Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Octopus in a box

I never have dreams this good.

But I did recall a tidbit of a dream with some literary content that I had a few weeks back. Last month, I came upon a hardback copy--second printing, U.S. edition--of Margaret Drabble's The Realms of Gold while in a bookstore in Burlington, VT--a book I'd searched for in the shops for thirty years (I first read Drabble in 1978) to replace the already used paperback in which I'd worked math problems on the final two pages. Because life works that way, I then proceeded to receive an autographed U.K. first edition for my birthday.

And that's when I noticed that the first sentence in the U.S. edition--The octopus lived in a square plastic box with holes for his arms--actually differed from the first sentence in the U.K. version--The octopus lived in a square perspex box with holes for his arms.

And what does this have to do with my dream? I dreamed a third version of that sentence-The octopus lived in a square moleskine box with holes for his arms.

I need a dream upgrade. Elastic band and lined pages totally optional.


  1. Funny. I had to look up what pespex is. Another word for plexiglass?

  2. I can't warm up to Margaret Drabble for some reason. Read The Waterfall and didn't really care for it. Ideas for an encore.

    My dream is better, sorry to say.

  3. I had to look up perspex, too. Plastic sounds better in the sentence, to my ear at least, but I'd imagined an opaque plastic so that the little guy could have some privacy--which is what the main character gains when she returns to her hotel room and reflects upon the octopus and her life.

    Drabble is often cold, but Realms of Gold has a lot of warmth to it. I've read all her novels except the Red Queen, I believe, and it still holds up as my favorite Drabble and one of my favorite books of all time. For more personal reasons than literary merit, I'm sure, but I do think it's a book that ought to still be in print.

    Oh, yes, my dreams are pitiful compared to yours. Last night I dreamed someone had an elaborate rabbit hutch in their family room and to make it look less rabbit hutchy, they'd painted it white and covered it with Beatrix Potter characters. What good is a dream like THAT?

  4. Bybee's is an excellent dream, but don't sell yourself short. Yours might not be so literary, but at least they are entertainingly weird :) I usually don't remember my dreams and if I do they usually have coworkers in them. Blech.

  5. Does the title "The Realms of Gold" refer to the Keats sonnet about Homer? It's one of a number that I've had memorized since high school and I recognized the wording.

    I rarely remember my dreams, but the other day I dreamt that I wrote the screenplay for a movie called "Fat Man." And, I haven't a clue what that means.


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