I dreamt that I had to use my iPhone pass-code in order to have a dream. It was a strange variation on a dream within a dream (story within a story)—a classic literary gambit.
Probably the most famous—and satisfying—use of this gambit is in Shakespeare’s plays: in Hamlet, “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King” and the performance of ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ In both instances, Shakespeare illuminates the characters and forwards the primary plot line with the imbedded play. It’s wonderful.
Many years ago I was in a book club. We read an eclectic selection of novels with only one rule—women authors only. One of Anne Rice’s witch books had just come out and it was our book of the month in October. Fortunately/unfortunately, I was recovering from Karate elbow (the martial arts version of tennis elbow). With my dominant arm in a sling, I could barely carry the heavy book from place-to-place, but I could still turn the pages.
I’m not sure if I would have been able to finish the mammoth novel if I’d been doing much of anything except reading, but I did finish it. There was a book within a book in the story. Rice didn’t excerpt passages from the book—she gave readers the entire thing! It was an audacious choice—one I admire as a writer, but don’t particularly like. It weighed the primary story down. I remember being astonished when I realized that the book within the book was going on and on.
The dream once I input my 4-digit code? It was terrifying. It was about two men moving a large safe—a safe that was large enough to hold a relatively small body. Yes, big enough to hold me. Sometimes I manage to scare the shit out of myself.