Reading Dreams contains seven new essays, based on new research, on the representation and interpretation of medieval and Renaissance dreams. The textual focus is both literary and non-literary. Chaucer and Shakespeare are important reference-points, while Langland, the Pearl-poet and Milton receive significant coverage. Diaries, philosophical texts, polemical writings, works on dream theory and medical treatises are also extensively used. The methodology is a mixture of close reading, detailed comparison and contextualising. Theoretical approaches are drawn from Freud, anthropology, social history and gender studies as well as from literary criticism. This is the first time that English-speaking scholars have collaborated to produce a book about medieval and Renaissance dreams. Their essays are designed to develop innovative and novel approaches of a variety and range possible only in a specially commissioned collection of essays. At the same time, there are recurrent preoccupations, such as the relationship of theory to text, and the status of dreams as historical evidence. The authors open up new areas of enquiry, and suggest and exemplify possible approaches. In so doing, and by including three scholars who have written acclaimed works on medieval dreams (A. C. Spearing, Kathryn Lynch and Steven Kruger), Reading Dreams will provide an authoritative advance on previous studies. It also represents a new departure by extending the debate across the medieval and Renaissance periods.
`For those interested in medieval and early modern dreams, this book will be essential reading' Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol.32, No.4 `The large amount of material collected by the six scholars represented here will provide a good deal of food for thought as we continue to interpret medieval and early modern dreams' Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol.32, No.4 `Spearing's introduction is thorough and critical, adding to the overall quality of the book' Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol.32, No.4 `The aim to provide an interdisciplinary approach that also crosses boundaries between the medieval and Renaissance periods, is successfully accomplished' Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol.32, No.4 `A welcome addition to the critical assessment of medieval and early modern dreams and dream theory' Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol.32, No.4 `The volume's great strength derives from its union of two breeds of scholar - medieval and Renaissance - to tackle what is a key genre for both periods.' Medium Aevum, Vol.LXIX, 2000 `Reading Dreams addresses the persistent and perennial questions about dreams: where do they come from and what do they mean. Nominally it covers dreams from Chaucer to Shakespeare, but in fact provides insights into dreams and dream theory from Aristotle (Parva naturalia) to David Lynch (Blue Velvet), with significant attention to Freud's practices and theories' Eileen Gardiner, The Medieval Review `The volume includes its own review in the form of an introduction by A. C. Spearing (Medieval Dream Poetry), the scholar who introduced many to the whole subject of dreaming in medieval literature. It is an excellent summary of the book and analysis of the individual contributions ... he applauds the overall collection as an attempt "to place dreams and their interpretations more exactly in specific cultural contexts" ... the real strength of this volume lies in its occasional insights into the world of dream-study ... Any student of medieval literature, any student of Chaucer, and particularly any student of dreaming in Chaucer should consult this volume' Eileen Gardiner, The Medieval Review `In addition, Peter Holland's "'The Interpretation of Dreams' In the Renaissance" is an essential roadmap to dreaming in Europe for anyone whose interest strays beyond the Middle Ages--a pleasure to read and a wealth of scholarship.' Eileen Gardiner, The Medieval Review Among the many interesting and constant themes that recur throughout this volume are the authenticity of the dream, the relationship of the dreamer to the dream, the relationship of the dream to the narrator (and the dreamer to the narrator), as well as the source of dreams and the meanings of dreams. Several of the authors discuss the dream's relationship to its narration, either by the dreamer or by another narrator who also might act as an interpreter. `A lot of scholarship in a slim binding, this volume brings together contributors with impressive learning and a zeal to examine their materials and scholarly assumptions from fresh perspectives... it proceeds from Middle English literature Jacobean culture and drama, with some attention to European writing and to the dream theory in the 16th and 20th centuries - a range to be thankful for.' A. Galloway, Choice
Number Of Pages: 204
Published: 1st May 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.4 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.35