MWF 03:00-04:00 106 Dwinelle Instructor: Molly Bronstein

The “dream vision” has been a literary staple for centuries, dating back to antiquity.  In this course we will examine classical and medieval examples of texts interested in dreaming, interpreting dreams, and the dream represented as a journey.  We will begin with Cicero’s Dream of Scipio and move on to passages from Dante’s Commedia, and the Romance of the Rose by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun.  We will see that the dream vision often functions as a means of accessing the divine, but can also be tied to (apparently) much more earthly concerns, such as a lost or inaccessible beloved object.  We will also examine how, in more recent cultural history, surreal films and comic books portray dream imagery, and we will consider what remains preserved between medieval dream allegories and modern representations of dreams, and why.  While the pertinent imagery may change, many of the primary purposes of dream visions (articulations of desire, encounters with the unknown) often seem to remain remarkably stable, perhaps in part because the dream often functions as a sort of playground, to negotiate and toy with the creative process itself and the limits of language and visual expression.

Texts may include:

Passages from The Romance of the Rose by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun

Select cantos from Dante’s Commedia

Bernard of Angers, The Book of Sainte Foy

André Breton, Surrealist Manifesto

Angela Carter, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman

Jean Cocteau, Orphée

Akira Kurosawa, Dreams

Satoshi Kon, Paprika