When I was a student the name of Theodor Adorno was one to strike fear into my heart, more through his reputation than through my own experience. I don’t quite know how I got through the degree without reading any theory whatsoever, but somehow I managed it. It left me dangerously underqualified for a career in musicology, but oddly that hasn’t mattered.
There is one Adorno book I would gladly read, though, his Dream Notes. This is a series of unvarnished transcriptions of his dreams, both banal and entertaining. Example here.
Other people’s dreams can be so dull, can’t they. You may wish to stop reading here. This is what I’ve been dreaming about in recent years.
6 June 2009
The French Open women’s singles final. It is being played indoors on carpet, but it’s so hot that both players are topless. One of them is Venus Williams, the other unidentifiable though presumably she is a seed.
26 June 2009
I am playing the organ for a service of choral evensong at a church called St Olave’s situated on a cliff in Coventry. During the final voluntary a little girl comes up to me. Her mother says to her, of me, ‘That’s Gianfranco Zola. I think he’s gay.’
1 July 2009
Vague dream in which I think of a brilliantly biting insult involving the word ‘balls’ that I cannot remember when I wake up.
3 July 2009
I make a recital programme for a singer, but accidentally print it before it’s finished. She gets quite upset during the recital.
6 July 2009
I am going to Finland. I need to leave the house at 4.30pm to catch my plane three hours later, but forget to pack and miss the flight.
29 July 2009
I am in the company of a group of naked French postulant monks. They have poor social skills.
22 September 2009
There is a small wooden (but live) lizard in my room that I have to kill. It continually eludes me. My iPod has turned into a tablet dispenser. The tablets either come out of the place at the top where the lock button is or are dispensed from lower down by pressing the lock button.
1 January 2011
An erotic dream about a pigeon. Details vague.
14 January 2011
My flat is besieged by flies. I am rescued by spiders, which I now like much more than I had previously.
2 August 2011
I encounter James Dreyfus in the street. He seems down on his luck now that his TV career is flagging and he is selling TV spin-off books and board games from a tray strapped to his chest. He takes payment in sugar. Perhaps this is the apocalypse. I buy a Family Guy game from him and he gives me a kiss as we say goodbye. I feel sorry to wake up.
5 September 2011
I am inside St Paul’s tube station to attend a performance of a miracle play adapted by Jon Snow with music by Howard Goodall. Des Lynam approaches and asks me to help him find a branch of Gap. We locate one inside a nearby airport, but have to take shelter when a gangland shooting breaks out.
Guest post: I appear in someone else’s dream, dressed as Hitler. I ask, ‘Is this a bit much?’
25 December 2011
A horrible premonition that Grandpa will give me another shoddily made telescope that I don’t want for Christmas.
3 February 2012
I meet Gary Lineker in the Westway Precinct in Frome. He is really nice.
4 February 2012
I am two hours late for a play in London. It starts at 6.30, but I arrive at 8.30 following delays on the tube. When I get there, I find Roger Allam sitting in the seat next to mine (or perhaps he joins me later). I say to him, ‘I thought you were in the play.’ Him, despondent: ‘I’ve only got 56 lines.’
25 March 2012
Dream about a never-ending episode of 2Point4 Children.
9 June 2012
I attend a committee meeting at which George Osborne gives a speech that is hateful to me in some way and I am filled with a murderous rage that does not dissipate on waking.
28 June 2012
I do my James Mason impression to a group of people and it is not the unmitigated success I had expected it to be.
13 September 2013
I make bread and butter pudding using a shop-bought cheese sandwich (granary bread), dipping the bread in cream.
13 February 2014
I wake up laughing at 5am, having dreamed a brilliant joke about Herman Wouk. Once fully conscious I cannot remember the joke, but given I know nothing of Herman Wouk or of his work perhaps it involves a pun on his name.
15 March 2014
I buy some fish and chips for £8.50 and give them to a friend to look after while I go to collect some train tickets. When I get back the friend has thrown them in the bin. I didn’t even really want fish and chips, and there weren’t enough chips, but given how much I’d paid I was determined to eat them, and I wouldn’t have given them to my friend if I’d known he was going to do something treacherous like that. Infuriating.