Dream

(Image: Picasso, The Weeping Woman)
Gaston Bachelard, in the seminal text Poetics of Space, gives us substantial ammunition to think with on dreams, daydreams, images and imagination. Let us re-read some bits of the text to enter the conversation about dreams:

And so when we examine a nest, we place ourselves at the origin of confidence in the world, we receive at the origin of confidence in the world, we receive a beginning of confidence, an urge towards cosmic confidence. Would a bird build its nest if it did not have its instinct for confidence in the world? If we heed this call and make an absolute refuge of such a precarious shelter as a nest – paradoxically no doubt, but in the very impetus of the imagination – we return to the sources of the oneiric house. (p. 123)
… For the world is a nest, and an immense power holds the inhabitants of the world in this nest. In Herder’s history of Hebrew poetry there is an image of the immense sky resting on the immense earth: “The air”, he wrote, “is a dove which, as it rests on its nest, keeps its young warm.” (p.123-4)


We get from Bachelard a grammar of expressing what it feels like to be held by the physical arrangement of the world – an armchair, an attic, a nest. I wish for the reader to stick to Bachelard’s train of thought and follow me as we dive into the depths of horrifying, confusing and emancipating dreamworlds conjured up by Howrah publics. The citizenry groans in public gesture to be let out of the physical boundaries of the geography it has come to call home. Insofar as these dreamworlds are concerned, I am unable to make the distinction between dream and daydream that Bachelard. These are very much awakened dreaming bodies – but they are perhaps not daydreams. These dreams are shards of frozen possibility in an instance. In another instance, they are sharp cries for reassurances from uncertain ancestors. In assuming genealogies with various characters of big history, they grant themselves several adoptive families from history. While Bachelard describes the nest as the first instance of gaining a grip over the world, I am showing utterances and gestures that are coded in asphyxiation – that are stretching arms out into the horizon in order to access the expanse of the sky of the horizon. The horizon, unfortunately, is limited – cut off from the big city ad wider worlds by a cruel, muddy river. These dreams arise out of a desperate need to redraw the geography of dead futurity.
(excerpt from my struggling manuscript Friends of Capital)

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