The Other Night
Dreaming, Writing, and Restlessness in Twentieth-Century Literature
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Jack Cameron helped me begin to phrase my questions about dreaming and has inspired me with his example. Paul Fry’s insights into this project renewed my interest in it and have sustained my work on it. Carol Jacobs’ reading of my work has made it more real to me, and her support has allowed me to rethink and revise. Claudine Kahan, Giuseppe Mazzotta...
Introduction: The Other Night
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Every night is two nights, according to Maurice Blanchot. The night the body spends in sleep is not the same as the night the dreamer spends in dreams. The sleeping body may lie under the stars, and the dreamer may dream of the stars—even of a journey to the stars—but the night of the dream is a night without stars. The dreamer may dream that it’s day, but...
One: The Dream as Writing: Freud’s Theory
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Some dreams, like the dreams of prophets, may be dreamt to be told to others, but only the dreamer can perceive his or her dream. This defining characteristic of the experience of a dream has been cited both to dismiss dreams as meaningless and to grant them special authority. Freud’s first thesis in the Interpretation of Dreams is that dreams are meaningful and...
Two: Dream and Writing in Blanchot
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In his critical works, Blanchot often speaks of an ‘‘experience’’: The Experience of Mallarmé or The Experience of Igitur, The Experience of Proust and The Experience of Lautréamont.1 This ‘‘experience’’ is neither the extra-textual experience of a subject placed at the origin of writing nor the experience of a written object conceived as the product of the work of such a subject...
Three: Beckett’s Restlessness
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Writing is the center of the action in Beckett’s trilogy (Molloy; Malone Dies; and The Unnamable). The comic energy of Molloy’s account of his journey to see his mother is derived not from the slow unfolding and ultimate dissipation of the action of that journey in space but from the fits and starts of the unfolding of his writing in a strange present in which the...
Four: Finnegans Wake
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The ‘‘quaqua on all sides’’ that Beckett’s speakers distantly hear in the
mud and whisper back to the mud in which they hear it echoes a call
that Finnegans Wake makes to its readers (and to the birds): ‘‘Quoiquoiquoiquoiquoiquoiquoiq!’’
Joyce’s ‘‘Quoiquoiquoiq . . .’’ is the answer of Shem, Sham, Shames (James),2 a Stephen Dedalus–like figure for the writer in Finnegans Wake...
Afterword: The Dream and Writing of Socrates
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Since the day of Socrates’ death, philosophy has been defined as a particular way of approaching death. Being philosophical has meant being philosophical about death. Waiting for sunset—the appointed hour of his death—Socrates discusses calmly what awaits him. No true philosopher, he says, should fear death, because philosophy pursues the separation of...
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Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2009