By Jennifer Ford
This publication is the 1st research of Coleridge's responses to his desires and to debates at the nature of dreaming between poets, philosophers and scientists within the Romantic interval. Coleridge wrote and browse greatly at the topic, yet his assorted and unique principles have hitherto obtained little cognizance. averting simply biographical or psychoanalytic ways, Jennifer Ford finds as an alternative a wealthy ancient context for the ways that the main mysterious workings of the Romantic mind's eye have been explored and understood.
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Extra resources for Coleridge on Dreaming: Romanticism, Dreams and the Medical Imagination
O'er her fair limbs convulsive tremors fleet, Start in her hands, and struggle in her feet; In vain to scream with quivering lips she tries, And strains in palsy'd lids her tremulous eyes; In vain she wills to run,fly,swim, walk, creep; The WILL presides not in the bower of SLEEP! 5 In a footnote to Canto m of cThe Loves of the Plants', Darwin claims that 'Sleep consists in the abolition of all voluntary power, both over our muscular motions and our ideas', and that the nightmare, or incubus, is specifically due to 'a painful desire to exert the voluntary motions'.
What was so memorable about Baxter's writings on dreams was his explanation of their origin: that they are external to the soul and are caused by 'Beings' outside us. According to Baxter, dreams are not the product of the mind, or of the soul. Scenes and visions experienced in a dream are offered to the soul by external spiritual beings who gain access to the dreamer's sleeping consciousness. 50 Part of the mystery of dreams has always been their novelty: how is it that one can dream of things never before seen, or people never before encountered?
The pressure of the cerebrum on the cerebellum, and that of the full stomach on the descending trunk of the aorta, seem also to be concerned in this order: for neither of these can happen without affecting the nerves that pass to the muscles of respiration. Without supposing one or both of these, it will be hard to assign a reason, why persons should be rather affected when laid on the back, than in any other posture. . they are but rarely affected with this disorder who use a laudable diet, and sup sparingly: lying on the side, with the head pretty high, generally prevents it.