Friday, 6 December 2013
Sandman: Preludes And Nocturnes
The dreamworld, the dreamtime and the unconscious are identical. (p. 71) Yet it is referred to as if it were a place. (p. 65) Outside that place, there is infinite dusk and dark. The place itself is infinite, yet bounded on every side. The way to its center spirals past "...the houses of mystery and secrets...old way stations on the frontiers of NIGHTMARE..." Thus, not only is the Dreaming somehow a place but, further, Nightmare is a place within it.
From the way stations, the way is Nightward so Night is also a place. I remember without, at nearly midnight, looking it up that, in Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, a bird flew from a South American cave through Night to the chaoplasm beyond Hell, carrying a seed that, dropped into Chaos, would conjure the Original Darkness that was before the Creation.
The next stop on the way is the Gates of Horn and Ivory from Classical literature. Morpheus, narrating, discloses that he carved them when the world was younger. Through the Gates, his castle is visible.
Thus, the way to the center of the Dreaming is:
a spiral past the way stations to Nightmare;
then Nightward to the Gates;
through the Gates to the Castle.
Before going to Hell, Morpheus stands on a wharf "...on the nightward shores of dream..." (p. 107) Is this the "...Lethe's wharf..." mentioned by Hamlet's father's ghost? Morpheus narrates:
"I sprinkle sand into the waters of night." (p. 107)
From the wharf, he falls to the gate of Hell, passing through "The Wind that blows between the Worlds..." (p. 109) We will shortly see for the very first time that Lucifer Morningstar whom Mike Carey developed as the central character of a sequel series - and we have learned something of the geography of the immaterial realms.