Posts Tagged ‘dreams’
As promised, the second installment of spooky reader dreams. This comes from an esteemed colleague Sean Carman, and references my Dante-related essay, “A Divine Comedy,” which you can read right now (with subscription) in the September issue of Harper’s.
The essay mentions (a) a lunch I had at a beautiful hotel in Valpolicella with Dante’s very charming winemaking descendants, Count Pieralvise and Massimilla Serego Alighieri, as well as (b) a legend that Dante buried a manuscript of Paradiso somewhere on the Serego Alighieri estate.
Here is Sean’s dream:
Last year, when I was reading the Hollanders’ translation of the Inferno, I had a dream that was so vivid, and seemed so important, that it woke me from my sleep. In the dream, I was driving up a narrow Italian mountain road when I came across a small cafe and wine bar annexed to a castle. The cafe/wine bar had a trellis, and very little parking, and — here is the important part — an open-air cafe with flagstones and Italian waiters who served me wine. In the dream, I had a glass of pinot grigio and then went on my way, not knowing why I was in Italy, or on that particular road, or why I had stopped at the cafe. Still, the dream was so vivid, so rich in detail, I was sure it was trying to tell me something.
I read your article with interest, but I when I came to your visit to Casal dei Ronchi and your meeting with Count Pieralvise, I was riveted. Here was the scene from my dream repeated in your story. The same drive, the same open-air wine bar, the same flagstones. (For some reason, you didn’t mention the trellis.) What could it mean? I read on, captivated but also puzzled. A few paragraphs later, in the rumor that Dante hid a treasure trove of manuscripts somewhere on the estate, the meaning of my dream and its repetition in your Harper’s article became clear.
It’s true, my dream takes place on a narrow mountain road, whereas you were driving on a tall hill in the wine country. Also, I was at a castle, and you were visiting a hotel. Really, the only elements common to both scenes are the flagstones and the waiters.
But set aside the discrepancies between the two scenes, as well as the inconvenient fact that the Paradiso manuscript was supposedly buried at the estate, and also that it would make sense for it to be buried there. Focus on the flagstones. The flagstones, Elif. My dream and its recurrence in your Harper’s piece can only mean one thing. The hotel where you shared a glass of wine with the Count. Under the flagstones, most likely by the entrance trellis.
Elif: That’s where the Dante manuscript is buried.
The combination of flagstones, visceral memory, and Italy really reminded me of the trippy scene with the flagstones in Time Regained (search for “flagstone”)… treasure-seekers, over to you.
“Here was the scene from my dream repeated in your story.”
Intuitive readers! As promised I am writing to share with you some spooky reader dreams. The first comes from the charming Yelin Bilgin of Istanbul, who started reading The Possessed during a recent heat wave and fell asleep during “Babel in California”:
i had a dream and i was donating a dream for a dream researcher. i was speaking english and i felt like one of the people in your book, as though they were not real people but your characters. i hope i could explain it well then 5 minutes ago i woke up with a strange feeling, covered in sweat. the strange thing is that i was donating the dream that i was having while asleep in real life. so it feels like the donation part was not a dream!!!
Guess what? The donation part wasn’t a dream, because she really did donate the dream – to me! And now I’m sharing it with you! Whaa!
Did any terrifying visitations ever come to you while you were dozing over my work? Hit me up!
“They were like characters in your book”