The interesting thing about Dalí’s life is that he died an unhappy, yet he had achieved that worldwide fame and fabulous wealth. Did his life prove his art to be meaningless?
The Neo-Freudian psychoanalyst C. G. Jung hypothesized that all humans throughout all of time were/are connected by a sort of universal, primal memory that manifests itself in similar ways in art and literature. His called this theory the “collective unconscious.” It is a theory to which I prescribe. In terms of Dalí, then, his reality is our reality, which if you’re familiar with his art is a scary thought. This, though, would be essentialist and gloss over the truly unknowable nature of the subconscious. Dalí’s reality was uniquely his; because he was a human individual, his version of reality is different that anyone else’s. What we can gain from Dalí’s example, though, is how complicated accurately portraying the contents of the subconscious mind is. But, if we examine the theories of Jung and Dalí, and combine them together, we get a sort of beautiful perspective on the nature of the world, culture, and history. It is beautiful in how it gives us a panoramic vista of the human mind. But, like all sublime visions, it is impossible to describe using language and futile to portray logically.
This all has a point, I promise, for this is where Perchance to Dream comes in. Obviously, there are many intellectual ideas and many intellectual people behind the play’s provenance. But ultimately, it is the feeling the individual gets after watching Perchance to Dream that matters. Emotion is human, and art that produces emotion is human. The great American poet Wallace Stevens said in “Man Carrying Thing” that a “poem must resist the intelligence.” I agree with him, and I translate his statement to drama. Just like a Stevens poem, Perchance to Dream can be independently felt, and thought about. Enjoy.
-Jason Sebacher, Playwright of Perchance to Dream