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The Book of Dreams and Ghosts

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Author Topic: The Book of Dreams and Ghosts  (Read 440 times)
Apparition from Beyond the Veil
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2009, 01:10:07 pm »

CHAPTER I

Arbuthnot on Political Lying.  Begin with “Great Swingeing Falsehoods”.  The Opposite Method to be used in telling Ghost Stones.  Begin with the more Familiar and Credible.  Sleep.  Dreams.  Ghosts are identical with Waking Dreams.  Possibility of being Asleep when we think we are Awake.  Dreams shared by several People.  Story of the Dog Fanti.  The Swithinbank Dream.  Common Features of Ghosts and Dreams.  Mark Twain’s Story.  Theory of Common-sense.  Not Logical.  Fulfilled Dreams.  The Pig in the Palace.  The Mignonette.  Dreams of Reawakened Memory.  The Lost Cheque.  The Ducks’ Eggs.  The Lost Key.  Drama in Dreams.  The Lost Securities.  The Portuguese Gold-piece.  St. Augustine’s Story.  The Two Curmas.  Knowledge acquired in Dreams.  The Assyrian Priest.  The Déjà Vu.  “I have been here before.”  Sir Walter’s Experience.  Explanations.  The Knot in the Shutter.  Transition to Stranger Dreams.

Arbuthnot, in his humorous work on Political Lying, commends the Whigs for occasionally trying the people with “great swingeing falsehoods”.  When these are once got down by the populace, anything may follow without difficulty.  Excellently as this practice has worked in politics (compare the warming-pan lie of 1688), in the telling of ghost stories a different plan has its merits.  Beginning with the common-place and familiar, and therefore credible, with the thin end of the wedge, in fact, a wise narrator will advance to the rather unusual, the extremely rare, the undeniably startling, and so arrive at statements which, without this discreet and gradual initiation, a hasty reader might, justly or unjustly, dismiss as “great swingeing falsehoods”.

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