The CuriousPages Sketchbook

The fiction of dreams

I started recalling some of the dreams that I’ve written about here, and it occurred to me that most, if not all, of my fiction is very much like a dream. The characterizations are always vivid, and, I would suggest, much more ‘real’ than the characters in most other writers’ fiction, yet the situations, locations, and events in my fiction are often very much like those in dreams. There is a sort of absence of reality. Or, the reality, though vivid, is perhaps more like the reality that we experience in dreams.

I think I’ve always been aware of this, on some level; I’d always realized that my fiction contains a high degree of allegory, and that a lot of the locations and actions, and even sometimes the dialogue, is meant allegorically, rather than literally. I’m aware that this is how my writing comes out, but I can’t do anything about it; that’s just the way I express myself, I guess.

It occurs to me that perhaps this is why I haven’t yet found a publisher for my works, after twenty years of writing. My voice is not like other writers’. I do not write accounts of ‘reality’, of everyday existence. The characters are most definitely experiencing the ‘everyday existence’ that most of us experience. But I believe that if you could step inside another person’s head and see what was going on in there, then the world that you would see would be much nearer to the mental worlds that are portrayed in my fiction, than to the world that we all see when we fleetingly glance at other people in ‘real life’ from the outside. This experience of being a person in the world, I would suggest, is very much a dream like experience.

So, even though this may be an obstacle to me ever getting published, I don’t think that I would be capable of writing the sort of ‘fiction’ that most other writers write. I just can’t do it. What would be the point? I would fall asleep through boredom, slump down onto my keyboard and wake with the letters embedded into my face-yes, as though someone had been typing on my face in a dream. But while other writers write, I sleep. And while I write, other writers sleep, apparently. Perhaps I do live in the world of dreams. Yes, perhaps I do. But then, so does everyone else, I believe. But it seems that most writers don’t have the imagination to write about this ‘reality’ that we all secretly experience. Or if they do, they are not publishable, since publishers wrongly imagine that readers lack imagination.

I will keep dreaming. I don’t have any choice. Life is most definitely a dream, and I have too much integrity to not write the truth.

 

30 July 2008

 

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