FB Post | 10.9.17

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  acadia27 2 years, 7 months ago.

  • Author
  • #25882

    Quote –

    “No man can discover his own talents.” – Brendan Behan

    Original Painting –

    Le Sommeil (Sleep), Salvador Dali 1937

    In Le Sommeil (Sleep), Dali recreated the kind of large, soft head and virtually non-existent body that had featured so often in his paintings around 1929. In this case, however, the face is certainly not a self-portrait. Sleep and dreams are par excellence the realm of the unconscious, and consequently of special interest to psychoanalyists and Surrealists. Crutches had always been a Dali trademark, hinting at the fragility of the supports which maintain ‘reality’, but here nothing seems inherently stable, and even the dog needs to be propped up! Everything in the picture except the head is bathed in a pale bluish light, completing the sense of alienation from the world of daylight and rationality.

    In Le Sommeil Salvador Dali returned to a classic Surrealist motif that was probably inspired by his inclusion in the exhibition of Surreal ‘objects’ at the Galerie Charles Ratton, in which the public were invited to “touch their dreams”. Dreams are, of course, the essence of much Freudian theory because of their access into the unconscious, a preoccupational theme for the Surrealists, including Dali.

    Freudian theories, however, extends beyond just a consideration of the unconscious. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Freud, the renowned psychologist proposed a theory, Thonatos or ‘Death Instinct’, in which he suggests that all animals, including humans, try to prolong their life by defending all threats of deth that are inappropriate to their particular species. In humans this is manifest as aggression if the threat is external and self-destruction when directed at the self. The counterpart to Thanatos is Eros in which an individual life moves towards a ‘natural’ death. Le Sommeil seems to suggest that tension, the head in a catatonic state supported by a series of crutches.


  • #25887

    I know we’re trying to find context for the quote but the description of the painting also intrigues me. The title brings back previous references to sleep, sleep paralysis, lucid dreams; the description talks about dreams and maintaining a fragile reality.

  • #25895
     Lawrence Meyers 

    “No man can discover his own talents” Behan’s early claim to fame was he was an IRA terrorist. Then he reformed and became one of Ireland’s greatest writers. Perhaps one’s talents only come to the surface by accident or in times of necessity. Behan became a writer while in prison.

  • #25898

    Mason asked a couple of us about dreams, lucid dreaming, etc. when he first showed up.

    • #25911

      @erisbonn – yup, and he’s been pretty interested in my sleep habits straight through.

  • #25914

    In lucid dreaming you can to some extent exert control of the outcome and what is happening throughout the dream. So ultimately you can control your dream self and the surrounding dream. With that your unconsciousness is now your conscious state. Blurring these two worlds together is where your unconscious can reveal what you lust for and and awake you to the reality of how to get it.

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