Against Progress: Dreams, Nightmares, and the Meaning of Abbott

We might first affirm the strangeness of dreams, their resistance to interpretation, their symbolic excess that can never be carried fully into daytime consciousness. If we are to use ‘dream’ as a metaphor, we should respect the radical otherness of its literal referent, and not vulgarise it by reducing it to a synonym for ambition, at best, and avarice at worst. A clumsy transposition of the ‘American dream’, and its ethos of individual self-betterment, will not answer our purpose here. The dream must be shared…

The latest issue of Southerly, 74.2, has the title ‘Australian Dreams’. Frank Moorhouse, one my favourite Australian writers, has a piece in there, which makes it especially gratifying that my essay is in it too.

[ see the table of contents ]

Update: I’ve uploaded the essay to academia.edu.