I awoke from a very strange dream last night. It was one of those awkward "back at grad school" dreams. I was at some social function, but with scholarly types and colleagues most of whom I didn't like or trust particularly. Michelle was there too, but she was being unusually uncommunicative.
I was trying to talk to someone about my thesis topic: Cervantes' Persiles. But the person I was talking to was ignoring me, basically. I felt in over my depth, which was a common sensation in grad school. And then I found this book sitting on a side table in the living-room type place we were in. It was an ancient looking, leather-bound book, and the title on the spine was Belerofonte perdido [Bellerophon Lost]. More weirdly, the author was clearly stated as Washington Irving. Really.
I opened the book, inside my dream, and began to read. It was a sort of romantic-era imitation of one of the late medieval peninsular novelas de cabelleria. And as best I could deduce from the title page, this was a translation of something written by Washington Irving. Now… I realize (based on a few googlings this morning) that this is in no way "real." But there's just a hint of plausibility. And it was quite magical, to be reading these imaginary passages of complex early 19th century Spanish prose translated from 19th century English prose which had been written in imitation of 15th century Spanish prose. Such is my weird imagination.
Within the dream I began to reason through what was happening. There wasn't much action going on, it was very cerebral and meditative, but in the sense that I was aware that I was dreaming, it was a remarkably lucid dream. Here is what I was thinking.
I suppose there's some logic to some aspects of this coming out this way. Last night, I went to see the movie Avatar with Mark, Charlie and Martin. The movie was pretty good, and very imaginative, though not the best-written thing, plotwise or dialogwise. And there's a bit of a visitation to some of the themes of the Bellerophon myth, especially in the scenes involving the taming and riding of the flying dragon-creatures, a la Pegasus. But more importantly, there had been some previews before the movie that had puzzled me a bit: two movies, not related, advertised, on Greek-mythology themes.
"What's that about?" I had wondered to myself. "Where's this sudden interest in Greek mythology coming from, from the depths of the Hollywood machine?" But… so… that's where Bellerophon comes in.
Why was Bellerophon lost? Well, for his arrogance. Is that a warning against arrogance, to me, from my subconscious?
Where's my Pegasus? What's my Chimera? Is it even about me? The people in the grad school party around me didn't matter, I was absorbed by the story. It was just a dream, after all.
I awoke from my dream, got up, and went and had a great breakfast with my friends Shari and Kristen in St Paul. I have so many wonderful friends, who so kindly tolerate my aimless itinerancy.