Pillow Talk A lucid conversation about dream logic.

Pillow Talk A lucid conversation about dream logic.

  • Words Nathan Ma
  • Photograph Joe Horner

In The Committee of Sleep, published in 2001, Dr. Deirdre Barrett examines strokes of genius and the dreams that inspired them. Reviewing the work of Beethoven, Dalí, Paul McCartney and biologist Margie Profet, the Harvard Medical School professor posits that we possess the power to solve our waking lives’ problems while fast asleep.

In the 20 years since the book was first published, the way we sleep has drastically changed: We work too much and stay up too late, and personal electronics can interrupt the rest we do get. Amid a global pandemic, Barrett still believes the answers we seek are closer than we might imagine—if only we’re willing to dream.

NATHAN MA: Are dreams wiser than waking thoughts? 

DEIRDRE BARRETT: It would be really remarkable if they were. We don’t remember...

ISSUE 52

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