A novel is not waking thoughts although it is written and thought with waking thoughts. But really a novel goes as dreams go in sleeping at night and some dreams are like anything and some dreams change and some dreams are quiet and some dreams are not. And some dreams are just what anyone would do only a little different always just a little different and that is what a novel is.
–from The Superstitions of Fred Anneday, Annday, Anday a Novel of Real Life by Gertrude Stein
I couldn’t say it better. But I have a problem with dreams the same as I do novels. Once you get into a good one, you are trapped. Whether you want it to or not it invades your life and your world is one big impressionistic blotch of reality and fiction or reality and dreams so scrambled inside your head there is no way out. Also the isolation of human beings is never so well felt than in a good dream or a good novel. The best novels I have read lately all seem to wallow in the suffering and isolation of their characters and I suggest you pick them up if you haven’t read them yet: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, Sister Carrie by Theodore Drieser, Revenants by Daniel Mills. Can anyone think of a good novel that does not star a character isolated in some way?