Of course, dreams are a lot like stories or movies, except that in dreams
you are always a character / actor yourself. It does not seem possible to
have a dream in which you are not a participant but only a reader / viewer.
At least in my dreams this does not seem to occur.
On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 10:25 PM, Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
You wrote, “I’ll roll with the idea that story telling and dreams may
serve some of the same ends but your example seems to work against the idea
that only pleasant dreams and stories succeed.”
I really didn’t intend to say that only pleasant dreams and stories
succeed,” just that we hope for “pleasant dreams,” for our spouse if we
happen to have one, and we hope the same thing for ourselves. But as we
know we don’t always receive them. Sometimes we receive nightmares.
Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles wrote tragedies and Aristotle claimed
they provided a cleansing benefit, but after these playwrights came
Aristophanes who wrote comedies.
We hope for the pleasant dream, but it is well within the order of things
that we sometimes receive a nightmare.
I had written, “A good story will make us feel as good as a pleasant (or
at least not unpleasant) dream.” I didn’t intend to say that bad stories
and unpleasant dreams don’t “work.” We have dreams whether they are good
or bad, so no doubt it is in our DNA to have them and they must work to
some purpose. But what I am suggesting is that hearing, reading or seeing
a “pleasant story” is like the “pleasant dream” we hope for. Having a
story during the day to go with our dream during the night may be something
we need. Whether it is better to have a good story is my conjecture. It
may be better for us to watch Anne of Green Gables than Friday the 13th.
. . not that I’ve followed my own advice and chosen to watch Anne of Green
Gables – although Susan coaxed me into watching it with her.
I had also written, “I frankly don’t think the novels that win awards,
novels about college professors and their angst (not that I’ve read many of
them) fit that mold. Think of the stories that people buy by the billions:
detective stories, westerns, science fiction, and romance. The good guys
win (normally) and there is a happy ending (mostly) – just like a pleasant
And maybe what I’ve said in the above paragraph is wrong. Maybe the
professors’ angst is in the category of an unpleasant dream or a
nightmare. Maybe we wish for something pleasant but are forced (because
we are taking a class that requires it or are doing some graduate
reviewing) to read a professor’s dreary tragedy. But since it is a
“story,” perhaps there is a benefit along the lines of what a Greek Tragedy
itself might entail.
You wrote, “A large blue wall in California? ‘strawdinry idea. And a
siren arriving after the incident too. Lash yourself to some handy mast is
my best advice.”
Yes, now that you mention it a “blue wall” does sound like what the police
have been called. And also the wall to keep aliens south of the border
could be called a blue wall since the Border Patrol is Law Enforcement, but
that seems to excessively overburden the image when all I’m doing is
looking for my motorcycle.
Telling the woman behind the blue wall that I am married is interesting
because maybe subconsciously in some sense I still am.