THE REPUBLIC OF DREAMS: A Reverie by G. Garfield Crimmins


Email this review


A surrealist fiction, consisting of the recollections of a man transported to the island republic of Ræves (pronounced rev), ""located in the mid-Atlantic, somewhere south of Bermuda, between the Sea of Clouds and the Sea of the Unseen."" The citizens of the republic (which is generally invisible) are, according to excerpts from a guidebook included in the text, ""artists, dreamers, and eccentrics who have an instinctive dislike of the narrow limitations of common sense"" and who revere ""the boundless infinity of the realms of the imagination."" Along with a number of playfully altered photographs, montages, and some brilliantly colored, appropriately dreamlike, paintings, a series of faux documents have been bound into the book (a technique pioneered in the Griffin and Sabine trilogy), including envelopes with telegrams and a map of Ræves. While the central narrative has something to do with the pursuit of an elusive beauty (Nadja La Claire) across the Ræverian landscape, the work is at heart a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the alluring (and disorienting) power of the imagination: a witty, ingenious entertainment, filled with sly references to the paintings and writings of the French surrealists--and a first for author/artist/narrator Crimmins. It's hard, after all, to resist a country governed by poets who spend their days drafting ""exceptions to the rule,"" whose inhabitants value ""wisdom . . . the feast and the dance,"" and who spend their days practicing ""mischief as much as poetry.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Norton