Imperial neuropsychology and an Indian diamond: The quantum ground of dreaming in The Moonstone

Chatterjee, Arup K. (2020) Imperial neuropsychology and an Indian diamond: The quantum ground of dreaming in The Moonstone. International Journal of Dream Research, 136 (2). pp. 259-266. ISSN 18667953

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In Wilkie Collins’ novel The Moonstone (1868), Franklin Blake’s censored dream—and his somnambulant theft of the eponymous diamond—was a pioneering thought experiment in Victorian literature, which is also believed to have invented the English detective novel. The question, whether Blake’s supposed dream and somnambulism were constituted by his conscious waking experience or emerged from an unconscious source, remains unanswered as the contents of the dream are not known. Taking The Moonstone beyond the ambit of postcolonial criticism and Anglo-Indian imperial history, I present evidence for the novel’s theme of dreaming being encrypted with principles of Vedanta and ancient Indian dream theories from the Mandukya Upanishad. The novel compels us into a reassessment of the dream continuity hypothesis that its critics have hitherto presumed in one way or another. Taking a few concepts of quantum physics as insightful metaphors—though not as generalizable theories—I argue that, The Moonstone is a remarkable statement on Victorian science, which paves the way for what I define in ‘the quantum ground of dreaming’—a mental state superimposed in experiences of more than one geography and entangled with the desires and anxieties of more than one brain, at once

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Wilkie Collins | The Moonstone | Sigmund Freud | Carl Jung | Psychoanalysis | Neuroscience | Vedanta | Mandukya Upanishad | Turiya | Dream Quanta
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Psychology > Neuropsychology Psychology
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2021 03:30
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2022 14:44
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