In this Book

summary

At the Borders of Sleep is a unique exploration of the connections between literature and the liminal states between waking and sleeping—from falling asleep and waking up, to drowsiness and insomnia, to states in which sleeping and waking mix. Delving into philosophy as well as literature, Peter Schwenger investigates the threshold between waking and sleeping as an important and productive state between the forced march of rational thought and the oblivion of unconsciousness.

While examining literary representations of the various states between waking and sleeping, At the Borders of Sleep also analyzes how writers and readers alike draw on and enter into these states. To do so Schwenger reads a wide range of authors for whom the borders of sleep are crucial, including Marcel Proust, Stephen King, Paul Valéry, Fernando Pessoa, Franz Kafka, Giorgio de Chirico, Virginia Woolf, Philippe Sollers, and Robert Irwin. Considering drowsiness, insomnia, and waking up, he looks at such subjects as the hypnagogic state, the experience of reading and why it is different from full consciousness, the relationships between insomnia and writing and why insomnia is often a source of creative insight, and the persistence of liminal elements in waking thought. A final chapter focuses on literature that blurs dream and waking life, giving special attention to experimental writing.

Ultimately arguing that, taking place on the edges of consciousness, both the reading and writing of literature are liminal experiences, At the Borders of Sleep suggests new ways to think about the nature of literature and consciousness.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-5
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-xiii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. Toward Sleep
  2. pp. 1-49
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. Sleepless
  2. pp. 51-76
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. Leaving Sleep
  2. pp. 77-107
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. Sleepwaking
  2. pp. 109-141
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 143-144
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 145-152
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 153-162
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 163-167
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. About the author
  2. pp. 169-185
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

ISBN
9780816681792
Print ISBN
9780816679751
MARC Record
OCLC
849935283
Pages
176
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.