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Varieties of Oneiric Experience

...is what tomsdisch labelled these investigations, and he held that hearing (in this case reading) others' dreams is as amusing as hearing any story can be, which I agree with completely, whether creepy and unheimlich or goofy and dadaist.  There's just no doubt that it all means something, and something important, but what or why can't be said, just as with stories themselves.  Teaching a lesson (or learning one) just won't do.

Anyway, after carefully grooming the data I seem to arrive at no conclusion -- most people don;t have those kinds of dreams and of the few who do there seem to be as many women as men -- so forget it.

It does suggest though the need for a real taxonomy of dreams:  not an analytic mode or method, we are far from that pace Freud and others, but a simple taxonomy, like the meme structure of folktales.  SO you can wake up and say oh one of those.  We do that anyway of course, but this would be science, like.

The Forgotten Errand.
The Big Nice House  (this one is cognate to the New Apartment, which in my dreams is always a wonderful refuge, sometimes with free meals or similar).
The Big Nice Elaborately Produced City.
The Big Guy who makes me Guilty/Nervous/Anxious
The Rock Band that Needs my Help (this can't, at least in this form, be a permanent fixture of mentality, though it might have earlier cognates. e.g.  The Shaman who Neeeds me to Beat the Drum.  In my case it was auditioning to replace the bassist in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, a band I never even listened to much.)
Meeting Dead People who Act Alive
Being Dead but Still Alive
Meeting Famous Dead People who Act Alive

... well I seem to be drifitng into inconsequence, like the Chinese Encyclopedia. 


Jan. 23rd, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
Chinese Encyclopedia
Well then at least include in the list
Those that are dreamt by the Emperor.
Those that may be mistaken for lies.
Maybe Borges would have liked those.

No, seriously, I like your list a lot. I recognize a many of them, and I loathe the one about teeth falling out which you mention in some reply to a comment. I find it interesting that dreams in literature tend to be all but dreamlike and often serve only as pretexts. It is only on rare occasions that one comes across fictive dreams that have the taste of the real thing. I was only going to mention one in a short story by Ambrose Bierce which I do not fully recall but which hinges on the dream not being one after all and the one from the Yellow Sign by Robert Chambers. Then I remembered Pierce Moffet's dream about meeting Rose years later with her ability to ignite matches by only willing it, a memento from her days with that horrible sect 'the powerhouse'. I wonder, did you dream that dream, or did you only make it up?