world 1487

The Botanical Monographs

“I am indeed the man who has written on cocaine.”

The Botanical Monograph (Part One)

“Dream. I have written a monograph on a certain plant. The book lies before me: I am just turning over a folded colored plate. A dried specimen of the plant, as though from a herbarium, is bound up with every copy.”

Freud’s associations and day-residues:

In a bookseller’s window that morning he glimpsed a volume entitled The Genus Cyclamen: “The idea of the monograph on the cyclamen would be associated only with the idea that this is the favorite flower of my wife, possible also the recollection of the flowers missed by Mrs. L. I do not believe these secondary thoughts would have sufficed to evoke a dream.”

He is reminded of a story of an indifferent young husband who forgot to bring his wife flowers on her birthday.

Freud’s botanical musings:

“Crucifers [such as cyclamens?] suggest composites. The artichoke too is really a composite, and in actual fact one which I might call my favorite flower”. (He makes no mention of the symbol of the cross…or cabbage for that matter.)

He has a daydream about an operation on his eye. The attending physician who praises cocaine knows nothing of his part in this discovery of its anesthetic effects. His monograph on the coca plant (erythroxylum coca). “I am indeed the man who has written on cocaine.”

The daydream leads to the memory of his own father’s eye operation and his conversation with Dr. Konigstein, the ophthalmologist, as well as a meeting with Professor Gartner and his wife (with reference to her ‘blooming’ appearance). Gartner is ‘gardener’ in German. [Aside: convergences in liminal life that draw one into conscious fixation on Oedipal story…as if a seduction from the unseen.]

A memory of going to his gymnasium (high school): the principal instructed the pupils to clean a herbarium riddled with bookworms.

As a student Freud was interested in illustrated monographs and he remembered that one of the plates in his own treatise turned out badly.

Another memory from childhood: he was given a book to tear up (like an artichoke, leaf by leaf).

Botanical Monograph (Part Two)

“While I was a medical student I was the constant victim of an impulse only to learn things out of monographs… and was enthralled by their coloured plates…

In my early youth it had once amused my father to hand over a book with coloured plates for me and my eldest sister to destroy. Not easy to justify from the educational point of view! I had been five years old at the time and my sister not yet three; and the picture of the two of us blissfully pulling the book to pieces was almost the only plastic memory that I retained from that period of my life. Then, when I became a student, I had developed a passion for collecting and owning books, which was analogous to my liking for learning out of monographs. I had become a bookworm. I had always, from the time I first began to think about myself, referred this first passion of mine back to the childhood memory I have mentioned. And I had early discovered, of course, that passions often lead to sorrow. When I was seventeen I had run up a largish account at the bookseller’s and had nothing to meet it with; and my father scarcely took it as an excuse that my inclinations might have chosen a worse outlet.”

Freud’s conclusive analysis:

“I am much too absorbed in my hobbies.”

Dream of the Drawing for Everything alchemies dream-like things: images and texts and films and sketches and philosophy and half-thoughts and visions and moments and fragments of all kinds. Resting and exploring here may deepen your relationship with the oneiric and, therefore, all apparent reality. Resting and exploring here may augment your psyche’s healing tendency—as Jung called it—through highlighting and delighting in humanity’s hallucinatory creations. (Without them, after all, neurologists assure us we would go starkers.) It is time there was a potentially infinite, intimate museum to what cannot be seen. Welcome to the museum.

Dream of the Drawing for Everything is some of the collaboration between artist Nuala Clarke & writer Crystal Gandrud. Our work arises out of what dances on the edges of perception and our collective attention gravitates to the dream-like nature of human experience. We have been in collaboration since 2010. Our merged practices of visual and textual art unfold on a continuum, as part of an interconnected series evolving over time. Both performed “Fair Shouldered One” (a book which is not a book) at the &Now Literary Festival in Paris, 2012 and installed “Between Spaces”, a Yeats inspired dreamscape at the Hamilton Gallery, Sligo, 2013. Most recently participated in the Find Arts Project in Castlebar, Ireland. Our public art installation of words and images printed on linen, “Woven Found”, hung on Castle Street. The project won the best commissioning practice award from Allianz Business to Arts, 2014.

Nuala Clarke

Nuala Clarke, visual artist, lives and works between Co. Mayo and New York City. Educated at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, she moved to New York City in 1993. In September 2007, she received a fellowship to the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Mayo and began returning to Ireland from NY to work every year. Clarke has been represented by Boltax Gallery, NY since 2005. Recent shows include, Amid a Space Between: Irish Artists in America at the SFMoMa Artists Gallery, San Francisco, (2012); to Tremble into Stillness, a WB Yeats related show at Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; RHA invited artist; and A drawing for Everything, Ballinglen Arts Foundation (2013). BLINK, a public art installation at the Westport Arts Festival, Co. Mayo (2014). Upcoming shows (2015): Impressions of Yeats, Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; Of this place, Sligo and Madrid.

Crystal Gandrud

Crystal Gandrud, writer, lives in New York City and Normandy, France. She holds an MFA, Creative Writing and a BFA, Classical Theatre. Recent publications include “Yeatsian: Numberless Dreamers,” The Encyclopedia Project, 2014, “Here,” Lost Magazine, and “Idiom: Woodbird Flies Early,” The Encyclopedia Project. Her dissertation, “Murdoch: the Mandala Maker,” was presented at Kingston University’s Iris Murdoch Conference (2006), London. At the most recent Murdoch Conference, she performed a multi-media excerpt from a work-in-progress entitled “The Forgotten Man,” inspired by Murdoch’s philosophical writings. She is under contract for a memoire entitled “Astonishment: A Litany of the Uncanny.”

Tell us your dreams. Dreams are accepted by the editorial staff on the basis of aesthetics. That said, there are certain topics that will not be considered. Extremely violent or pornographic dreams will not be accepted on any basis so please do not submit them.

All dreams must have three components:

1) a title

2) a number of no more than 20 characters (subject to a request to reconsider if that number is already used)

3) your name as you wish it to appear

Dreams may be any length.

Please submit dreams in an attached word document only. If you, as the dreamer, are also a visual artist, you are invited to send one companion image in the form of an attached jpeg of a file size of no larger than 250k (no compressed files). If you are not a visual artist but feel a drawing you have done of the dream deepens the experience of it, please follow the guidelines for submission of an image above. In both cases, please specify if you are willing to publish the text without the image.