Rose-tinted dreams

What is real and how can we know? Alongside objects of desire, writer and student of dreams, Anna Della Subin provides Tank with a reading list in imagination, illusion and the subconscious.

Front“Seeing where there is nothing to see, is still the most astounding achievement of the human mind” —Guy Davenport, The Geography of the Imagination

Clarice wears a jumper by Diesel and holds sunglasses by Marco de Vincenzo

Front 2“What man could describe these things in words?” Aelius Aristides and the Sacred Tales, trans. Charles A. Behr

Detail of a dress by Mugler (left); on the right, Clarice wears a top and trousers by Sunspel, and holds a bag by Loewe

front 3“The mystery of the dream originates in the fact that this phantasmagoria over which the sleeper has no control is at the same time entirely a product of his imagination” —The Dream and Human Societies, ed. Gustave E. von Grunebaum & Roger Caillois

On the left, Clarice wears a jacket by BOSS and an earring by MM6; on the right, she wears shoes by Gucci

front 4“At night you see perfectly shaped, perfectly distinct phantoms” —Gérard de Nerval, Selected Writings, trans. Richard Sieburth

Left, Clarice wears a dress by BACK by Ann-Sofie Back  and necklaces by Versace; on the right, she wears a jumper and a skirt by Filippa K and boots by Dior

front 5“I decided to submit truly to the God as to a doctor” Aelius Aristides and the Sacred Tales, trans. Charles A. Behr

Clarice, on the left, wears trousers by J.Crew and shoes by Stella McCartney; on the right, she wears a jumper by Filippa K, glove by Simone Rocha, ring stylist’s own

front 6“What a joy to realise that everything we have loved will always exist around us!” Gérard de Nerval, Selected Writings, trans. Richard Sieburth

On the left, Clarice wears a pair of shoes by Maison Margiela. Right, she wears a coat, jumper, shirt and brooch by Prada

front 7“…To know that a course of action is intrinsically unreal is an argument to do it, not an argument not to do it” —Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities

Left, Clarice wears a shirt, a skirt, shoes and a scarf by Céline. Right, bag by Jimmy Choo

Tankaut 15_29_2“The opening widens into a door and the light becomes a brilliant path. He walks on the path of light and disappears” —Kelly Bulkeley & Rev. Patricia Bulkley,Dreaming Beyond Death

Left, shoes by Camper. Right, Clarice wears a jumpsuit by Calvin Klein Collection, tights by Falke and boots by Dior

front 8“One never sees the sun in one’s dreams” —Gérard de Nerval, Selected Writings, trans. Richard Sieburth

Clarice wears a dress by BACK by Ann-Sofie Back and sunglasses by Chloé; right, she wears a dress by  BACK by Ann-Sofie Back, tights by Falke and shoes by Miu Miu

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Seven essential books for dreamers:

Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities
The famed Indologist dives deep into ancient Indian myth and scripture, where flying magicians, jealous gods and hallucinating kings pose the perennial question of what is real, and how we can know.

Aelius Aristides and the Sacred Tales, trans. Charles A. Behr
The biggest hypochondriac of the 2nd century tells of his grisly ailments and the regimen of divinely sent dreams that cured him, as he slept on the floor of the god Asclepius’ temple.

Kelly Bulkeley, American Dreamers
The American Dream examined by night: dreams of politics and politicians, the War on Terror and how the oneiric life of conservatives and liberals differs.

Gérard de Nerval, Selected Writings, trans. Richard Sieburth
The best English introduction to the oft-incarcerated French Romanticist, who declared himself the living god and fought for the sovereignty of the imagination as he floated in and out of the dream.

The Dream and Human Societies, ed. Gustave E. von Grunebaum & Roger Caillois
From Babylonian sleepers to New World missionaries, dueling caliphs, Siberian shamans and children in the Second World War, this 1960s compendium tells a history of the world as the continual interpretation of dreams.

Kelly Bulkeley & Rev. Patricia Bulkley, Dreaming Beyond Death
A guide to the dreams people often experience before death – lights, journeys, guides.

Guy Davenport, The Geography of the Imagination
Forty essential essays by the late, modernist sage of Kentucky. Davenport roves between the archaic and the new with astonishing erudition whatever his subject, from Dogon cosmology to continental drift to Wallace Stevens’ line “inscrutable hair in an inscrutable world.”

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Image: Sarah Charlesworth, Buddha of Immeasurable Light, 1987

Courtesy the Estate of Sarah Charlesworth and Maccarone Gallery, New York

 


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