1.8 / 2.11

“In Dreams”
Book 1, chapter 8; Book 2, chapter 11


1.8 Man (whose dream this is) (Charles? Claire?), woman who could be his wife, and a boy. Young black professional. Three jewish men in store, one a red head. Prostitute that looks like Meryl Streep.

2.11 Man (whose dream this is), a waitress of a diner and three wild youths (eating there), an old man (eating there), other staff of the diner, two policemen.

General Subject/ Plot

1.8: A man’s dream in which is suggested an uneasiness about minorities, money, the fidelity of his wife, maybe gentrification. It involves leaving his “borrowed or leased” apartment and getting separated from his wife and child in the process of going to Manhattan to eat.

2.11: Man dreams an experience at a diner, where three wild youths sexually assault an employee before getting killed themselves.


1.8 Claire, Meryl Streep, Bomba the Jungle Boy, Pierre, grey suede gloves, clothing, young black professional (like “Napoleon”), redhead, apartment, infidelity, abortion? (“kid disappeared”)

2.11 diner, Jesus, rape, pale blue silk suit, abortion, nurse, deadbeats


The first “In Dreams” could be the article talked about in the second “Success”: “a dream in which a woman, the wife of the man who was dreaming, turned into Meryl Streep.”

A third person singular narrator in the first, a first person singular narrator in the second. In the first, the narrator seems highly agitated; in the second, the protagonist seems impassive, detached. The first involves masculine uncertainty about female sexuality, the second involves female victimization from a group of males. The second with a suggestion of metafiction (“‘I have expelled all illusion from this place.'”) the first with a suggestion of the literary (my book, Pierre). Both involve food (the diner, going out to eat), both contain the idea of hypnosis; in both, the antagonists to the dreamer, or the villains of the piece, are three men (old Jewish guys in the first, wild youths in the second). The second “In Dreams” corresponds strongly to the first “In the Diner” (echoed in particular is the disdain of the youths for the working person) — bottle of ketchup from the second “In the Diner”; another appearance of the television, another glimpse of contemporary religion in the diner of the dream; the first doesn’t appear to correspond as closely to other chapters of the book but features many familiar characters: the red head, the young black man, Meryl Streep, Bomba, the apartment, the philco radio, etc…

The re-occurrence of the number “25” is noted — the waitress of the second “In Dreams” seems to have aged by twenty-five years, “5625 Parkcrest West” is the address of the dreamer in the first “In Dreams” — Monica of the second “Movies” is 25 years old — etc.

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