Talk:What Dreams May Come
|WikiProject Novels / Fantasy||(Rated B-class, Low-importance)|
My intent to expand this
I didn't see that this page already existed when I requested, a few days ago, to make an article about this novel. I guess I'll delete it from the list. WDMC is one of my favorite books (though I hated the film), and I intend to write a more detailed article when I get the chance. marbeh raglaim 08:43, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Finally! I've expanded it, and all from memory! marbeh raglaim 12:20, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I have sent for a copy of the novel through Amazon (a new copy costing only $0.75) and should receive it within the next week. One particular thing nagging at me is whether I have gotten the names right. I keep referring to Chris's mentor/cousin as Albert, which is his name in the movie (the Cuba Gooding character) but I'm not sure it's his name in the book, and I'm especially doubtful because the narrator of the frame story (Chris's brother) is Robert. I'm amazed at how little information there is about the book on the Internet--almost all searches lead to discussions of the film. Even some of the alleged synopses you see on bookselling sites were evidently written by people who have not read the book, and are basing their understanding of it on the film. marbeh raglaim 14:15, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Some points for the future
When I receive the book in the mail and read it again, I intend to improve the article further. One thing I want to deal with in more detail is the research Matheson used in the novel. I think, if I recall, that he relies heavily on the works of the unorthodox Christian mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. Glancing at the German-language version of the Wikipedia article on Richard Matheson, with the help of Babelfish (because I don't know German), I found it saying that Matheson examined the afterlife beliefs of many religions before writing this book. It would be helpful if I could get some citation for that claim, but I have not so far looked closely at the bibliographic references in WDMC. marbeh raglaim 13:39, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I have read the book again and updated sections accordingly
I am fairly satisfied with the final result, and I may soon put this page up for review. I may want to create a separate section listing the various paranormal phenomena that the book mentions. marbeh raglaim 05:44, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Fair use rationale for Image:RichardMatheson WhatDreamsMayCome.jpg
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BetacommandBot 23:08, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Differences between book and movie
An anonymous user put in an extra section on the differences between the book and movie. I have deleted it, but I don't necessarily want to get rid of everything.
Let me explain that the article on the film already contains a lengthy section on the differences between the book and film (written mostly by me). At first, I kept a version of this section in both articles, but I eventually realized it was too hard to manage. But some of your descriptions may be worth incorporating into the section in the movie article. Here is the section you wrote, and I'll take some time to think about it:
Chris is a pediatrician and Ann is a gallery owner. They have two children who die tragically in an auto accident 4 years prior to Chris' own death. "Albert" is the name of Chris and Ann's son who along with their daughter Marie, died 4 years earlier in a car crash. Chris is reunited with them in Summerland but only through eventual discovery. Chris' spirit guide, also named, Albert, looks and sounds like a younger version of the first doctor under whom Chris interned while in medical school (after whom, he named his son) but is eventually revealed to be his own son Albert, who took on the form of the original Albert because it was believed this would make things easier for Chris during his adjustment to afterlife. Marie, having idolized an asian flight attendant whom her father admired while on a trip to Singapore, took on her form (Leona) and eventually revealed to her father that she was really his daughter. Ann's suicide seals her fate in Hell for good. Chris is allowed to rescue her at his own personal risk as in the novel and eventually succeeds (though he nearly fails) but both are required to be reborn on Earth as a result. marbeh raglaim (talk) 18:59, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
- I'm not sure. The common convention is to use square brackets for editorializing, though I have occasionally seen amateur publications use parentheses for that purpose. I think our best bet is to assume it's a verbatim quote, but I could try emailing the guy to find out. marbeh raglaim (talk) 19:49, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
- Alright, I emailed the fellow who runs the webpage, who forwarded his question to Ed Gorman, the interviewer. He said he lost the original copy of the interview, so he isn't sure. On the one hand, he said he wouldn't normally insert a parenthetical comment like that; on the other hand, he said it doesn't sound like something Matheson would say. My suggestion is to keep the quote the way it is, absent any evidence not to. marbeh raglaim (talk) 02:12, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Some new sources that discuss the novel
I've found a few recent nonfiction commentary sources which discuss the novel. They include the following titles:
- The Twilight and Other Zones: The Dark Worlds of Richard Matheson, by Stanley Wiater, Matthew Bradley, and Paul Stuve
- Discovering World Religions at 24 Frames Per Second, by Julien R. Fielding
- H.P. Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror #2, by Marvin Kaye
Using Fielding's book (published in 2008) is a little strange, because I'm pretty strongly convinced that Fielding read the Wikipedia article (written mostly by me), even though he doesn't admit it. Compare the following paragraph of Fielding's with the Wikipedia article's section on the novel's religious influences:
The similarities may seem striking; however, Richard Matheson, the author of What Dreams May Come, has never acknowledged a direct Hindu influence on his work. Matheson was raised a Christian Scientist--a faith he has referred to as "the good religion"--but left it to create his own belief system, which he said, "does not adhere to what has been described as 'Churchianity.'"
Fielding cites the same source I did, a series of articles from Hinduism Today, but the wording and structure of his paragraph resembles my summary quite a bit more than it does the original source.
Yet Fielding includes more details, and he has some valuable information that might be worth adding to the Wikipedia article.