Saturday, 7 December 2013

What Are Dreams Made Of?

Dr John Dee, sometimes called "Doctor Destiny", scientist, hermetic philosopher and Justice League villain, is given an interesting parentage and antecedents by Neil Gaiman in Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes (New York, 1995).

Dee tells us that dreams are:

real;
but not made of matter or particles;
instead, "...made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes..." (p. 148)

Thus, Gaiman simultaneously discusses our inner processes and presents an imaginative fantasy.

Dee received his ruby from his mother who stole it from a magician who stole it from another magician who had stolen it from the imprisoned Morpheus. The ruby is a solid dream that can control and materialize raw dreams. Dee used it to power machines, then used it directly. He coded circuitry into its clasp, changed its resonance, irradiated it, forced flaws and isolated it from its, to him unknown, original power source. He changed it, made it more real and prevented anyone else, even its creator, Morpheus, from using it. (p. 149)

With his ruby, Dee will drive the world mad...

A standard comic book threat but Gaiman shows it affecting several realistic characters.

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