Update Schedule

It’s early in the afternoon as I walk through Malá Strana once again—it’s only been four years, but it seems like a lifetime ago. The past few days have been a startling reminder of how memory often feels less like memory than knowledge you can’t account for. The Prague I’ve seen in dreams doesn’t look exactly like the real Prague—but the Prague I’ve imagined since leaving doesn’t either. I could see boats go by from the window of my old flat, and the moon rising over Vyšehrad, but now there’s an enormous building blocking the way—and it’s been there long enough to where it doesn’t even look that new.

I’m glad I walked this route today instead of taking the tram:  it seems that one of the coffee shops I had given up for lost has simply relocated. I’ll be paying them a visit later on, but there’s somewhere else I want to visit first:  Shakespeare & Sons, the English-language bookstore. I head to the poetry section first.

It’s an impressive poetry section by most standards, with many works it would be hard to find other places. I pick out Jerusalem Delivered—the masterwork of Torquato Tasso, and one of the largest books there. Pretty much everything I know about Tasso comes from Goethe’s play rather than this sizeable book.  It was counted among the greats once, but I’ve so far neglected to read it, as have most people for the past century. It wouldn’t surprise me if this were the same copy that was sitting on this shelf four years ago. I flip it open to a random page and read:

And if you were on land to perish, vain

Would be a victory on the bounding main.


Expect updates here to be scarce, if not totally nonexistent, until October. I have a great deal planned, some of it already half-finished, but real life going to have to take precedence for a while—that’s real life in contradistinction to both dreams and writing and any combination of the two. You’d be surprised at how many there are. In the meantime, please take the time to enjoy what’s already here, or to explore some of the resources I’ve included in my bibliography. Or get to work on your own dream journal. Or just go out and get some fresh air or something.

That’s October at the earliest.

A. Sterling

Dream Bibliography

According to Ezra Pound, it is only when you have forgotten how you learned something that you can truly claim to know it. It is in the spirit of Ezra Pound that I have chosen to present the books, articles, and websites that have informed the writing of “Liber Clavicularum”.

It isn’t good scholarly protocol, but I feel that it reflects the process by which things I read affect the things I write better than footnotes do. I‘ve been studying dreams for more than seven years now, and in that time I have read widely both within and without that field. To me, it is a big pattern rather than a collection of discrete entities, and so everything I borrow is borrowed from the whole thing rather than a particular source. A complete bibliography would have to include everything I’ve ever read. What an appalling thought. It would be easier to provide my dreams with footnotes than my essays.

But while I may not always be able to say how it happened, I’m no less grateful to those I’ve learned from, and would like to share their work with others. I lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle during the time I was most deeply involved in dreams and had limited access to libraries, and little money to spare for books. Because of this, I mostly used resources that are freely available online. Anybody who cares to can read them.

All resources are listed alphabetically by author. This list is a work in progress: it only contains resources I can be fairly sure I used in formulating my ideas and those I have directly consulted in writing my blog, and will grow as I trace things down.

Bulkeley, Kelly

Dr. Bulkeley’s website has brought much intriguing research to my attention over the years.

Domhoff, William G.
Finding Meaning in Dreams: A Quantitative Approach
Other Articles

Dr. Domhoff’s website was one of the first resources I discovered when I became interested in dreams. As a solo dream interpreter, I found it helpful to be able to check my insights against the results of quantitative, objective methods. His work impressed upon me the importance of considering dreams in groups and looking at long-term trends.

Faraday, Ann

Dream Power

The Dream Game

I encountered Dr. Faraday’s books fairly early on in my readings about dreams. They provided an invaluable introduction to the use of dreams in therapeutic contexts – particularly gestalt psychology – and many practical examples of the approaches an independent interpreter can use to make sense of their dreams.

Freud, Sigmund
The Interpretation of Dreams

Unfortunately, most of my links to Freud’s work seem to have died since I last accessed them. The big one, however, is still there. Although I am not a Freudian and never have been, this book has been useful to me in many ways. It got me asking the big questions about dreams—the ones few modern researchers ask anymore— and gave me the confidence that self-understanding through dreams was possible, that dreams were not separate from the rest of mental life, and that seeing dreams as meaningful did not imply a lack of critical thought.

Hall, Calvin
A Cognitive Theory of Dream Symbols

A Cognitive Theory of Dreams

Diagnosing Personality by the Analysis of Dreams

Dr. Calvin Hall was my first introduction to Freud’s thought, and quite possibly my first guide to drawing conclusions from my own dreams. Everything I said about Domhoff counts double for Hall.

Hartmann, Ernest
Boundaries in the Mind

Dreams and Nightmares

I found Dr. Hartmann’s books and articles useful in developing my own ideas—mostly in opposition to his, it’s true, but useful nonetheless.

Hunt, Harry T.

The Multiplicity of Dreams

If I had read this book early on in my studies, I would probably owe a lot to Prof. Hunt. But I didn’t, and so what I mainly got from it was the encouragement of discovering that somebody else reached the same conclusions you did completely independently. If you like the way I think but would rather read something with more neuroscience, more citations and fewer bad puns, I would highly recommend it.

Hurd, Ryan

Ryan Hurd’s website contains a wealth of information on nightmares, sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming, and other topics that tend to receive marginal attention from mainstream science. I know he has also influenced my thought on the anthropology of dreaming, although that’s an area where it is hard for me to make precise attributions.

Jung, Carl
Psychological Types

Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Dreams (Anthology)

Of everybody on this list, Dr. Jung’s influence is the hardest to trace for me. I have read a number of his books, but since I mostly read them in the form of bootlegged, fragmented text files, I’m hard-pressed to say which ones they were. I saw the transformative potential of dreaming long before I read Jung, but it was his works that first gave me—and my dreams— a language to describe it in, and a map, however fragmentary, by which to navigate.

LaBerge, Stephen
The Lucidity Institute

LaBerge’s work was one of my introductions to what a lucid dream is, how to have one, and what the phenomenon might tell us about dreaming in general.

Nietzsche, Friedrich
The Birth of Tragedy

An impossible book, as Nietzsche himself admitted, yet one that influenced me more deeply than any other on this list. There’s a story here, but I’d have to tell a few other stories before it would make sense.