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Sleep and Folklore in Popular Culture  By  cover art

Sleep and Folklore in Popular Culture

By: Dr. Franziska Kohlt,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Dr. Franziska Kohlt
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Publisher's Summary

It’s easy to dismiss dreams as “just dreams”—incoherent visions, disturbing, odd images that don’t really mean anything much. But in stories, myths, and fables, dreams are vital. They’re often used as a literary device to provide insights and foreshadowing. Through the dreams in stories, we get to the heart of deep philosophical, scientific, and religious problems. Dreams allowed writers to transcend boundaries and confront things otherwise off-limits.  

In this eye-opening six-part series, Dr. Franziska Kohlt looks at the concept of dreams through the lens of the stories that feature them. You’ll visit the enchanted slumbering land of Sleeping Beauty and the dark and mysterious realm of The Sandman. You’ll explore the ironic dreaming devices of Slaughterhouse-Five; the trippy, fantastical world of Alice in Wonderland; and many more on the quest to deconstruct the symbolism and intent of the dreams that are part of the narrative—or even, in some cases, that are characters in the narrative. 

Join Dr. Kohlt in exploring your favorite books, stories, comics, and myths, and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of them by shining on a light on the parts of the tale that happen in the dark.

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What listeners say about Sleep and Folklore in Popular Culture

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good book to put you to sleep

Felt like the author got sidetracked half way through trying to prove a point that wasn’t necessarily important.

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This was something I didn’t expect

I’ve had a long-standing interest in dreams as someone who had recurring nightmares and night terrors. Over the course of my life, I realized that I began to devalue my dreams and the content in them. This book reminded me of the reasons I used to pay attention to them and make an attempt to decipher them in an attempt to get to know my inner landscape all the more.

This short audiobook from the great courses is a nice way to get your feet wet, and get the wheels turning and thinking about dream symbolism and how it works its way into the fiction that inspires and is inspired by real life. If you have an interest in any of this, I would definitely recommend it

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Lots of information, but...

I have complicated feelings abour this cource. The material is interesting, but the information here is about everything and nothing at the same time.

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Follow the Golden Thread

There are those of us, myself included, who by dint of spending half their lives buried brain-deep in equations and computer code, have not made sufficient time for myth and narrative and dreams. The thing about Plato's cave is (and our author leverages this story nicely for her own purposes) you might congratulate yourself for living outside amongst the sun, but that does not mean that what's inside isn't interesting and, as part of the totality of what is, worth spending time with. If this sounds like you, this book is the perfect introduction, so go exploring. Pull the golden thread into the dreamy depths.

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  • S. Hunt
  • 11-21-22

Delightful and absorbing foray into dreams

In this series of six compelling talks, Franziska Kohlt will take you on a delightful, unmissable guided tour of all the things you didn't know there were to know about dreams.

Dr Kohlt is an exceptional communicator who strides polymathically between (supposedly!) disparate fields - such as science, literature, metaphor, philosophy, folklore and faith - to illuminate the threads that connect them together into a vital but overlooked part of our human experience: that strange otherworld that we enter when we sleep.

Engagingly read by the author whose captivating voice and enthusiasm for her subject will draw you in and make the time fly by.

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  • Sam
  • 11-10-22

Absolutely Brilliant

This is absolutely Brilliant.

Excellently read by the author in a beautiful voice.

If you love stories, the power of dreams, Joseph Campbell, Freud, Jung and all the classics and myths you have never heard of before then this is for you. Brilliant!