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Dreamed c.1960 by Dusan Makavejev

Twenty years ago I had the following dream, but I still remember every single image as if it has happened to me only yesterday. Perhaps just because it was a dream I remember these "events" with the utmost clarity.

I am given a series of fairly big-sized photographs (ca 25 x 30 cm). They show vague contours as if they were taken underwater. (This dream was dreamt long before the appearance of Antonioni's Blow Up.) I am asked to attempt a "decoding" of these photographs as they show what a murderer saw. It is assumed that if we find out exactly what he has seen, we shall also find out something about the murderer.

Looking intently, tensely at these pictures I feel a vague excitement as if I were on the trace of something: the pictures gradually become clearer. The excitement culminates at the moment I grasp that I "understand" these photographs better and better; in fact, I recognize them! Seized by horror, I recognize that these scenes were seen by my own eyes--I am the murderer.

From this sudden excitement, consisting of a mixture of knowledge and fear, I pass abruptly into a very quiet and calm state--I find myself in a completely white room. Walls, ceiling, door and windows, everything is white. The room is completely empty. I note a white wire climbing up the wall, from the floor to the ceiling. It is probably an electric wire; actually it's burning. It burns soundlessly and slowly, emitting harmless white sparks, like a Christmas sparkler. However, it burns constantly, like a fuse.

The sparkler moves slowly up the wall, now it is around the middle. I begin to feel very pleasant, gradually becoming more and more elated. At the moment of big joyous excitement, an euphoria that overwhelms me without any reason, I realize it is due to the presence of a larger quantity of ozone in the air, while the higher ozone concentration in the air occurs with the radiation. In fact, the moment you feel elation and ozone, it is already too late to worry about one's life, you have been irradiated and are practically dead--the process is irreversible. The sparkler almost reaches the ceiling and I wake up--very elated and terrified.

Both parts of the dream were dominated by two emotions which did not cancel but enforced each other, the contradiction notwithstanding.

In the first part, the joy of knowledge and the beaming caused by the achievement of the solution plunged headlong into, and tempestuously mixed with, the feeling that I am entrapped, caught, that there is no way out.

In the second part, the extremely pleasant state suddenly became lined with horror, and again--with a feeling that all is over, there's no way out, death is imminent, but I feel happy and blissful, and this also cannot be changed, it is an objective condition.

SOURCE: Dreamworks: an Interdisciplinary Quarterly (v.1, no.1, spring 1980, p.8)

LISTS AND LINKS: nightmares - I'm Just Not Myself Today! - photographs - guilt, joy & fear - radiation - dying in dreams - half a century earlier, Mary Arnold-Forster also finds herself in the Mind of a Murderer - ten years later, Chris Wayan's whole family dreams of Murders, learning next morning that they were real - more from Dreamworks

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