee, Vicks Vaporub, Ajax (bum-bum, the foaming cleanser), Colgate Dental Cream, and other household products. Technically speaking, these early ads were the simplest work imaginable. There’s a dancing coffee pot or some such thing with a jingle about Maxwell House exploding flavor buds; cut to a man tasting a steaming cup of coffee while his lovely, crisp wife looks on expectantly; cut to the best take of his reaction (“Hmm, that’s delicious!”); cut to the sign-off; and you’re through. But nothing is ever that simple in the advertising business.
This kind of work was all right for a week or two. It had its curiosities. But after a few months at Tempo, I was morose and close to broken, for I knew I was using almost none of the skills that had landed me the job in the first place. At night bad dreams about exploding flavor buds and foaming cleansers with catchy jingles and forced smiles began to bother me. In the one nightmare I still recall, I was stuffed into a Maxwell House jar and exploded into ten thousand pieces when they poured the boiling water on me.
When The Shooting Stops … The Cutting Begins
Ralph Rosenblum, Robert Karen
Whenever we solve the problem of dreams, we shall not be far from solving the root problems of human identity and creativity. Has anyone noticed the really inexplicable thing about our nightly narrative tapes? They have suspense. This occurred to me last night, when I was involved in a Hitchcock-type chase dream—in which, I suddenly realized, I did not know what was going to happen next. I did not know who would be lurking behind the next door; and I wanted desperately to know. What part of one’s mind is it that harbours secrets unknown even to the unconscious? (For in dreams we are surely privy to the unconscious in full flood.) The theory that in dreams we tap a source of energy outside the individual psyche is powerfully reinforced by the presence of suspense.
Diaries, Kenneth Tynan
more Tynan –
Tynan on the true nature of a car wash