We Are Like the Dreamer: General thought about how to watch/interpret the show  

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(@arcadesonfire)
Roadhouse Regular

We've been talking so much about dreams and wondering if the whole show is a dream or which parts are dreams, but I had this realization last night... It might be simplistic and pointless, but here goes:

Dreams don't necessarily mean something specific. They are inspired by events/sensations/perceptions/memories, but the produced dreams we witness while asleep don't add up to grand deep meanings.

Lynch is a surrealist; Eraserhead was very similar to Dali's films or the Italian surrealist films from the 20s and 30s. I always remind myself of a Lynch interview in which he said he just paints a picture and lets the audience interpret it as they will; it's the M.O. ("modus operandi" in Cole's voice) of most 19th century modern artists.

So when we're thinking about the drunk in the prison cell, wondering if he's making monkey sounds to resemble the FWWM monkey or if Naido is speaking a dolphin-like language, or when we're wondering what was up with that window cleaner, we might need to remind ourselves: These aren't necessarily clues to a meaning. Instead, they were inspired by something before, but don't necessarily foreshadow or refer to something to come.

I know Dale's dream in Season 1 certainly meant something, but there has always been stuff in the Red Room that doesn't connect to something else. So... I dunno... even though much of the fun of the show is the wonder and the theorizing, the weirdness and dreaminess might also just serve to remind us all that sometimes stuff we experience just is and doesn't mean anything.

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Posted : 18/08/2017 12:51 pm
(@arcadesonfire)
Roadhouse Regular

EDIT: I'm not an art historian. Maybe I jumped the gun by saying outright "Lynch is a surrealist." The folks at the beginning of this thread know more about the subject than me:  http://welcometotwinpeaks.com/discuss/twin-peaks-part-14/the-return-as-mass-art-surrealism-sounds-familiar/#post-18531

So for my "grand theory" here, I'll just apply it to specific scenes that I can't place into the narrative or symbolic schemes even after endless analysis.

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Posted : 18/08/2017 1:25 pm
(@mj_gilbert)
Deputy

Sometimes it is meaningful, sometimes meaningless, and sometimes obfuscation and red herring!

I AM the FBI.

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Posted : 18/08/2017 5:41 pm
(@klynched)
RR Diner Patron

Lynch's scenarios, even when not explicitly about dreams, or themselves dreamscapes, feel dreamlike in many ways. So it's very fitting to have a thread about dreams, dreaming and dreamers. We may need to move it out of the Part 14 section, though, as it's such a crosscutting theme.

Jesse, I think you've hit on a fundamental key to understanding - or, rather, appreciating - Lynch's work. In the same way that dreams don't necessarily "mean" something (not in a logical, conscious, intentional way at least), much of what seems so significant and effective in Lynch's work may have, initially at least, have emerged from his subconscious, as an intuitive response to situations, ideas and experiences. He has certainly said something along those lines many times (eg feeling the warmth of a car hood/bonnet inspiring the idea of the Red Room). Of course he then elaborates on these ideas in a much more deliberate way but quite often we may be looking for hidden meanings where there is just an intent to create an association rather than a code.

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Posted : 18/08/2017 6:29 pm
(@samxtherapy)
Detective

I can get with the idea of the inspiration coming from dreams or random elements surfacing in memory.  I don't think the story is intended to be a dream, or dreamlike state.  One thing I take from this particular episode is, whatever you see in the story, is exactly what is happening, weird or disjointed as it may seem.  The idea being, that everything shown in this continuity is the literal truth as it exists within this narrative framework.

My own approach to viewing is to keep my eyes, ears and mind open and just let it all flow in.  Sooner or later it may make sense but for now I'll enjoy the experience on an almost passive level, letting the whole thing settle.

An art teacher once told us something which is possibly the most important thing and the hardest thing to understand, when it comes to drawing.  "Draw what you see, not what you think you see".  That sort of approach works for me here.

As for later, when things have had time to bed down in memory a little, a bit of critical thinking, Occams Razor and discussions on here are a great help.  All the opinions and ideas are of use, even the ones that I disagree with.

 

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 18/08/2017 8:17 pm
(@klynched)
RR Diner Patron

Actually, I agree. I was talking about Lynch's work more generally and even then it's not all dreams and dreamscapes (though some bits are). I do think that there often are some dreamlike elements in Lynch's depiction of reality, though - all part of the "strangeness of the normal" as someone else aptly put it. I don't even find it that strange - my reality feels quite a lot like that sometimes and I assure you I'm not mentally ill (I don't think!) nor do I go around high all the time. So in a strange sort of way, Lynch is even a kind of realist. 

I remember thinking when MacLachlan said that in the end it would "all make sense" that I hoped it wouldn't, at least not via any of the usual tropes for weirdness ("it was all a dream", mental illness, aliens, other dimensions - oh, wait, there does seem to be a bit of that but I like to think of it as metaphorical). I think he probably meant just what you said - let it all flow in and coalesce and it will, intuitively, make sense.

In the meantime I'm completely up for giving rein to the all-too-human craving for explanation that makes for very entertaining conjecture.

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Posted : 18/08/2017 8:41 pm
(@samxtherapy)
Detective

Yup, I could see what you were driving at, KL.  

Explanations?  I'll wait and see but happily speculate here with the rest of the good people in the meantime.

By nature, I do not like mysteries, I like answers.  Funny to say because, believer in science that I am, I have to accept there are things we will never - can never - know or understand.  With Twin Peaks, though, I don't think we're going to get all the answers, even at the end.  Whether it's to leave the door open for more, or just the way it is, we just have to wait and see.

Funny to think that, given all the expectations around the show when the news first broke, I bet nobody at all thought for a second it would be like this.

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 18/08/2017 8:54 pm
(@colin_basterfield)
RR Diner Patron

Discussions like this are so energising for me, helps me feel part of something much bigger. I was going to say normal, but I don't want that, certainly what apparently passes for the new normal. 🙂

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Posted : 18/08/2017 10:13 pm
(@samxtherapy)
Detective
Posted by: Colin Basterfield

Discussions like this are so energising for me, helps me feel part of something much bigger. I was going to say normal, but I don't want that, certainly what apparently passes for the new normal. 🙂

The general shift towards populist anti-intellectualism only serves to alienate people such as thee and me... and everyone else here.

It's a wonder the show got made at all.

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 19/08/2017 7:10 am
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