TdM RRR / Le Recueil des Récits de Rêve — Édition de Guy Laflèche TGdM

Psychology and the Narrative Analysis of Dreams

     The narrative analysis of dreams allows us to report on the progress of the psychological study of dreams and the dream phenomenon itself. We must take for granted the first narrative studies' two conclusions in this regard. The dream is a narrative reality. It is very recent and can be precisely situated : it is a clear accomplishment of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the West.

and the Narrative Analysis of Dreams

Table of contents

  1. Songe/rêve
  2. Dream/dream narrative
  3. Psychology/narratology
  4. Wakefulness/sleep
  5. Dream/REM (sleep stages)
  6. Psychology / neurology
  7. Dream psychology in "1900" and "2000"
  8. Dream/sleep (the sleeping mind)
  9. Dream/memory
  10. Dreaming/awakening
  11. Dream/nightmare

1.  Songe/rêve

      The first occurance in French lexicology where 'rêve' starts to supplant 'songe' is L'Encyclopédie de Diderot (1765). The shift from 'songe' to 'rêve' in French (which will be used as is here) is a shift from olden dreams (the classical, biblical and medieval) to modern dreams. This represents far from a simple noun change : the very nature of 'songe' is changing in Western culture and, contrary to other languages, French will slowly but surely change terms because of this shift in perception (dream, in English and sogno in Italian do not differentiate between 'songe' and 'rêve', while in Spanish, sueño at once refers to 'songe', 'rêve' and even 'sleep'). Dreams (rêves) are but rarely evoked in the Middle Ages, whereas the word itself (in its current meaning) and the actual idea take shape in the 17th century : the word, in scientific literature (Descartes, Traité de l'homme, 1664), the idea, in introspective writings (Descartes, again, first and last of the three Olympica dreams, in 1619, for which the original Latin was lost, collected by Adrien Baillet in the biography he wrote of the philosopher in 1691) and especially in religious literature (Jeanne Guyon's dreams, 1648-1717, in her correspondence and her autobiography). However, dreams will only become the dream narratives we know in the 19th century. It is then they will be defined as "the sequences of images or events which are perceived by the mind during sleep". A dream narrative, or a story, is achieved if one successfully remembers a dream upon waking up. Today, we can find this definition in any common dictionary, in all Western languages. In psychology, we must call it like it is; we must make use of official terminology and follow the definition's evolution as much as possible.

      French doesn't have to use a periphrasis to separate 'songe' from 'rêve' (the "classical dream" and the "modern dream"). A 'songe' (the 'classical or medieval dream') is not a narrative reality which corresponds to a substance with given event-driven and actantial structures like the (modern) dream. However, a 'songe' does have a specific narrative shape (but no determined narrative substance) : this shape is a description and more specifically a frame (in the rhetorical sense : "the description of a vivid and animated scene", according to Fontanier). It is never a narrative object though, proof being that the act of remembering is more often than not reduced to the appearance of a character who declares something which happens to be an oracle. A 'songe' is hermeneutic speech which can take a certain narrative shape. Whether its interpretation is explicit or not, this shape defines it. Hermeneutic speech involves a symbolizing content (the 'songe' itself) and a symbolized content (the 'songe's' interpretation).

      It took a full century for a 'rêve' to escape, never easily, this representation of the dream action and its result, the 'rêve' itself, the fact of having dreamt (we say 'having dreamt' because dreaming is always something already accomplished which we express through the past infinitive form). Thanks to the more and more precise (objective) observation of the dream accomplishment (subjective) that the many forms of introspection "produce" (we'll come back to these quotation marks) the dream narrative can thus replicate the dream in a realistic and objective fashion. It must be recognized that Westerners, throughout the 19th century, succeeded in taking notice of dreams' nature thanks to an intellectual instrument which is poorly adapted to noticing it : narration.

      First, clergymen, then many curious people, great artists and great writers, and eventually psychologists will combine their efforts so that in 1900 — exactly in 1900 — we can finally have an object worthy of study. 1900 is also the fictional date of Freud's antidated offering, the culmination of the work he describes at the onset of this book, the most important of which being quite recent (Alfred Maury, 1861, Hervey de Saint-Denys, 1867), even contemporary (Marcel Foucault's doctoral thesis written in 1901 and published in 1905).

2.  Dream/dream narrative

      Remembering a dream is the dream narrative itself, a narrative structure imbued with very clear properties since this narrative shape entirely contradicts simple event-driven stories.

      I must remind you of the dreamt story's model found in my Narrative Grammar (« Le rêve », Matériaux pour une grammaire narrative, Laval, Singulier, 1999, 2e éd. 2007, 192 p., pp. 134-140), since its first publication in 1999 — let's say "2000" since I wasn't afflicted by a Freudian non-slip to antidate it.

      The dreamt story is made of a series of events, but this series constitutes an incomplete sequence because it does not originate from an initial situation (Si) and does not take us to a final situation (Sf) either. Everything actually unfolds as if the dreamt story had, by definition, already begun, so that the narrative project always remains ignored and this unknown surge is also without ending. The story stops on an undetermined event (Ei, as we say in mathematics), following a series of random events (Ex + Ey + Ez...), without leading to the last event (En) of a series (E1 + E2 + E3...). The dreamt story's event-driven formula (Hr), rigorously corresponding (::) to its narrative (Rr) is as follows :

Rr :: Hr = [Si] + Ex + Ey + Ez... + Ei + [Sf]

Not only is the dreamt story made of a narrative sequence introducing the shape of a radical, incomplete story (like an incomplete sentence in linguistics because it is not an unfinished story or incompletely known), it is also generally made of a random series of such random sequences. Its psychological traits are chracterized through the unfolding of its content : it is a story in acts because it was dreamt and its narrative corresponds to its progress, whence the striking retroaction reorganizing the story as it progresses. Also, actantial configurations are made over through the succession of sequences, and events which, by definition, we never find in any other type of simple story (myths, fantastic tales, adventure stories, etc.). An also very characteristic trait of a story's psychological content is the appearance or the random absence of a dreamer's character's motivations through his actions, his feelings through his reactions, as his emotions in his relations with other characters. Event-driven and actantial structures thus work randomly, but they still produce a story; a story like no other.

      "Like no other" : this expression embodies the difficulty with which one is met in producing or replicating something the mind is absolutely opposed to. Humankind took many millenia to produce the thought system we call narration and we take five years of our chilhood to acquire it and five to ten years more to succeed in mastering it. Therefore, succeeding in telling a story which interferes with narration's elementary rules isn't easily accepted. An entire century (the 20th) was needed to be able to understand the consequences.

      I must insist on this point : psychoanalysis, in order to impose itself, had to constantly overcome ever-recurring censorship, even with Freud having been a patient pedagogue. But one must admit that the unconscious is unconscious and that we will never be able to change this truth. This cannot be compared to the dreamt story's narrative shape which took a century, thanks to remarkable observers, great artists and exceptional psychologists, to see the light of day and to become an object worthy of study. We don't know what we don't know, and do not want to know : that's the unconscious. We do not tell (properly) that which we cannot tell : that's the dreamt story. We cannot refuse to tell it because we don't know it but rather because we have told it in a completely different manner since the dawn of man; that's the 'songe'. We still tell it in beautiful and marvelous fashion though.

3.  Psychology/narratology

      In common language, the narrative (narration) and the statement (essay) adequately refer to both forms of organized thought, the mind's two greatest endeavors. Ideally, at the age of six or seven years old, you can talk about what happened at school in the afternoon and tell people what you have learned; an accident during recess or a really compelling geography lesson. At this level in psychology, we are in the higher realms of intelligence that define human beings. We thus come to the great works of the mind and of art : history and advocacy, novels and essays.

      That said, it is clear that narrative or discursive thought is based on the rules of logic, and that these rules apply to ideas (rational intelligence) or feelings (emotional intelligence).

      This thinking process (narrative or discursive), which involves thoughts and feelings (logical conclusions or intuitions, for example) is framed by perception and action : one perceives, thinks and acts (the formula that will guide this analysis is : perception + thought + action). These three phases of an animate being's fundamental psychological process are or may be independent, while the three faculties or mental activities are generally more or less linked to wakeful thoughts. Reptiles such as snakes perhaps don't think that much, but nothing proves this unequivocally. For humans, normal behavior assumes that the three faculties are balanced when the mind or intelligence is involved. Indeed, it is this central function that defines intelligence ensuring that the perception is fair and the action appropriate. We do not ask as much of reptiles, but we can not expect anything less from any animal we deem to be "intelligent". Man included.

      The mind's central and essential activity is subjective, and the other two are objective in the sense that we perceive the outside world and act upon it. However, it is thought that measures perception and action in a repeated dynamic of the fundamental process — perception + thought + action — wherein subjective thought becomes objective through the other two faculties (we touch an object to ensure that it is as wet as we had perceived it at first glance to notice that it is, really, very wet) : thus perception (1) + thought (1) + action (1) + perception (2) + thought (2), etc.).

      Consciousness, or wakefulness, presents this balance, even as it includes its two complementary states, the subconscious and the unconscious, where perception and action are not thought out. This corresponds to everything which escapes attention since it is not possible to perceive everything and always act. And so we have defined the intelligence of perception and action. Not only is the mind more or less attentive and passionate, but it also manages ideas and feelings which did not quite reach it or which it more or less rejects. It can even reject them ('the unconscious') or never be aware of them ('the subconscious'). Schematically, we can say that the subconscious is a deficit of perceptions, while the unconscious is the repression of prohibited actions, or a lack of action. Regardless of the nuances that should be made here, the important thing is to state that narration and presentation are high performance thinking processes, consciousness involving the subconscious and the unconscious being a thought possibly framed by perception and action.

      We will see later that this process (perception + thought + action) is neither involved in sleep, nor in dreams.

4.  Wakefulness/sleep

      To explain the wakefulness-sleep dichotomy, one must indeed bring forth a new concept : non-consciousness. The reason is that wakefulness and sleep respectively correspond to the consciousness of the awakened mind (with its subconscious and its unconscious) and to the non-consciousness of the sleeping mind.

      Certainly, one can invoke the catastrophe theory, aptly named in this case for light sleepers, to try and nuance between wakefulness and sleep, but one can easily show that there are, or may be, degrees of wakefulness, while there are none for sleep. Wakefulness may be disrupted without changing its nature. But we can't say the same of sleep. We are often awake during the night, sometimes due to inconstant, brief moments of awakening : these are breaths of conscience. This does not change the fact though that wakefulness and sleep are two opposite states in terms of consciousness, thus the radical contradiction between consciousness and unconsciousness, intermediate states being anomalies.

      The dream state is not comparable. We can not posit the existence of three states, wakefulness, sleep and dreaming, as we often do. One can not imagine that the mind 'keeps watch' during sleep and that we can find evidence in... dreams ! Either we are awake or we sleep : there is no other state. One can certainly perceive and act during sleep (a noise that does not wake us up can be perceived and, on top of sleepwalking, sleep may be disturbed), but reflex actions and reactions cannot be exceeded without the mind being awake.

5.  Dreaming/R.E.M. : sleep stages

      We distinguish slumber from sleep (deeper and deeper) and from wakefulness (slumber's symmetric period). We know that sleep stages are much more numerous and that they are predictable because they can be measured by an EEG, a cardiogram and through the observation of a sleeper's eye movements, breathing, muscle tone, etc. After slumber, progressively deeper sleep patterns can be divided into four characteristic stages, "light", "medium", "strong" and "very deep" sleep. Everything takes place in four or five cycles per eight-hour nights. But the important thing is that there is a fifth stage, or rather a particular sleep stage, called "REM". This is the deepest in the sense that the body is then in a state of paralysis or lethargy, in full muscle atony, and that the sleeper is impervious to perception (this is the phase where it is most difficult to wake up). But, at the same time, this state is closest to awakening in the sense that EEGs correspond to that of the awakened mind through, mostly, rapid and random eye movement while genitals are erect (at least, there is a swelling of the clitoris or penis). These traits are true for humans, but are not common to all animals.

      Awakened when the second or following REM sleep stages occurs, the sleeper, when rapid eye movement is also active, remembers that he was dreaming in 95% of cases. Awakened during other stages of sleep, fewer than 10% of sleepers remember they were dreaming. No perfect match can be made, but there's still a very strong correlation between REM sleep and dreaming. In general, it is during REM sleep that dreams appear — and if awakened out of this sleep stage, it is a dream from one of the previous stages which is recalled.

6.  Psychology/neurology

      Dream psychology and dream neurology are incompatible. For the moment, but also for a long time still. Neurologists can only provide psychological assumptions, whereas psychologists popularize neurologists while never being able to confirm their hypotheses. Why does man dream ? Or, what is a dream ? If you ask in neurological terms, then the answer can not be psychological — and vice versa.

      Let's summarize. In "1900", psychologists finally have an object worthy of scientific study (dreams) which is based on a century's worth of observations and achievements (dream narratives) that will be refined throughout the twentieth century. From that moment on, psychology's greatest impact has been the birth and development of psychoanalysis, research being largely subordinated to Freud's sound and highly effective hypotheses. For opponents and critics, fans or followers of Freudian psychoanalysis, and of Jungian analysis, no work in psychology will have more impact on the analysis of dreams throughout the twentieth century. In fact, psychologists play the role of physicians during this time, regardless of their school, the most effective being psychiatrists who must cope with sleep disorders where dreams are involved. Not to mention that they are the ones who will benefit, with the help of pharmacists, from advances in neurology.

      Indeed, while psychology is having trouble moving on, neurologists accumulate spectacular discoveries in 1929, 1938 and 1950 : Hans Berger's EEG, the analysis of refined sleep stages by researchers at the Chicago School and the work of one of those, William Dement, from the study in "sleep laboratories" of sleepers' eye movements and of other REM characteristics. Michel Jouvet's cats dreamt while being awake and very active, after their neurological inhibitor, which causes the paralysis of REM sleep, had been removed. From 1930 to 1960, dozens of teams and hundreds of researchers will create a revolution in the field of sleep neurology : biology, anatomy, electrophysiology and brain chemistry, coupled with pharmacology, have increasingly enabled to better locate dreams in the course of physiological and neurological sleep, in a pragmatic sense.

      Even if we know that REM sleep is induced by the brain stem, triggered by acetylcholine, and that this results in a tracing of the EEG waves corresponding to the alpha rhythm of the state of wakefulness, and that awakened during these stages of sleep the subject remembers having dreamt and can make a detailed account of his dream (which he can still complete the next day or later), this can in no way replace the psychological study of dreams. And the proof is that neurologists and psychologists are jointly developing unverifiable assumptions based on each other's science. REM sleep and dreaming (sic !) would really function to organize the information distributed within and among neuron populations ? One can read such "assumptions", unverifiable by definition, everywhere, which are based on the irrefutable idea that upon waking up one is more rested than the evening before. This is of course analogous to the cellular activity of regeneration during sleep. Even Michel Jouvet's brilliant assumptions are of this order (« Le sommeil paradoxal est-il le gardien de l'individuation psychologique », le Sommeil et le rêve, édition augmentée, Paris, Odile Jacob, 1992, 1998, 245 p., chap. 8, pp. 171-200). How can we prove that REM sleep and dreams (which he has long associated) is an exercise in the genetic reprogramming of animal species' innate information that each individual reappropriates during long periods in the fetal stage and then, periodically, each night, during adulthood ? Jean-Louis Valatx demonstrates, in a few pages, a brilliant synthesis of neurological hypotheses, whose thesis is formulated as follows : "REM sleep could be the meeting point between newly acquired information and the memory of the species and the individual, to achieve an original synthesis resulting in a unique personality, adapted to its environment (« Le rôle du rêve dans la mémoire », la Mémoire, vol. 1, Mémoire et cerveau, N. Zavialoff, R. Jaffard et Ph. Brenot, Paris, L'Harmattan, 1989, pp. 86-92, p. 88).

      In conclusion : neurology is not a substitute to dream psychology and it should today resume working to eventually reach neurologists' spectacular results. One can even believe that, since "1900", the psychological study of dreams has been less relevant than its historical, anthropological and sociological study, as improvisations on the "content of dreams" may illustrate, conducted with C. S. Hall and R. L. van de Castle's analytical grids, quantitative recounts and statistical evaluation on uncontrolled dream recall corpuses and often on samplings justified only by the law of large numbers.

7.  Dream psychology in "1900" and "2000"

7.1  Maury/Hervey

      Maury and Hervey de Saint-Denys, before Freud and Foucault, did a remarkable job of introspection, so much so that they have become heirs, around the mid-nineteenth century, of dream (rêve) observers, since this 'rêve' has gradually emerged from the 'songe'. While characterizing their understanding of dreams, it is particularly important to see how they are getting better at presenting the dreamt story and at knowing how to find its consequences for a psychological analysis.

      Louis-Ferdinand Alfred Maury (1817-1892) and the Marquis Marie-Jean-Léon d'Hervey de Saint-Denys (1822-1892) have interspersed editions of their work on dreams, just like Freud and Foucault did in "1900". Le Sommeil et les rêves appeared in 1861, but its fourth edition in 1878 is the one which allows Maury to criticize Hervey's les Rêves et les moyens de les diriger, published in 1867. Each author has taken into account the other's work, without appreciating it much, but also without criticizing it too harshly. However, from the point of view of the psychological study of dreams, the two books complement each other, even in their control of the "dream narrative".

      We can not, however, say that the two authors are of equal billing. While Alfred Maury seems to be a man of science, Hervey de Saint-Denys is but an amateur in the same field. Maury's a librarian, probably at the National Library first (1836), then as the archives' managing director from 1868; professor at the Collège de France (1862), then general manager of the National Archives (from 1868). The publication of his book on dreams (and its comparison with pathological phenomena) is preceded by three specialized articles in the Annales médico-psychologiques du système nerveux in January 1848, July 1853 and April 1857. No link with Hervey de Saint-Denys's career, a graduate of the École des langues orientales (which he was admitted to in 1841), commissioner general for the Chinese Empire at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867, Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1868, and member of the Société d'Ethnographie in 1869. He later became Professor of Chinese and Manchu-Tartar at the Collège de France, from 1874. Among his numerous publications on the Chinese language, China and the East, there is no doubt that the publication of his book on dreams in 1867 is a punctual one; an exception. For one, it is an anonymous publication. Moreover, it is a very personal essay in which the author returns to his notebooks written at a young age in which he had written about and illustrated his dreams. It is a popular book, as can be seen through the success of its numerous editions and translations, as well as through the importance given to his theories in dream literature. One has to simply read it though to understand that the stories of the author, about his dreams and within those dreams, become those of a fantasy adventure novel.

      No such thing in Alfred Maury's theory which incidentally is less interested in dreams and their contents, but rather in their inception, their genesis from the images of hypnagogic sleep. From there, he studied intelligence's morbid workings within sleep, as he understands it from the psychological medicine of his time. Also, more than half of his book's second section is devoted to systematic comparisons to various diseases and mental disabilities. That was obviously not to please the naive and even friendly Hervey de Saint-Denys who sees in dreams but charming, wonderful and very reasonable nightly adventures, where the simple phenomenon of automatic free association of ideas and feelings dominates. Even if these two ideas are diametrically opposed, their observations are correct, except of course Hervey de Saint-Denys's conscious or lucid dream, convinced that he's able to "direct" his dreams at will, with a bit of concentration and practice. He would even have experienced various "narrative" possibilities during the course of his dreams (throwing himself out of a window, turning right and not left in a particular route, making sure to note some details, etc..), starting with the elementary fact of closing one's eyes in order to make a scene disappear from "the mind's eye" — no one had thought about it before him, certainly, and no one has since claimed to achieve such a feat, which again illustrates, in caricatural fashion, the candid "theory" of a famous lucid dream. We will not dwell on these naive ideas, and it will not be necessary anyway when it is established that a conscious or lucid dream is impossible. Nevertheless, it is still Hervey de Saint-Denys, fascinated by his dreams, even if it is for the wrong reasons, who describes them the best.

7.1.1  Alfred Maury

      Alfred Maury's notations can be quickly illustrated. The first example, which actually counts for two, is taken from Chapter 6, "Des analogies du rêve et de l'aliénation mentale", whose main thesis is to establish that dreams originate from sleep's hypnagogic images, just as alienists according to him, explain the speech of their patients as a series of drifts restarted whenever a new hallucination occurs.

      Here is an observation that allows me to believe that sleep hallucination is identical to hypnagogic hallucination, and that it often leads the dream and produces inconsistencies. A few years ago, before I fell asleep, I saw several times, when my eyes were closed, a grimacing bat with greenish wings and a red head. Needless to say, I had not been preoccupied with such a fantastical animal, and this hallucination was completely spontaneous. This vision was followed by others which I have forgotten, and by that of a landscape representing, I believe, a view of the Pyrenees, whose memory was not that far in my mind. I remembered the last hallucination quite well because, at that time, light was brought into my room. I opened my eyes again and became very aware of myself, noticing the disappearance of my chimerical landscape. An hour later, I was awakened from real sleep and the dream that I had had presented itself very clearly in my mind. In an unknown castle a bat similar to the one I mentioned had appeared to me, then a stone fell from the building in ruins, and [131], through the opening of some kind of battlements, I had beheld a landscape similar to the one which had concluded my hallucinations before my first sleep.

      Thus, both hypnagogic hallucinations were reproduced as dreams, in the same relative order. They had each called upon a procession of ideas associated in my mind to images from which they were built. A bat had made me think of an old ruined building where these animals are usually housed, of an old castle with battlements. Then I chose my fantastical or Pyrenean landscape as a background.

—— Alfred Maury, le Sommeil et les rêves, Paris, Didier, 1861, 1862, 1865, then 4th ed. rewritten and added to in 1878, pp. 130-131.

The narrative sequence of this example has a series of images, then a dream (i.e., a sequence of events), both of which with the same narrative structure and which correspond to the theoretical model of the dream narrative. The visions' sequence answers to the following formula :

Sv = [V1] + Vx + Vy + Vz... + Vi + [Vf].

Vx  Vision of "a grimacing bat with greenish wings and a red head."
Vy  [Other visions follow which Maury has forgotten].
Vi  Finally, a landscape which is most likely representative of the Pyrenees.

The dream that Maury assumes to be built from these hallucinations, through drifting, tells a "story" that follows the characteristics of the dreamt story, even with its starting position (Sd), symptomatic of a resistance to random patterns. It is the following diminutive story :

Sd  Alfred Maury is in castle ruins
Ex  where he sees a strange bat;
Ey  a stone falls from the building and creates an opening shaped like battlements
Ei  where Maury discovers a fantastic landscape of the Pyrenees.

      The advantage of this undertaking is precisely that Alfred Maury embodies what matters most in dream recalls, producing in a way the least narrative of stories. He thus beautifully illustrates the narration of a dreamer upon waking. These features implicitly characterize hypnagogic hallucinations presented throughout chapter four ("Hypnagogic Hallucinations," pp. 55-70). However, we never find them in the few actual dream accounts we can find in the book (the last three of chapter five, pp. 117-118, 121 and 122, that of the shrine of St. Genevieve church, note H, pp. 462-363; chapter six's 24 often fragmentary stories of which we have just read the first and of which we will now read the third).

      In short, Maury is a good observer of sleep and he aptly describes the dream's supposed "psychological mechanisms", but he is not able to properly translate them within his dream narratives. To illustrate, a second example : we can now put aside those hallucinations which will produce the dream of a dinner at the restaurant (assignats, salsify and stomach pain), chapter six's third dream narrative.

I had dreamed that I was in a restaurant where I was served dinner. The sight of the table at which I sat in my dream remained strongly etched in my mind. I remembered especially a slice of melon that I found very cold, which had weighed on my stomach. When I wanted to pay at the counter, the waiter turned toward a large, shiny board hanging on the wall, similar to my fantastic assignats [one of sleep's hypnagogic images] and where were written the menu items and their prices. He counted everything up and told me that I had [133] 35 francs to pay. I cried out in disbelief because of the exorbitant price; I wondered why I was taxed in such an outrageous manner. "It is", replied the waiter, "so that you will not be stolen ! Our restaurant elevates its price as security for families." — I did not understand, one might guess, such an explanation, and spoke to the lady of the restaurant, whose face reminded me of someone I had recently met. I could not get any discount, and I had to dig into my purse. I only found a few huge, newly minted one franc pieces whose gloss affected me as much as the board near the counter. Note that in the same day I had counted the money in my purse several times; this purse contained brand new one franc coins from 1861. I had searched in vain; I could not find the 35 francs asked. I barely had nine francs. But I found, at the bottom of the purse, a bunch of salsify with brands similar to those from currency control. "Here", I said to the waiter, "are some assignats that Mr.V. gave me as payment, a value of 15 francs which you will surely accept because they are utilized over at the bank of the Seine-et-Oise." The boy was difficult, refused this particular currency which the mistress of the restaurant also did not accept. The only thing left to do was give my address. I explained why I was without money, and I was experiencing intense annoyance when a gust woke me up.

——, le Sommeil et les rêves, pp. 132-133.

Si  Maury dines at the restaurant.
E1  He is particularly unhappy with a slice of melon which is too cold and weighs on his stomach.
E2  When it is time to pay the bill at the counter, the waiter calculates the cost of the meal from the huge board on the wall (the very bright board blinds Maury) and reaches the extravagant sum of 35 francs.
E3  Since Maury protests, the waiter explains that if the restaurant's prices are so high it is precisely so that clients be disproportionately taxed, not to be stolen, and that it is for the good of families.
E4  Maury protests even more and asks to talk to the manager of the restaurant, who does not react.
E5  Maury then decides to search his purse where he finds only one franc coins (all are new and as blinding as the board), nine at most.
E6  Then Maury notices at the bottom of his purse a pack of salsify : these vegetables are stamped with the seal of the Mint.
E7  The customer then quietly explains to the waiter that these salsify as are good as money, a certain Mr. V. having given them to him to represent the sum of 15 francs and everything is legally recognized by the bank of Seine-et-Oise.
E8  The waiter and the hostess refuse this "particular currency".
E9  Maury, in a very bad mood, then decides to give his address, to explain why he is penniless.

This quite common event history stops abruptly, but even though it might look like an incomplete story, it is not one; it is an "unfinished" story. Moreover, the last event is the final situation (Sf) precisely because the initial situation (Si), which has evolved to this point, presides over the entire course of the story which tells with compelling logic of the unfortunate consequences of this dinner at the restaurant. Nothing here corresponds to the event structure of a dreamt story. Let's forget the incriminating elements prior to the narrative study, the incredible "logical" game of elements which are clearly, too clearly, "dreamy". Neither this logic nor this dreamy matter have a chance of being in a dream.

      To conclude, Alfred Maury was a remarkable observer of the establishment of dream narratives, but not of dreams themselves, upon waking. Indeed, if he falls asleep with some strong images of which he is very conscious (hypnagogic images that are preludes to sleep), he sometimes wakes up with them. The few dream accounts that he then produces are narrative constructions of the mind awake, far removed from the dreamt story.

7.1.2  Hervey de Saint-Denys

      This is not the case of Marquis Marie-Jean-Léon d'Hervey de Saint-Denys whom we will simply call Hervey. Unlike Maury, Hervey is not interested in the production of dreams or even in the psychological nature of dreams. The content of dreams is what fascinates him. That did not stop him though to borrow very precisely most of Maury's descriptions, from images of hypnagogic sleep until what was then considered as the momentum of the dream — which is for him sleep's first ten minutes (cf. the first and the opening of the final chapter of Part III, 3.1, pp. 223-236, and 3.8, pp. 341-344).

      First, a word on Hervey's corpus. When the marquis anonymously published (p. 287) his book, the learned orientalist, specialist of Chinese language and culture, had already written six publications. As many books follow, not to mention his numerous interventions with learned societies. This work of an undeniable scholar however, has nothing to do with the medical literature that accompanied Maury's book. Rather, Hervey is a fabulous amateur. Since the age of thirteen (p. 67) or fourteen (p. 58), he had kept a diary of 1946 dream-filled nights, as many accounts which could be held in 22 books illustrated in color drawings. It is noteworthy, in passing, to mention that these books are still sought out today since they would be worth a fortune to his heirs. After scoring his 179th night, Hervey could not find dreamless nights anymore, so even if his notes were daily and systematic, it makes sense that the log recorded his dreams for nearly five years (4.9 years) and this is exactly what he said. The diary is thus the work of a young man, written from 14 to 18 years old.

      One thousand nine hundred and forty-six (1946) dream accounts (p. 67); this corresponds in reality to only twenty (exactly 20) evocations of dreams (of which we only have a subject) or sometimes (five times) groups of dreams (from 5 to 20) and not more than a hundred dream narratives, 85 short, brief stories and 32 flowing, lengthy stories. The 85 fragments correspond to descriptions or to short narratives involving a fact, one or two actions (which generally do not alter the situation), at most one or two events, mostly composed of scenes. But generally, these 85 short dream reminders really correspond to the model of the dream narrative established by the narrative grammar. These are at least one or more fragments of the dreamt story from which they were extracted.

      In addition, the 32 "flowing stories", as called by Hervey, and more generally the book's body of 117 recalled dreams (if we put aside the twenty dream evocations) are three highly significant narrative achievements. The first and most important for our purposes is simply the raw documenting of the dreamt story, with many of its characteristics. The second, and most interesting from the point of view of narrative study, includes all forms of aberrations where Hervey tells of his "adventures" in his dreams (or through them). However, it is at the heart of this kind of followed dreams that we find the model of a dreamt story, the memory of the dream having clearly withstood the narrator of les Rêves et les moyens de les diriger.

      Regarding the raw account of a dreamt story, I must say that Hervey suggests much more than a "representation" since he produces a narrative model of this dreamt story. I am not simplifying his basic assumptions by saying that a dream for him is the conjunction of two actions (on the one hand the free mechanical association of ideas and feelings, and on the other the active intervention of hallucination mechanisms), that it is imagination, reasoning or "consciousness." If a hundred dream reminders illustrate these two mechanisms throughout his book, he still came up with two narrative constructions as examples early on; first, the course of a railway reverie (pp. 86-87), second, even more fabulous, an amazing dream endowed with many conclusions, built after another rail trip, and whose subject is a man who nearly drowns in a river, seen from a bridge (pp. 188-189). In both cases, you have to forget the "associations" game, of course, since by definition they belong to the metanarrative level. And here they belong to an extradiegetic metanarrative level : they are explicitly all fabrications of the narrator. The result is perfect narrative realism : Hervey produces a dream narrative like no one had perhaps done before him (I remind you that the Chants de Maldoror are from 1869). No initial situation, no final situation; simply a random sequence of sequences of random events, and of random actantial configurations, all illustrated by very clear feedback (the story of a traveler, of a spectator of the man who fell in the river, of a happy or unhappy rescuer, and of a ball or a funeral).

      An example will clear up this distinction.

      I first dream, I guess, that I am traveling by rail; the sites that I go through, the faces around me, a thousand uninteresting incidents that take place do not captivate my attention one bit. This train trip however has awakened memories of a city that I have visited. I send myself back to it, and here I am on a bridge that is covered in people, an agitated crowd, due to some other memento spontaneously recalled. But what could this crowd be watching ? Has a man thrown himself in the river ? Are boatmen seeking to save him ? — Here, my mind, without knowing, will follow the dream which preoccupies it. This will start to cause a succession of events which will occur yet leave some latitude to idea associations. Without being able to move abruptly from one subject to another, and so making him lose sight of the main idea to which it is attached. By the very fact that the thought of a man in danger of drowning came to me, it can be said that my imagination has not failed to immediately show me other events linked to this thought. Everything I figure will arrive, all the incidents in front of which my mind will work in the same way, whether it calls for them or fears them, will not fail to actually occur. I see a man struggling in the water, a boat approaches him to rescue him, a sailor armed with a gaffe that tries to hang on to his clothes, etc. This presidency of the mind at the base of a dream never preventing the free association of ideas from providing details, I can say that if I had never watched a picture of a similar scene, the drowning man may very well have looked like the man the painter had imagined. In the costumes of assistants, in the appearance of the shore houses, in an infinity of small accessories, affiliations most singular in appearance will occur without surprising me. The man in peril, whose image is from a painting, also resembling a person I know, is obviously the person who immediately captivates my attention. All this does not prevent my imagination from moving right along by raising all [189] incidents of the drama taking place. Now, if the fear that the boat could capsize seizes my mind, just like the fear that a harpoon hurts the one we want to save, these accidents will most likely occur at the speed of thought. If I follow, on the contrary, the path of ideas that result in the rescue, I could suddenly find myself next to the saved man, heartily congratulating him and shaking his hand affectionately. Have I already shaken his hand in the middle of a ball, complimenting him on some happy family event ? This ball may be resurrected in my mind's eye without any transition. I will dream that I am waltzing; the association of ideas will take a completely different path, and my mind, ceasing from that moment to pay sole attention to it, the most disparate incidents become able to succeed and get entangled again without any action dominating, without me being able to discover, upon waking up, how they are related to each other, as long as I have forgotten the minutest link.

      Let's go back to one of this dream's phases : if, while the man was in the water, my ideas had made me think about saving him, I am the one who would have had the gaffe in hand, I am the one who have hurt this person that I wanted to save. Perhaps I would have killed him if fear had overcome me, since we know that fearing an image in a dream is the best way to make it appear. And so, I could have imagined the pain of his family, I would have felt suffocated by tears and instead of attending a ball, as in the other combination, I would have thought myself at the funeral of the deceased in a church draped in black. Finally, if through a new shift of ideas my memory had suddenly brought me back to memories of any other person whom I'd met prior, perhaps in more pleasurable circumstances, this newly revived memory would have broken the sequence managed by my mind. The catafalque would have disappeared, other settings would have taken shape, and the mind would have returned to the passive role described above.

      This is how the phenomena of alternative activity and passivity occur. This is how the images are linked together and follow each other in dreams; this is how the scenes and the most diverse [190] events in appearance are always closely linked by the principle of idea association, when no abnormal material causes, interrupts or changes them.

       If cerebral fibers must do their part, I shall say they are like violin strings under an artist's fingers. They can vibrate, they can provide sound, but they are otherwise an inert instrument and the musical motif is the inspiration of the artist who produces it.

      And now, to go back to the origin of the dream that has been briefly analyzed, if someone asks how the idea of traveling by rail was first brought up, first link in the series of impressions described, I will answer..."

—— Anonymous [Hervey de Saint-Denys], les Rêves et les moyens de les diriger, Paris, [Amyot, 1867], Claude Tchou, foreword by Robert Desoille (coll. "Bibliothèque du merveilleux"), 1964, reprinted. Editions d'aujourd'hui, 1977, pp. 188-190.

      The first "link" is the first sequence. If I have reproduced the text so far it is not only for this remark, but also for the beginning of the last paragraph which speaks of "the dream that has been analyzed". The opening of the story, however, was clear : "I first dream, I guess". Everything that follows implies that it is a construction of the imagination. That being said : whatever ! This slip seems very significant to me due to the fact that Hervey confuses not only dreams with reality (waking up), but also his waking thoughts with the dream itself. Let's partition this reverie :

Sq1 —— Hervey's train journey, absently watching miles of insignificant details

Sq2 —— An unknown person in a river
Sd  On the bridge of a city he knows,
E1  Hervey sees a crowd gathered on one of the railings;
E2  a man might be drowning in the river.
E3  A small boat gets closer and people try to grab the man's clothing.
E4  Sadly, the man is hurt, maybe even killed by the attempt.


—— Sq2a + Sq3  Hervey kills a man while trying to save him
E3 bis  In reality, Hervey was the one on the small boat and
E4 bis  unfortunately, he killed the man he knew with the gaffe
E5  which is why he sees himself at the man's funeral (Sq3).

—— Sq2b + Sq3a  Hervey congratulates a friend who has almost drowned
E4 ter  Once on shore, Hervey congratulates this friend he had recognized.
E5 bis  The two men shake hands warmly, just like they did at the ball where they first met.

Sq4 —— Hervey waltzing at a ball...

      It is useless, I think, to formalize the story at a second degree (the metanarrative level) the one which tells of the production of this "dream" and its possibilities. It is a boring journey that does not captivate the attention of the dreamer, but remains the memory of a city previously visited (also by rail, we should assume, unless it is by chance), "another spontaneous" memory conjures up a crowd on the bridge already seen in this city, etc. This is the story of the production of the dream. This is found everywhere, of course, in Hervey's work, and it is clearly the key to its success : the adventures of a great dreamer. However, his most extraordinary exploits are the episodes in which the hero sleeps, dreams and fights hallucinations to realize he is dreaming, so that most of the time he wakes up voluntarily... to write his dream ! Here is a simple example of this narratively pathological situation where Hervey does not dream that he is dreaming, like everyone sometimes, but rather that he is sleeping, that he is not awake, and that therefore... he must surely be dreaming — minor, major and conclusion of a fabulous reasoning.

      I felt the heavy influence of a series of these painful dreams, during which we think we are suffocating or we are, at least, stuck in extremely unpleasant positions. But I feel that I'm dreaming, and knowing the difficulty I have to go back to sleep, I would like to change my dream without waking up. I have tried several ways which I have already indicated to achieve this result. They remain without consequence : the painful illusions always return. I then notice that my left cheek seems warmer than my right cheek. I conclude that I'm probably lying on my left side, and that if I could change sides the nature of my visions might be changed. I then try to sleep, in my dream, on the left side, to then turn back to the right side with a certain wilful energy, in the hope that my muscles actually execute the order given, as is often the case in dreams where we toss and turn.

      Truth compels me to say that this experience was not a happy one, in the sense that I woke up as a result of an effort that was only too real, but the reasoning was not specious [= attractive].

       In this category of dreams where we reason with some accuracy...

—— Éditions d'aujourd'hui, 1977, p. 257.

It is once again, as we can see, a total reversal, of sleep and wakefulness in a dream. Everything happens as if Hervey, in his dream, awake, "understood" that in fact he was sleeping and, of course, was dreaming; he was dreaming of a reality that might prevent him from sleeping. He "dreams" in reality, that his left cheek is warmer than the right, that he therefore sleeps lying on the left side, so in his dream, he tries to lie on this wrong left side, in order to turn back, always in the dream, so that in reality it actually happens, in order not to wake up ! If Descartes had known this technique, he would have stopped, awake, or would have fallen back to sleep, to his first dream.

      I will stop with this fun example, but one can easily find many examples of dream narratives where the story involves the dreamer and the sleeper, so that two narrative features merge into one another, just as the waking is part of the story (which is never the case with any dream narrative, of course), especially when it is voluntary. Then, because the dreamer's reasoning and thought processes participate in the dream itself; we are now in the realm of intellectual adventures.

      There is no doubt that much of the work's success is due to these romantic features. However, against all odds, it is at the heart of these narratives that we can find the dream narrative's structure and its properties. In fact, we can say that all of the book's flowing stories (say 30 to 32, because we must put aside two reported dreams, including the mathematician's "dream" in 3.5) correspond to this phenomenon. One must "cut" the story down to its basics to go from adventure story to dream. Here is an all the more compelling example that the adventures are as fantastic as the dream narrative is flat, realistic.

      Relation of several flowing dreams, where we find the application of some principles presented in this volume, particularly in regard to the means to call upon or exclude certain images and to observe oneself while sleeping. — "I first go down using a sort of underground staircase; I pass by a very old church, and then I find myself at the entrance of a country ball put together by Breton peasants. From there, following a path of thick trees, I walk into another larger garden, or rather in a real village of gardens, that is to say in a site where infinitely small houses are set next to each other, each with its own garden enclosed with walls and hedges, with small streets to get there. I notice one of those houses which contained a boarding school for girls, all graceful, dressed uniformly. They were walking in their garden whose door was open. After having looked at them [358] for a while, I retrace my steps on the same path. I pass by the country ball and the old church once again, and I find myself at the bottom of the underground stairs by which I had gone down. I am having trouble, however, clearly seeing the first steps, and I realize that I am on the verge of waking up, objects ceasing to be very clear and a sense of real external sensations (a feeling which had informed me that I was dreaming) gradually increasing in intensity. An idea came to me : I was going to try to stay asleep by staring and by imagining motionlessness, as I had already practiced oftentimes. So I sit at the bottom of the stairs and I try to remain motionless. I set eyes on my right hand, and I wait to see who would win : sleep or wakefulness. I then feel (especially along the spine) a kind of magnetic wave go through me, a sort of shiver running up and down, which gradually numbs me and seems to make my head heavier, a feeling similar to that produced by the beginning of intoxication. Soon, my hand which I had set my eyes upon without first distinguishing its color and shape, seems to me, however, increasingly strongly and clearly lit. It looks as though the sun is giving it light, also clearing up a few stones from the wall whose details again became apparent. I ventured to turn my head. The underground corridor is as bright. I get up. I want to try to repeat the same walk on the same path, to check how far I could mentally review the same things, and therefore dream again. I walk through the church as I had done before, then through the same ball where I had found the same Breton peasants and I start walking in the same row of leafy trees. Along the way, knowing full well that I am dreaming, I think of M. Maury's ideas. I wonder what portion of my brain he thinks would be awake. It would be nice if, or so I thought, he found my whole brain awake, because I sincerely believe in the fullness of my intellectual faculties : I feel that I can think and remember. What I have read about materialistic theories, and what I intend to write about this dream have very clearly appeared [359] in my mind. I even think that the images that appear to me, in this dream, are not more imposed upon me than the images that actually appear to my eyes when I am awake. I keep both my free will to turn left or right, to stare in one direction or another, etc.. and to finally bring about some scenes or cause some visions, depending on whether I want or would not want to act accordingly mentally. For example : if I want to break a branch of these trees I think I see, it will appear broken to me. If I do not want to break it, its appearance will remain unchanged in my mind's eye. How different is the dream from reality, in my eyes ? I remember, I reason, I want, I do not want; I'm not even the toy of the illusion that captivates me. If the acts of my will are not followed by real efforts [= effects], it is only because my organs, instead of really obeying my thoughts, only make copies; but the psychological phenomenon is the same. So would a weaving machine that would operate in a vacuum. I also think that in this state of lucid dreaming where I feel I am, it would obviously be thought that would call upon signs and images, and would make the corresponding muscular movement, if necessary, and not the sign, the image, the muscular move that impose their combined idea, as M. Maury supposes. Fantasy had here, like reality, its free will, and the initiative remained taken by my will. I thought about this, while following the path that would lead me to my imaginary stroll's goal. I arrived at the "village" of small gardens, but it was impossible to find my initial path. Lost in a maze of new trails, I sought to find the boarding school once visited, doubly curious to see if it would still appear to me despite the wrong path I had taken in my memories. But I felt the numbness progressively leave, while images were becoming discolored and confused. I tried in vain to retain sleep a second time; but I succeeded in extending it for a few seconds only. A first real sensation was felt in my right hand and it quickly spread to my whole person." I opened my eyes, I took a pen and wrote this down immediately.

—— Éditions d'aujourd'hui, 1977, pp. 357-359. Hervey de Saint-Denys' text in fact ends with the following word and punctuation :"this :" instead of "that.", meaning "what you have just read." I thus add the closing quotation marks at the end of the preceding sentence, after "... person."

      This story's event partitioning (which will be H2) analyzes a dozen events of a dream narrative (H1), which was supposed to have five, either five places or five attempts to go about them.

1  Hervey goes down an underground staircase, through an old church, then through a rustic ball with Breton peasants, follows an avenue of leafy trees to a dense tangle of houses, each with its own garden, so that on the whole we get the impression this is a labyrinth of gardens.
2  One of these houses is a boarding school where the dreamer observes, for a moment, girls in uniform walking around within their garden.
3  Hervey retraces his steps, goes back through the trees, goes through the ball again, and the church and finds himself at the foot of the stairs.
4  At this time, the dream's images lose sharpness, external impressions begin to take shape and he eventually realizes that he is dreaming.
5  He decides to try to continue his dream.
6  To achieve this, he sits on the bottom step of the stairs, stays still and carefully stares at his right hand, waiting to see if sleep or wakefulness would prevail.
7  And he soon feels a "magnetic wave", especially along the spine, which gradually numbs him and makes his head feel heavier and heavier, like the inception of drunkenness, before finally falling asleep once again.
8  He begins to clearly see the shape and color of his hand, as if the sun shone upon it. Same goes for the stones on the wall that is next to him, and the stairs which are behind.
9  He therefore repeats his walk : the church, the ball of Breton peasants, then the avenue of trees.
— Along the way, he questions himself at length about his status in this "lucid dream", where he has all his faculties, including the willingness to do whatever he wants, contrary to claims in Maury's "materialist" theses, which he scoffs at. For example, he could very well break a branch from a tree along the path he is following, just as he could also do absolutely nothing, which he actually does ! In addition, the discourse is very technical : in lucid dreaming, the will acts on the images of movement (or on imagination) instead of acting on the movements of the body (or in reality), while Maury falsely tries to show the opposite, namely that the images are the involuntary product of nerve impulses or are imposed by these impulses. — All this talk is explicitly part of the story, because the dreamer intends to write it down in the morning.
10  Once at the labyrinth of gardens, Hervey follows wrong paths and gets lost.
— While he asks himself whether he can find the girls' boarding school,
11  he feels the numbness slowly leave him and sees the images fade.
12  He tries, in vain, to push wakefulness back a second time,
13  but feels his right hand's impression of touch, the first sensation of wakefulness.
Sf  He immediately takes a pen to write down this "flowing dream" (which he transcribed in his book, pp. 357-359).

      This "final situation" (implied by the metanarrative discourse) shows an implied initial situation (Si) — with respect to the dreamt story (which opens abruptly, with no starting situation) — of this adventure story (H1). It is that of the writer writing his dreams down precisely to show that he can, to a certain extent, control them. Reduced to its diegetic frame, we find the following account of a dream (H1) :

1  A path following underground stairs, going through a church, then a festive ball and eventually leading to a maze of houses, each with its garden.
2  In front of one of these houses, watching young residents in their garden.
3  Back at the foot of the stairs (thus, implicitly, going back through the alley, going through the ball, and then the church).
4  Attempting to see the boarding house again, going through the church and the ball, then going back up the avenue of thick trees.
5  Getting lost in the labyrinth of gardens, without being able to find the boarding school.

      Here is thus a return trip, then a one-way journey which stays unfinished; a "walk" that involves five random places (underground stairs, a church, a ball, an avenue of thick trees, and a labyrinth of gardens). The foundation of this story adequately corresponds to the model of the dreamt story. It lies within the telling of a story of intellectual adventures, the writer's fictional narration, he the dream adventurer. For narrative studies, it appears that the dream narrative (story summary, H1) is completely reorganized and rewritten (into an adventure story, H2) to serve the theorist's "logical" demonstration. While this reconstruction is of an obvious gullibility, it remains that this is still, at its core, a remarkable illustration of the dreamt story's model, with its essential properties.

7.2  Freud/Foucault

      We are now in "1900". And here are, once again, two authors whose works overlap. Unfortunately, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is the one who publishes first, without knowing yet of Marcel Foucault's (1865-1947) essential work. Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, postdated 1900, is from 1899, while Foucault's complementary thesis, supported at the Sorbonne, De somniis observationes et cogitationes, was published in Latin in 1901. Chapter II is released as an article in the Revue philosophique of November 1904, while the thesis itself is developed in le Rêve, études et observations in 1906 (Paris, Alcan, IV, 304 p.). In this book, Foucault clearly reflects the work of Freud, while the latter, when getting to know of Foucault's theory, cannot take advantage of it (neither in subsequent editions of his book, nor in his later works) simply because his thinking is too advanced for him to be able to return to what is very quickly becoming psychoanalysis.

7.2.1  Sigmund Freud

      Psychoanalysis, as we know, comes from Freud's "self-analysis" (that is to say, the work which led to his book entitled "The Interpretation of Dreams") and from his interaction with Wilhelm Fliess. Immediately after the publication of this book, the physician and neurologist becomes the teacher of a more and more prevalent school of thought. From a theoretical point of view, the psychoanalytic presentation of dreams will always be more rigid as long as it can illustrate the basis of the method, and this as soon as Sur le rêve (1901), where Freud himself wrote a summary of his own thesis until Introduction à la psychanalyse (1916), which includes many applications : the reading of W. Jensen's Gradiva (1903), in 1906, of essays where dreams are at the heart of the analysis in terms of psychoanalysis, as well as the dream of the Wolf Man (1913, 1918), among many others. However, Freud never did get the sharp look he had on the dream narrative in his original work. The reason is that he will have passed (this is the future perfect) permanently from the manifest content to the latent content of dreams.

      In light of Marcel Foucault's analysis, a contemporary one, it is clear that the (narrative) analysis of the dream narrative is a very obvious regression. We will see in a moment that Freud was an excellent observer of his own dreams and described them through very relevant characteristics. But this is not his topic. In the field of narrative studies, he occupies the position of Claude Lévi-Strauss in relation to Vladimir Propp : the told story is but a path that leads to the story's deeper meanings. Freud is explicit on this point : "one must not take into account the sequence of a dream's sections, we must consider this sequence as a worthless appearance" (p. 382). The aim of the physician and the psychologist is to use dreams to uncover the root causes, the real and unconscious causes of our behavior, particularly to improve our destiny, to correct our faults or cure our diseases. The rise to the unconscious is the analysis of dreams, or psychoanalysis. Only the dreamer can achieve this "interpretation" of his own dreams, through free association, helped, necessarily, by the doctor who forces him to face the "unreality" of the unconscious, strongly defended by censorship and the superego.

      The problem begins, and this is precisely the founding argument of psychoanalysis, when Freud postulated the expression of psychological instances in dreams. This is a "dream's work" : that the dreamer, with the help of his psychoanalyst, can be traced back to the hind sectors of his unconscious through free association on the mnemonic symbol of dreams. It is fairly obvious that these psychological instances, the unconscious especially, do not express themselves through dreams. One should simply reverse the model presented by Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams : the "dream's work" is actually the "work of the dreamer" upon waking up. The condensation, displacement, representation and the very problematic "secondary elaboration" (simply conceived as the erasing of absurdities and inconsistencies which may betray the result of the three preceding operations) correspond to the four mechanisms that enable the dreamer to explore his psychic self. He uncovers flaws in the narrative dream, translates his representations, moves insignificant meanings and analyzes relevant condensation. This is not the dream's work because when a man sleeps his unconscious sleeps as well. However, it is clear that the patient will find the questions, difficulties or psychological problems he faces faster and easily (his unconscious and unadmittable desires, for example) with the (obviously personal !) memories taken from his dreams rather than the dreams of a third party or any narrative or discourse that would do just as well (the last movie he saw, for example), especially if it is messy. In short, there is no "latent content" of dreams.

      This has not prevented Freud from being an excellent observer of "manifest content", that is to say, the dream narrative, and to offer outstanding renderings, either of his own dreams (at least ten are substantial and analyzed), of those reported by patients or colleagues, or more rarely (because those are sketchy) of dreams taken from critical studies. We can find at the end of his thesis an "index of key dreams" : 125 in all. If Freud drew psychoanalysis from these, the relevance of his introspection is not in doubt. It must be said that in 1899, it had already been a century that Westerners were observing their dreams better and better and were able to share their content. Indeed, if one reads his work by paying attention to the presentation of the dream narrative or to its manifest content, we quickly see that from the first chapter, which is essential in this regard, until the end of the book, Freud describes the characters very well. Certainly, he never suggests that the dream is a story in itself, but the "progress" that he presents, in its nature and terms, is consistent with the results of narrative studies. The bottom line here, I must say, is the absurdity, so that the dream is, in its immediacy, incomprehensible and therefore must be "interpreted" (hence the title of the book). Otherwise, all narrative features of the story are well presented : the dream narrative is often uncertain (the dream is known only once remembered, without any objective control, with a strong sense that it is incomplete, quickly forgotten or, worse, distorted), the story is modified (one must distrust dreams which are too orderly as they may have been retouched upon waking up, especially as it is the tendency of the mind to organize), this same story is often uneven (lost memories, the dream is incomplete or fragmentary, imprecise, stories multiplying alternatives, especially with parts of unequal intensity), and is usually short, terse, except perhaps in the case of an analysis, hence Freud's unusually long (15 to 30 lines) autobiographical dreams. The important thing is that we never find in Freud's inaugural work a comment on dreams' manifest content that disagrees in the least with the results of narrative studies, save this notion of "absurdity". Not only can this reasoning be explained through psychoanalysis (absurdity — one should invent "absurdisation" — is even a process of dreams' work that arises particularly in bunches), but more simply through psychology where "dreamlike logic" is imagined to account for the randomness of the narrative product's elements or of their sequencing rules. This is the first resistance of the narrative instinct.

      In general, the dreams presented in the book are studied according to a discursive outline which is accurate and clear : first, the "preparatory narrative" is presented, a synthesis of elements, facts or more rarely events occurring the day before the dream (or the previous day) and which will occur. Same goes, of course, for the presentation of the characters involved. Then comes the dream narrative itself, in italics. And then the "analysis." From the point of view of narrative studies, this has the effect of isolating (the dreamer's and / or narrator's) metanarrative notes in the preparatory narrative which come all too often to confuse the accounts of dreams, where they obviously don't belong because many dreamers or even psychologists see in these immediate memories causes or explanations of dreams. By dissociating the preparatory narrative from the dream narrative, Freud offers a beautifully organized two-pronged narration : the reader of the "dream narrative" is somewhat placed in an autobiographical situation without any metadiegetic interference that otherwise disrupts and directs the narrative.

      Here is the event sequence of a dream that launches Freud's analysis, the "Dream of July 23-24, 1895." This is the first autobiographical dream; it supports the methodology presented in Chapter 3 of the book, being precisely an example of analysis. The dream is designated as the "dream of Irma's injection" (p. 149) or "Irma's dream" in the index (p. 557). After the starting or departure situation (Sd), it can be analyzed in a series of seventeen events that easily split into three sequences. Irma is a patient of Freud's, and a family friend. Otto is a young doctor of her friends'. Leopold is a fellow doctor, Dr. M. is a renowned physician, appreciated by the other three (their interpersonal relationships take an important place in the analysis, but otherwise do not appear in the manifest content of the dream).

Irma's Injection

Sd Freud's family receives many guests in a large hall.

Sq1 —— Freud's consultation
1  Freud takes Irma aside to criticize her for not having accepted his solution.
2  The pain she still feels is entirely her fault;
3  she complains of excruciating pain to the throat, stomach, belly.
4  Freud is afraid to have forgone symptoms of organic disease;
5  seeing her more closely, he indeed finds her pale and puffy.

Sq2 —— Freud's auscultation
6  Freud leads her to the window to examine her throat.
7  Inexplicably, Irma resists as though she wore dentures.
8  When she finally opens her mouth wide,
9  she shows a large white patch on the right, and spiral-shaped growths that have the shape of the nose [on the left], with a whitish crust.

Sq3 —— The consultation and auscultation of colleagues
10  At Freud's request, Dr. M., pale (without beard and limping), comes to examine Irma's throat.
11  Otto and Leopold are there too.
12  The second examines Irma again, over her clothes.
13  He confirms growths in the throat ("dullness at the left base") and
14  shows, under garment, an infected area on the skin on the left shoulder.
15  Dr. M. immediately confirms that it is indeed an infection, adding that
16  dysentery will surely appear to finish it off.
17  Everyone knows instinctively the cause of the infection : — Otto recently injected Irma, who felt unwell, (hard to do with a syringe that was probably not clean) with propyl, propylene... propionic acid... "Trimethylamine".
— Freud sees the formula in large print.

      If we read Freud's text again (The Interpretation of Dreams [1899], trans. I. Meyerson, edited by D. Berger, Paris, PUF, 1971, pp. 98-112, "dream of July 23-24 1895 ", pp. 99-100), we see that the sequence that I offer excludes some obscurities which either come from technical vocabulary, or even from the French translation of the German text. For the literal understanding of the story, we should probably reject in the preparatory narrative the fact that Dr. M. appears changed in the dream (the doctor is shaved and limping, although he doesn't "appear" this way). The situation which begins the story, the Freuds' gathering, is not an initial situation (Si) : this is a departure situation (Sd) that not only will not change, nor will it be recalled, but which is the first branding of randomness. Randomness : on this point, it might be fun (I did it with a table of randomness) to organize the 17 events in a different order (especially if you respect their position in each of the three sequences) and produce a story just as likely — or unlikely (Ex + Ey + Ez). If the event sequence seems obvious it is because the story made it so. We see it clearly at the "last" event that gives its "name" or "title" to the story : it is not in fact the last event in a series (En), but an event that is at the end of a series of indefinite length (event Ei) on which the story stops abruptly, without leading to any final situation (Sf). Despite appearances, the story now being known, nobody can tell it as Freud did, staying as close to the story he had dreamed. Quite the contrary, from the beginning, everything would be organized based on Otto's injection and would lead to Dr. M.'s diagnosis and the effects of the bite on poor Irma. Freud's role in this story would thus be secondary. It would be story Hi built on event Ei. The narrative phenomenon of feedback in the dream narrative is very well illustrated here and several times too in the unfolding of events. E5 is the event that rearranges the story to that point, and the story becomes H5.

H5  Dr. Freud is afraid of having committed malpractice

1  Dr. Freud treats Irma, a young victim of hysteria, with difficulty.
2  The treatment is interrupted due to the holidays, when Freud discovered the explanation of her symptoms, interpretation that the young woman does not accept, as she has written to him.
3  Freud has the opportunity to criticize her attitude at a large reception given by his family.
4  But as she complains of excruciating pain to the throat, stomach and abdomen,
5  Freud is afraid to have misdiagnosed her illness, having neglected physiological symptoms.
[Sf]  He will therefore proceed with her auscultation.

      Finally, we must also emphasize two narrative features of the dreamt story that can be illustrated well here : the articulation of event sequences and randomness of actantial structures. The first two sequences are spatial : moving from one place away from other guests to a window flanning, but the two sequences are also marked by an actantial reversal. Irma consults (A1a), then Freud auscultates (A1b), so that the interpersonal relationship is widely reversed. The third sequence implements a new actantial configuration (A2) where the characters randomly appear one after the other (Dr. M. and then Otto and Leopold, abruptly). Freud disappears from the action, as does Irma who becomes but an object of analysis, a victim of the unfortunate effects of an injection.

      Event and actantial structures aren't alone in giving character to this story : their elements and attributes do the same. For one, the everyday, ordinary, banal facts reported and their surprising, unexpected and of course impossible scenario. These two concurrent features (let's say the unreal character of all too realistic facts) do not stick to the story of the dream, but to the way in which it is told : this is still a result of the random narrative. A family gathering, a suspended therapy, symptoms, consultation, a series of auscultations, diagnosis and injection; you will not find anything there that is not very familiar to Freud's life. However, some of the story's events, even taken individually (outside the random narrative chain), and many of their components also are surprising, crazy or impossible. Surreal, even : young Irma behaves as if she wore dentures, to the surprise of her psychiatrist, the medical examination and mostly the repeated auscultations in a window flapping during a gathering, and the tapping over her clothing. Irma's symptoms, especially her throat's, with the infiltration of the skin infection on the left shoulder, the double diagnosis of a dysentery prognostic which will make an infection subside. The mere possibility that young Dr. Otto can inadequately use sterilized needles, and finally the marvelous injection cocktail of injection (from propyl to trimethyl !) : all point to comical and absurd humor, which is the strict objectivity of the narrative. Everything, in fact, corresponds to the presentation of the medical diagnosis. It is the expected summary records of the physician, a medical summary which would be here a very 'pataphysical diagnostic of Dr Ubu's ! And finally, we must also emphasize the remarkable fact that Freud's text does not offer any "dream-like" trait. And the dream, indeed, is never a fairy tale, outside of fantastic, wonderful and poetic fabrications. And this is never the case of dreams presented, narrated and analyzed by Freud in his book.

      In "1900", among several stanzas of Chants de Maldoror de Lautréamont (1869) by Isidore Ducasse and the "dream of Jean Santeuil" (1900) rewritten in "Swann's dream" (1913) by Marcel Proust in the first volume of the Recherche, Sigmund Freud will have been a great writer, like them sensitive to his dreams and able to represent them in a narrative now very close to "stories dreamed up" every night, night after night. As we shall see immediately, Marcel Foucault knew at the same time how to decisively extend an analysis of the "dream narrative", after Maury and Hervey, and even better than Freud who was not interested in it. But the latter is undoubtedly the psychologist who will have been the best to write or rewrite them. It was not until Jacques Montangero's work, a century later, that psychologists developed techniques to replace the narrative and introspective genius of great writers.

7.2.2  Marcel Foucault

      It is therefore a pity that Sigmund Freud did not read Marcel Foucault's book before drawing his conclusions. Why ? Because Freud might have really been interested in dreams ! Instead, let's repeat, he first used them to study something completely different, human psychology and its various bodies, to then use them in psychoanalysis, especially to explore his patients' unconscious.

      Marcel Foucault (1865-1947) obtained the aggregation of philosophy in 1891, while teaching high school in Nevers. In 1901, he defended his doctoral thesis on psychophysics at the Sorbonne, more precisely on Fechner's psychophysics. The book is quickly published (la Psychophysique, Paris, Felix Alcan, 1901, 492 p.). Foucault joins the University of Montpellier in 1905 where, as chair of philosophy, he will begin to develop his work in experimental psychology. From 1910, he will begin to implement one of the first two experimental psychology laboratories in France. Consequently, his books and articles will be very numerous, especially on the working methods of measuring intelligence in adolescents and young adults (cf. Jean-Paul Laurens and René Baldy, "Dossier Marcel Foucault", UPV, 2004). After his main doctoral thesis it is his complementary thesis on dreams, also supported in 1901, which will be the subject of his second book. It is called very soberly and precisely Le Rêve : études et observations (Paris, Alcan, 1906). It is probably because he does not continue his research on dreams that we cannot not find today works on the psychology of dreams that take his book into account (it is not listed in Jacques Montangero's bibliography, whose work is written in French, while Foucault's book has not yet been translated into English). The book is found in the bibliography of Freud's reedited book, but its use is limited to a footnote reference (p. 436) and to a quite imprecise assimilation to Goblo's theory : both, said Freud, "find wakeful activity responsible for the power to make dreams with thoughts emerging during sleep" (p. 428). This is a shortcut, partly because he does not distinguish between the dream and its recall, which are two operations Foucault considered contradictory but complementary in the production of the dream narrative.

      In fact, Marcel Foucault first produces a narrative analysis of the dream narrative : it is obviously a study of the recall of dreams upon waking, from which he identifies the properties and characteristics linked to those dreams. Then, logically, he postulates a psychological model to explain the narrative phenomenon. His essay is remarkable both in regard to observation and invention, or originality.

      Of note, since the contrary is not true, is that Foucault had closely read Freud and had learned, obviously, the worst possible lessons under his explanatory model. This is where we must begin. In fact, the whole second part of the book increasingly departs from the conclusions drawn by his narrative analysis. This drift, clearly inspired by Freud's book and his critical analysis, begins in chapter five, "Les sentiments dans les rêves". He abruptly suggests that desire acts in on the dream, as one of its organizing forces (he uses several times "the dream's work" as a phrase). This is the imaginary realization of reasonable desires challenging to fulfill or of repressed desires (Freud's formulation, p. 179). But the dream also consistently shows, he believes, what we fear. He criticizes Freud for not having explored the opposite of his hypothesis, namely that it is more fear than desire which builds the dream's structure; our conscious and justifiable fears, and even moreso our unreasonable fears.

      With this critical comment, we are in the realm of psychoanalysis and more generally in the study of the dreamer's psychology, the dreamer who thinks while he is sleeping. A dream is "the mental state of sleep" (p. 2, p. 7, etc.). Until the very end of the essay, Foucault strives to explain how to develop and organize a dream's images and scenes, what he calls "the spontaneous development of images" in the next chapter ; one must find the laws governing the recall of memories in the dream. One step further and we would get the expected chapter in "1900" of everything that corresponds to the physiological theories of the eighteenth century, what he calls "the perceptive dream", that is to say, the dreams built from the dreamer's auditory, visual, tactile and organic perceptions. The contrary is of course "the emotional dream" ! (chapter eight, "The series' emotional organization") All this is based on the state of consciousness during sleep : "a state of profound distraction or complete inattention" (p. 137), just as Alfred Maury had theorized, it is the state that would be found in various mental illnesses, the hysteria studied by Pierre Janet in particular, after the "spiritualism" observed Theodore Flournoy, which is the inner workings of the unconscious or subconscious mind (p. 301). Here we find one of its fundamental assumptions that may well oppose him to Freud but which would nevertheless be quite acceptable in psychoanalysis. Indeed, Marcel Foucault rejects Hervey de Saint-Denys's thesis (even though he does not name him directly) which will be at the heart of psychoanalysis (but in this case, it is Freud who did not read Hervey's book !), that the ideas and images would be organized in dreams under the laws of free association. For Marcel Foucault, the "association" is defined by the laws, rules and behaviors of waking thought — and this is the case, no doubt, in the "session of psychoanalysis". This axiom is suggested in chapter 3, entitled "The state of consciousness during sleep" (p. 90, especially p. 99). The reason is that the "dream" necessarily involves two successive operations of thought : that of the dream itself, whose organization is automatic, and that of awakening, of wakefulness or of dream recall, which is on the contrary quite logical. More broadly still, on the narrative level, Foucault distinguishes the subjective order of what we call today "dream thoughts" from the objective order which describes and reports the experience upon waking, or "logical thinking", of course. The latter, whether it accepts it or not (because it is its nature and function), puts a little order in the inconsistencies of dream thoughts : "the dream, by becoming the memory of a dream, evolves in a sense of logical continuity" (p. 67), and "the logical construction, subsequent to sleep, aims to create, with all imaginary or illusory dream events, a series of events which are reasonably organized and as similar as possible to those present in the real world" (pp. 297-298). In modern psychology, we simply say that the dream narrative necessarily obeys the narrative rules of a history of events.

      Before getting to Marcel Foucault's narrative studies, it would be useful to present his most original hypothesis, because it is the first he develops and it never will be found anywhere else in the study of dreams. It arises from the dream narrative's fundamental narrative property : its development in sequences. When it is the least bit long, the dream is complex. It is then organized in frames which can be taken as separate dreams, and these frames develop scenes which can be interrupted abruptly, very abruptly, and which may seem contradictory, yet reappearing in the course of the story. From these precise observations on the sequential nature of event structures, Foucault offers a simple and original hypothesis : the dreamer's mind, contrary to what happens in wakefulness, is deeply occupied by numerous sets of frames, images, thoughts that grow all at the same time, while in turn one or the other — and sometimes simultaneously — is at the "surface of consciousness" (p. 133). The quote translates Foucault's thought literally, as we have understood there is in his opinion a dreamer's consciousness, since dream thought is a reality of the mechanical kind. In "1900," I think Marcel Foucault could not draw definitive conclusions arising from his narrative study.

      Yet, from the beginning of his essay, because the assumption is necessary for his thesis, Foucault posits that the sleeping man does not "think". A dream's automatic operations are obviously thoughtless and this is precisely what characterizes them. Logical operations appear only during wakefulness. He builds his thesis on 114 "observations", all numbered and precisely delineated. These are his own dreams, those of his wife and children, students and alumni and, more rarely, of colleagues and friends. He begins this collection in 1895 (when he was thirty years old, five or six years before writing his thesis). At the beginning of the book, the dream narratives are divided into numbered scenes or sequences, as they will be further on in Chapter 4, "Building the dream after sleep", that is to say, in the examples and analyses that focus specifically on the narrative study of dreams, which is obviously symptomatic. Here is, to illustrate, as we did for Irma's injection, the first of these observations which appear under "personal observations". It is an "immediate scoring occurring at the end of a fairly deep but suddenly interrupted sleep" (p. 37).

Observation I

Here is a dream immediately noted which I choose among the oldest of my notebooks (May 8, 1895). It is far beyond the time when I conceived the hypothesis for the organization of a dream after sleep. The time of awakening is not recorded, but it seemed to me (my notes say so formally) that sleep was deep and the alarm was abrupt. I simply transcribe my notes by only changing a few words which are imprecise.

0.  Several sets of images pass through my mind.

1.  Here is the longest and least incoherent bit : I am accompanying a primary inspector (Mr. M., whom I knew from recent years in another city), at a teacher's who has never been inspected, runs an important school, and benefits from powerful political protection. Mr. M. rebuked him, told me that he knows nothing and that he relies solely on his political support. I see the teacher clearly : an old man, or almost, with a neatly trimmed white beard, a narrow little face, etc. (he looks like no person I know). I say a few meaningless words. The conversation turns sour between Mr. M. and the teacher.

2.  It's raining cats and dogs. I forget to go to school at the right time, so I'll be late. (In fact, it's raining right now). I am looking for my umbrella; it is broken. Then I realize that the umbrella I just took is not mine. I am then in the street, walking hurriedly to school under an avenue of trees unknown to me : it is almost dark.

3.  I hastily run through a festive crowd, or is it in a market ? On both sides, shops are in open air or under tents and shacks. Dust. The sun. Cafés on the right-hand side. Very vague resemblance to the south wharf in Mâcon, on market days. A peddler offers me Swedish matches for 20 cents a box. I reply that they are too expensive, and I continue to walk.

—— Marcel Foucault, le Rêve : études et observations, Paris, Alcan, 1906, 304 p., pp. 36-37.

      We must not only remove metanarrative notes from this dream narrative; we must also take advantage of this opportunity to say that Marcel Foucault, unlike Freud, never separates memories recalled by the dreams (recognized upon waking up) of their stories. Rather, he sees there the "explanation" of the dream (pp. 185, 186, 192, 197, 229, 230, 235), its "origin" (p. 200) or its "cause" (pp. 254, 266, 268). It is everywhere, especially in the course of observations, in their presentation or comment. In contrast, Foucault correctly notices that the dream narrative, when it is at all long, is "complex", "incoherent" and made of many frames. This gives us the following event sequence :

Sq0 —— Several "series of images", or several sequences have been forgotten

Sq1 —— A high school teacher's inspection
1  Marcel Foucault accompanies Inspector M., whom he knows, to a teacher's who has not yet been evaluated;
— the teacher in question runs an important school which corresponds to his political influence; he is almost an old man, with a very neatly trimmed beard.
2  The inspector blames the teacher
3  and peremptorily declares, to Foucault, that this teacher is an ignorant person who relies only on his influences.
4  Foucault mutters a few meaningless sentences.
5  The exchange between the inspector and the teacher turns sour.

Sq2 —— Walking to school Sd  It's raining cats and dogs...
6  Marcel Foucault's late (or worse even, since at the end of the sequence it is night), so he must go to high school.
7  He seeks and finds his umbrella, which is broken.
8  He realizes that the broken umbrella is not his.
9  He walks to school in a tree lined avenue,
10  while it is almost dark.

Sq3 —— Walking in the crowd of a market
Sd  Foucault walks through a festive crowd or market
— found on both sides of the street are shops, tents and barracks; there is a lot of dust and it is very sunny.
11  He sees cafés on the right-hand side.
12  A peddler offers him matches for 20 cents a box (Swedish matches, precisely, with a built-in striking surface which allows them to ignite).
13  He replies that they are too expensive.
14  He continues to walk.

In reality, this is simply the result of Marcel Foucault's narrative study itself, as we conducted it further up in the dream of "Irma's Injection". We now have a dream called "Teacher Foucault's Deambulations" and must simply put the dream's fourteen events back to back to find a narrative equivalent to that of the first dream's in Freud's work. Here is the first sequence that has a complex actancial configuration (A1), while the following two (A2a and A2b) are only those of the dreamer's character, save for the peddler's short participation. In contrast, Foucault's three dream sequences are much better marked in spatial and temporal terms (three separate locations and three different times during the day, at dusk, and again during the day), so that two starting situations (Sd) make them stand out. Marcel Foucault's narrative analysis, as relevant as it can be, is however misleading on one crucial point (which will have many consequences, as we already know, in the theory he will build) : if the series of three sequences is clearly "incoherent", it is also true for the event series of the sequences, with the exception of the first, as he himself says in the introduction (this sequence is "the longest and least incoherent") : he should therefore be wary of it !

      Here is why : Marcel Foucault's narrative analysis is very efficient because it begins with the study of the dreamer's narratives in order to question them on their products, the dream narratives. Following types of narratives pragmatically distinguished by Alfred Maury, he establishes two opposite genres : immediate notations and delayed ones. We have just read the first of six examples he first gives to illustrate his first conclusion : the notations made immediately after a sudden awakening show series of images, pictures or scenes which are clearly incoherent, while the notations made more or less long after a spontaneous awakening, after a deep sleep, are instead more consistent and continuous. The conclusion takes shape by itself : the more time elapses between waking up and the dream recall, the more the dream narrative becomes consistent. A simple counter example is also efficient : just ask for various stories of the same dream to see the various properties of the dreamt story gradually disappear. These, however, do not all disappear and we quickly understand why by studying the stories made of immediate notations : there are harmonizations of times, places, actions and relationships between characters that are difficult or impossible to achieve properly. Conversely, if it becomes increasingly difficult to find many inconsistencies deleted from deferred notations, there will usually be some which are very obvious (pp. 163-168). So there are two narrative times to distinguish within the dream narrative : first, the work of awakening, which still operates, as little as it does, as soon as an immediate notation begins (hence the strong consistency of the first sequence in the dream above), and then the work of wakefulness. In both cases, these are logical operations that are opposed to, according to Marcel Foucault, the automatic operations of the dream thoughts.

      The following is the key chapter of his book (chapter 4) : "The construction of dreams after sleep". Obviously, if the argument is out of context, it gives us Freud's shortcut, which is quite inadequate. Foucault has never claimed that the dream was a production of conscious thought upon waking up and after waking up. The chapter's abrupt title, from a narrative point of view, presupposes a "reconstruction" (but not a production) of the dream upon waking up and during wakefulness. Moreover, we should quote it in full here, as his narrative study is relevant. A small excerpt will suffice : "So, when awakening starts, the mind grasps, in an act of immediate memory, a plurality of separate frames, and, trying to realize what was keeping it busy at the end of sleep, it treats these groups of representations as if they were representations from the day before, that is to say, it tries spontaneously to organize them according to the rules of logic and the laws of the real world. Why ? In short, to create drama which is as close as possible to the previous day's drama"(pp. 140-141). With the concepts of narrative grammar, this denotes the rules and properties of event history. This entire chapter is a remarkable narrative study. The event model, the model of the dreamt story and the power of narration, the logical mind, which tries to adapt the latter to the former, are all well presented : we must organize the frames and events (we will soon return to this problematic and certainly inaccurate question), we must choose the proper places to locate them in space, and we must also organize the chronological sequence, the causal succession and the purpose. The result is the "dream narrative" as we know it, with all these adjustments ! It is a more or less organized story because all this reconstruction builds a generally imperfect "story".

      Marcel Foucault's analysis and theorizing are not perfect. The most important operation of awakening and of wakefulness's work, he says, is to organize the series of frames or scenes that have been dreamed. According to him, it is rare that we remember these sequences in the "subjective order" that they were dreamed (both levels, objective and subjective, are defined in chapter 4). Most of the time, the recall is done exactly in reverse order from the last to the first, but sometimes a little less often, in random order (see "Place in time", pp. 145-157). The observation is perfectly precise and Foucault should have added on this point a very important fact, namely, that the dream narrative is strictly the story that was dreamt (and this is even the first property of the narrative model, Rr :: Hr; Récit de rêve :: Histoire rêvée), that is to say that the substance of the narrative content, the story, can only take the shape of its co-substantial content. In principle, a story can be told in many ways (its possible narratives). However, in the case of the dreamt story, there is only one narrative which is possible and imaginable : the narrative in which the story has already been dreamt. This property can be observed in the order of events and sequences. Except in rare cases of vague image recalls from before the dream narrative itself (images which are not given as ordered), all events and all sequences of a dream narrative possess a determined, predetermined order — and exceptions to this rule are rare, even if Foucault makes this a characteristic of the dream narrative. Whatever the order of event recall, the dreamer's orders them spontaneously in the sequence in which they were dreamed, convinced that it is their place in the unfolding of events — this is a true rule of dream narratives. But this is not what Marcel Foucault thinks; he believes that the "objective (or logical) order" sometimes overrides the "subjective order". He will formulate his hypothesis on simultaneous sequences, described earlier, based on this conviction.

      However, this lack of observation, as surprising as it can be, counts for nothing in the greater scheme of things when talking about such a remarkable book which was largely ignored in dream research, especially when compared to the Freud's, since it is also from "1900". So let's fast forward to "2000" where we will quickly realize that not much progress has been made since Freud and Foucault since the latter's work was not well known.

7.3  Hobson/Montangero

      There are in fact thousands of scientific publications on dreams throughout the twentieth century. But we can say that the problem is completely reversed with respect to the experimental psychology of dreams. Instead of being dream narratives or recalls that query the phenomenon, as we have seen with Marcel Foucault, neurological studies (ie, biology, anatomy, electrophysiology and brain chemistry) are the ones which the psychologists will notice. Two examples will serve to illustrate this phenomenon : J. Allan Hobson's model of activation-synthesis and the cognitive model of Jacques Montangero. In both cases, the model attempts to answer neurology's questions (what is this "thought" which occurs during REM sleep and which is remembered upon waking up ?), but in the tradition of the phenomenon's psychological study (what is the "meaning" of the dream, and then what are its "functions" ?). In short, neurology knows better and better how the dream occurs, so we would like to know why, we would like to know its purpose.

      We are asking psychologists to answer this question. However, as we have seen with the critique of Freud's model and of psychoanalysis, psychologists use dreams, especially in therapeutic methods, to help their patients to know themselves, to find their strengths and weaknesses, to exteriorize their desires and fears. In this perspective, psychologists use the dreams of their patients to try to heal them. This is the case, for example, of the exercise on the understanding of dreams (ECR, "Exercice de Compréhension des Rêves) developed by George W. Baylor and Daniel Deslauriers (le Rêve : sa nature, sa fonction, et une méthode d'analyse, Montréal, PUQ, coll. « Monographies de psychologie », 1991, 90 p.). Admittedly, this little book contains an important theoretical apparatus, quite comparable to those of Hobson's and Montangero's, but its purpose is pragmatic. This is a method which can be called the "expansion" of the dream. The authors offer their subjects to examine their dreams because it is an effective way to get to know yourself and there is no doubt as to its relevance. That said, we could definitely use Baylor and Deslauriers's book to illustrate the inversion of theorization and treatment, which can be formulated in a paradoxical way : if the psychologist and his patients use dreams (for reasons, of course, which are plentiful), here's what dreams are for. This becomes their function. This has always been translated to a single word : the meaning of the dream, meaning that we must know how to "interpret".

      The experimental psychology of dreams is, at the end of the twentieth century, at the center of this double reversal : the reversal of psychology and physioneurology, that of therapeutic practices and the theories which are drawn from them. Of course, psychologists answer to neurologists by updating therapeutic practices for them.

7.3.1  J. Allan Hobson

      The title of his thesis says it all : The Dreaming Brain (New York, Basic Books, 1988, 319 p.). This neurologist, along with colleagues of his laboratory, published his specialized work, gradually establishing a neuro-psychology of dreams, from 1974. His 1988 synthesis reads like an adventure novel, endowed with killer humor. The hero is obviously Allan Hobson; his opponents are psychoanalysts, and his story is the scientific study of dreams since Helmholtz, Wundt, Maury, Hervey de Saint-Denys and, of course, Freud. His presentation of the study of dreams throughout the twentieth century is fascinating : happy polemicist, he is also an excellent pedagogue. His presentations have nothing to do with those of Francoise Parot (l'Homme qui rêve, Paris, PUF, 1995, 171 p.) or of Sophie Jama (Anthropologie du rêve, Paris, PUF, coll. « Que sais-je ?  », 1997, repr. under the title Rêve et cultures, Montreal, Liber, 2009, 136 p.). We can not count on him to be an objective historian, to present various approaches or take into account the various nuances necessary to historical accounts. Early on and point by point, he developed his model of activation-synthesis. Here is a meaningful example of this. In Chapter 6, which focuses on the discovery of REM sleep and the redefinition of the various stages of sleep, we read : "Unfortunately, the thinking that occurs in non-REM sleep is non-progressive. Humans do not apper to solve cognitive problems by sleep thinking. Rather the mind seems to be running in place. Ideas are mulled over without one's being able either to conclude them or to leave them behind" (p. 143). Here are, without saying anything specific about them, the functions of REM sleep and dreams !

      Indeed, no one doubts the findings of neurology; Allan Hobson then decides to translate them into psychological facts. The first postulations are that a brain has three states : waking, sleeping and dreaming (pp. 113 and 124). A dream (or dreaming) is a "behavioral state" (p. 112). From this point of view, REM sleep can be considered as an "awakening" of the brain that triggers, maintains, and stops dreams during sleep. It is a machine that processes information and which is activated by itself (under the influence of acetylcholine coming from the brain stem). The important thing is that the higher brain (cortex and subcortical regions), especially the forebrain, "lights up" (which is accompanied by a blocking of sensory perception and motor functions) and the synthesis operation is activated. Note that, upon awakening, this synthesis is perceived as a real malfunction of "modulator neurons" giving way for hallucination, illusion of reality, disorientation, confusion, unwarranted intensification of emotions and, in addition, amnesia for much of the process.

      What is especially noticed, in fact, is precisely that the last note applies to dream recalls, dream narratives, their narration, and that it is this narrative data that will validate the activation-synthesis model. To do this, Hobson proposes to replace or at least supplement the "content analysis" of dream narratives with their "formal analysis". From here, it must be said, J. Allan Hobson offers a method of analysis that leads him away from narrative studies, even though his purpose is to study "dream narratives" to draw conclusions that would fit the findings of neurology. In fact, his analysis of the narratives will be about the interpretation of literary and biblical texts, or of various artistic objects in which dreams "all make a kind of narrative sense" (p. 232). And, no, it is not useful to contextualize this statement because the two analysis operations will not cancel each other out, being "interpretations of the dream shape", but rather add up. The formal analysis of dreams should match the vision, movement, orientation, etc., while their contents should meet their objects (what I see, how I walk, where I go, etc.). It is assumed that personal content has the function to update the basic forms of perception, their analyses and their neurological recordings.

      The "interpretation" of "narration" in dream narratives categorically shows that there is no common measure between the recall of dreams, as they had been developed in "1900", and the interpretations that are proposed in "2000". J. Allan Hobson's corpus includes an anonymous collection of dream narratives written in the summer of 1939, a manuscript containing 233 recalls, from one to 78 lines each, illustrated with 110 drawings. The author of this book, a man of 46 years old, is passionate about trains and locomotives. Hobson therefore designated him as the "Engine Man". We know nothing more of the manuscript which is not publicly available. The simple act of putting together a collection of dreams which is one third anonymous at the heart of his work violates a fundamental rule already established since Freud : no one but the dreamer can interpret his dreams. And this is really "interpretation" we are talking about here, regardless of the classification of sensations, movements or "quirks" that can be derived from script, since it is after these studies, and thus without them that we read the "interpretation" of the dream about the customs : part 5, chapter 13 "The Bizarreness of Dreams" (p. 257-281) — before the traditional chapter, in psychology, on dreams' functions ! which shows that we obviously do not know anything.

      The book thus leads to the "interpretive exercise" of the "Engine Man"'s dream about the customs building. Let's call him Loco — "l'homme à la loco" is the translation of "Engine Man" by his French translator, Rose Saint-James; thus Loco, just because "loco" means "crazy" in Spanish and I still have the right to have a little fun : for and my students and me, his name was Loco for years — and his dream "Loco's customs". I will not copy the text of the dream for which there is a photograph of the manuscript in the book (p. 262, fig. 13.1, "The Engine Man's Custom Building dream"), with the design of the building and its two ramps providing access to the first and second floors of the three-floored building. The text is cut and commented in seven fragments in chapter 14 (pp. 272-277). In fact, the commentary that follows each piece is an interpretation and even a rewriting of the narrative, so that the fragments and comments tell two stories, the second overlapping the first. They are respectively called "Loco's customs" and "Loco's customs according to Hobson."

Loco's customs

      The "story" often deviates from the story that needs to be restored, which is what I am doing here consistently. The first example is simple : Loco unexpectedly tells us he is walking with a stranger, a stranger who will become (later, no one knows when) his nephew Jason. See also item 14, the level where the weighing of the animals should be. Obviously, we are in the presence of deferred notation far removed from the dreamt story.

Sq1 —— Walking in Washington
Sd.  Washington.
1  Loco walking with a little boy of six or eight years old on 14th Street in Washington, due south, south of Pennsylvania Avenue; the streets are muddy.
2  Approximately three blocks further, he heads east, behind small buildings (not one of them in any case seems "big"); the streets are deserted.

Sq2 —— Looking for the customs building
3  Loco, who asks the boy if he knows the customs building, hears him answer "no"
4  and persuades himself indeed that it is certainly elsewhere in the city.
— This is where all animals larger than cats must be registered (that is to say, declared, weighed and taxed)
— which applies to animals that may be on the trains that stop within the district.
5  Loco and his companion looking for someone who brought an animal from a train to the customs building.
6  Wandering randomly, here they are in front of the building they were looking for.
— "It (is) a 3-story blgd. of white stone with "ramps" on outside apparently to enable animals to reach the upper stories" (p. 273, see drawing, p. 262).

Sq3 —— In the first rooms of a building's upper floors
7  Loco and his companion enter the building (without using the ramps), go up to the upper floors and look in different rooms, although directions on the doors and walls convince them that they are in a wrong part of the building (in other words, they went astray).
8  Jason (the name is heavily scratched on the manuscript, but it can only be he who is hereby alluded to) opens the doors to these rooms on the fly.
9  In each of these rooms, there are generally two people.
9.1  In one of them, there are two men at a desk, one of whom is bent over the furniture in the direction of the other;
— these two men are apparently talking about serious matters and it is clear at least that the attitude of leaning one is very serious.
9.2  In two other rooms, they see a girl, a young woman dressed as a nurse, a nurse talking to small people, children, young people with aged and worn faces.

Sq4 —— At the reformatory home
— Loco understands that this part of the building is actually a reformatory home, that these young children have grown up in the street, having lived painfully until they were caught by the police who brought them here where they try to rehabilitate them.
10  Loco hears one of these children with sharp features ask his nurse about a story or an image on a book.
11  She replies kindly, but coldly.
— The nurse's job is obvious, without any pedagogical or human involvement;
— Loco tells himself : "Nothing will take the place of good home training".

Sq5 —— Jason's prank at the nursery
12  Loco and Jason enter a room where they find a nurse, fully dressed, with a baby lying in a bed shaped like a cradle.
13  Jason crawls onto the bed and grabs ice in a glass of water.
14  Loco thinks Jason crosses the line : he grabs Jason's arm, gets him out of bed and drags him out of the room, even if Jason is reluctant.
— [Metanarrative note : "(About this time I realised that the animal weighing doubtless took place in basement)" (p. 276) : this aside is obviously an intervention of the narrator who unexpectedly exercises his governance — as if that could interest the narrative or the narratee as it had been a long time since this question had been valid, of course].

Sq6 —— The office of the judge
15  In another room, Loco (and Jason) is (are) in the office of a judge, lying fully clothed on a couch.
— Portrait : large prominent nose, rough facial skin of a man who has had a difficult life or who has engaged in excess. Moral judgment : he looks pretentious, like most judges.
— In fact, Jason is not there anymore; two adults accompany Loco, probably sisters, Dorothy (Jason's mother) and June.
16  These two people, Dorothy and June, leave the room when the judge says : "Honor is found only in women but does not exist in men",
— because it seems impossible to understand for them.
17a  Loco recognizes here a quote from Duff in "This Human Nature" [Charles Duff (1894-1966), This Human Nature : a history, a commentary, an exposition, from the earliest time to the present day, Cosmopolitan Book Corp., 1930, 405 p.; I haven't yet found the quote in the book where Google Search Books gives any occurrence of the word "honor"]
17b  and the judge confirms having read it,
— thinking it is a good enough book, but which has two serious flaws...

      No initial situation (Si), but a clear departing situation (Sd), a random series of six sequences, each of which implicitly opening on a departing situation (represented here by the adverb of place in the title of the sequence). Obviously there is no final situation since the closing event (Ei) states explicitly that what follows is unknown (these are the two serious defects "which unfortunately were not explained," according to the story's final parenthesis). In addition, each of the sequences consists of a random series of events. It is therefore a remarkable depiction of the dreamt story's narrative model, except, of course, with regard to the metanarrative features.

      Now here is the "interpretation" that suggests Allan Hobson : it is a story to be taken in the second degree, where Loco must somehow render this narration and the psychologist must interpret it. The "questions" — often explicitly ironic — should be set aside, which will be less and less possible, trying to denigrate what would be, according to Hobson the narrator, a "psychoanalytical" analysis of this dream. In fact, these questions are so numerous, so important, that they double the story (in the second degree) with a metanarrative discourse. In practice, the story of Loco (a rewrite of H1) rendering his dream accompanies the story of Hobson (H2) interpreting it, one not existing without the other, as in a detective novel, where the story of the crime (H1) is revealed by that of the investigation (H2).

Loco's customs according to Hobson

Si Hobson proposes to conduct the "interpretation of dream shapes" in his hero Loco's dream about customs.
1  Loco describes the center of Washington as well as Giorgio de Chirico, according to Hobson : a deserted downtown neighborhood where tall buildings feel very small.
2  Loco then an unknown "buddy" (which would be a contradiction in terms, again according to Hobson), which will soon be transformed "oneirically" into his nephew Jason.
— This is probably the first "intervention" of the dreamer, Loco correcting the situation, in his dream, transforming the character of an unknown person into Jason, his nephew. This is also the first intervention of Hobson the narrator's in Loco's narrative adventures.
3  Certainly, Loco, to orient himself in this dream, invents a direction in his story by asking his companion where the customs building may be.
— Motives or associations of the dreamer : we are in the center of Washington, it makes sense that we must be here in order to find a public building serving a civic function; a customs office is a good choice.
4  "Since Jason does not know the location of the Customs Building, the dreamer thinks that..." (sic). The building must be located outside of the city center, as his companion of six or eight years old doesn't know of it.
5  Loco then invented, to bail himself out, the story of the recording, of the weighing and taxing, which is quite logical, customs offices being what they are. We should look for someone who is going there (reasoning on trains).
6  Yes, but, record, tax and weigh what ? Why not animals ? But animals which are big enough, bigger than cats anyway.
7  Being in front of the customs office per chance, Loco invents, no one knows why [we read : "not explained"], a weighing on the upper floors that will never happen and ramps for its access, and he even enters in the building with his nephew, without the help of the ramps.
8  Once on the upper floors, everything indicates that Loco and his nephew Jason are in the "wrong part" of the building. Where are they ? What are they looking for ?
9  From here, indeed, Hobson appears very clearly as an extradiegetic narrator who asks : "How about the social aspect of all of this ? "(the above Sq3), to "What are we to make of these senile orphans ? "(pp. 274 and 275). The answer to the last question is typically Freudian : a combination of Loco's parents and the grand-son that they were not given. And the narrator extradiegetic resumes : "Why not, however, simply say that the dreamer is still disoriented, and delving ever more deeply into the orientational memory file ?" (p. 275). He noted, however, that Loco is really in a cul-de-sac. How will he get out of there ?
10  The "wrong" part of the building will simply be a "correctional institution" : this is where Loco can be found (in the active sense : this is where he "is", where he takes himself).
— From physical landmarks, we now get to socio-cultural benchmarks, or education. Family education can not be replaced by an institution's.
11  Loco enters the nursery to play the father's role vis-à-vis Jason. This is the "punishment."
— "Has the dreamer done right to discipline Jason ? He is not sure. So he decides to submit this question to judgment" (p. 277).
12  Here he is with two mothers of his son (his sisters) coming into the judges' place; this judge will mention Duff's This Human Nature suggesting that it is women and not men who are people of honor.
Sf  The summary of the following form and content analyses requires this conclusion : Loco expresses (and Hobson hears about it for the first time) the tension between the education given by women and male authority, that reflects the many "orientational disturbances" of this narrative, between family members, between other characters, between places, as between the chains of associations.

      What's in this second narrative ? The story of Loco inventing his dream and, at the same time, the story of Hobson interpreting it. And that is a fantastic adventure story. Just compare the story of Loco's dream narrative (H1) to this second story (H2) to notice the dissociation between the initial model of the activation-synthesis (neurological), the analysis of the shape of the dream content (therapeutic) and the interpretation of a narrative text (literary). From neurology we go to psychology, to finally reach the virtuosity of literary "text explanation" : in order words, the least scientific discourse possible. This is basically a comment, no more, no less. We can not, of course, blame J. Allan Hobson, since the interpretive commentary is not of great importance in his work. However, it is likely that his psychological analyses, derived from neurology, can not take us magically from "1900" to "2000".

7.3.2  Jacques Montangero

      Precisely the contrary of J. Allan Hobson's, the work of Jacques Montangero and colleagues is characterized by the qualities of their narrative studies. But the most extraordinary thing is that they end up in exactly the same position, from a reverse direction : Hobson's neurology and Montangero's narratology both lead to the "dreaming brain" and the "dream of the brain " which is asleep. It is entitled Rêve et cognition (Liège, Pierre Mardaga, [1998 or 1999], 268 p.). Summary : a fascinating methodology of dream recalls, an equally remarkable narrative analysis (a sequential analysis which is in itself a model of the dreamt story), all at the service of "psychological" interpretations in a "cognitive" model, which is a double-edged model, the cognitive representation of dreams, the dream as cognition, as a form of thought. Let's go right into it.

      Jacques Montangero's narrative analysis is first presented in chapter 3 of his book published in 1998 (especially pp. 78-87), to be developed in chapter 4 (especially pp. 108-118). It is also appears in another publication of the author's with colleagues José Reis and Francisco Pons from Bulletin de psychologie (July-August 1999, pp. 399-408). It is an adaptation of "story grammars", that is to say, from a reformulation of the Russian formalists' (Propp, Tomachevski, Eikenbaum, etc..) and of the French (Bedier, Lévi-Strauss, Greimas, Barthes, Bremond, Todorov, etc..) on the syntactic generative grammar model (from that of Noam Chomsky's), David Foulkes being the best representative for the narrative study of dream narratives (A grammar of dreams, New York, Basic Books, 1978). Following Foulkes' model, Montangero implements a method of sequencing and analyzing stories (i.e. dream narratives, but which then applies for comparisons' sake, to stories of a beginning of a day or of memorable moments from recent days) which is represented by a "sequential pattern". This pattern isolates "narrative units" (these are the narrative events, but also sequences of actions built from an event's "times"). A heavy pre-syntactic analysis follows where two successive events are characterized by a pragmatic typology : the link between the units will be "causal", "plausible" or "teleonomic". The links between several successive units will be "narrative" or from a "script" (with possible "complications" or "repeats"), while on the contrary the links between sequences made of a series of narrative units will be a "break" or "shortcoming."

      Here we have, as story analyses and reciprocal syntheses, a general model for dream narratives. Its development is obviously ongoing and the proof is that different sets of concepts are still informal. "Break" and "shortcoming" are one and the same : the clear shift from one sequence to another, a "plausible" link between two units, is a link whose "causal" or "teleonomic" character is not explicit; a "script" is a supposedly common narrative. This being said, even if these concepts are approximations, they are used to correctly render the narrative of the dreamt story. It will be characterized by its shortcomings or breaks, and therefore, by the multiplying of story sequences. The "scripts", and more generally the narratives, fall short; in other words, they are incomplete, while more often the events are not even a narrative. The still loose definition of concepts, however, leads to a lack of clear interpretation : the "discontinuous aspects" of the dream narrative, the authors write," should not obscure the generally coherent nature of the dream sequences" (article 1999, p. 407b). Why ? Simply because the connection between units is generally "a possible but unpredictable continuity". However, this "plausible" continuity was defined as not being "unpredictable", a form of causality which is not explicit; if you prefer, an implicit causality. Whatever : it is in fact a correct formulation of the third property of the dreamt story's event model : a random series of Ex + Ey + Ez will by itself create E1 + E2 + E3, a mandatory series.

      Here is my event partitioning for "John's Dream", the first one which Jacques Montangero submits to his sequential analysis in his book. We first find the summary (pp. 80-81), then the sequence diagram (fig. 2, p. 81) and its further analysis (pp. 83-84).

John's dream : winter sports

Sq1 —— In a plane over mountains, John sees lost skiers
Sd  John (40 years old) is flying over a mountainous region in his small aircraft. — Peacefully, with pleasure, in total control of the situation.
1  He sees distraught skiers going in every direction : "this is certainly a huge error," believes John;
— but he is confident he can help them, because he has a solution;
2  he lands on a glacier.

Sq2 —— John witnesses a fight between a friend and his stepfather
Sd  John is in front of the sports store owned by a friend's father-in-law.
3  Through the open door, John sees the father-in-law accuse the son harshly, stupidly and wickedly; humiliated, the son replies vehemently to defend himself.
4  The latter, seeing that John is watching them, closes the door of the store.
5  But John continues to observe them through the window.
6  He sees the feud continue.
7  At one point, they even seem to be on the verge of brawling
— and John is full of compassion for his friend.

Sq3 —— John advises a skater trying to make a difficult jump
8  John leaves this place, walks through the village and reaches the rink.
9  There is a skater who will succeed in making a difficult jump thanks to his advice :
9.0  apparently everyone thought it impossible, but
9.1  she leaps, twists and scars the ice with her skate while recovering her perfect stance;
9.2  music accompanies the rhythms of these various movements.

Sq4 —— John wants to reach his girlfriend at the top of the mountain by using the cable car
— He feels very satisfied.
10  John is walking towards a cable that will lead him to the restaurant at the top of the mountain,
— where he plans to join his friend, knowing that she is climbing on the other side at that very moment.

      If we compare this event analysis to Jacques Montangero's sequential pattern, we will first see that the pattern can not be understood without rereading John's dream, while the event partitioning is first validated by its autonomy : this is the procedure of the justified summary. But we then see that the pattern is not a list of events corresponding to the unwinding of events, but rather a chart which can be read in multiple columns. However, if we compare the pattern to the story told by John, generalizations are quickly found (first column), as are simplifications (second and third columns) and unjustified or inappropriate decompositions. This of course begins with an analysis of five sequences (a sequencing even more unfair since the cable car part is properly designated, as "sequence four" still being analysed (page 84, 8th line). But this can also be found in the distinction of the role of the agent or patient of John : for the first sequence, flying over a mountainous area and seeing (consequently, but especially after) distraught skiers are two very different events. The appearance of "simultaneity" on which Montangero emphasizes (both in his book and in the 1999 article) is a pure creation of his patterns : watching a skater performing a jump are two actions that syntactical analyses can distinguish (here we have two sentences in deep structure), but certainly not the narrative analysis (it is a sequence of actions, including 9.1 — 9.0 to 9.2 in fact — subject to event 9 it carries). Finally, a single feeling is recorded in the pattern (sequence 2, "compassion"), while intentions ("he will take a cable car") and beliefs (his "friend is going up the other side of the mountain") are considered de facto events.

      Before moving on to the psychological interpretation that Jacques Montangero and John will draw from this story, we can enumerate the narrative features and compare them to the dreamt story's model. Despite the unity of place (snow sports : ski resort, its mountain, mountainous region and village, its sports shop and ice rink), the four sequences each have their own spatial configuration. The first two are initiated by a starting situation (Sd) while the last two's initial event is made of a movement which serves as a transition to the new space. Each sequence has a very strong unity of action where John is eventually both actor and witness (airplane flight / lost skiers; witness of a fight; observer / advisor / watching the skater; beginnings of an appointment with a double ascent by cable car). But the most important aspect is that the four sequences involve an actantial configuration of their own. John's feelings are well defined, always in accordance with the events, although the feeling of satisfaction in the third sequence appears to spill over into the next, in the story at least.

      From the point of view of the dreamt story's model, it appears that several features of the "narrative" are reconstructions of the wakeful mind. This is certainly the case for the general space, starting situations and transitions marked by movement. The hero's feelings and "thoughts" are too many to not have been brought up by the experience (since they appear in the interview, as we will see), mainly because they are in too perfect an agreement with the actions. Although the sequences are very short (2 to 4 events), their unity of action is far removed from the random model. In contrast, the four sequences with their actantial configurations have resisted awakening's narrations. Overall, we can consider that this is a dramatization of a dream or of dreamed episodes.

      It is surprising that the first dream narrative studied in the book is actually far from the narrative model of dreams, but we can still find later, in chapter 8, "Eliana's two dogs" (chart on pp. 216-217), a story that doesn't show any sign of being a dreamt story. This is because Jacques Montangero's "method" includes two operations that are contradictory, the dream recall and its interpretation. The recall is done very methodically, in three phases, so that this method of recall is specific enough to replace the narrative talent of the authors of "1900" and that any subject can produce a dream narrative able to account for the dreamlike reality. Jacques Montangero chooses to awaken his subjects about ten minutes after the start of the third occurrence of REM sleep, usually between 4 :30 and 8 :00. At this time, the subject generally remembers a dream of which the experimenter or psychologist records a description, aiming to be as complete as possible. The experimenter then writes the "summary" of the dream, that is to say, a story in which repetition or irrelevant comments have been edited, accompanied by the sequential pattern. Then, as soon as possible after waking up, the summary and outline of the dream are shown to the subject, asking him to correct and complete them. There is no doubt that you then get a reliable recall, as close as possible to the dream experience, and this, for two obvious reasons : firstly, because the dreamer can increase the reliability of his remembering through an immediate story and its delayed complement (i.e., introspection), but, secondly, because he can clarify or correct the perception that he gives to his interlocutor (i.e., objectification).

      From the results of this operation are born the narrative model represented by the analysis procedure of the dream narrative's "sequential organization" and the chart of its "sequential pattern". Here we are very far from a body of work like that of J. Allan Hobson's "Engine Man", while we really get closer to Marcel Foucault's implications which carefully distinguished between immediate notations and delayed ones, especially by taking into account both types of waking up : from being induced or spontaneously. The dream narratives thus obtained, one obviously wonders why the examples given by Jacques Montangero recede that much from the narrative model of the dreamt story — and especially from his own model represented by the instructions of the sequential pattern. The answer : because of cognitive psychology ! The diffraction of his "dream narrative" begins with the second step of his method (see the chart on p. 68), which is first represented by the "reformulation into a generic term" of narrative units : "each item" must be designated "by its enclosing class, its meaning or function" (p. 68, illustrated throughout chapter 3, "A study method of dreams"). We must say "first" because a much larger operation follows : the interpretation, where he is "making sense of dreams" (this is the title of chapter 8, after all). Let's return to this point in John's dream. I have included in my analysis of events the information (including the dreamer's feelings) added by the subject during the interview. But not his "interpretations" because they belong to the subject's awakened mind, to the experience that he submits himself to and, in large part, to the experimenter or psychologist. Let's examine the obvious case of the last sequence : John intends to join his friend at the top of the mountain. Here is the transcript of the conversation on this topic (parentheses and italics are the author's) : "(Sequence number four [in the diagram that John should have before his eyes, this is sequence 5], taking the cable car to join your friend and have dinner, is that a return to a harmonious relationship, to get the couple back together ? You insist on comfort; it is a moral comfort ?). Yes, because what is good in this story is that I did something myself. (Is it important to share this with your friend ?). The time when I bugged her, seeking a solution, is finished; it works, one must go on. ("One must go on" summarizes the fourth scene ?). No, it is not "One must go on," it is, "Now I have time to live !". It's funny, I only do things that please me in this dream"(p. 84). This is a foreseen meeting, a simple appointment, transformed into a warm and cordial relationship between partners. This obvious rewriting of the end of the dreamt story also doubles as an "interpretation" : while the four sequences have a remarkable event and actantial independence, the psychologist then forces the emergence of links between them — the serenity, the well-being and the satisfaction of the dreamer, which will end... with "the representation of a climb to mountainous heights that will allow some sort of communion with the beloved" ! (p. 84)

      These are projections from psychological analysis. For narrative studies, there is obviously no difference between the search for the dream narrative's "latent content" and that for its "meaning," except that the latter operation is precisely what characterizes the supposed "literary studies" where critics amuse their readers with deep or secondary meanings (the "meanings" !) of texts and of literary and artistic works. My Petit Manuel des études littéraires (Montreal, VLB Éditeur, 1977) shows that these critical performances, strictly speaking, are meaningless. A literary work (l'Éducation sentimentale), a narrative work (a folk tale like Little Red Riding Hood and its literary achievement by the Perraults) does not have to be "interpreted" any more than any linguistic utterance. The only conceivable scientific objective is to describe these in order to develop their grammar. That said, nothing prevents the use of linguistic utterances, stories or artwork for ends that were never theirs. In psychological studies, there is no doubt whether these are effective means of investigation. The manner in which a statement, a story or a work of art is received can teach us a lot about the subject who speaks this way. But, of course, it will not tell us anything about the linguistic utterance, the narrative production or artistic achievement. Obviously.

      Obviously ? This is not certain, since an experienced psychologist like Jacques Montangero draws from the "interpretation" of dreams from his laboratory (the interpretations of his subjects as his own interpretations) a model of "knowledge processes in the development of dreams" (I'm simplifying the title of his pattern of dream "cognition", p. 150). The book must be read to appreciate in detail the formalization effort that claims to render, according to the title of chapter 7, "cognitive abilities during sleep." Moreso than with J. Allan Hobson, we are still in "1900", with marvelous dream work, except that of Jacques Montangero's could not be more conscious since it is made of dreams' "cognitive" operations. And for the psychologist, this is not a contradiction in terms. During sleep, when the mind is obviously in a state of unconsciousness, this is, as was understood in the eighteenth century, the human machine activated by instigators who reproduce items taken from memory; these will be selected and likely modified, and then merged to produce what is called a dream, everything being regulated as a dream "scene", and the whole process is then restarted by activating information or feelings related to this network (stimulation, "unresolved issues", etc.). All this inevitably means that the brain processes information during sleep, generally when REM sleep is in full swing, and always while dreaming. In fact, the very title of Jacques Montangero's work is surreal : Dream and Cognition.

      This can be illustrated through a very natural resistance. Jacques Montangero's team has developed a simple and efficient way to test "problem solving" where dreams would be the ideal location. The findings are very obviously negative (that is the essence of Chapter 7, the weakest of the book, before its conclusion). But psychologists will keep believing in this hypothesis : "The main conclusion I draw from this study is that, despite the rarity of usable solutions in dreams [one case out of 39 !], the simple action of dreaming is mental work that prepares the mind to revisit problems in a new way" (p. 199). We did not need any experience in experimental psychology to reach the conclusion that, in general, it's better to "sleep on it". And, until proven otherwise, the dreams don't play any role in problem solving.

      That being said, one must give Caesar what is Caesar's. In the field of literary studies, there is no doubt that the "interpretations" of literary critics are kind and nice living room affairs. One is interested as long as they relate to works (more commonly authors) we love — or because the criticism is itself interesting. But these projections are of no consequence. For the psychologist, for the psychoanalyst, quite the contrary, studying, analyzing and evaluating their patients matters most. We are thus in the medical field. Jacques Montangero's "subjects" are certainly not patients, but there is no doubt that experimental psychology is at the service of the "profession's" knowledge and practices. John's dream can only be used here, in this perspective, to study John (who projects himself very effectively). The psychologist, since he chose the "dream" as a study object, (it can not be denied !) is empty-handed during the final chapter : "General conclusions : the functions and nature of dreams" (chap. 9). We already know that John's dream is used to do what we have just seen being done (by Montangero). But in reality, this last chapter is just totally off the hook. On the one hand, it is suggested that "it is unthinkable that, eight hours out of twenty-four, in other words, for a third of our daily existence, the brain and the mind do not perform their duties" etc... (p. 234). This is the dreaming brain, the thinking brain. On the other hand, this last chapter lists a series of assumptions unrelated to the preceding study, the most "original" of which imagining that the brain tells stories to entertain the dreamer so that he can finally stop to "think" in order to be able to sleep...

      However, all this is explained by the fact that the analysis does not rely solely on the material that could represent dreams, in psychology, i.e. the "dream narrative". It must be remembered that the projection of dreams and their interpretation are effective psychological treatment. It is even a particularly powerful means of introspection. However, the analysis of this dream, which can only be done through the dream narrative, is necessarily a part of psychology called narrative studies, that is to say the description of the narrative's products. And there is no doubt that narration is an activity of the mind awake. We do not tell anything while dreaming : we tell our dreams upon waking up. Let's investigate this paradox.

8. Dream/sleep (the sleeping mind)

      There is no manifestation of intelligence during sleep and, therefore, there is no consciousness in a dream.

      But we must go further to account for the phenomenon that "reproduces" the dream narrative upon waking up. We must indeed suggest also that there is no hallucination in dreams, during sleep, except by analogy or presupposition when waking up. A hallucination is not to see or rediscover something that does not exist in fact, or to do or redo actions without effect, but it is to believe something, which is quite different. A hallucination is a phenomenon of consciousness : in dreams, we believe we do not do anything or see anything, we remember and, most likely, we "see" something and "do" such action ("see" and "act" are obviously intransitive, since they are neither perception nor action, but they are nevertheless very real images corresponding to visions and achievements). In this case, there is no hallucination because the mind is not a victim — and can not be one during sleep, since it is not "aware" and therefore can not be "wronged". Sleepwalking is conclusive in this regard.

      Imagination is not active during the dream, never in any way. It is an illusion of awakening. Of all the faculties of the mind, imagination is certainly the one which comes from the highest level of intelligence. Certainly, dream images, sometimes produced by default or faulty memory, can be used effectively upon waking up, but these images have nothing to do with the products of the imagination. This assumption is based on this concept that imagining stems from intuition, from spontaneous thought and improvisation, but not intelligence, so not from reasoning, reflection and conscious research. The truth, of course, is that these two orientations are necessarily linked to waking thought, or consciousness. The products of the imagination are usually the result of a doubling of (spontaneous) intuition and reasoning (reflection), regardless of the variable part of one and the other. No form of imagination manifests itself in dreams.

      "Conscious dreaming" or "lucid dreaming" is a contradiction in terms. If we can not take the fanciful narratives of Hervey de Saint-Denys on dream narratives recorded in adolescence seriously, there is no doubt that the experiences of volontary dreamers' eye movements during sleep are effective : experimental psychology must now explain. We can presume, for example, that the signals of the dreamer stem from programming, just as much as waking up spontaneously at a time fixed in advance. However, we often refer to "lucid dreaming" as being the dream that we dream (this is particularly clear in the case where we dream that we want to wake up : "It is not true, it is a dream !"), a fairly common experience to understand that this has nothing to do with the "consciousness" of dreaming. Notice here the obvious lack of logic, since we would then be "aware" of the "dream that we dream", or rather of "dreaming that we dream that we dream". For narrative studies, from the point of view of the dreamt story recalled upon waking up, there is no doubt that the belief in lucid dreaming can be explained by narration itself. No one, in fact, can believe we think while dreaming, because we never find active reasoning in dream recalls (which can also allow us to safely identify dream narratives which stem from confabulation). However, it is difficult to understand how one could remember a story that is not the product of narration, of a form of analysis (of reality), of a "way of thinking". If the dream tells a story, then, dreaming is thinking, which is still a logical error. Assuming that the dreamer may be conscious of developing narration during sleep, this would imply not only the telling, but also awareness, which is asking a lot of a sleeping mind ! Being aware of "dreaming" is to be aware of telling, or narrating and being aware of it. In reality, this dual consciousness, lucid dreaming, is based on a naive conception of narration applied to dreams as if they were a show : in this common misconception, the dreamer does not tell, but rather becomes aware of what he is then told, which is told by itself, somehow. The narrative study of the dream narrative instead shows that the "dreamt story" is the result of this faculty called narration, while the dream is not a product of it.

  That being said, neurologists (not psychologists) are the ones who can explain the fabulous phenomenon where we remember (upon waking up) that of which we were not aware, by definition, since the dream is produced in a state of unconsciousness. Images, ideas and feelings were remembered and can be recalled upon waking up in the form of a dream narrative. The important thing is to see that the elements of the dream and of its recall do not involve anything more than memory. These elements are information.

9. Dream/memory

      All properties of the dream narrative show that it is an automatic and random phenomenon. If neurology should explain its automatic nature, psychology must know how to account for the random narrative. However, the necessary and sufficient condition to explain the production of dreams is the operation and involvement of memory.

      All of a dream's material solely comes from memory. This is the first mnemonic dimension of dreams. The second is the dream recall, its memory and the story that can be told when you wake up. The third mnemonic dimension is the recall of memories that were reminded by the dream. Whatever memory the dream uses or recalls, we must not only remember upon waking up, but we still have to remember the memories in question. "Remembering a memory" is a double mnemonic operation on stored information, the recall of encoded information and then the recall of the encoding of this information; in other words, the following three dimensions :

1 — Memories are the material of dreams;
2 — The dream is, by definition, a recall upon waking up, a dream narrative;
3 — The memories have to be recalled to be identified.

      Unanswered questions do not interest us : for now, we do not know why this or that memory is used as the material of dreams, since no assumption has imposed itself. Moreover, we can not even answer a different question, even if it is seemingly much simpler : why are dreams stored in memory ? This is not about the recall of a particular dream (although this is an important issue), but of many dreams, so that the reverse question is even more relevant : why do we forget our dreams night after night ? We remember at will what we have learned or experienced during the previous day, but it takes effort, practice, technique to remember a single dream from our previous night's sleep. To answer these questions one day, we must characterize memory in action in dreams as soon as possible. Memory, in fact, is a faculty which goes through many operations and, in addition, several forms of operation. Short-term memory is an ad hoc process that opposes the various modes of long-term memory, of which we imagine achievements (records, reminders and omissions) on a continuous scale, which goes back a few weeks till early childhood (the latter characterized by its "amnesia"). It also opposes implicit memory, that of skills or know-how (knowing how to skate) and explicit memory, whether this information is autobiographical or encyclopedic. Memorization and its complement, memory, "stored information" and "reminiscence," are part of an inclusive faculty : thought (whether it is conscious, subconscious or unconscious, as emotional memory shows well). We have already seen that thought was flanked by two other faculties, which together constitute the fundamental psychological process of (superior) animates : perception + thought + action. It should also be noted that these three operations can be independent : an instinct, or reflex, for example, is to act as a result of perception, without any thought. In dreams, we would reverse the situation if at least there was "thought" which is utterly impossible, especially in the case of REM sleep where the dreamer is in a state of lethargy or paralysis since he can neither perceive nor act.

      The narrative study of dream narratives shows that in this state memory and thought are not correlated : memorization (the memorization of a dream) and recalls are not thought out. There is therefore a function of memory while in a state of non-consciousness and it is this memory that is in use in dreams. We will call it "independent memory". It is not only independent of perception and action, but it is also not subject to thought. This is not what we call memory in the strict sense, but it is a (non-interactive) use of information that has already been stored in memory.

      In this state of non-consciousness, and in any case when talking about dreams, the process of memorization itself (i.e. encoding) is strictly limited to dreams. We remember having dreamed, we can remember our dreams, the content represented by the dream narrative, but nothing more — which is expected, since at that time we were sleeping. And, moreover, the dream has no other (physical, physiological and psychological) reality other than this recall.

      But the dream narrative can however show that non-consciousness's independent memory does not function like the memory associated to thought, so it obviously does not correspond to instinctive memory and even less to implicit memory. It is not the memory of awakening, or at least, it works differently during sleep. It is even certain that it does not have the same information as thought-out memory, since no dreamer can identify, trace and recall all information involved in one of his dreams. And the opposite is true : he finds in his dreams subconscious memories (or perceptions that have failed to reach thought) and unconscious memories (repressed or forgotten memories). But there is another reason for the difficulty in identifying memories from many mental images that form the subject matter of the dream narrative and that stem from the inner workings of memory. This is clearly the decoding corresponding to various modes of mnemonic encoding. We know that the information which will be stored first goes through the hippocampus which plays an important role in the treatment of recent events, treatment which may range from a few days to a few weeks. The information is then encoded, that is to say decomposed to be stored in the cortex's neuron populations, presumably in predetermined locations (given the types of amnesia related to brain lesions), without knowing whether "memory" corresponds to neurons which specialize in this function or, perhaps more likely, to the programming of neurotransmitters that connect them. The dream narrative shows that mnemonic decoding is not triggered by thought, nor does it reach consciousness (hence the total lack of imagination in dreams). From the point of view of the wakeful mind's inner workings, we can say that a lot of information found in the dream narrative in the form of images, ideas or feelings is incorrectly or incompletely decoded (hence this common impression, upon awakening, of having witnessed oddities, absurdities, inconsistencies, strangeness, etc.). The observation is recorded and evaluated in the model of the dream narrative : the result of independent memory's operations during sleep is random or appears as is in the narrative recall that we produce upon waking up. Why ? The question, as we shall see immediately, does not point to psychology, but rather neurology. However, we can formulate it more precisely now, as we will not fail to do so with the development of independent memory research.

      Several autobiographical events and much encyclopedic knowledge recorded in the days and in the weeks preceding a dream are easily identified by the dreamer when waking up. This is the memory of memories stored and used by the dream. Regarding the study of time reminders, I do not know any other more accurate work than an article of Michel Jouvet's entitled : "Mémoires et cerveau dédoublé au cours du rêve (à propos de 2 525 souvenirs de rêve" (Revue du praticien, 1979, no. 1, p. 29-32, chap. 3 of le Sommeil et le rêve, expanded edition, Paris, Odile Jacob, 1992, 1998, 245 p., pp. 66-77) : clearly identified memories significantly decrease during the few days preceding the dream, but with a strange resurgence of event reminders about a week earlier (or more precisely, on the eighth day) — which is illustrated by the "sets" of dreams upon leaving for a trip and after returning. We identify these memories, often while they are deformed, or if you prefer, incompletely or incorrectly recalled. We find even older and sometimes ancient memories, "childhood memories" that were never recalled or at least had not been for a long time). And, of course, many memories (correctly and especially incorrectly or incompletely recalled) that remain completely silent after waking up. We can illustrate this using the classic case of a very precise, characteristic and intriguing image, totally forgotten for which the dreamer will find the mnemonic source months or years later (of which he will not fail to write an autobiographical anecdote). All this is often analyzed in the metanarrative discourses of dream narratives, both positively and negatively (for example, the designation of links between characters and the dreamer or, conversely, the portrait of "unknown", or unidentified, persons).

      Therein lies the real "dream work". If the narrative study of dream narratives can show that the "dream" is not a product of the narrative, that is to say, thought, it makes sense that the dream activity is a production of independent memory. Therefore the problem studied moves away considerably from its initial location, because it is not the "dream" which must be studied, but rather a particular function of memory and the storing of a particular object which we call the dream narrative. It is tempting to agree with the idea that this is just a byproduct of an automatic classification activity or information encoding during sleep : like the one who classifies information must locate it, whatever the classification, between quite foreign elements he then sees again de facto. This would explain this "residue" which would be, upon waking up, the dream narrative (that is the comparison recalled by Jean-Louis Valatx in the article already mentioned). Unfortunately, there is nothing that allows us to say that this explanation is the null hypothesis which would be true until proven otherwise. It is highly unlikely that our memories are automatically analyzed and ordered in a non-conscious state (although all operations are made for the subconscious and the unconscious when consciousness does not get involved : memory appears subject to and at the service of thought). Until we are better informed, we must rather admit that we still do not know what is and what motivates the activity of independent memory during sleep and even less why it records what appears to be our "dreams", of which we produce a dream narrative upon waking up. Wisdom wants us to know at least what we don't know. Therefore, it will be more effective to proceed from the study of facts.

      In proper psychology, one must obviously place the narrative study of dream narratives at the starting point of the analysis : the best possible dream reports must be produced upon awakening and submitted to a careful narrative study. There is no other way to study the content of dreams. Then the triple involvement of memory in this phenomenon must be accordingly studied (that is to say, from analyzed and justified dream accounts) to describe the inner workings of independent memory. No other way can help psychology to reach the findings of neurology and the latter can not account for the "dream narrative". However, it is expected of neurology that it describe the nature and functioning of memories in their anatomical, electrical and chemical dimensions better and better. And it is hoped that it can also accurately respond to the precise questions asked by psychologists in this matter (and not the contrary) : what is independent memory with respect to those which are related to thought and what is their interaction ?

      If dreaming is not an activity of thought, the dream narrative produced upon waking up, however, is one indeed.

10. Dream/awakening

      The dream narrative is much more than a dream recall; it is even more than a simple narrative construction of awakening. It is a reconstruction, an operation that is resistant to the object it wants to mirror. Therefore, a century after their publication, Marcel Foucault's analyses and conclusions must seriously be taken into account.

      The narrative model of the dreamt story which internalizes its own resistance must be analysed. Even taken one by one, the wording of each of its properties meets the skepticism of any dreamer and very often collides with psychologists specializing in the study of dreams. For the model of the dreamt story almost always opposes dream narratives, in some ways, of which we find many examples and many collections. Now this is easily understandable. It is, to begin with, the narrative deconstruction of mnemonic units incompletely or incorrectly recalled; and it is, then, an anti-narrative, a random event sequence with no narrative project (the Si) with no predetermined timeline, no causality, and no purpose (the Sf). An incomplete story, made of one or more often than not several sequences, themselves still incomplete. But nonetheless a story that our narrative performance can hardly tell, an operation offering all kinds of difficulties even to great writers and ingenious narrators.

      If the narrative study of dreams' basic conclusions had to be recalled, it was to properly assess their implications in experimental psychology : the dream narrative is a production of awakening and a production of Western rationalist thought.

      An object of scientific study was developed around 1900 and took a century to develop. However, narrative studies show that, in experimental dream psychology literature near the late twentieth century, the dream narrative is too often removed from correctly recalling dream activity. Yet we know that there is no other way for the psychologist to study dreams than the dream narrative upon awakening. It must therefore always be produced and described rigorously. This will be done by purifying the method introduced by Jacques Montangero and resuming on this basis Marcel Foucault's underused work. In addition, the findings of the dreamt story's narrative study are now the null hypothesis of scientific research, which means that the model of the dream narrative is posited as precise until proven otherwise. It must therefore take place in the works of experimental psychology : it will first be presented and explained to subjects which will need to be convinced of its correctness (which will not happen without resistance, so that subjects will be ordered depending on the level of their resistance), while the model will then be confronted to the dream recalls of a control group which will not have been introduced to it, even if these subjects will then learn of its existence. With experience and time, we will be convinced that the null hypothesis can not be proven false, while in contrast, the model will not fail to be developed, clarified and corrected on several points. These objects, adequate dream narratives, closer and closer to the dream reality they remind of, will specifically allow to ask subjects to study a fundamental question : the nature and the inner workings of independent memory. And we now know that this study should be free of any form of therapy : the laboratory of experimental psychology must not interfere with psychologists in medical clinics. The study of independent memory doesn't have to reveal anything to its subjects, since it is rather the subjects' duty to recall the memories of their dream memories, the most effective subject being the psychologist himself, of course.

      But awakening is not only waking up and its forms of consciousness. It is also a common way of thinking and, in the case of dreams and their recall, this implies very recent modern Western thought. And, since it is impossible to do otherwise, it would be a good idea to reflect the fact that the dream narrative is a product of Western thought's ideological and sentimental rationalism, even though this product is not necessarily willing to answer rationality or its objectification. The consideration, recording and analysis of this form of narrative "deregulation", of randomness, is however not a small achievement. But this consciousness (upon waking up) of a particular faculty's (independent memory) inner workings in a state of unconsciousness (sleep) is part of a dual dimension of the history of narration, the history of stories. And that of individuals and civilizations.

      The dream narrative is not possible for young children to produce as they can not control narration before the age of five years old, or even later. The question that thus arises is this one : between language acquisition and the mastery of narration, or storytelling, how does a child render his dreams ? And the study of answers to these questions, of course, will bring about another one which will seek whether a child dreams differently. "What" do infants, fetuses dream about ? How about animals ? Jean Piaget and his team have studied the question of how children represented dreams ("Les rêves", la Représentation du monde chez l'enfant, Paris, PUF, 1947, repr. "Quadriga", 2003, 335 p., chap. 3, pp. 78-105). The analysis is already exciting, since its evaluation in three stages (5 to 6, 7 to 8 and 8 to 9 years old) shows that the dream recall follows the same pattern in children than that of Western civilization's, that is the Greco-Roman and medieval 'songe' (the 'songe' comes from elsewhere, sent by the gods, then it is outside of us, it is an appearance), before taking the form of a dream ('rêve') (or the strictly personal output recalled upon waking up). That said, Piaget's work has not been extended by the study of children's dreams' content. And it is the same for the development and the nature of dreams in history. If the 'songe' takes the place of dream recalls in Greco-Roman civilization, if Native Americans translate it into imperatives (so-and-so has dreamed that we had to do something for his recovery), does it mean that these Natives, Greeks and Romans did not dream like us ? As surprising as it may seem, I tend to believe it. Indeed, we know that our languages are ways of thinking, that we do not think the same way with different languages. However, it is even more radical in the case of dream narratives : the three year old still can not "tell" and in the Middle Ages (when storytelling is done quite well) the 'songe' is very rarely represented by the narrative shape that a dream takes. In other words, there is no reason to believe that the Greeks and Romans did not dream : "ils songeaient," implying that the 'songe', their dream recall, would correspond to a particular function of independent memory. The complementary hypothesis is much simpler : young children, the Greeks and Romans of Antiquity, as the Native Indians of Nouvelle-France, did not correctly know yet how to recall their dreams. It is also possible. Besides, the two hypotheses are not contradictory.

      Is this of the highest speculation ? Sure, but these are questions that experimental psychology and narrative studies can hope to answer, long before psychology and neurology can find common ground on dreams, or simply know how and why independent memory is triggered in sleep, as we remember when waking up.

11. Dream/nightmare

    But there is a problem we must reassess within the model we present here. It is the idea of "nightmares". There is a psychological typology of dream narratives that distinguishes dreams that are not discriminated or even distinct. These commonalities aren't based on any objective criteria. Realistic or fanciful dreams are "distinguished" from "lucid or conscious" or even unconscious dreams ! (we will come back to this immediately, even if the problem has already been solved), "bad dreams" and "nightmares" (this will be our topic here) from recurring dreams, typical or archetypal (Jung) dreams (flight, nudity, etc.) or even dream 'situations' (dreams of examinations, of giving birth, of meetings, etc..). From the point of view of psychological analysis, these thematical distinctions are fanciful, allowing no classification whatsoever. We can see it even better in the category that I deliberately ignored : "prophetic" dreams, which are obviously in the domain of paranormal pseudo-science.

      There remains a single category to be studied : nightmares. Why ? Precisely because we now know that lucid or conscious dreaming is not possible. What exactly is a "nightmare" ? In psychology, as in popular thinking, it would be a "bad dream" that awakens the sleeper. It makes sense that if a (bad) dream could wake up, it would be a conscious or lucid dream. But we know this does not exist. The nightmare is therefore pure fabrication, a dream conceived as a show we are attending during sleep. And this show could be so awful that we wake up terrified ! Much of the representation of dreams in the fantasy literature of the nineteenth century is built on this phantasm. Not only the characters in these novels magically wake up at the end of their dreams (which is unlikely), but the dream wakes them up (which seems natural to them !).

      This raises a very simple question : is it the dream that wakes us up or wakefulness that tells us stories ? Asking the question is another way to answer it. The dreamer's emotions are memories of emotions, like all the other memories from which dreams are built, their recall in dreams is random. These emotions, which were stored by memory, are recalled by independent memory and we can see through the actantial analysis of dream narratives that they are as fine as they are varied. These are emotions that were often thought out, measured and analyzed. That said, they are found in dreams and dream recalls in the same way that images and ideas constitute a narrative. None of them can wake us up.

      It must be admitted that during sleep, and sometimes even in a dream, emotions corresponding to perceptions and reflex actions are enabled : these are instinctive emotions that are not managed by conscience and in particular careful thought : primary motivations (hunger, thirst, reacting to temperature, animal sexuality, instinctive curiosity, etc.) and basic emotions : docility / aggressiveness; surprise / trust (or familiarity), and especially desire / fear. These reflex and instinctive emotions are those that awaken the sleeper. These negative emotions and their possible associations (surprise + aggression + fear) enable the fabrication of a nightmare, because they challenge the suddenly awakened conscience, contrary to positive emotions — which we still associate to the contrary of a nightmare : ecstatic dreams. These reflex emotions tend to be radical, absolute, devoid of nuance, insatiable desires or panic terror which never correspond to the many degrees of pleasure or fear, such as anxiety, apprehension, characterized fears or phobias (dislikes), which we can find in dream narratives. Instead, these raw and brutal emotions, not analyzed, can not be explained, especially when they occur in a state of unconsciousness during sleep patterns that they disturb, and even more in dreams that they interrupt — but not the "contrary" (dreams that awaken the sleeper) !

      Waking up under the influence of instinctive fear is precisely the illusion of a "nightmare". Awakened by an elementary reflex emotion, it is quite natural that we attribute this not to the memory of negative emotions that will be found in the first dream recall, but to any "dream" picture we can associate to awakening's primary emotions. However, there is a simple explanation to this phenomenon : hypnopompic hallucination, hypnagogic images' symmetrical phenomenon. We must give credence to Alfred Maury's observations and recognize that the hypnagogic images of falling asleep can then be found in the first dreams of the night or even influence them, even as the immediate memories of independent memory. While one is falling asleep, before the coming of sleep itself, these images correspond to hallucinations. Indeed, the mind can still regain control of thought under the influence of any factor, be aware of these images, shy them away or entertain itself with them. The same phenomenon exists, symmetrically, upon waking up, although it is apparently rarer (being often mistaken for the dreaming which occurs when one is half asleep), while it will appear quite clearly, on the contrary, in times of rude awakening due to primary instinctive emotions. In this particular case, here is the appearance, for consciousness, of images from a dream. These hypnopompic hallucinations are actually instantaneous and immediate dream recalls, automatically associated to reflex emotions that produce awakening and for which the dreamer naturally reverses the cause and effect : he has the distinct impression that the dream recall is the dream itself and that it has woken him up just now, having caused him this emotion. In this case, it appears that not only the hypnopompic image and the emotion associated to it are inversely related, but also that nothing implies that the recall forming the image corresponds to a dream in progress, or even to the last dream having preceded awakening. We will only admit that this image or these images come from dreams and that this timely recall is likely to arouse the more elaborate memory of a dream. And this dream will obviously be called a nightmare.

      Nightmares as such are pure creations of the mind awake and, therefore, very interesting rational (sic) hallucinations, or second-degree hallucinations : here's why I woke up, I was dreaming that... Besides, what parent has not himself, unknowingly, given this definition to nightmares ? "Don't worry about it, go back to sleep, it was only a bad dream, a little nightmare... ". Nevertheless, the illusion is so strong (we must admit) that psychology will long let itself be tricked by this too effective a mirage. In reality, nightmares defined as bad dreams that wake the sleeper are simply impossible, and in this sense, the nightmare does not exist.

      Taking on psychology and the narrative analysis of dreams was in the realm of dialectic presentations. What can narrative studies retain from experimental psychology ? How can psychology take advantage of it ? We can conclude that too often psychologists' exposés, theses and hypotheses on dream narratives are as fantastic as the reactions of critics on literary and artistic work. In both cases, these are attempts at interpretation which do not belong to science. Narrative studies, derived from structuralism, allow us to react so we can simply make a rigorous description of dream narratives and of its psychological implications. To conclude, I would thus like to rewrite the sentence that began linguist Louis Hjelmslev's establishment of the scientific model, from "we come to the understanding or knowledge of a language by the same path which takes us to the understanding of other objects, which is through descriptions" (le Langage, Paris, Minuit, 1963, 1966, p. 29), to we come to the understanding or psychological knowledge of dreams by the same path which takes us to the understanding of other objects, which is through descriptions.

Guy Laflèche,
Université de Montréal,
April 4th, 2011

Translated by Martin Thibault
December 10th, 2012


      Save for the quotations directly taken from Allan J. Hobson's thesis (originally written in English), all quotations have been translated from French. These are always our translations, even when the quoted books have been translated to English.


      Bibliographies of each and every article about dreams would multiply references by tens or even hundreds. Very often, this drowns out essential information. This section thus contains a minimal list of works (already explicitly mentioned in preceding pages) used to build the psychological model corresponding to the findings of the narrative study of dream narratives.

George W. Baylor et Daniel Deslauriers, le Rêve : sa nature, sa fonction, et une méthode d'analyse, Montréal, Presses Universitaire du Québec (coll. « Monographies de psychologie »), 1991, 90 p.

Foucault, Marcel, le Rêve : études et observations, Paris, Alcan, 1906, 304 p.

—— cf. Jean-Paul Laurens et René Baldy, « Dossier Marcel Foucault », le Dit de l'UPV [journal de l'Université Paul-Valéry de Montpellier], nos 72 et 73, janvier et février 2004, respectivement p. 3 et 3-4.

Freud, Sigmund, Die Traumdeutung, [1899], « 1900 », l'Interprétation des rêves, trad. J. Meyerson, révisée par Denise Berger, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1971, 574 p.

Hervey de Saint-Denys, Marie-Jean-Léon de, les Rêves et les moyens de les diriger, Paris, Amyot, 1867 (cette première édition était anonyme); Claude Tchou, préface de Robert Desoille (coll. « Bibliothèque du merveilleux »), 1964, réimp. Éditions d'aujourd'hui (coll. « Les introuvables »), 1977, 403 p.

Hobson, Allan J., The Dreaming Brain, New York, Basic Books, 1988, 319 p; le Cerveau rêvant, traduction de Rose Saint-James, Paris, Gallimard, 1992, 402 p.

——, Dreaming : An Introduction to the Science of Sleep, Oxford University Press, 2002, x-170

Jouvet, Michel, le Sommeil et le rêve, édition augmentée, Paris, Odile Jacob, 1992, 1998, 245 p.

Laflèche, Guy, Matériaux pour une grammaire narrative, particulièrement « Le rêve » (pp. 134-140), Laval, Singulier, 1999, 2e éd. 2007, 192 p.

——, Petit Manuel des études littéraires — pour une science générale de la littérature, Montréal, VLB Éditeur, 1977, 118 p. This essay, or manifesto, is not quoted for the narrative studies which can be found within (it is the study of the content noted, pp. 41-45) but rather for the problematic interpretations which pose as studies of literary works. — As if our languages' statements had "meanings" which should be interpreted. Which is precisely what occurs in these dream narratives for which we seek "meaning".

Maury, Alfred, le Sommeil et les rêves, Paris, Didier, 1861, 1862, 1865, puis 4e éd. refaite et augmentée en 1878, 476 p.

Montangero, Jacques, Rêve et cognition, Liège, Pierre Mardaga, [1998 ou 1999], 268 p.

——, avec José Reis et Francisco Pons, « L'organisation séquentielle des rêves : narration, script ou simulation d'épisodes vécus ? », Bulletin de psychologie, vol. 52, no 4 (juillet-août 1999), pp. 399-408).

Piaget, Jean, « Les rêves », la Représentation du monde chez l'enfant, Paris, PUF, 1947 (rééd. coll. « Quadrige »), 2003, 335 p., chap. 3, pp. 78-105.

Valatx, Jean-Louis, « Le rôle du rêve dans la mémoire », la Mémoire, vol. 1, Mémoire et cerveau, éd. de Nicolas Zavialoff, Robert Jaffard et Philippe Brenot, Paris, L'Harmattan, 1989, pp. 86-92.

      The works of the following authors are also mentioned : Théodore Flournoy, Pierre Fontanier, David Foulkes, C. S. Hall et R. L. van de Castle, Louis Hjelmslev, Sophie Jama, Pierre Janet, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Françoise Parot et Vladimir Propp.


      Those familiar to narrative studies do not need this note. But it may be helpful to others to know from the beginning (instead of guessing while reading) that Sq is for "sequence", E is for "event" and S for "situation". Sa is for "actantial situation" and A for "actantial configuration". Sd ("situation de départ", starting situation) denotes the dream narrative's beginning or one of its sequences, Si the "initial situation", and Sf is the "final situation". V was also added for "vision". In the event sequences, ordered numbers simply denote events : 1, 2, 3... are now equivalent to E1, E2, E3... Reasons are hyphenated (—) in these lists.

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