Joseph Cornell’s Dreams
dream of color
objects strange toys
— Joseph Cornell, September 21, dream 152
Joseph Cornell saw himself as a custodian of fragility. A devotee of Proust, he tirelessly recorded ephemeral moments of aesthetic and emotional experience. His journals are 30.000 pages long. Nearly five hundred of these pages contain dreams.
Dreams and life were not completely separate for Cornell. In his journals he describes moments of reverie, sitting beneath the quince tree in his backyard, or listening to Mozart at dawn.
Some dreams are expansive, detailed narratives [...] But more commonly the entire universe of a dream and the feeling it elicits in him are conveyed in brief phrases. [...] For Cornell, a full dream could consist of an image or a single object. The one hundred and fifteen dreams included here are those that seemed to reveal more of the elusive Cornell. They bring us closer to him. [from the Catherine Corman introduction]