Gail Godwin: Negotiating With Destiny in The Odd Woman and “Dream Children”

  • Raymond J. Wilson III
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 99)

Edmund Husserl has said, “We cannot say that he who fantasizes and lives in a world of phantasms (the ‘dreamer’), posits fictions qua fictions” (qtd. by Schutz and Luckmann 313, Husserl’s italics). This contradicts the conventional wisdom that literary characters and characters found in dream and imagination are “unreal.” Gail Godwin, perhaps unwittingly corroborates Husserl’s claim in her novels and stories. Godwin’s characters use a strategy of analogy between themselves and these “unreal” people to negotiate with their sense of destiny; in doing so Godwin’s characters imply that no barrier exists between provinces of meaning–-between the province called “reality” and the provinces called “dream” and “imagination.”


Literary Character External Reality Soap Opera Traumatic Episode Dream Experience 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

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  • Raymond J. Wilson III

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