Author(s): Walter Benjamin (Columbia University)
Dreams highlights a dimension of Benjamin’s thinking that was invaluable for his writing and thought but which has thus far received little attention. The first section, “Dream Notes,” is a comprehensive and chronological collection of Benjamin’s transcriptions of his own dreams and includes unpublished manuscript materials. The second section, “On Perception of Dreams: Awakening and Dream,” features his theoretical reflections on dreams, ranging from short aphorisms and longer analyses of dream literature and the history of dreams to the political conception of a “dreaming collective” and its awakening. Editor Burkhardt Lindner describes Benjamin’s literary approach to his own dreams in the epilogue and gives a sketch of Benjamin’s own definition of the dream sphere, independent of and in contrast to Surrealism and Freud’s interpretation of dreams. This handsome, pocket-sized reader presents Benjamin as both a great dreamer and an important theorist of dreams.