Home » Dreams in French Literature: The Persistent Voice by Tom Conner
Dreams in French Literature: The Persistent Voice Tom Conner

Dreams in French Literature: The Persistent Voice

Tom Conner

Published January 1st 1994
ISBN : 9789051836431
Paperback
200 pages
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 About the Book 

The nine essays in this volume deal with several well known French authors through the ages - for example Descartes, Voltaire, Mme de Stael, Nerval, Verlaine - and explore the problematic relationship between dreams and literature. GenerallyMoreThe nine essays in this volume deal with several well known French authors through the ages - for example Descartes, Voltaire, Mme de Stael, Nerval, Verlaine - and explore the problematic relationship between dreams and literature. Generally speaking, contributors are interested in the production of literary meaning. How does various dream material, ranging from the traditional dream to visions and hallucinations and day dreams, come to be? And how is the dream image transformed into discourse? What exactly is the relationship between dream and narrative? Each essay focuses on a different author and different period, ranging from the Middle Ages to the late nineteenth-century, but also takes a unique critical and theoretical approach. What the contributors have in common, though, is an analytical, sensemaking strategy that characterizes the interpretation of dreams through the ages, from ancients such as Artemidorus and Cicero to modern thinkers such as Freud. Most of the texts studied here, from the Chanson de Roland to Chateaubriands Memoires doutre-tombe, lend themselves to this type of approach because they promote narrative unity. So too do Voltaire, Mme de Stael, Nerval and Verlaine. Many if not most texts, however, in the end, turn out to be not quite so tightly-knit as one may have supposed at first and, in the case of Agrippa dAubigne and Descartes, the reader is in for several surprises when the normal course of events leading from dream to text, from signifier to signified, is interrupted and subverted.