Week 1: Dreams

By Daryl L. L. Houston

Our first encounter with dreams in 2666 isn’t so much an encounter as a brush-by. On page 14, we’re told that Morini may have dreamed some horrible unrecollected dream.

On page 22, we have another non-dream, but a sleep disturbance, as the Frisian lady in the gaucho story the Swabian recounts is kept up one night, tossing and turning as she tries to unpuzzle the gaucho’s son’s revelation that her husband’s horse racing victories had been fixed.
Yet another false-start on the dream front is the sort of hypnotic state Norton enters after sex with Espinoza, as revealed on page 34.
Another curious episode could be construed to be a dream (pp. 35 – 36). Morini apparently wakes up blind one morning. After making his way over to the window he had been gazing out the night before and having a dizzy spell, he goes back to bed and wakes up an hour later with sight, then calmly goes about his morning. The episode is presented matter of factly as if it happened as described, but it’s tempting to suggest that Morini merely dreamed the blindness.
On page 40, we have again not a dream proper, but mention of dreaming: “with her words Norton managed to give substance to a being whom neither Espinoza nor Pelletier had ever seen, as if her ex existed only in their dreams.”
Finally, starting on page 45, we have not just a dream, but a full-fledged nightmare on Morini’s part. The three male scholars are playing cards around a stone table while Norton is diving into a pool situated behind Espinoza and Pelletier, who are absorbed in the game. As he plays, Morini watches people in the area, and they begin to leave. Pelletier seems to be winning the card game. Morini abandons the game and wheels himself to the edge of the pool, which turns out to be huge, with oily patches here and there. He’s looking for Norton. A fog appears, and suddenly the pool empties and turns out to be very deep. He sees a female figure at the bottom, and she starts to make her way to a rock jutting from the edge of the pool. Meanwhile, he senses someone behind him that he believes to be evil and who wants him to turn and look at his/her face. He backs away but finally turns and sees a young Norton’s face. He wonders who’s walking in the bottom of the pool and feels “deeply and inconsolably sad.” He turns to face Norton, and she says “There’s no turning back,” apparently via telepathy. She repeats it in German and turns paradoxically and walks away into a forest giving off a red glow. Note this utterance of Norton’s alongside Morini’s own thought, expressed on page 43, that nothing is ever behind us.

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