Larry Vigon's Dream is a rare example of published color dream-art--a huge one, a real coffee-table artbook. He's a professional art designer--major bands and such use him--so his sense of design, texture and symbol is strong. And yet action, gesture, story? Not so much. I came to Vigon right after Rick Veitch, a professional cartoonist, whose dream-comics aren't pretty and can't afford color--no eye-candy at all--yet he narrates visually and goes for gut feelings. Huge contrast! Dreamers are SO different!
Vigon, like many, pairs off dream-text on one page with a facing image. But they aren't illustrations; they don't even set the mood in the dream, for his dreams shift a lot in a single page. Vigon dreams of a numinous deaf boy showing him strangely carved horse-bones; rather than paint the carvings--and NO ONE no one else in the world knows what those bone-carvings looked like--Vigon gives us a grid of geometric bunny heads. Witty bunny heads, but...
For a man who publishes raw dream texts, abhorring any censorship, it seems oddly coy. In dreamwork, literalism has virtues. If you don't draw what you dreamt, you may obscure--accidentally or accidentally-on-purpose, out of reluctance--real, uncomfortable warnings. Jung's famous 1913 dream Siegfrid Must Die (Jung and a tribal man shoot the mythical German hero) is an egregious example. Jung painted it--omitting, in both painting and interpretation, a key element--Siegfried was riding in a chariot of bones. A chariot that rolled for real the next year, and REALLY rolled in round II, 1939... So I find Vigon's elusive, postmodern tricks unwise. In some ways so clever, in others, so... disconnected.
And yet, follow the dreams chronologically. In BLOOD DANCE he commits to an ordeal without qualms: dreamwork? therapy? In WEREWOLF TRANSFER he faces his Steppenwolf and integrates it. In his strange postmodern way he commits to dreamwork seriously.
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The following are in chronological order; close to that in the book.
|GOLDEN EGG: by Larry Vigon; 1984; a real, nondream, synchronistic... summoning?
I was on a London train. An ad had an image from "Jack and the Beanstalk" and I pondered
the tale--the meaning of the golden eggs. A man got on, held out a golden egg, and opened it...
|BLOOD DANCE: by Larry Vigon; Sept. 1997; an initiatory commitment dream
A Gypsy man invites me to dance. But he cuts my arm, deep; then even his touch multiplies
my wounds. Last is a needle through my wrist. But I'm committed to the full dance now...
CAUTION: BLOOD; CURIOUSLY, NOT PAIN
|WEREWOLF TRANSFER: by Larry Vigon; fall 1997?; a nightmare reversed by courage
Chased by the old movie Wolfman, I get tired of fear and turn on the monster. I take on his wolfness!
But in me, wolf-nature manifests differently--as a human body with a calm, happy wolf's head...
|BONE CARVINGS: by Larry Vigon; c.1999; a numinous dream with silly illustrations
At the beach, a deaf boy with a strong aura asks "Are you here for the coin?"
He buries horse skeletons in the sand; the bones are carved with symbols...
|DOLPHINS: by Larry Vigon; 2001/8/6; a dream personifying dreams?
The beach. Smoke? No, spray from hundreds of dolphins hunting. I thought
a giant wave was coming in, but it was just a trick of the light through fog...
|THE LAST WORD: by Larry Vigon; 2001/12/5; a wistful apocalyptic dream
A huge explosion knocked the earth off its orbit; it struck other planets and wrecked the whole
solar system. Where will the souls ready to reincarnate all go? Or do they even need a planet?...
|RIDE THE GODS OF THE HAND: by Larry Vigon; 2002/6/13; an oracular dream
Predawn. The beach. A gypsy goddess rises from the waves. She says
"Begin to ride the gods of the Hand, in London." I say "What?"...
CAUTION: CRYPTIC BUT FIRM
|FARTER AND CONE: by Larry Vigon; 2002/10/5; a scatalogical skating dream
I'm in a theater waiting for a woman onstage to fart human speech;
but I have to skate away on a tipped-over traffic cone...
|WALL TO WALL WATER: by Larry Vigon; 2003/3/18; a surreal, beautiful dreamlet
The home we were to stay in was on fire. The next had a living room
that was shallow water, wall to wall, where turquoise fish swam...
|ROOSTERDOG: by Larry Vigon; 2003/4/22; a nested dream
In the woods I catch a beautiful rooster. It doesn't struggle; it turns into a dog.
We make friends. We sleep together in the wood; I dream we grow old together.
The dog's owner wakes me; farewell, dog! But at least the funeral has caviar...
|DAD RETURNS: by Larry Vigon; 2003/8/25; a classic dream of a revenant
I'm in a restaurant when my dad walks in. He looks great; he has
both legs again. We talk, say "I missed you", we hug lovingly...
|I NEVER SAW JUNG DIE: by Larry Vigon; 2003/11/28; a quasi-Jungian dream
My nonexistent brother is a bank robber about to be arrested; he says
"I never saw Jung die." Meaning not that Jung's alive, but just...
|HALF-COCKED: by Larry Vigon; 2004/1/4; an alarming dream
I'm in the army, in line for a prostitute. An earlier dream cut my cock in two. It heals, but my stodgy technique
bores my assigned girl; and the cops break the legs of girls who try to leave. A riot begins--can I even escape?
CAUTION: STARTS SORDID, ENDS BRUTAL
|FLOWER CONVERSATIONS: by Larry Vigon; 2004/1/12; a surreal psychedelic dream
Worms rappeled down from my ceiling. My friend says "I've had great talks with those creatures."
They became flying flowers exuding a gas that, if you napped, let you have wonderful conversations...
|HUMMINGBIRD: by Larry Vigon; 2004/4/4; a predictive dream
A hummingbird was trapped inside my home. So beautiful. I set it free.
The next Saturday, I found this hummingbird on the patio...
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