Dreams, Vietnam

“If ever you find yourself wondering about what Joyce meant when Stephen Dedalus said he was trying to wake from the “nightmare of history,” you can begin with this book.”              

Fred Marchant, author of The Looking Glass

“This book is a rare gift. Using a spare style that startles with its directness, Marc Levy transforms the dreams of almost forty years into what often feel like surreal prose poems, with disturbingly realistic details of war juxtaposed with domestic details of childhood and civilian life. There’s emotional and moral complexity here: the dreamer stabs someone and dresses his wounds; he kills and he dies; he feels shame and rage, and he weeps. Profound thanks to Marc Levy for sharing these powerful, intimate dreams, reminding us: how deep are the wounds of war.”

Martha Collins, editor-a-large, Field

“As far as I know, this is the first instance in which a large number of dreams from a war veteran suffering from PTSD has been made available in print to everyone…As such, this remarkable dream journal is a gift to all of us for what it conveys about the horrors of war and the agony of PTSD…There could be no better starting point for developing a neurocognitive theory of dreaming that might help to reduce human suffering than the dream journal you are about to read.”

G. William Domhoff, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor University of California, Santa Cruz

“These short dream sequences, spare, bound by their own internal logic, could provide material for scripts for a hundred movies.  We enter worlds where a civilization located on a distant planet is committing mass suicide; , where boys play a desperate game of cowboys and Indians in which all the cowboys are named “Redman.” Even the famed Vietnamese writer, Bao Ninh, makes an appearance. Those who…have known their own wars may recognize moments from their own dreams, moments when a squad struggles waiting for ammo to arrive; when a doctor reaches behind a wall and hands his patient a toy gun with plastic bullets; when a local playground from childhood is transformed into a battleground.  At points it is difficult to tell which world is more real.  The past waits always in ambush.  Every landscape is a potential warscape.  There is no way out. Levy knows this. Here, he lifts his head for a moment and offers us his small book of dreams.  We are all the better for it.”

Kevin Bowen,  former Director, William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Its Social Consequences, U Mass, Boston

“Marc Levy, in these sharply recorded actual dreams, reveals with high intensity the war he has spent his whole life trying to make sense of.  These pieces are a heroic integration of a first rate mind.”   

Doug Anderson, author of Keep Your Head Down