Monday, 18 June 2012

A Dream about Robert Aickman

A Dream about Robert Aickman

Last night, I dreamt I was in a bookshop. All the books were on rotating carousels; they were square and very thin with covers seemingly made of canvas or some sort of woven fabric. They only displayed the author’s name on the front, not any titles, and to tell who the book was by you had to run your fingers over the embossed writing like Braille.

I was turning the carousel looking through the books and I wondered why there weren't any by Robert Aickman. As soon as I thought this, the carousel (which turned of its own accord) presented a book to me; I traced Aickman's name on the cover and then opened it.

All the pages were folded into each like the leaves of a map, but a thousand times more complicated and intricately layered. As I unfolded more and more pages I held them up to the light, and the paper was tough but almost see through, like an insect's wing. Each page spawned more and more pages. The next might have writing in all the alphabets of the world, or diagrams that drew themselves, or colourful illustrations like the Book Of Kells, or brand new periodic tables, or anatomical drawings of imaginary creatures.

I looked around the bookshop, and all the other people there had similar books open, their open pages unfolding and connecting like paper streamers between us. Everyone was smiling and everyone was reading, and I knew I’d never be able to shut the book that was opening and opening in my hands.

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