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The Three Cats

Dreamed April 1972 by Georges Perec

Snarling cat head. Dream sketch by Wayan.

After a long trip, maybe, I return to Blevy (or is it Dampierre?). My whole family is there. My cat is sleeping in a corner of the room. I am quite surprised to see a second cat (much smaller and striped in another corner of the room. I go to sit and I step on a third dcat; this one is much larger. I don't believe that this third cat really exists--come now, that's impossible!--but it jumps up and scratches my face.


This is part three of Dream No. 114 from Perec's La Boutique Obscure: 124 Dreams. I singled out this excerpt because I identify with that third cat. I mean... if you insisted I'm impossible and unreal, I might scratch your face too.

Oh, it might be symbolic. Perec often treats dreams as absurd: a vein of raw ore he can mine, but lacking any real sense. So denying the cat just echoes his denial dreaming makes any sense at all. But does it matter what the cat is? Whether you're human, feline, archetypal, or a shamanic spirit for that matter, being told you're absurd and thus unreal... well, them's fightin' words. As Perec's face soon learns.

LISTS AND LINKS: cats - dreaming personified (felinified?) - no subject list yet for 'insults' so let's go with criticism & nagging - pessimism, skepticism & negativity - violence - pain in dreams - more Georges Perec

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