The History of Last Night's Dream: Discovering the Hidden Path to the Soul

Rodger Kamenetz, Author . HarperOne $24.95 (262p) ISBN 978-0-06-057583-0

Kamenetz's newest work continues his exploration of the Jewish tradition down yet another path: that of dreams. Like Jacob, who wrestles with God in the famous biblical dream, a leitmotif in the book, the author of the bestselling The Jew in the Lotus wrestles with personal, religious and cultural history in an ambitious quest to revivify the language of dreams. Kamenetz offers a psychological-cum-mystical version of Susan Sontag's watershed Against Interpretation . Don't “interpret” dreams, he cautions, as he lays out another way to meet and greet the nightly messages of human brains. Kamenetz offers a post-Jungian, semiarchetypal, image-centered view of dream meaning. He does so in the context of a historical overview of dream interpretation that also locates dreams in the realm of Jewish mysticism. Narratives of encounters with spiritual teachers are also part of this amalgam of a book that seems to have changed shape over time and through personal discovery. This is a disarming, hard-to-summarize, well-written and idiosyncratic book that will find a distinct audience that appreciates its reflective quirkiness. Readers who have enjoyed Kamenetz's other journeys through Judaism will follow with surprise and pleasure his next steps along a winding spiritual path. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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Paperback - 273 pages - 978-0-06-123794-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 288 pages - 978-0-06-154093-6
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