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  • Writer's pictureDamiaan van der Werf

Entrées de Nuit: Foreword

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Since my earliest years, my slumbering mind has partaken in an assortment of the most fantastical odysseys. Seldom mundane, my dreams have comprised a bewildering and exotic plethora of worlds whose outlandishness and symbolic abstractness easily rivals or exceeds the imaginative capacities of my waking consciousness. One might rightly suspect this kaleidoscopic sleepfulness to be profoundly interwoven with an atypical cognitive saga—a tempestuous emotionality and voracious intellectual curiosity which have been staples of my character since the outset. Indeed, the nature of one's dreams quite generally is indicative of certain above-ground features of the personality.


Aside from the cathartic value of the effort to distil these nocturnal apparitions—and of its potential interest to the psychologically curious—I have resolved to form a sustained and indefinitely extending collection of these brushes with the unconscious on account of their sheer aesthetic value. Indeed, I often awaken with such a sense of awedness and bedazzlement at the otherwordly content of what I have witnessed that I am left with the lingering sensation of the enscramblment of my very psyche—as though it were some cauldron of shades, textures and artefacts the roiling sum of which has erupted into clouds of smoke that steam out of the very orifices of my skull.


Furthermore and to give deserved attention to the analytical component of this project, the manner of my relationship with the content and perceived meaning of my dreams is an additional source of interest on which I intend to spend due time. Although the visual aspect of the dreams is often entirely fantastical, their implications and meaning are often penetratively clear. It is curious how some dreams are so bewildering as to impart little if any significance and leave me entirely none the wiser as to their cause and origins, whilst others contain such crystalline and immediate significances as to be educational or even revelatory. I imagine that as much is quite generally the case for those prone to sustained remembrance of their dreams. As regards the phenomenological aspect—with which I plan a healthy and prolonged engagement—I find my dreams often furthermore accompanied by visceral corporeal sensations whose character is so vivid and often interrelated to the content of the dreams themselves as to merit discussion in and of itself. As will become abundantly clear further into this undertaking, I find certain aspects of this more tangible dimension of dreaming so uncanny and revealing as to be of legitimate interest from an analytical point of view.


Thus the combined motivations of self-exploration, phenomenological psychology and the pursuit of creative literature for its own sake have conspired to produce the ensuing dream-diary, which in addition to satisfying these impulses, may—I hope—be of interest and aesthetic value to any observers who may chance upon it. I should make note that omissions and embellishments are inevitable, for reason of the privacy of others who may make appearances in my dreams, as well as of my reluctance to divulge all the most darkened corners of my subterranean psyche—is true honesty sincerely possible for anyone?—the dreams that shall hereafter find themselves collected here will naturally be of a somewhat selective and redacted character. As I now find myself involved in a kind of public psychology I should at the very least honestly concede my dishonesty—which one of you could claim otherwise? Nonetheless if only for their fantastical character alone, I eagerly anticipate the compilation of my nocturnal parables hereafter.

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