Lines of reverie
Amanda Ravetz (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Paper short abstract:
I am engaged in a project about reverie using poetics as a method. How do daydreams guide anthropological understanding? Can daydreams lead to anthropology? What is the communicative potential of reverie?
Paper long abstract:
We rent a cottage on a jutting finger of land extending 30 miles into the Irish sea. Once, the Llŷn was used by pilgrims on their way to Bardsey Island and we are pilgrims too, searching for our own version of immortality. Not through supplication to the church, but to creativity, its promised increases, its stimulus to consciousness. Bachelard writes that the house shields the dreamer; this cottage with its crog loft crouching over us like an animal, is made for such protection. Places where I have dreamt dwell inside me. It is not a straight line between memories and dreams. I am on a wooden slatted frame, being carried through a desert. The litter sways. Cot bars frame the sky. The earth cries like a swarm of tiny flies. The blasted landscape yields nothing but the pattern of my passage across it, a rhythm of phantasy and loss. I begin by trying to contact childhood daydreams, mindful that the anthro-cosmologies of childhood might best be reached unencumbered by facts. In particular I want to overcome my remorse "at not having lived profoundly enough in an old house" - that of my childhood. I must discover ways to relive suppressed impressions "and the dreams that make us believe in happiness" . To dream enough in this house, with its thick walls, in order to catch hold of the dreams of my childhood home! - and through these, to glimpse the daydreams of others who touched me. (Quotes from Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space, 56-7)
Anthropology of storytelling