Beyonce announces twins, 2017: a worry picture in extraordinary times.

 

Rev., Feb 12 12017

Note: author is a second-born identical twin. Meaning that all this is just in good fun, I mean none of this to be taken seriously. For entertainment purposes only.

When you encounter modern rationalists acting entirely by ego with confidence that nothing will ever happen to upset them, it challenges agentic theory, in that they seem to believe that by the rationalization of their ego power, they are immune from forces of agencies basic to all art and life. The fact that they are so confident, in overriding all, with an imperative (the egotistical version of exploitation) to make everything about themselves, means that anyone who reminds them of the basic agencies they are violating (in cult) would be cast as being “superstitious,” or thinking like an old woman, just like in a horror movie. But this is actually what I thought seeing Beyonce’s latest baby pregnant pics, taken by Awol Erizku, jeez, I would never trumpet the news like that, bad luck!, more so since it predicts TWINS!

 beyo 1

 Some poster-patterer at Hyper made a big deal of this picture representing the power of blackness in appropriating European portraiture traditions, and that was a good thing, because the photog is black, and mention was made of Dutch painting as possibly being a precedent of the flowers. But, and I have written of this, flowers in art are not at all an entirely positive thing, in fact, flowers in art, if too profuse, means decidedly not positive things. This is even more true in popular culture, ie movies, where flowers-only paintings usually represent depletedness of spirit. Which means, for me, this is a reckless, foolish picture, as it would seem to place a heavy burden on the pregnancy, and even curse it. Here is the writer’s google arthistory treatment of it as a race positive poster

http://hyperallergic.com/357204/beyonces-pregnancy-photos-cast-her-as-a-venus-for-the-black-diaspora/

but, now, I know that flowers in art are negative. In my treatment of Vertigo, the flowers are the problem, as indicated here.

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And then, also, the flowers come up again in the restarant, where he first sees the wife

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In both sequences, my argument is that Hitchcock made use of flowery excess in a formalistic way to indicate deceit, the hothouse atmosphere seduction and delusion. So, I carry over these ideas onto this analysis, which also means that the lack of flowers around the belly might also be a positive thing.

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This is ostensibly simply a framing device, but it also suggests a flower-killing force coming from the belly, which erases flowers. Meaning, a troubled pregnancy, or a … troubled mother. Then, in the flowers, they seem to form into forms that are a bit too pareidolic, in bringing out imps or manon

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While the above shot finds only individual flowers whose profuseness produces demons, in the manner of Goya, as if a meditation on the state of being in the womb of Beyoncé

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And a reminder that this, apropos the article mentioned, also has been African-deconstructed, by Shonibare

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This one above right, arranges the flowers and colors into the more fully seen image of homunculi

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And then I noticed that above her head were two carefully placed flowers, both red, which seemed to me to be symbolic of something

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This could just mean that each flower above her head represents one of her babies, and at present they are veiling her, as she worries about them, being two of them to get through a pregnancy.

But when I heard they were twins I was like, seeing the flowers, and people talking about this photograph like it was the artistic equivalent of the famous Sgt Pepper album cover, I hope she has two nice boys, William Campbell and Billy Shears (the former the person said to have replaced Paul-is-Dead, and then his nickname, mentioned on the song, on the album). So, the reference means that I should look for other ways to read the troubling implications of the flowers in this one, in that one.

Well, right away, the formed homunculus figure sticks out, if connected to a female star standing near flowers, here is Diana Dors and flowers

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Of Diana Dors I knew nothing of at the time, and only got to know her when I began to review in earnest British horror movies, she had a robust sexpot career in the 50s and 60s

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Since the doll is Shirley Temple, and shrouded in dangerous fronds, and is said, in the code, to, based on its praise of the Stones, represent a thought the Beatles would only have if they were dead, Dors blossoms flowers of evil against that innocence, curdling it into a thought of death, her body and its usurping beauty causes flowers to invert in meaning. Then, further down, there are forms of figures in the combinations of flowers that link directly to the previous

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The fact that the red shoes dawdle over the flowers, not tiptoeing through the tulips, reminds me of the feet of the wicked witch of the East retracting against Oz’s munchkinland, so another image of death.

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Then, below, an even closer correspondence of floral homuncular form

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Which almost does seem to reproduce in a flower tableaux the blonde movie star dropping in purple furs into a flower bed evoking her death. The flowers here also spell out SO, as in So?

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And then their counterpart at the front of it, is BE

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This indicates, in general, and this too was played out in the code, where there is, apparently, an open grave in front, that the flowers on the Cover represent flowers laid at the feet of persons, at a funeral, that is, negative flowers, honorific, but only after something terrible has happened.

A classic example of flowers laid at the feet of, but more in the form of a funeral bouquet, is Sonny Liston on the left side, front row, a wax figure, also in the fronds, that is, an alibi figure, raising fear, then flowers (possibly saying 15, the round he did NOT last until, with Cassius Clay)

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And though it’s possible the Beatles wouldn’t have known the reference, it is clear to me his upright inclusion here was meant to clash with the image of him that was already by then, since 1964, fixated in the public mind, the giant of the ring, knocked out, laying in the flowers

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This, of course, brings race into it, too, and it has to be noticed that most of the peripheral or service persons in the assemblage are people of color (there is also a good deal of orientalism in this setup, years before that critique was devised by Edward Said), and the only people of color, and that therefore this is a classic Eurocentric, white-based modernist trope (though it is also true the Beatles were working class blokes). In this regard, it is also true that the blackamoors manage the flowers, offer the flowers, tend to the rite, while the whites mourn, Liston is the lightbearer, usher, butler, forever welcoming

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(here again I won’t go into the debate over if the Beatles were threatened by race politics, but simply to note they appreciated American black music, brought it to Liverpool, then mainstreamed it, and that then created a larger public taste for it in the States, then, too, in action, they refused to perform at segregated stadiums in the South, and gladly clowned around with African American stars and sports figures of the time, all of which was appreciated at the time as breaking down barriers.

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While it is true that, for a moment, the British Invasion caused the MoTown sound serious difficulties, in the long term the Beatles served, by a loop of cultural influence, to enrich the general public’s appreciation of black rhythm and blues and many careers, Chuck Berry, BB King, etc, were enhanced by a spin off effect from the “appropriation” of the Beatles, whose songs were they covering. I would think the Beatles’ views of black musicians was entirely benign, if not devotional, but, the times were the times, with a hint of Maileresque “white negro” art appreciation in it too).

In this regard, thinking of race, BE also reminds us that BEyonce is a generation Beyond that, but still BEing in a way that still subordinates her (even her benign role of “representing black people” is still a pressure placed on her by a subordinate role, white performers have no such pressure to “represent white people”), and maybe even in a moment, culturally, given more devisive race politics in the last few years, where her worries are exacerbated, on behalf of her children of color

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Adding to the problems of bad omens, and evil tidings, is that there are some pretty fierce fern houseplants in attendance, and as in all movies, a houseplant of that sort is an alibi formation giving a start in fear that a person with bad intentions is lurking about, in effect, by symbolic substitute, giving a presence to a dark absence (there is no question that Blake knew, from so many movies of the time, that by 1960, the benign houseplant had also curdled into a signifier of reclusive mania and madness, a sickness). And is it a coincidence that when that wheel of frond, that four pointed spin of frond touches the assemblage, it does so by way of the only ANONYMOUS figure in the whole crowd, a dresser’s dummy with a strange hat

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Relative to Diana Dors directly below her, exposed in her full sexiness in stardom, but also as a kind of lurking warning figure for all those who are there, in fame (and there is a general drift of death at a young age in the group), she represents the extinguishing a fame, the oblivion that awaits one, after tempus fugit, and memento mori. She could also be said, as mannequins often are, also in movies, to represent any figures in the assemblage who were candidates for inclusion, but left out. Much was made earlier in the devisement of the code that the hand held out over Paul’s head was a Norwegian sign of death coming to that person, or that he is already dead.

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And here I point out that while Paul is disguised doubly, both as an oompah band leader, and as “Paul” when this is no longer Paul (according to the code), Beyonce is veiled, and not in any way to sanctify her, but simply to efface her, to indicate that she is not all quite there (here could follow a long study of the use of veils in movies, and in fashion, but prior to 1950, why an appearance in 2017 AD?)

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Much less mentioned is the fact that directly to Paul’s left is Johnny Weismuller, Tarzan

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Why would he be given such a prominent position if not to indicate that all of this is a jungle, and the path of fame and fortune, and enduring fame, is a jungle, and a struggle, and you need to be a Tarzan to get through it (and of the irony is that while I watched all of Johnny Weismuller’s movies as a kid, they are likely forgotten now—I might also add that the device of the Elephant’s graveyard is attached in my associative memory with him  (from Tarzan the Ape Man (1939)

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so maybe he is at the center of the cover to place him atop the elephant of fame and lead all the fading famous to this garden party elephant’s graveyard (elephant ivory of course also signifying the gate of ivory through which, as opposed to horn, according to the Greeks, deceitful and lying dreams escaped). But, even less noticed, is that there is a figure above or between Ringo and John too.

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Who that is, is unimportant. More important is that Ringo is all but Weissmullerized, to counter some presence around him. Also, that space between Ringo and John is large, it seems that some much more important figure was intended for it, and, indeed, that is so. In that space, in the original plan, was Adolf Hitler, as depicted here, but removed because it was feared it would be too controversial

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And it is also to be noticed in this photo that the POV gives prominence to the large fronds on the far end as a kind of backstop of the whole deal, and this reminds us that the shot of that plant in the cover is four-pointed, almost twirling, almost with an implication of swastika

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And this in Saigon, so this is a prenazi benign solar wheel of life,

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but it relates and swastikas did make good coffin covers

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and now if you place Johnny Weismuller as the Tarzan swinging away spirit of that part of the Beatles that was sick of fame, or, at least, the screaming mania

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and then replace in place Hitler as the nemesis away from which he swings, to escape the negative side of fame, the mania and the madness, and then you take that vignette and expand it out to the whole array, with the four them in their new metamorphosis stepping aside and away from their old persona as the Fab Four, you have the idea that the whole thing is a meditation on fame and mortality and immortality, and a critique of all of that too. And, then, rattle it all back, Hitler chases Weismuller, weighs on Paul, gets him, in fact, hand over head indicating he is dead, and the mannequin at the side represents too the absented Hitler to by way of swastikated palm frond convey a fear of the consequences of fame onto Diana Dors whose confrontation with mortality is expressed by way of homuncular patterns in the flowering, these patterns repeat in the flower arrangements of the Beyonce picture, they conjure up figures, haunting, they make a sign of death over her dead, she is veiled, the space around her belly has become poisonous to flowers, the whole thing, presenting itself as a benign announcement, in fact brings up a lot of bad omens and vibes, suggesting that deep down, underneath all that exposure of skin, the exposure of which is made to make us idolize her, in the cult, there is considerable worry over the health of the babies given that they are twins, and the fear that when born and raised they will be spoiled and any child, really, can end up as a Hitler someday, as he had a mother too. It is also true that a mother of twins can have no conception of how this conception will turn out, she is flummoxed, and putting a good face on it, but that second one is freaking her out. He, then, the second twin, the surprise twin, is the surprise guest at the party, and, as such, he is the hidden, secret figure, the secret thing, that upsets the balance of regular births. From Hitler to him, comes the strange vibe of a hidden something, lurking, even, possibly, to give birth to the proverbial evil twin.

But, the punchline is, if all these things are in there, then that means that the code of the picture is primarily apotropaic, it is a spellcasting, by way of distance reference to Sgt. Pepper, against all the threats of death against her unborn children. I have said often, three words you will never hear a human being utter are, “Let’s have twins.” Having twins is an extra-ordinary experience, it puts everything in another zone. Therefore, rather than a silly African American poster of appropriating European royalist visual traditions, an idea which is a mere rationalization, this picture turns out, if unconsciously, to be a caring, real, “I’m worried” picture, a “what have I got myself into?” picture, an “I’m freaking out” picture, a visual rosary, as it were, as it should be, for all mothers who hear those terrible magic words, “you’ve got twins”.

Postscripts

Flowers in the 60s were doubly troubled because of the emergence of the flower children as hippies, but, up to this point, 1967, it might’ve been hard not to think back on LBJ’s ad against Goldwater in which a daisy picking girl

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Sets the world on fire.

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Postscript 2, I actually had a very rare sex dream last night, woke up thinking that its orgasm had gone off like a bomb, I could not get out of bed, then when I came to work I saw that a Thanksgiving honeycomb decoration turkey on its side, still left out, make a mushroom cloud of yellow honeycomb too).

Postscript 3: Again, all this for fun, in consideration of it being a twin picture, in truth I offer all positive blessings and best of luck to Beyonce, her family and her children, current and to be, and by this wish erase any negative vibes created by the above dark humor.

Postscript 4: June 18, 2017. Though the date of the birth is not yet clear, due to security, it is also true that the birth of the twins, which now allows me to release this information, was made on June 18, which is Paul McCartney’s birthday! (This news also revealed that the twins are fraternal, not identical, which means, never mind…as, amongst us identicals, fraternals are not “real twins,” it’s an insider twin joke).

Postscript 5: December 29, 2017, BD of Artnet names this the most viewed work of art in the world in 2017, so I feel better about playing with it.

https://news.artnet.com/opinion/influencer-art-1185683

Postscript 6: in VOGUE magazine, August, 2018, Beyoncé informed the world that it was, in fact, a difficult pregnancy requiring an emergency C section, that during it she found out that she is descended from a slave owner who fell in love with and married a slave, and that she hoped that carrying the male and female spirits of her (fraternal) twins in her would neutralize this “curse,” or, in any case, problem, and lead to a better life for them and all her descendants thereafter. So, this is strange.

 

The projected bed: light sleep state hypnagogy in Scrooge (1970).

Rev., December 21, 2016.

It is not easy to work out the dream structure of Scrooge (1970), the Albert Finney telling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, for the primary reason that it would appear that the movie as a whole is formatted along the lines of rationality and includes elements of dream theory it might of picked up by way of common tropes in movies, and has little deeper understanding of the dynamics of actual dreams. For that, there are a smattering of dream effects, but then it would also seem that in each level, though I do not think there is a coherent working out of the levels of an actually experienced dream, there seems to be a reflection of all other levels, almost as if the movie magic slated back to square one to work through dream tropes as they knew them in each level, regardless of their connection to the previous level. This network of rationalization over the whole film, of course, much of the time keeps it from becoming art, as rationalization is usually involved in making something appear such and such a way for “political” reasons, but, for that, there is enough to document, simply in terms of the fact that it did serve as a vehicle to pass along tropes of dreams in movies.

Let’s start with Scrooge’s trip to hell, which descends from a graveyard. He is with the ghost of the future, and sees Tiny Tim’s dad, Bob Cratchit, at the grave, talking to his dead son

scroo 1a graveyard is the ultimate “glass onion” space in modern civilization, as complex beings are reduced to bodies in tombs lying underground but presently symbolized only by a field of signs of all kinds, and occasionally statues and figures. But, apparently Scrooge had it in mind that he would never die, and so when he sees his name on a grave he does not go, “well, I’m not really surprised, I’m kind of surprised I’m still here actually”, he absolutely freaks out. And that freak out then becomes the basis for what amounts to a vertiginous panic attack as the grave opens up on him, and he begins to fall down

scroo 2and then he spirals down a classic wormhole whoosh, spiral formation

scroo 3which eventually turns red, meaning we are getting to the hot part of earth

scroo 4and then he lands in hell, but in a pit in hell dug in the shape of his grave

scroo 5this is what I call the splat figure at the bottom of a spiral fall, you go splat, and lie flat and are crushed splat at the bottom, like the image of wicked witches and vampires reduced to their robes only, that is the crushing effect of the vertiginous downward spiral of a nightmare. The only problem is, he does not exactly land in a REM dream state but lies on a flat red glass surface a half foot underground, and then has to rise up out of it, to see what’s what, and everything all about is burning to the touch

scroo 6and then, him being in hell, he has to walk through a field of hell, but, again, this is not deep dream hell, it is not even hell that would be constructed if he had splatted at the bottom of the whoosh, then stayed put, this is hell as imagined by the entoptic imagination, a consistent field of like forms on the irregular surface of which one can see faces of demons and presences

scroo 7this is a large matte painting, which film of him walking was then inserted over. But as a field, it is heat, and it is red, and it is all stalactites, and it is regular, it is not, then, exactly, a dream field, but a dream field as imagined in the light state sleep stage called the entoptic. Somehow, then, Scrooge had, in his fall, fallen up, he is closer to consciousness than he was when he was in the cemetery. The emphasis on faces indicates that this is happening close inside his own face, sleeping, and the pareidola, suggesting Doresquely that some of the damned are stuck in the stone like figures stuck in trees, as Macrobius calls them, mists.

scroo 8then he meets Marley again, Guiness, and there are other, gooier faces in the hot rock

scroo 9and the faces are between them

scroo 10and then there are more when they reach the door of the prison office

scroo 11then he is shown where he will stay, a frigid office, in reflection of his own office, where he let Cratchit freeze for all those years

scroo 12and then out of the red also come the executioners with his chain

scroo 13faces materialized, and then they drop them on him , he strangles

scroo 14and then he wakes up to the bedsheet having turned and tossed to strangle him

scroo 15and then he kisses the bedpost, because it is his, and seeing it means that he is alive

scroo 16There is little doubt this is a nightmare, but it is a rather shallow nightmare, and possibly ill informed of the traditional dream theory that Dickens was working with, which I will now attribute to the likes of Roscher.

What this all means, to me, is that in this version the bed is the lattice upon which all nightmares form and take shape, folding it inside out, into scenes, sets and scenarios. In that lattice he encounters the demon Pngalion, the thriller, the strangler, his nightmare effect was burning heat, that is, the sweats, and then choking to death, being weighed down by a thing until it strangles him. But the actual dream is generated by him light-sleeping in his bed, and reimagining his bed in light-sleep ways, and in this sequence whereas his mind has sunk to the lattice level to see out and around and transform in his mind his bed, the dream actually wakes him up some so he floats up to the glass onion surface of his lying there, but reimagined, and hot, and then he is taken zigzag through a maze to a adjunct space transposition of his bed, folded back out into his office, at this point, his blankets are kicked off, he is out of his bed, and then the chains come and that is him getting tangled up in his sheets. But while this hell begins in the glass onion, it is primarily imagined as an entoptic field, meaning that he is being woken up as he dreams. The route of this dream is so uncertainly imagined one can safely say that it really only was the bed multiplied rationally through the appearance of Marley and then the counting house, then flipped into a entoptic field, there to play out as its mirror form. But, for me, this is a rationalized space internalized from his everyday space, and let lie out there, with poetic, stagelike effect, but no truth to dream.

scroo 17I have noted before that it might very well be that Dickens knew about how older people, like myself, sleep, rarely dropping into deep dream states, and, for that too, rarely having full on nightmares, according to both Macrobius and Roscher; but this shallowness of the conceptualization of dream might be the very reason why this ghost story is often told in popular culture as if it is not in fact a ghost story at all, the ghosts more or less taken for granted as allegories of aspects of time. But, even if shallow dreams, actual dreams of that nature would not have the structure noted.

A similar shallowness shows up in the dream of the ghost of the present. Again, I am going to say that the structure of the dream is that the bed itself serves as the lattice, it is the structure that is reimagined in the dream. But then, his imagination being limited, it is reimagined by way of an extension, which is expediently composed of the elements of his house and surroundings.

As noted, it may be that his dream of the present is nothing but a figurative internal visualization on a metaphoric level of his wrestling with his sheets as he tosses and turns, which he does a lot of. This is explicitly suggested by the fact that when he drops back in, ie wakes up, from the present dream, he is in fact under his covers

scroo 18and the shallowness of the whole outing is reinforced earlier by the fact that when he “lands” in Camden town, to see the Cratchits, he lands in snow, suspiciously similar to his bedsheets, then Present tumbles in on top of him, crushing him, and in the fabric of his bed curtains, and he is again under the covers

scroo 19and then when he tries to get up they cling to him, with the snow on his back too, in this shot Present and his robes having taken on the aspect of his bedcurtains

scroo 20all this suggests that Present stays very close to his conscious mind, and to entoptic sleep too, it is as if he is almost thinking about Cratchit, as he might if he had insomnia, and it only levels out at the level of the glass onion because, as in keeping with its more figurative form, its narratives amount to symbolic pushing about of ideas he is mulling over (a negative proof of the unconscious emphasis on the bed curtains as one of the presiding structural fabrics of the movie is the fact that this version is quite rare in having no imps of Want and Ignorance under the robes of the Present, and in the sequence of the ghost of the Future, there is no bargaining for his bedcurtains, or any curtain play in the dreams at all. This means that the curtain is in fact too close to him, for it to figure out in story in the dream, but remain the underlying fabric of them).

Another curious thing happens in this version when the Present leaves. Scrooge cannot believe that it happened, yet he half thinks it was a real event in his rooms. That is, he was half awake during it, and now thinks that there is an intruder in his house. So he goes out. But in this version, as in others, his rooms are presented as absolutely empty, unlived in, a chamber of desolation

scroo 21he goes to the chair and goes to the mantel, to see that there is nothing there, that is, he does not quite believe it was a dream, or know if it was real

scroo 22in this chamber of desolation, the clocks have stopped, and are covered in webs, as is the vase and whatever else sat on the mantel. The mantel serves no purpose as a mantel, symbolizing the hearth of a house held as home in the world, but remains vacant of any cultivation. Most importantly, for my interest, there are absolutely no images, no portraits, no paintings in the house

scroo 24by far the most interesting home magic device I have read about this Fall was the chamber of desolation kept in the house of the serial Killer in de Quincey’s The Avenger. The killer actually turns out to be avenging the death by public lynching and hanging of his mother and wife, and to steel himself as a Jew to the history of exile and persecution that the Jews had suffered he kept what he claimed was the traditional device of a chamber of desolation, that is, one room of the house that he had done up entirely in its furnishings and the like, and then he trashed it, and kept it like that, to enter into it now and then, to remind him of the history of his people in Europe. The footnote to the edition I read then said that there was no such tradition among European Jews and De Quincey probably got the idea from another tradition where a square of wall space just inside the door of a Rhineland Jewish home was scratched back through the wallpaper and plaster to the stone or wood below, to in that way remind them of the destruction of the second temple. A parallel concept in English country house fiction would be the hidden room, and there are some, as in House of Long Shadows, but a very interesting one shows up in the otherwise not too thrilling Zeferelli version of Jane Eyre (1994), where Grace Poole the mad wife is kept in a room that, while acknowledged as better than a mental institution, is still entirely stripped of all furnishings, but for a rug and a bed, and no pictures

scroo 25Scrooge’s rooms, by being unfurnished in this version, provide evidence that he is kind of mad, in the Victorian sense that miserliness was in fact viewed as a kind of mental disease. Later, when he runs through the house the morning after, there is nothing, here and there a piece of furniture that he has commandeered to store papers and the like, his notion is to mess it up is to bring it to life, we’re not entirely convinced scroo 28we see that his outer halls, in his quite capacious surroundings, are so unkempt as to be coated with thick wads of dusty cobwebs

scroo 29the place is basically an abandoned house.

scroo 30The notion of the desolate room is a trope of some frequency in the movies of the British 60s, with, I guess, the most famous one the ice palace of Varekyno in Dr Zhivago. The idea is that nature has overrun the house, culture has stopped, and so his mind has stopped, and he is kind of mad. But, in terms of the mechanics of the movie, this leaves his rooms as a wide open space for fearful imaginings by a half awake mind as it projects images of the bed out in glass onion dream state into that space. That is, he dreams through the lattice of the bed, but upward into the glass onion and entoptic space of the rooms around the bed and in his house in general. He is deeply haunted by his vacant house, and on this one night he feels it (I once encountered an apartment of this sort in NYC, which was more or less completely uninhabited. The resident claimed that it was no bother, sleeping so close to the dunning noise of Houston Street, but when I tried to spend a night there, this woman, who claimed it was no bother slept under a barricade of pillows and when they fell off kept saying ‘oh, those trucks’ in her sleep. I consider this then the same sort of haunting; at present, I will expand Roscher’s comment that the type of bed covering figures forth the dream, to claim that the bed itself acts as a printing press for the dream, and then the house beyond is the paper upon which it is printed broadly. I will call it a house dream.

And this is the only explanation for the strange dynamics of his encounter with the ‘giant’ of the ghost of Christmas Present. It is more explicitly noted that when he completes his checking out the haunting rounds of his empty house, content that there is nothing there, going back to the hauntings in the early part of the movie, he is back at his door, coming back to his bed, and his bed itself, its bedcurtains have taken form as the ghost of the Future, that is, this is classic lattice “figuring out”

scroo 31and here is the bed curtains come alive in his glass onion state dream of the bed alive

scroo 32but the thing is, the Present is also a projection of his bedcurtains, only propelled by a slightly lighter state of sleep to the distant space of all his rooms lying without the bed. And what does he see when he gets into the outer room, or imagines himself from his bed in the outer room, but his bed and all its coverings made over into a smorgaboard spread of culinary wonders, and then his walking bedcurtains plus chandelier in the form of the ghost

scroo 33simply put, the lattice bed has been sensed by him, but in a state of light sleep, in this way, he reimagines in a glass onion light sleep dream way, as expanded to his rooms as a whole, and then while the four posts become the room in whole, the curtains become the ghost, the blankets the layout of food, and he is then let to float over it all.

scroo 34Now there are three wonderful things here, that correspond to actual light sleep dreams. He floats, or is elevated by the ghost; the ghost is described as a giant, as such a personification of a house, if furnished, therefore with a chandelier crown, and the entire exchange happens in the upper register of the room, in more or less the upper wainscot. Thus, he flies over his blankets at the behest of his bedcurtains. The fact that the action is shifted upward to the wainscot means two things. On one level it reforms the room in accordance with it being imagined as a projection of elements of his bed, probably the underside of the canopy. This places all the action in a dream space. Two, he parcours up onto the mantel and goes through the song from that perch. This too me brings back into focus the molding and the architecture effects of the room that inhabiting souls would definitely notice, but not him. It also is something he is more likely to have noticed only on his bed, now projected to the parlor. But the most interesting part to me is that this eccentric close up on the architectural detail corresponds to a similar device to be seen in Roman sarcophagi carvings, and as such emphases death, and that he is in a state thinking about death. It is quite odd to have him placed up on the mantel to do his drinking

scroo 35and in my view this is a foreshadow of his casting down into hell, when he flies across tomblike spaces carved abstractly out of the wainscot

scroo 36the most Romanly wonderful aspect of this strange set up is that thinking through his bed out to the room a connection is made to the other piece of furniture he spends all his time in, his chair, but in this scenario his chair is lifted up into the death space

scroo 37and, just to note, what a terrific idea it is that his sitting nursing a bowl of soup in his dreary conscious life can be transformed and expanded upon in his reverie of his haunted rooms into a throne on top of a cornucopia of everything in the world to eat, and the best effect is that, while the high candelabra haunt his lack of a chandelier, the highest piece of furniture in the room is a pork on a roasting device

scroo 38I really do wonder how they came up with the notion of creating this space in this way

scroo 66but then it also serves to allow them to launch out the window, and it is by this falling that this segment of the dream now does in fact plunge into deep sleep, and the visions of the other houses. This is my favorite shot in the movie, his haunted rooms, seen from outside of the window that has just been poltergeisted away from by the ghost

scroo 40it is possible that the shape of the room was meant to echo with the forms of the city he dreams of being in, as this cornice in the public square, also a wonderful space in the movie, and a dream space, imagined by him, from his rooms out, looks an awful lot like it

scroo 41at one point they even have to whisper not to wake the baby, showing off the form more

scroo 42now, I want to make one other comment, based on recent reading. I strongly suspect that laced all through the whole section of the present are art direction devices meant to rhyme with the room’s look, and remind us that we are not in fact seeing reality but dreaming of a reality as imagined in a light stage sleep by Scrooge, multiplied through his own bed and his rooms. The Cratchits house could be construed as an imagining under a bed, with emphasis there too on mantel, and then a paper streamer, and then the town itself as I have noted, mythical London, not real London. And in this mythical London it is London imagined by someone who has not given thought to it for some time, so it is construed in an ideal and reductive singular way in nostalgia, thus it IS a projection of his bed and his rooms into a cityscape. This is most wonderfully worked out in the encounter of the Merry band, and church letting out, in the square, where it really is spaced and sized, for the church to be the bed, the fountain one of the bedposts, the snow is the blanket, the architecture the projection of the unconscious appreciation of his bedposts, and all of it as it were happening in a projection of his land of counterpane

scroo 43but the thing that has always amazed me about this version, and sometimes oppressed me with an enthusiasm I could never hope to aspire to, is its wild blow out celebration of Christmas. It is manic, or, rather, it is a panic. Why?

Pan’s panic in the Christmas morning riot in Scrooge (1970).

Dec. 20, 2016.

Roscher’s Pathology of the Nightmare has some quaint ideas, which nonetheless touch upon traditional folk dream theory. Roscher has salvaged for modern readers Macrobius’s dream theory, and he talks about fantasma coming in waves, between waking and sleeping, in a state they call sleep-drunkenness, especially that if after waking up from a dream, but not knowing it, from mists (entoptic), wandering forms (the glass onion), to a weight (the lattice), then to leapers (the whoosh)–you fall deep in the whoosh, but never entirely down through into deep REM dream, and as a result suffer a reflection of bodily discomfort, thrash about, then pop back up, that is a nightmare. The whoosh part Roscher ascribes to “Ephialtes”, the leaper, and both the Greeks and Roscher ascribe these forms of panic nightmares to Pan. But, then, the thing is, on the flip, waking side, Pan also presides over “panicky terror” in animals, especially shepherded animals, in herds, and these usually happen at noon, and then too if transferred back to a type of dream it occurs in a noonday nap by the shepherd. Panic attacks occur under the aegis of Pan too, similar as they are to the stampeding of animals. This idea is quaint, but in line with two other materialist notions he likes, that the type of blanket you lie under results in the forms of demons in your dreams, which is why goats persecuted Greeks in nightmares, and Pan is a goat, because they slept under goatskins (he also quotes an incubation ritual where after goat sacrifice adorants slept on their skinned goat skins to have prophetic nightmares). Equally interesting is that food is one of the major ways by which bad dreams, or the gods themselves, come into the body, as, for example, Dionysius lives in food, as do other gods, including Pan, and thus flatulence is one form of source for dream communication (and Scrooge, of course, dismissed Marley as a bit of spoiled beef causing him stomach upset, an actual folk dream theory spoken in the story). An even more interesting area of study is that Pan is the presiding god over panic and stampedes caused suddenly by random noises or supernatural voices in the atmosphere, something I have been really interested in. All of this, very briefly skimmed over, contributes to some understanding, relative to dream theory, why in Scrooge, the morning after is the morning of redemption, and of happiness and redemption, and then, in this version, he is positively manic, it is a depiction of panic, and something to watch.

After Scrooge runs about throwing papers about, he comes down to the ground floor, by the rather hackneyed device of sliding down the bannister, this is the whoosh in waking form, the start of the panic, the excitement from this gets his goat up

scroo 44then he starts building his parade, first with the turkey on its own sled, to be pushed by some boys he has hired to do so

scroo 45then he has an absolute bewildering episode of manic behavior in the toy shop, taking one of everything

scroo 46he stops by next door, gets bottles of wine, and for both the toys and the wine, entourages of boys are required, so he is acting like the Pied Piper, a variant on Pan. He passes out wine, then his energy begins to take off and spread, causing the whole city to stampede as it were in celebration of Christmas. Since this is a musical, the music of various sorts is the equivalent of the supernatural voices that started stampedes, and first entering into it are the pantomimers (the connection of this sequence to the English tradition of the seasonal pantomime I leave to another time)

scroo 47they have flutes, of course, and he does some rather funny rude dances

scroo 48then, in this version, they quickly wrap everything up with Fred as he witnesses this mania, surprised, but happy

scroo 49now the mania spreads to the level of him having to be equal to the ghost figures in his dreams, and for that he requires an elevating transformation of character, which he gets from a store window, becoming Father Christmas

scroo 50now the mania spreads through on the level of I don’t know what, a celebratory welcome of a guest to the city  (a Roman triumph)

scroo 51in one of the most panicy terrifying reversed sequences the bells (as they had at first haunting in his house) sound too

scroo 52this is classic glass onion dream behavior, in conscious life

scroo 53then he visits the Cratchits, who, while the whole “he is crazy” bit is not played up quite as frantically as in the ’39 Hollywood version, it is played up, Santa Claus comes to visit on Christmas morning, which does not quite make sense, and gives the Mrs. a turkey that will take a week to cook

scroo 54at this point, things expand again to the eternalization of the entoptic phase, with the whole population of people he knows, who owe him money, meeting up, he cancelling the debts, and so a reprise of Thank you very much, for a blow out in extremis

scroo 55to remind us this is a kind of panic dream made waking, Punch and Judy show up

scroo 56and, then, oddly, he backs off, to go up to the next level, and preside over the mania he has caused to catch fire, does he become Pan himself, presider of the panic?

scroo 57this (below), in fact, is my second favorite shot in the movie because it exemplifies the fantasy of the bird’s eye view of life combined with the being at the center of the action view, to entirely and completely satisfyingly involve him in the full life of the metropolis, which he has in his misery blocked out and hated, and it is from the balcony that he becomes as it were the grand marshal of the parade, passing out his favors (calling across to give money to the poor). It’s a sweet scene of old mythic London where, this story imagines it, everyone was deeply connected to the physical hustle bustle of community life, and not alienated and separated as we are now.

scroo 58and not only is that balcony a transposition of his bed, but the building opposite, with that cornice again, is likewise a transposition of his parlor, so the point of this panic is to fill up his rooms like Present did, but projected out into the city

scroo 59this is also a nifty afterpostshadow of the chair and the floating in the space of the parlor, a lovely involved spatial dynamic of dreaming in waking life, a vigilogogic state of mind

scroo 60then, finally, the wave encompasses the church too, and that square

scroo 61another medley of different types of song from the British cultural catalog

scroo 67the city as transposed bed (a land of counterpane)

scroo 63him, at last, having set off the fireworks, touched off the stampede panic, but in a positive form (I am not sure what the name of it would be, the opposite of a riot), and he withdraws to return home

scroo 64content, entirely spent, and convinced that in one night he has entirely transformed his being by pulling up all of his dreaming into daylight and touching off a panic of joy resounding throughout all things, in a deep and enriching catharsis of his turned-against-life orneriness. He then leaves his borrowed persona’s beard as a trophy on the doorknocker that haunted him, replacing a haunting with the opposite of one, an enriching with a positive good luck charm to wish well and goodness to come

scroo 65It is my argument then, that, in this version, the morning parade, evincing an urban liveliness so unusual in all but major cities on Christmas morning, is composed of the events of the night before, the nightmare panic, reversed into a daytime form, sparked by supernatural voices and the sounds of nature, to touch off a morning panic which he then acts as Pan to create a stampede of positive feeling about Christmas which expands in waves from lattice, to glass onion, back up to entopty, to float up to happiness, in a new waking life.

The Land of Nod: explorations of the very lightest stage of sleep and the conjuring of a Nemesis figure in Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968).

Rev., Apr 24, 2017.

Where, in current sleep theory, is the land of nod? What hauntings might come from it, specifically? And why? why would a haunting from the land of nod be so scary? These are questions that are, in fact, provided an answer in the 1968 Michael Hordern version of MR James’ classic ghost story, Whistle and I’ll come to You. In it, Hordern plays a Cambridge prof come down to the East Anglia shore to take some time off, not to play golf, as the character in another James story does, but just to poke about, looking at antiquities. He spends a good deal of time on the beach, walking

whis 1and then he spends a good deal of time in bed, resting

whis 2so it could be said that he has laid down a field of experience that is entirely bound by beach-and-bed. In this capacity, the rather tame landscape paintings or prints lining the walls of his room do not serve their normal function of warning of trouble coming from without, but serve as a kind of portals that connect the two poles of his experience in the town. They simply suggest openendedness, and this will become crucial. These pictures are all over the inn, or boarding house (where the maids even draw your bath for you), but are never given much play, that is, are not instrumentalized. They serve only to remind us in one type of shot of the other side of his interest in terms of locale in the locale

whis 3anyways, one day he goes out walking, and finds on cliff over the beach, a cemetery (which I guess means that at some point the cemetery is going to go over the edge), and he finds at the base of a gravestone on the edge a bone, but it is a carved bone, and a hollow bone, and it says, whistle (it) and I will come to you. And so he whistles it, and from that one whimsy, derived no doubt by the run of whimsy of his own partly externalized to talking-to-himself self-talk, but really more a nonstop banter of commentary of what he is experiencing and seeing, and by doing it, it is implied, he calls up the ghost

whis 4right away, as he departs the beach in his second day of walking, we see, by the setting sun, a distant silhouette of a figure on the beach. Here too is a figure that James mentions in another tale as told by Christopher Lee in a BBC Christmas series in 2000. In that one, he talks about a figure who appears not in his straight on vision, but as it were in the catch of his peripheral vision, like a figural glitch or catch of someone there, a presence, just where his peripheral vision cuts off. What this is is not clear, though it does remind me that in a recent group show in town it was based on the doubletake of the Sideways Glance, but I would say that it is a result of presmyopia when the peripheral vision in older folks contracts and that contraction is, at first, noticed as a negation, a dark absence, and it is possible that that is the thing seen. Here it is, in this version, it is creepy

whis 5then the next morning he gets up and starts out again, but this the time movie sees him differently, It has switched the POV of someone watching him from behind objects, and through objects, it is quite early in the day to bring this sort of POV into the perception of haunted persons, but the sudden compression of the visuality of the movie to these shots is a terrific effect bespeaking haunting.

whis 6and again the tunnel, or the figure in the tunnel, watching him go on

whis 7and then I suppose the point of this contraction of the iris lens against him is to make him aware that he IS in fact being haunted. As a result, he is on edge, feeling like he is being watched, so that when this time he does in fact see the figure, who he only thought he saw before, but now in daylight there can be no mistake, he is upset, and feels threatened

whis 8and runs

whis 9this then recurs in his dreams that night. And here we come to the genius, visually, psychologically, of this telling of the tale. We go to bed with Michael Hordern, however unaccommodating that might be, and lie with him in his sleep, and experience the sort of insomnia that is involved in the very lightest stages of sleep, a stage of sleep that is the very cream as it were on top of the dream stages of sleep, sleeping, yes, but just barely so, so much so that if you experience this recurrent nodding in and out for hours on end you might wake up hours later thinking you have not in fact fallen asleep at all, but had insomnia, and feel entirely unrefreshed by your sleep, even though upon waking you have to acknowledge you have fallen asleep. So, the closeup shows his eyes, and they are open, then closed, then opened, then closed, they flicker in between

whis 10and as in this state it is usually only a light fugue state of one single action recurring repeatedly over time that one experiences, and as it is on the edge of sleep, or just under the surface of sleep, as it were wading into the shallows of the surf of sleep, running on a beach is a perfection figural expression of that substage of sleep (with the sun in this shot representing his eye opening and closing)

whis 11and then when he climbs up the bluff and stumbles over a tomb, that is an event, in a dream state

whis 12that is nonetheless formally reflected in, and presented as the figuring out of, the wrinkles in his face and eyes nodding in and out of sleep

whis 13and then it goes on, there is a whole architecture of this littoral scrim of dream

whis 14and then at the end of it, he sees something, something definite, something indefinite, something not materializable enough to be real, because the state of dream he is in does not have enough creative energy to create full figures, but something fashioned from the screens or scrims of the filtered out simplistic realm of the littoral, and he sees a form, as it were a cloth figure, swirling on the beach, it is, in this context, in terms of how it was introduced to him, scary, uncanny, weird. And as it typical in this in-between state, at first he cannot make out what it is, he is not scared by it, only creeped out, concerned

whis 15but then it as it were takes on human energy and turns to him and seems to address him, and this, this scares him awake

whis 16he then lies with knitted brow, having turned on the light (another good detail, for I have found something even leaving the light on keeps this sort of thing from forming in the mind), wonders, what did I just dream, why did it seem so real? Am I in fact really being haunted?

whis 17and now as the film returns to out-of-dream state, we draw back, and remain back

whis 18what, then, is this dream state? It is a substate of the uppermost level of dream, the entoptic state. My model, which corresponds to ancient models of the phases of dream

whis 19as mapped out by Macrobius, has a five stages of dream the entoptic, in which one floats through a light stage consisting of the forms and shapes usually of an abstract nature that form below the visualizing that happens inside your eyes, thus the entoptic; the glass onion, when these deepen to a stage where the forms begins to become symbols and the mind wanders through a fugue state consisting of the run on or whirl of symbols and letters only; the lattice, where upon the heaviness of sleep arriving one symbol is latched onto and weighs things down, usually of a lattice or chandelier sort; then the whoosh, where the lattice gets so heavy it breaks through to a spiral down a wormhole deep, to deep dream, and then the REM, or deep dream state. All these in-between light stages of dreams were part of modern art and cinema, but because ignored by Freudian dream analysis theory overlooked for the art in which these states of hypnagogy were captured as a normal part of watching a movie, which Belting has compared to dreaming. But, then, there is also the fact that in addition to the five stages, there are substates transitioning down through each stage, and while I hesitate to micro my study by studying in too great a detail these substates, it does occur. Recently, as my own sleep states have lightened again, almost to the point of being but on the other side of the door from insomnia, so that I can wake up thinking I was awake all night, but was sleeping, but then, for that, think that what I dreamt in those light phases was real, I have made note more consciously of visual tropes which seem to characterize the very lightest stages of dream sleep. One of the them, of course, I have referred to endlessly in my writings, the tincan hollow perception of the world when you fall asleep in a nap yet still hear the TV playing in the background, I have mentioned this so often as the very state in which most of my writing occurs that I hardly need rehearse it, but it shows up in movies like in the final scene of the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol where in a snowcovered city of long ago there is a tincan hollow dreaminess to the coda that is pleasing and satisfying. But, then, there are other substages.

One I call the drop in, it is so light that it can be perceived by the dreamer as the dropping in of a dream element into a visual plane perceived as primarily awake. This usually takes the form of hand or some other reaching in element intruding upon a plain that one perceives as awake, and one is startled by it, and in the experience of it you drop in, then you pull out, then you drop in again, and pull out again, it is odd, you cant tell what it is. I think this particular device is best exemplified in art in the visions of the dreams of St Francis by Giotto, which I imagine were imagined by him as real and therefore as divine intrusions because he was dreaming in a very light stage brought about by constantly being awoken by cold, discomfort, and other discomfitures of his mission in life, living in poverty and nature. Here is an example (from Giotto)

whis 20

And another one

whis 21And another one (this by contemporary artist Linda Davidson, called Hand of God, and since the motif is most often expressed by the hand of god, I also kind of want to call this specific device not only the Drop in, but the Hand of God

whis 22This, then, identifies this as the drop in, a type of very light entoptic dreaming. And then, on another level, there is the strobe. This also shows up as a visual device in some movies where the movie gets to a dramatic point and then it strobes slowly, between seeing and not seeing, and this is what this is. This is a literal example of what happens when you nod off and then wake up and then nod off again and then wake up again, and you are not even aware you are doing it, but there is, the strobe. The strobe shows up in movies a lot, when, during a climax, there is a flashing on and off of visuality (such as in The Silence of the Lambs etc).

Another type of very light stage sleep that is addressed in one movie is the microsleep, which is actually the result of not sleeping, and sleep deprivation, where, as a result of this condition, for a second or so, you drop into sleep, but think you are still awake, and thus see a dream nightmare figure, but as it were as if you are awake. The remake of the Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) is the only movie I know that has addressed this state of almost-insomnia. The vision in the school was an example of a microsleep vision, she thought she was awake, seeing this (I do not include this in my light stage model however as it is in fact a deeper dysfunction of sleep deprivation with roots in deeper deprived dreams and thus more similar to classic dysfuntions like nightmares, which are bouncings out of stage four, up into life, but I mention it here as an example of a movie exploring these odd in-between hypnagogic states

whis 23

And then there is land of nod, which is a variant on lightest stage dreaming where, the dream having resolved to find just a slightly deeper ground in dream space, the dream drop in fragment takes place on a single, coherent ground in dream, but one nods off into it and wakes up out of it repeatedly, so that whatever you experience there, ends up being entirely littoral, that is, it can cross over (and it might be from this stage of sleep that one gets the other idea from the original Nightmare on Elm Street, that you can, if catching it in a particular dream state with a particular traction, pulls objects up out of dream). This is what you get Whistle and I will Come to You, and it is what is enacted and displayed with such psychological accuracy as Hordern’s sleeping eye opens

whis 24then closes, to find himself still there

whis 25and then opens again, to finally wake up with a distinct impression that someone or something has visited him, and come up out of the dream, into his being in the flesh, such as this

whis 26this strange object, which I will call a conjure-figure, is not entirely original here, but it is extremely rare. It has most often made its appearance in the form of newspapers blowing across a terrain, from a time when the news travelled by way of newspaper, and it being blown signified that things were getting out of control, that news was travelling fast, that one was being haunted and, even worse, pursued by this. It is true, Pausanias says, that Nemesis is related to dream, and it may well be that this conjure-figure is precisely Nemesis, as she comes out of light dream into the room where you live, pursuing you. I have recently seen a few examples of the scuttling newspaper, in Night Shadows (1989), in this shot

whis 27and in this shot

whis 28then I have classically found it to be instrumentalized to best effect in Daughter of Horror (1957), the movie the midnight kids are watching in the movie theater in The Blob (1959)

whis 29and then it also shows up in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. in all cases, then, as I here and now declare it, it represents as well the idea that the dreaminess of the plot has turned toward YOU, you being the character in the lead, and taken on the character of a pursuing Nemesis.

Of course, the most famous example of this sort of Nemesis conjure-figure in the movies occurred in the middle of the deliriously dreamlike opera within the movie of The Red Shoes (1948), when the mad dancer encounters, exactly, a blowing piece of newspaper

whis 30And then it turns into exactly this same figure

whis 31and she dances with, or away from it

whis 32And then it becomes, in fact, an actual figure, and she dances with it, her nemesis.

whis 33to then fade back to paper, but indicating a threshold of delirium crossed, pulled up and in, she is now being pursued

whis 34This device also shows up the odd I think Czech movie Daisies (1966), where the girls are dressed up as newspaper people

whis 35my guess is so that the scene of cleaning up after a banquet can be applied allegorically to the news, whatever the news was at the time (the revolution), and be relevant in that way

whis 36it is odd, they lie down as the news too

whis 37Thus it is seen that the specific function of the lightest of dream stages, is to open the mind and eye up to carrying a dream something by smooth transition up into consciousness, and avoid the fate of Eurydice sent back below by Orpheus looking back at her. In this method, you do not look back, you nod in and out, and gradually draw it up.

For this reason, at present, I have to amend my model of the lightest stage of sleep, the entoptic, to include several sublayers or subdreamstates, as follows

whis 38

and those phases, as I work them out now, and in which I spend so much of the too much time I now spend in my bed, trying to get a few hours sleep, are as follows

whis 39

and I will call the conjure-figure that is encountered at the bottom of the entoptic, as it is drawn up through the easy transitions of the entopty to awakeness, as a psychologue, Nemesis, as it seems to come up with a sense of violation, and directedness at you, that spooks one badly, especially if you are not sure you dreamt it, or the thing is in the room with you (at a later point I will incorporate a study of Nemesis as this usher figure, a psychologue, in Greek light dream theory). Here by Rethel

whis 40

Nemesis, therefore, is the guardian demon residing on the rocky ledge just as you rise back up into the entoptic phase, from below, and if you come up slowly, by way of light sleep, you might make the mistake of taking her up into your waking life.

Therefore, I here officially declare (ok, getting carried away) Nemesis a dream demon, a psychologue/psychopomp, who resides very specifically on the ledge at the bottom of the entoptic dream state, in the conjure-figure substate (stage one, substate 5), able, if opened up by nodding, to come up out of dream and come into your life.

whis 41

And this is, in fact, what happens, with the professor. The next day he is pictured from afar, and as alone, all the other guests have, mysteriously, gone

whis 42then there is a very odd incident that the second bed in his room has been slept in, and the lady of the house takes him up, when he disbelieves it, to show him, perhaps with the charge that he invited someone in, and now she wants to charge him for that, or maybe he had brought a woman in, against house rules, but he, barely acknowledging her, mumbling to himself, rumpled, no doubt, rumpled, he has no explanation for it. The supposition is that perhaps he got scared of what he brought up out of his dream, so much so that he had to sit up (though we did not see that part), then, could not sleep in that bed anymore, thinking it occupied by something creepily invasive, so decamped to the other bed, as a refuge, but there is no explanation given).

whis 43and, then, though it is never that effective to deal with a man in a bath or shower sequence, in a ghost story, the insertion, just before going to bed the next night, of a bath sequence, indicates that he too is being stripped bare, all his defenses surrendered

whis 44so that in the bed next to him the next night, perhaps reinforced by the suggestion of the maids’ wondering how that bed got rumpled, he sees that the spirit or whatever the conjure-figure was, has come out into his room, and is inhabiting the sheets in the other bed, and it rises up

whis 45and this experience (the accompanying print on the wiki page for the story indicates) is the primary haunting moment of the story, it shocks him, and empties him out, to go mad

whis 46it is enough that, his world view having not acknowledged that anything like that could happen, that it happens, that alone causes him to lose himself, and go over. In retrospect, it is conjectured that the haunting consisted of someone, a witch or someone, making a pipe of the bone of the deceased and leaving it on the grave of the deceased, for someone to call the spirit of the dead, as it says so in Latin on the bone, to call it, and if you blow the pipe, and James making use of aural hallucination too as the subtle currency of his hauntings–and it a good piece of conjuring, weirdly connected and transmitted, queer, one might say–then the dead is called up, and it comes to you by way of the littoral zone of light sleep, a Nemesis psychologue that rises up through the entoptic proper, through the strobe, the drop in and the land of nod, to pop out and haunt you, directed at you, in awaking life, the end. It is a very good evocation, then, the light stages of sleep that insomniac older persons might fall into, and how these stages can set up, in fact, the unwelcome retrieval of a ghost.