Wednesday, April 1, 2009

sleep lillith

Then first I knew what an awful thing it was to be awake in the universe: I WAS, and could not help it!

Out of sleep, my muddy mind comes sharply awake to hear these words whispered in my ear. I hear the rain plunge downward and fear that the roof will crumple. I share the whisperer's realisation, though I am not quite sure why.

I have been listening to some readings of George MacDonald in my MP3 player as I drift off to sleep over the last few days. Lillith, the current story of choice for me. It seems appropriate because of the dreamlike quality of the story. All sorts of bizarre and surreal events occur to our protagonist and my mind follows his journeys, creating a series of lagging, livid sleep images.

I am not used to reading such fanciful work, at least not in the form of a full length novel, and I really struggled to lose myself in 'Phantastes' when I had a go at it last year. So I am enjoying this 'reading' because because I do not have to concentrate on the reading and making sense of words on a page. Somehow in this relaxed form of listening my mind makes the sense out of it. I think it will make my reading of the story richer when I do come to it properly.

Please do head off to and download your very own version of 'Lillith' and have a go at sleep reading. The fellow who reads it has done a tip top job.

But sometimes it is rather frightening,

With a full face she [the moon] rose, and I began to see a little about me. Westward of her, and not far from me, a range of low hills broke the horizon-line: I set out for it.

But what a night I had to pass ere I reached it! The moon seemed to know something, for she stared at me oddly. Her look was indeed icy-cold, but full of interest, or at least curiosity. She was not the same moon I had known on the earth; her face was strange to me, and her light yet stranger. Perhaps it came from an unknown sun! Every time I looked up, I found her staring at me with all her might! At first I was annoyed, as at the rudeness of a fellow creature; but soon I saw or fancied a certain wondering pity in her gaze: why was I out in her night?

Then first I knew what an awful thing it was to be awake in the universe: I WAS, and could not help it!

Extract from Lillith by George MacDonald, etext found at

Also, free audiobook versions of Lillith and other George MacDonald favourites can be found at You can also volunteer to record audiobooks for these guys - something I would love to do when I get some more time!

1 comment:

  1. Soooooo goooooodddddd

    I think I want to read this again...

    The end is beautiful.

    It's all beautiful.. And really scary or unsettling or something.