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Old 04-15-2017   #1
Cnev
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Looking for some dreamlike stories.

I'm admittedly not very well read in the fiction department, aside from Ligotti. Right now, I'm really hungry for dreamlike, borderline incoherent and nightmarish stories in the vein of Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drinkard. Any suggstions?
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Old 04-15-2017   #2
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Re: Looking for some dreamlike stories.

Quote Originally Posted by Cnev View Post
I'm admittedly not very well read in the fiction department, aside from Ligotti. Right now, I'm really hungry for dreamlike, borderline incoherent and nightmarish stories in the vein of Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drinkard. Any suggstions?
I haven't read Tutuola, but from your description, and glancing at the Wikipedia entry, I would recommend Can Xue and Uchida Hyakken.

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 04-15-2017   #3
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Re: Looking for some dreamlike stories.

"The Temptation of Saint Anthony" and "The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller" by Gustave Flaubert might be up your alley. They're Hieronymous Bosch paintings in prose.
Here's a link to Lafcadio Hearn's translation of "St. Anthony." Check it out, it's the best translation IMO.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/52225
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Old 04-15-2017   #4
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Re: Looking for some dreamlike stories.

I don't know Tutuola, but by way of some general recommendations for dreamlike stories that are borderline incoherent and nightmarish, or that at least enter that mode in some places, Jean Ray's Malpertuis, Jan Potocki's The Manuscript Found in Saragossa, and Brian McNaughton's "ystery orm" come to mind. McNaughton's was actually inspired by Ligotti; it features a fictionalized version of Ligotti named Edward F. Tourmalign, and its title was suggested by a sticker that Ligotti affixed to the envelope when he sent McNaughton a letter (see this for an explanation).

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Old 04-16-2017   #5
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Re: Looking for some dreamlike stories.

Off the top of my head, usual suspects I can recommend include William S. Burroughs, Borges, Philip K. Dick, and William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland; and other examples would include Alastair Grey's Lanark, Eric Basso's The Beak Doctor, Sadegh Hedayat's The Blind Owl, Alfred Kubin's The Other Side, Michel Bernanos' The Other Side of the Mountain, Martin MacInnes's Infinite Ground, Nicholas Rhombe's The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing, Stephen J. Clark's In Delirium's Circle, Timothy J. Jarvis's The Wanderer, and authors such as Brion Gysin, Hans Henny Jahnn, Michael Cisco, Eugene Ionesco, Georg Heym, Bruno Schulz, Kobo Abe, and some others who escape my mind.

If you seek poetry -- which by its very nature is dreamlike -- I may suggest many examples of Decadent, Symbolist, Beat, and surrealist poetry. Antonin Artaud, Rimbaud, Blake, Ginsberg, and Ted Hughes's poetry collection, Crow, come especially to mind.

Let us admit...the hallucinatory nature of the world. Let us...seek unrealities which confirm that nature.
-- Jorge Luis Borges

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Just a mortal with the potential of a superman.
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Golgonooza

Last edited by Doctor Dugald Eldritch; 04-16-2017 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 04-16-2017   #6
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Re: Looking for some dreamlike stories.

Padgett, Origami Dreams
Cisco, The Depredations of Mur
HPL, The Dreams in the Witch House
De Ghelderode, The Diseased Garden
Borges, The Circular Ruins
Ende, The Mirror in the Mirror [all the stories in the collection]
Ende, The Prison of Freedom [esp. Destination of a Long Journey and Max Muto, the Dreamworld Traveller]
Willems, An Archbishop's Flight
Dostoevsky, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
Hearn, Oshidori
Sturgeon, The Professor's Teddy Bear
Poe, The Case of Mr. Valdemar
Blackwood, The Insanity of Jones
Kafka, A Message from the Emperor
Bierce, An Inhabitant of Carcosa
Le Fanu, The Dream
Turgenev, Bubnoff and the Devil

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Old 04-17-2017   #7
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Re: Looking for some dreamlike stories.

I would echo xyclopos and The Alchemist in their nomination of Michael Cisco, and would add Robert Irwin's The Arabian Nightmare for your consideration.

Unsolicited advice: when reading The Arabian Nightmare, aim for longer reading sessions. I find that dream logic really benefits from immersion in the dream. The shorter the dream the less you penetrate; it's like you need some critical mass of absurdity to illuminate thread that that runs through it.

Last edited by Ucasuni; 04-17-2017 at 04:13 PM..
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Old 04-17-2017   #8
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Re: Looking for some dreamlike stories.

Michael Cisco (particularly The Depredations of Mur)
Bruno Schulz
Poe - The Fall Of The House of Usher
Lovecraft - The Music of Erich Zann
Ramsey Campbell - The Hands
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Old 04-17-2017   #9
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Re: Looking for some dreamlike stories.

Bruno Schulz's "Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass" is one of the most surreal, dreamlike stories I've read. Pretty much anything written by Borges is the epitome of dreamlike. God, I love Borges.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 04-17-2017   #10
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Re: Looking for some dreamlike stories.

The 3rd Policeman by Flann OŽBrien

Absolute Love by Alfred Jarry

Sleep has His House by Anna Kavan

Penal Colony by Franz Kafka (short story)

The Immortal, The Book of Sand and the Circular Ruins by Jorge Luis Borges (short stories)

If you're a wizard, why do you wear glasses?
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