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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (part 2 chapter 16)

2006-08-22 20:21

  16

  She would dream three series of dreams in succession: the first was of cats going berserk and referred to the sufferings she had gone through in her lifetime; the second was images of her execution and came in countless variations; the third was of her life after death, when humiliation turned into a never-ending state.

  The dreams left nothing to be deciphered. The accusation they leveled at Tomas was so clear that his only reaction was to hang his head and stroke her hand without a word.

  The dreams were eloquent, but they were also beautiful. That aspect seems to have escaped Freud in his theory of dreams. Dreaming is not merely an act of communication (or coded communication, if you like); it is also an aesthetic activity, a game of the imagination, a game that is a value in itself. Our dreams prove that to imagine-to dream about things that have not happened-is among mankind's deepest needs. Herein lies the danger. If dreams were not beautiful, they would quickly be forgotten. But Tereza kept coming back to her dreams, running through them in her mind, turning them into legends. Tomas lived under the hypnotic spell cast by the excruciating beauty of Tereza's dreams.

  Dear Tereza, sweet Tereza, what am I losing you to? he once said to her as they sat face to face in a wine cellar. Every night you dream of death as if you really wished to quit this world. . . .

  It was day; reason and will power were back in place. A drop of red wine ran slowly down her glass as she answered. There's nothing I can do about it, Tomas. Oh, I understand. I know you love me. I know your infidelities are no great tragedy ……

  She looked at him with love in her eyes, but she feared the night ahead, feared her dreams. Her life was split. Both day and night were competing for her.

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