The Nightmarish Dreaming Of Max Blecher

"The reverie aims to take hold of imaginary territories when the real ones are missing."Max BLECHER In his novels and especially in Occurrences in Current Unreality this process of dreaming turns into an account of an "immediate unreality." I-mediated to be more accurate, in which the individuality of the narrator keeps on becoming fluid, it disperses and reaches a climax of insubstantiality that makes useless even the thought of a possible recomposing. Thusly, any connection with the real world is lost, that strange world, populated with busy people, caught in the web of their own existence and their conventions just like the sick of Berck in their plaster corsets. "The accursed places," the fair and its grotesque characters, the violent agglomeration of objects, the "panopticon" substitute him. It's a childish reverie, different though from that of the "universal child," that will strongly influence the adolescence and maturity, a fall, a slide of course but in this case it's not a restful slide, as Gaston Bachelard noticed, it's a diurnal breaking of the nightmare: "I suddenly find myself in my real room, which is identical to that in my dream, lying down as in my sleep, and I wake up when I suspect I would be fighting in my nightmare. (…) Now I fight in the real world, I scream, I beg to be woken up in another life, in my real life. It's obvious it's broad daylight, that I know where I am, that I am living, but something is missing from all these just like in my horrible nightmare." This brings forth the troubling and unclear show of "the world of uncertainties." The dream and the nightmare blend as in "a photo with superposed negatives." Over the scientific image of the doctor who tries to cure his malaria and so prescribes him quinine, overlaps the image of the eager mouse in a process of "devenir animal de l'homme." This mutant can't survive, the world of the opera is still a modernist one and it doesn't accept such hybrids: the doctor will commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. At the same time is anticipated the unsuccessful attempted suicide by swallowing pills and falling back again in the hallucinatory unreality. Everything seems to be made out of mud, so that the narrator comes to state that "there is nothing else in the world except for mud." The only available freedom is madness. The only free person in the little village, described in harsh strokes, is the town lunatic. Only she, dirty and with her clothes torn, can scream and sing "whenever she wants to." This is also one of the few passages where the tone of the narrator becomes more cheerful, proving the major influence of the surrealist trend in those days. The one thing that will end this reign of hallucinatory uncertainty is the purging fire (as in Of Heroes and Graves by Sabato, for example): "The fire purified everything. I always carried a box of matches in my pocket. When I was very sad I would light up a match and put my hands over the flame, one first and then the other." As if to prove that "the idea of imperfection" predominates here, that "nothing in this world goes all the way and nothing can be finished," we find this ironic image of this healing, apocalyptic fire – the fire started in a cinema theatre. A comic staging of the burning of the wax exhibition. The flames conquer the screen. Panicked spectators suddenly awaken from the celluloid dream into an unexpected nightmare, start screaming, and they continue to scream even after the fire was put out. "A scaffolding of heteroclite objects balanced in one dot by an illusionist." "The illusionist" arrived from the marginality where disease and terrible suffering had constrained him, succeeds in "balancing the scaffolding of heteroclite objects" that follow human disintegration. Blecher's modernism; the balance fixed in only one point is called sometimes Occurrences in Current Unreality, sometimes Healed Hearts, or The Lightened Burrow.

by Simona Brânzaru