The Literature of Dreams

Dreams have been the topic of discussion for psychoanalysts, writers and critics, for several years now.  From their meaning, to their implications and interpretations; books have been written regarding various topics to unravel the mysterious world of dreams. Dreams have been and will be an instrumental asset to writers everywhere, so much so, that they have based their works on dreams they had. Here are a few classic and memorable works which had their origin in dreams.

  • Frankenstein (Mary Shelley): Mary Shelley, before writing Frankenstein, had lost a child just after 12 days of its birth. As fate would have it, one night she saw in her dream, a child coming back to life. She also saw, what she described as “a pale student of the unhallowed arts and the hideous phantasm of a man, stretched out.” This dream was a godsend for her because it proved to be the birth of the marvellous work of literature.
  • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte): Jane Eyre is said to have a lot of sub-conscious as well conscious autobiographical elements, which lend a rustic and authentic feel to the reader of this great piece of literature, many of which have stemmed from the dreams of Charlotte Bronte.
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (R.L. Stevenson): Stevenson dreamed the first transformation stage of Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde and since then, there was no looking back from him. He drafted the whole novel recalling his dream and from there, the roots of this great piece of writing came into being. Talk about a creative surge!
  • Stuart Little (E.B. White): Almost all of us have watched the movie “Stuart Little” and remember the adorable talking rodent, who was adopted by the “Little family” and loved as their own. His adventures are etched in our memories and the movie brings out fond memories. But little did we know that the image of a talking rodent came to the writer in a dream and he chose to act upon his dream and further extend it to this beautiful story. Now, that is a dream, we sure are grateful about.
  • Misery (Stephen King): Not many people have the creative prowess to be able to turn a dream, a nightmare, rather into a sensational piece of writing; most of us would rather forget it, chant the name of God a hundred and one times and try to sleep, but not Stephen King. He dreamt the story of an insane woman, killing her favourite writer and binding a book in his skin. The finished novel, turned out a little bit different but King known for his novels, filled with horror, gore and intense amount of suspense, sure did add that extra zing of personal touch to the work and made it memorable.
  • The Twilight Series (Stephanie Meyers): It is rumoured that the bestseller series of books, of a puny, mere mortal, falling in love with a predatory Vampire who sparkles in the sunlight, was something Meyers saw in a dream and the rest is history!

Writing is a dream for many but very few have the capability to turn their dreams into a reality. These dreams, no matter how short, show us that being a good writer is really the ultimate dream to pursue.

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