Though not sequential, the two stories are similar enough that I thought they merited being included on the same post. Both stories are centered on dreams and the permiability of the realm between the dreaming world and this one.
The first is about a man describing his dreams to a doctor (possibly a psychiatrist). The dreams come in thematic cycles. For a long time he dreamed of plane flights. Then he dreamed of sons, his sons but only in dream, as he has no children in real life. At the end, the narrator has begun to dream of beautiful women, movie stars, sex idols--all from his youth. The story finishes with the narrator asking the doctor if he thinks the condoms they sell in drug stores are effective in dreams. The generative power of dreams reminded me somewhat of Borges' "The Circular Ruins."
Soñó que estaba preso is like the mirror image of the former. This one is about a man in prison. Every night he dreams about being in prison, only the dreams transfigure the prison, changing its shabby or cruel elements into comforting or aesthetic ones. He is even visited by shadows from his past--his dead mother, the woman who abandoned him--in vivid form through these dreams. When he is finally released, he takes the few remaining items of his former life and takes the train to his sister's house. That night he dreams of being back in prison.
Donald Hall (1928-2018)
3 weeks ago