Dancing with Emily Brontë
Dreamed 1943? by Alice Sheldon ("James Tiptree, Jr.")
Source: James Tiptree, Jr.: the Double Life of Alice Sheldon by Julie Phillips (2006), p. 107.
[around WW2, Sheldon] began removing her love for women to imaginary planets; over time, she came to think of herself as attracted only to aliens, ghosts, beings that appeared in dreams. Years later, [writing as] James Tiptree, Jr., [she] described himself [/herself] as
a hopeless xenophile, victim of something in my head ... all my life. In fact, what draws me is so damn xeno it's not really here, the whole thing has gone on in my head, no way to act it out: like a wind or a word blows from someplace, echoes and shudders in my nerves and I faint for some presence, to touch something or somebody Out There. [...]
And it's all mixed up with basic sex... Maybe some of us try to find it through sex... And then there's the twin theme [...] that actual sex kills the chance, closes some door. Contact with reality. Ossian gets down off the horse, Psyche's candle drips wax on Eros' cheek; the knight possesses the faery--and zap, the gate clangs to forever. [...]
I bet it's partly the same thing that once gave me terrible dreams of reaching out and... touching... Emily Brontë... and drawing her closer and closer... Really dreams; in one of them I was in an elevated train station in January and the snow started to melt and they started to play music and everybody waiting there frozen began to dance, gently--and there she was in a funny scruffy brown muskrat coat, but her--and with eyes... and we danced, too happy to talk, and--the dream broke slowly apart, both of us knowing it, goodbye, goodbye...
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