Dreaming : Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams
Human Sciences Press, Inc., New York City

Dreaming, Volume 7, Number 1, March 1997

 


 
 
 

CONTENTS

Special Issue:  Coleridge and Dreams--Part I

Coleridge and Dreams An Introduction
David S. Miall and Don Kuiken
Page 1

Why Coleridge Was Not A Freudian
Nicholas Halmi
Page 13

The Wedding Guest's Nightmare: An Oneiric Reading of Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Kay Stockholder
Page 29

Coleridge, Creative (Day)Dreaming, and "The Picture"
Susan Luther
Page 47
Available online

"Surprised by Sleep": Coleridgean Dejection and Self-Analysis
Douglas B. Wilson
Page 67

 


David S. Miall, Ph. D. and Don Kuiken, Ph. D.
Coleridge and Dreams An Introduction
Dreaming, Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 7(1) 1-11, Mar 1997.
[no abstract]


Nicholas Halmi, Ph.D.
Why Coleridge Was Not A Freudian
Dreaming, Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 7(1) 13-28, Mar 1997.

Abstract:

The history of oneirology may be divided into explanations of the causes of dreaming and interpretations of the content of dreams. Because these schools of thought are opposed to each other, the distinction between them can be used to falsify Kathleen Coburn's claim that Coleridge was a forerunner of Freud. Although both sought to bring the unconscious under the control of the conscious, rational mind, their oneirological approaches nonetheless differed fundamentally. Freud did not reject the etiological explanation of dreams, but his emphasis on unconscious rather than somatic and other external causes placed him at odds with earlier psychologists and imposed on him a hermeneutic burden of proof, consisting in establishing that dreams are wish-fulfillments even when they do not appear to be. Furthermore, his theory of symbolism had strong affinities with both ancient and Romantic oneirocriticism. Coleridge for his part found the traditional causal explanations of dreams inadequate, but habitually resorted to them anyway because he could not bring himself to interpret oneiric imagery perhaps out of fear of what he might discover about himself.

Key Words: dream theory; dream formation; hermeneutics; symbolism


Kay Stockholder, Ph.D.
The Wedding Guest's Nightmare: An Oneiric Reading of Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Dreaming, Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams.  Vol 7(1) 29-46, Mar 1997.

Abstract:

This analysis of Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is based on the heuristic device of reading the poem as the dream of one of its voices. The rationale for this assumption is that the poet draws on that part of the mind that constructs our dreams in the process of making the selections of fine detail by which he carries out his conscious artistic intentions. By approaching a literary work in this way, one is able to retrace the paths of the creative imagination, and take into account and relate to each other the formal characteristics and craft that distinguish art from dream and the deep psychic currents that creative art, in common with dream, draws upon. Approaching the poem in this way, we see the poem structured on an emotional tension between the dreamer's desire to enter the realm of familial affection along with the sexuality that generates families, and fear that doing so will unleash the mingled emotions of vulnerability, rage, and disgust. These emotions have their source in the infantile layers of the psyche that give the poem its incantatory style and supernatural aura. In the course of the poem, the dreamer attempts to end his painful oscillation between a retreat into emotional numbness and desire for a fuller life, but fails. As an uneasy compromise, he finds some consolation in an otherwordly Christian charitas, which has the advantage of still keeping him at a distance from ordinary love, marriage, and family. His emotional dissatisfaction with this resolution impels him obsessively to retell his story.

Key Words: Coleridge; dream poetry; psychoanalytic literary criticism.


Susan Luther, Ph.D.
Coleridge, Creative (Day)Dreaming, and "The Picture"
Dreaming, Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 7(1) 47-65, Mar 1997.

Abstract:

Meant less as traditional argument than as a scholarly meditation, the essay adopts quasi-fictional strategies of composition to read Coleridge's "The Picture, or the Lover's Resolution" through Freud's "Creative Writers and Day-dreaming" and other, relevant scholarship. It adopts the localized point of view of the practicing poet to reflect upon "The Picture" and interpretation (or reading) itself considered as forms of (day)dreaming, giving particular attention to what "The Picture" suggests about the dynamics and consequences of creative wish-fulfillment when the dream of art is dreamt under the sign of Eros. Must the poet's muse become a figment, a shadow? Is the (day)dream of creative romance false, or true? Disclosing to reader and interpreter in turn selected prospects revealed within "The Picture's" interior landscape, the essay seeks to preserve the element of (self-)discovery characteristic of dreaming. It concludes by reiterating a challenge implicit all along: (when) are our dreams of interpretation themselves truths or idle fancies?

Key Words: Coleridge; Freud; interpretation; dream poetry; self-projection; wish-fulfillment; creativity.

Available online


Douglas B. Wilson, Ph.D
"Surprised by Sleep": Coleridgean Dejection and Self-Analysis
Dreaming, Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 7(1) 67-81, Mar 1997.

Abstract: .

This paper situates "Dejection: An Ode" in the context of Coleridge's theory of nightmare. Hovering between waking and sleeping, the nightmare falls like a shadow upon the dreamer's later waking state. As a waking nightmare, "Dejection" is antithetically paired with Coleridge's "The Picture." A Lacanian reading discloses this poem as a playful daydream that serves as a foil to "Dejection," which depicts Freudian melancholia haunted by nightmare. This reading of "Dejection" as Coleridgean self-analysis counters readings of the ode as a therapeutic progress toward consolation.

Key Words: Coleridge; dream poetry; dejection; nightmare.


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