Erasure Poem: Dream Actually Happened

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A couple of weeks ago, I read the short story Traumnovelle for an elective course on the various interplays between literature and film. Also known as Dream Story, this novella was written in 1926 by the Austrian Arthur Schnitzler, a kindred spirit of Sigmund Freud. In 1999, the acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick turned Schnitzler’s book into a film called Eyes Wide Shut. In what turned out to be Kubrick’s final film, former Hollywood lovers Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman give an electrifying metaperformance by portraying a distinguished, yet troubled married couple. The entire story can be understood as an exploration of the human psyche’s hidden corners, where an abundance of erotic fantasies can be found. My erasure poem is based on one of the book’s last pages, describing a final confession scene in which the main characters try to come to terms with each other’s guilty conscience.

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