Saturday, December 15, 2012

To sleep, perchance to dream excerpt from...
At Swim-Two-Birds
by Flann O'Brien

What is wrong with Cryan and most people, said Byrne, is that they do not spend sufficient time in bed.  When a man sleeps, he is steeped and lost in a limp toneless happiness: awake he is restless, tortured by his body and the illusion of existence.  Why have men spent the centuries seeking to overcome the awakened body?  Put it to sleep, that is a better way.  Let it serve only to turn the sleeping soul over, to change the blood-stream and thus make possible a deeper and more refined sleep.

I agree, I said.

We must invert our conception of repose and activity, he continued.  We should not sleep to recover the energy expended when awake but rather wake occasionally to defecate the unwanted energy that sleep engenders.  This might be done quickly--a five-mile race at full tilt around the town and then back to bed and the kingdom of the shadows.

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