Nonfiction: Fever Dream

Wang Chutong

I once had a fever dream. I dreamt I was missing, falling into the deep abyss of time. I sensed the touch of waves and the sweet sounds made by gulls flapping their wings most joyously. I dreamt I was traveling, most intensely, through mysterious mists of early morning, but a clear cracking of knuckles or a grin, a clenching of fists or teeth would immediately drag me back to the secular life, mourning, without a purpose. A lighthouse became clearer and clearer to me, while at the last instant, totally […]

What Dreams May Come: Coleridge and the Pains of Sleep

David James Lamb

Insomnia is a literary disease. Those who have the best command of language seem least able to lay their head on a pillow and join the collective slumber. “The night is always a giant” said Nabakov, who could scarcely snatch more than an hour or two of rest back from each interminable night’s oppression. Ray Bradbury said of insomnia: “Sleep is a patch of death, but three in the morn, full wide-eyed staring, is living death! You dream with your eyes open.” Honoré de Balzac practiced a kind of self-imposed […]