Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Robert and I are at a sort of New-Age seminar at a huge manor house in the Dolomites, hosted by Umberto Eco. The sort of people are there who I hear live at Damanhur, the place run somewhere in Northern Italy by an alchemist named Falco. Umberto Eco, however, does not look like himself but rather like Agamben, if you took the way Agamben appears in Pasolini's St. Matthew Passion and aged him about 30 years and added steel-rimmed glasses. Eco is lecturing on hermeticism, and he said something profound which I remember thinking (in the dream) I had to remember, but of course forgot. The manor house has been in Eco's family for generations, and is made up of many rooms that are contiguous but at odd angles -- the house is built into the mountainside (Damanhur again), overlooking a wide stream in which a large cat is swimming on its back. The rooms are very large but the bedrooms very small and sparsely furnished, in white. I spend most of the dream going from room to room, marvelling at how vast the house is -- it seems as big as the mountain -- and how the rooms never seem to end. I wake up wishing I had a large manor house with room that are uninhabited.

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