For someone who has read, and re-read, every issue of Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman," I don't know very much about dreams. I know that I have them, and that I seldom remember them, and with one notable exception, they don't seem to have any literal relationship to anything going on in m life. I guess I know about as much as anyone who dreams.
I did have one awful dream when I was going through my divorce, and by "awful" I obviously mean "wonderful." I dreamed that my soon-to-be-ex-wife had gathered all of my friends and family together and, in front of them all, begged me to take her back. It was an unsually vivid dream and as I was waking, I remember mentally trying to take hold of it and make the dream real. It's the only dream I've ever had that made me cry when I woke up.
I've been dreaming more vividly lately than any other time I can remember in my life. The dreams haven't been so obviously tied to any event in my life as the one during my divorce. They tend to involve friends or family in odd contexts doing even odder things. For example, last night, I dreamed that my best friend was taking his dog to visit all seven continents. He took the dog to the continental (and fictitious) "four corners" where four continents met at a single point. It never felt real, and I can't imagine why I had this dream specifically, but this sort of thing is happening almost every night these days.
My wife mentioned that she understood dreams to be how your mind "unpacks" the days events, like running a defrag on a hard drive. I haven't done enough research on my own (which is kind of embarrassing, really) to know the state of current study on the subject of dreams, but her suggestion made sense to me.
I know I've written more than once about reading "Against The Day," but it's long, it's a slow read, and it's engrossing as anything I've ever picked up, so of course I'm going to be writing about it for a while. It's a strange and challenging book, as one might expect of Pynchon, and I think it's what's causing me to dream so much. The dreams certainly picked up in frequency when I started reading it, and while they're not related to any of the characters, the tone of the dreams, as well as the geography, is in keeping with the novel.
Now I'm curious: Have any of you ever experienced anything like this? Has a novel ever caused you to dream more often, or more vividly? It seems like the sort of thing that would happen, but like I said, I haven't done my home work so I'm dealing strictly with the anecdotal at this point. While we're at it, are there any particularly good books about dreams that any of you would recommend?