Our collections include entries on dreams from the historical record as well as cultural and artistic works that deal with dream-life.
In May 1947 Jorge Luis Borges—Argentinian poet, writer, librarian, and dreamer—published a story about a monster named Asterion. It is a tale that turns on a dream.
By LANA LIN
How can one respond creatively to loss and destruction? Before being diagnosed with breast cancer, Lana Lin dreamt she had a new internal organ. In the aftermath of treatment, she turned to artists like Audre Lorde, who faced similar bodily crises, and who had found ways to make something in the wake of devastation.
While interned at a so-called “voluntary workers’ camp” during WWII, German cultural theorist, Walter Benjamin, wrote to his friend Gretel Adorno: "Last night, lying in the straw, I had a dream so beautiful that I cannot resist the temptation to share it with you..."
Photojournalist, filmmaker, and human rights advocate, Tim Hetherington produced a series of photographs of sleeping U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. He was opening up his documentary practice to new forms reverie when he was killed while on assignment in April 2011.
APARNA MISHRA TARC
Fatima dreams about falling from a ship. While fleeing from Syria by boat, the young girl witnessed a woman give birth to a stillborn baby which was then thrown overboard. Magnus Wennman recorded Fatima's dream and others as part of his award-wining series called Where the Children Sleep.
Plenty Coups, the great leader of the Mountain Crow Band, had many prophetic dreams and visions as a child. When he was a boy, he had a dream-vision about a chickadee which provided guidance for the Crow Nation in their relations with the American settlers.
As a young boy Henry James visited the Louvre and was awestruck by the vastness of its collections. Later, as he worked on a memoir of childhood, the Louvre returned as the scene of a nightmare. In this vision, the museum space paralleled the terrain of the unconscious, conjuring up the novelist's lifelong struggle with issues of mastery and control.
Inspired by a 1952 clinical case study by Dorothy Baruch, Maurice Sendak's first children’s book tells the story of a young boy’s dream-quest, an adventure that involves answering seven questions given to him by a four-legged rooster.
According to his autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom, Nelson Mandela had one recurring nightmare while he was in prison on Robben Island.
In her testimony at the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the mother of a murdered boy, Notrose Nobomvu Konile, shared a dream about a goat. The incomprehensibility of her testimony later became the grounds for a remarkable project about "the barriers we have to overcome, the lengths we have to go to, in order to arrive at some understanding of our fellow human beings."
Freud describes his "Castle by the Sea" dream as containing "allusions to the maritime war between America and Spain." This war ended with the annexation of Puerto Rico to the United States, which spelled the end of 400 years of Spanish domination of the island and a new form of colonialism for the US.
Sixteen minutes into Rendez-Vous chez Lacan, a documentary film about the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, one of his former patients, Suzanne Hommel, speaks of a haunting recurring dream and Lacan's startling response.
In April 2005, the French playright-poet-philosopher, Hélène Cixous had a dream in which she and her friend Jacques Derrida appeared as two footballing mice. Derrida had died just a few months prior and the dream inaugurates Cixous's tribute to the philosopher, Insister of Jacques Derrida.
Three years in the making, this collaborative album initiated by Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd focuses on the dream-life of U.S. veterans of color who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Theodor W. Adorno was one of the most important philosophers and social critics in Germany after World War II. A small collection of his dreams was published posthumously which provide an intimate glimpse of the philosopher's desires, guilt, and anxieties.
The creation of American cartoonist Windsor McKay, this full-page weekly comic strip ran intermittently from 1904 until the 1920s and is widely considered a masterpiece of the genre. Each page depicts a fantastic dream that is always interrupted by the protagonist's awakening in the final panel.
After Hitler came to power in 1933, Charlotte Beradt, a Berlin-based journalist began secretly compiling a record of Berliner's dreams about the Nazi regime.
During the First World War, a number of British poets wrote about their dreams as part of their treatment at Craiglockhart War Hospital for Neurasthenic Officers in Edinburgh, where they had been sent to recover from shell shock.