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"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."
May 8, 2013 6:25 PM   Subscribe

My Psychic Garburator by Margaret Atwood [The New York Review of Books]
"Most dreams of writers aren’t about dead people or writing, and—like everyone else’s dreams—they aren’t very memorable. They just seem to be the products of a psychic garburator chewing through the potato peels and coffee grounds of the day and burping them up to you as mush."

Part of a continuing NYRblog series on dreams. Other recent contributions include Pico Iyer’s “Cities of Sleep,” Francine Prose’s “Chasing the White Rabbit,” and Tim Parks’s “My Invisible Sea.”
posted by Fizz (17 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you enjoy this you would probably also really like Atwood's Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. It's quite good and explores similar themes.
posted by oulipian at 7:11 PM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is "Garburator" a n actual word in Canada? By the context, it must refer to what I grew up calling the "dispose-all" or garbage disposal.
posted by Miko at 7:34 PM on May 8, 2013


Enough already, just give the old lady her damn Nobel Prize for Literature..
posted by ovvl at 7:40 PM on May 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is "Garburator" an actual word in Canada?

Yes, but it's spelled Garburatour.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:49 PM on May 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is "Garburator" an actual word in Canada?

Yes, but it's spelled Garburatour.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:49 PM on May 8 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


I applaud this humour.

That's right 'humour' not 'humor'.
posted by Fizz at 7:52 PM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another term I didn't realize was Canadian-only until I'd been living in the US for years: Frost fence. I mean, what else do you call those things? Especially when there's a whole drift of snow piled up behind one?

"Garbage disposal" still sounds prissy as hell to me.
posted by tangerine at 8:28 PM on May 8, 2013


All this back and forth about vocabulary is making me queasy. Anyone got Gravol?
posted by maudlin at 8:30 PM on May 8, 2013


I went to an Alice Cooper concert in Canada and since we kids didn't have real drugs I took a bunch of Gravol. At one point Alice put his head in a guillotine and my feet sunk down below the bleachers and my ears became ten feet tall. The dimenhydrinate high is a weird high ("tripping on Dramamine", for you Americans.)

Actually, I was high for at least two days. But never felt the urge to puke in a moving vehicle. Yum, Gravol.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:36 PM on May 8, 2013


"Garbage disposal" still sounds prissy as hell to me

Yeah - Lah di dah, Mr Frenchman! We call it a trash mash /Moe.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:52 PM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


quidnunc kid: Dammit, you stole the Simpsons joke before I could get to it.
posted by Sleeper at 11:08 PM on May 8, 2013


Sleeper, I done it while you were Sleepering! :)
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:24 AM on May 9, 2013


Yeah - Lah di dah, Mr Frenchman!

Yeah, well, we barely even use those in France. And in the rare cases they are used, the word is even more literal than in Canada. They're called broyeurs, from the verb broyer, "to crush/grind", and it's general enough that it can also refer to toilet macerators. (I know because I have one, living in a partially-underground place.) /tongue-in-cheek pedantry

I always feel a little sad for people who say their dreams are all something like acid reflux or garbage of the psyche. Even their description betrays another potential: garbage comes from you. It is a direct result of what you consume and how you used it.

I mean, right now, as I speak, I've got a cat I dreamt about yesterday rummaging through what I consider to be refuse. (I dreamt of a sprightly black kitten whose energy and sweetness manifested as shining stars on her black fur; she was like an embodiment of the night sky.) In real life, i got her and her furball brother a new litterbox that came in a big cardboard box whose emptiness had been filled with unbleached packing paper. Gave miss sparkle-cat the pile of paper. She's having a ball with it.

There are plenty of ways to use refuse. One way is to look at it as a human concept, and realize other beings see things differently. Beings we share the planet with, and who must also deal with our garburated mush.
posted by fraula at 4:24 AM on May 9, 2013


Yeah, well, we barely even use those in France ... They're called broyeurs

fraula, I'm going to start referring to my broyeur (à ordures) as such in honour of your informativeness.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:44 AM on May 9, 2013


Frost fence. I mean, what else do you call those things? Especially when there's a whole drift of snow piled up behind one?

Well....we actually call them "snow fences."

But there's a certain level of irony even in that, since their most common application here in the Southland is actually to capture blowing sand and slow dune erosion on beaches. So sometimes you'll hear it called "dune fence."
posted by Miko at 7:33 AM on May 9, 2013


What? Gravol doesn't actually exist in the US? Somehow I missed that.

I don't think a "snow fence" is the same thing as a "Frost fence." A Frost fence is a chain-link fence. Which I recently heard someone call a "cyclone fence."

As demonstrated above, I eventually started to enclose my punctutation in quotes. Grudgingly.
posted by tangerine at 1:24 PM on May 9, 2013


Oh, OK. A snow fence is made of pieces of lath connected with wire.

I don't think we have frost fences then. WE just have chain link fences.
posted by Miko at 3:12 PM on May 9, 2013


A Place Strange

My wife's a writer, and these are her dreams.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:14 PM on May 9, 2013


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