Monday, November 10, 2008
'I had a very interesting dream last night...'
I thought I'd heard all of the best Oscar Wilde quotes, but in Saturday's Guardian, John Lanchester mentioned one I hadn't come across. Apparently, Wilde commented that the most frightening words in the English language are 'I had a very interesting dream last night.'
I couldn't agree more.
Few things bore me more than listening to people talking about their dreams. I have had the misfortune of knowing several individuals who possess a photographic memory of their nocturnal musings and insist on relating every single detail as if it's the most interesting thing in the world.
With a few exceptions, dreams are boring. I'm not convinced that they provide an insight into the subconscious mind and even if they do, that doesn't necessarily mean it's worth hearing about. I blame Freud.
If I had a quid for every time someone's told me that they had a 'really weird dream last night' followed by a long, drawn out description of uninteresting, random events, I'd be a rich man. Worst of all are those New Age types who think that their dreams constitute a profound insight into the spirit world and actually have a meaning.
The only dreams I have ever found interesting are Kazuo Ishiguro's The Unconsoled and this: