Receiving "The True Name" : reading Lilith as a mystical dream-vision.




Sloan, Alathea.

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George MacDonald’s penultimate novel, Lilith, has puzzled readers and critics alike with its strange symbolism and seemingly chaotic dreams. One’s comprehension of the novel ultimately hinges upon the right interpretation of dreams. Those who ignore or gloss over the dream sequence as a mere plot device completely miss the point of the novel, while those who view the chaotic nature of the dreams as a weakness of the plot fail to recognize not only the intentionality of the chaos, but also the structure the dreams provide for understanding the unitive heart of the novel. Reading Lilith as a mystical dream-vision not only provides the reader an historical context with which to interpret the text, but also maintains the hope clearly evident in the novel’s conclusion by recognizing the true anagogical sense and purpose of the dreams.



MacDonald, George, 1824-1905. -- Criticism and interpretation., Christian literature, English -- Criticism and interpretation.