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"Ascent" and Memorable Dreams [Oct. 11th, 2006|09:29 pm]
Laughing Moon

laughing_moon

[louise_norlie]

A flash piece of mine, "Ascent," has just been published at insolent rudder, and I thought I'd post a link to it here because more than anything else I've written, it is based on a very vivid dream. 

I actually had this dream about a year ago, and as has been advised in multiple sources, I wrote down all the details soon afterwards. The dream itself was unusual in that it was lengthy, detailed, and had a variety of scenes, people, and events. Most of my dreams feel truncated somehow - I break from the dream at what seems to be a crucial moment (but don't all dreams seem constantly full of crucial moments?). This one survived in my memory in a complex, complete form.

Details had to be changed or deleted prior to submitting the piece to insolent rudder. There were some incongruous elements in the original, such as a hospital bed in the elevator, well-dressed, ghostly children running with a kite on the roof of the building, a stone church on a grassy lawn, and an elderly woman who served me a bowl of soporific pasta. The original was double the length of the published version.

I looked up some websites on how to remember dreams and found this. This "tip" interested me the most. On one hand, it seems practical and rooted in science. On the other hand, certain terms which I have bolded for emphasis, stood out, as I don't mind if dreams are not lucid or meaningful.

Take vitamin B-6 (50-200mg) about a half hour before you go to sleep. Your dreams will become more vivid, colorful and lucid. Also melatonin can produce more intense and meaningful dreams.



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Comments:
From: malo23
2006-10-12 04:06 am (UTC)
I could tell that this piece had been inspired by a dream/nightmare immediately. It has that surreal-but-not-forced quality, that ephemeral/illogical-yet-cohesive flow to it. I love the way the character meanders through this and that, finally ending up on the roof. (I would love to read the unexpurgated version. The hospital bed and the ghostly children sound like something right out of Kobo Abe's nightmarish novel Kangaroo Notebook.) Do you think that, had you submitted it elsewhere, you might have been able to publish it in its longer draft?

Ahh, melatonin and vitamin B. I'm going to have to experiment with that. I often have vivid dreams, though lately I've only been able to salvage the tiniest of fragments from them. One such fragment I still recall from the dream of two nights ago is as follows: I was seated in the backseat of a (whose?) car with my father outside of his parents' place. (My father and I are not very close in real life, nor am I very close w/my grandparents on his side of the family -- As an aside, I never went inside the house in the dream.) The old man was smoking incessantly and, before I realized it, he had started navigating the car with his sockless foot while engaging me nonchalantly in idle chatter -- i.e. there was no driver in the front seat! The dream was much, much longer, but most of it was already gone when I awoke.

Thanks for sharing. Fascinating stuff.

~m
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[User Picture]From: louise_norlie
2006-10-12 03:58 pm (UTC)
Do you think that, had you submitted it elsewhere, you might have been able to publish it in its longer draft?

That's a good question. I'd tend to think not - most likely it would be rejected for "not making sense." I will try to find my original draft and post it here sometime soon. I think I may have it on a backup CD.

The other night I had a dream about accidentally breaking a priceless object d'art in a museum, then being pursued by the authorities. Perhaps I can do something with that theme in the future.

I've found that following your literary recommendations is very rewarding, so I will add Kangaroo Notebook to my reading list. To date, I've only read Abe's The Woman in the Dunes.
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From: malo23
2006-10-14 05:23 am (UTC)
I find that dream description very intriguing. Yes, I would "do something with" it for sure. Then again, it all depends on whether the inspiration is there for it or not.

I am fond of stories which "go nowhere" and don't have any apparent meaning, as you know. To say that something "makes no sense" is a cop-out. Editors who can't see the beauty in chaos need to be shaken up a bit. Open your eyes, friends, and see things for what they really are -- incomprehensible and illusory! Certainty is never guaranteed in life. Surrealism is sometimes more "real" than so-called Realism; the latter is too-often a poor approximation of the world we supposedly live in.

You will enjoy KN I think. It was completed less than two years before Abe's death and is his final novel, save the fragmentary and incomplete Flying Man (TOBU OTOKO), which was never published in English. It reads like an extended dream/nightmare sequence. Does it "make sense"? You be the judge. :)

~m
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