As children, most of us are scared of the dark. Although we may put that fear behind us, it remains nonetheless buried deep in places where we prefer not to look. It is a terror-as old as the human race-that survives in spite of the magic of electricity, which disguises but can never erase the differences between night and day.
In this powerfully written book, A. Alvarez examines night in all its aspects. How do we light it? How do we inhabit it and make it safe? In what "languages" do we dream? The search moves from the neon-lit brilliance of Las Vegas to the shadowy underworld patrolled by the police. We visit a sleep laboratory, where scientists try to understand what happens to our bodies and in our brains when sleep claims us. Alvarez shows how "night horrors" inspired and terrified Coleridge, how dreams liberated the minds of Stevenson and the Surrealists, and how his own childhood fears provided a gateway to the secret world of the unconscious. And through a highly original and accessible account of the thoughts of Freud, Jung, and their modern-day counterparts, Alvarez reveals how deeply dreams and the unconscious color and fashion our waking lives.
Like his bestseller The Savage God, Night is a remarkable, eloquent combination of ideas and personal experience; it is a literary feast, a journey of discovery, and a perfect initiation into the mysteries of the dark.
Personal and literary explorations of the less visible half of life by a gifted critic and acutely intuitive memoirist.
- Body + Mind + Spirit, Self Improvement
- July 1, 1996
- July 1, 1996
- A. Alvarez