Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Quotations: Dream Time

"When we are asleep, it seems to me, we sleep surrounded by all the years. I have imagined, sleeping, that I heard the footsteps of the long dead; I have held conversations with them, and with the blank-faced people I was yet to meet, conversations that seemed of unbearable poignancy, though when I woke I could remember only a few words, and those not words that possessed, waking, any emotional significance to me. It is said that this is because content is divorced from emotion in sleep, as though the sleeping mind read two books at once, one of tears and lust and laughter, the other of words and phrases picked up from old newspapers, from grimy handbills blowing along the street and conversations overheard in barbershops and bars, and the banalities of radio. I think rather that we have forgotten on waking what the words have meant to us, or have not learned as yet what they will mean. But the worst thing is to wake and remember that we have been talking to the dead, having never thought to hear that voice again, having never any expectation of hearing it again before we ourselves are gone."
--Gene Wolfe's Peace.

A critic described Wolfe's Peace as Wolfe's most mainstream work. That's a bit like describing Romeo and Juliet as Shakespeare's best hip-hop performance.

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