Poisoning and the dream state

Inside: A Journal of Dreams is yet another example of dynamic interaction between a reader and an object that is looking to produce an effect. Clearly, it’s easy to argue that the journal works to put the reader into a dreamlike place similar to the narration described. The language, and text, is eerie and fleeting and is reminiscent of nightmares. The running, repetitive background noise is also nightmarish. The black and white flash images which interrupts every couple of pages adds to this dream concept as well. We, as readers and thus dreamers, are presented with fleeting but connecting moments which are then replaced by less coherent moments conveyed to us through this journal—although who’s journal it is, is unclear. Like House of Leaves, the journal has multiple fonts, and seems to represent multiple states of mind, rather than multiple narrators. The larger font is rare, compared to the smaller font, and it seems to step in and comment on the smaller font, and also carries a parallel narrative related to this man’s gas fireplace that is poisoning him. (Humorously, I may not have made this connection until the very end if it weren’t for the little blurb at the opening of the text that explicitly pointed this plot description out to me). So, not only is the journal describing dreams to us, but it is also detailing the slow and eventual poisoning of the narrator. This poisoning also eventually leads to a blurring of the awake and asleep. Several pages are marked by “no dreams,” and “no dreams today just falling asleep and waking up and nothing between,” suggesting, along with the deteriorating pages and words themselves, that “reality” and the “dream world” are blurring together. The flash images, the swirling and moving text, and the eerie background noise all add to this blurring effect. I myself am going to sleep on this text and try to think about more things to say.

*Will update and expand in the morning.

Philip Petrunak


~ by philippetrunak on April 11, 2010.

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