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Jacqueline Roig

'nighstweats': a surrealistic dreamscape. The author invites the reader to "simply approach the soup...", an evocative opening to a world of nightmares, relationships, and conceptual analyses of the human condition.

“Someone interested in both psychoanalysis and dreams would be fascinated by this... The work is disorienting the same way that dreams and nightmares themselves are disorienting. Her images are so evocative and even disturbing that I find myself returning to them hours after reading the work. It’s almost like a book of poetry in that each set-piece (dream) functions as a kind of poem.”
- Carole S., literary critic

“Beautiful and strange and masterfully written...”
- Meredith Hogan, Chicago-based holistic healer & instructor

“The narrator [is] at once tough and vulnerable, hip and hapless, intellectual and naive, savvy and dreamy.”
- Rex Sexton, surrealist painter & novelist

“[She has] an astounding ability to utilize language in the most tantalizing way. [Her] sexuality reminds me much of a Georgia O’Keefe painting.”
- Rich Cronberg, artist

Simply click the image of my book above to be taken to Amazon to purchase. Thank you.

1. Your stories are known to take the reader into a dreamlike state of consciousness. How many stories are based on real dreams?
    All of the dreams were real, as much as dreams are real, and are all mine. The criteria for inclusion in the book were sexual and aggressive repressed material that found its way into my dreams and took a crooked road to my conscious awareness. The entries in the book are depicted by their headings--the capitalized titles representing dreams. The Roman numerals at the start of each section represent a relationship that I refer to as a relational dance. The stories are sequential. The dreams are also somewhat sequential although the telling of them less so. The lower case titles represent poetical renderings of free associations, also surrounding one’s relationship with self and others, mine as well as in general.

2. You are a clinical psychologist in Chicago. To what extent do your clinical and research experiences inform your creative writing?
    My clinical work and my creative work are intertwined. I devote some of my artistic expression to found object assemblage, which basically means I find ordinary objects and juxtapose them in a contained setting that dialogues with viewers. I incorporate text, and the placement of chosen text and objects serves to visually represent the conflicts in human nature. These conflicts are examined in my clinical practice, are part of my own self, and came together in ‘nightsweats’ vis- à-vis powerful images that, in the articulation, formed an outpouring of questions and not-always- satisfying answers.

3. You use pronouns in place of names for your characters. Was this a device to create space between your reader and the material, or bring them closer together?
    I chose to deliberately confound with the style of the book: the grammatical and punctuation departures, the lack of names that might bring clarity to an event that could not be clear by virtue of its dream status, the breathless nature of the writing. The book is meant to elicit the question... Is isolation or connectedness preferred? Is it more frightening to be with someone or alone?

4. Do you have a daily dream journal?
    No, never have.

5. When did you start taking interest and recording your dreams?
    I don’t write down my dreams, and consequently have lost many I was sure I’d remember. The disappearance of those dreams spoke to me about the need to forget them; to me, it meant they clearly were not meant for the book. The book came from my love of writing mixed with the accumulating nightmares that were so present I knew they were screaming to be brought into consciousness, articulated and examined. The idea to share them came later . I was at a crossroads of my own personal journey – an existential crisis of sorts – and the very existence of the dreams were telling me that I needed to explore what was going on for me. I wanted to challenge myself by articulating them – dificult because the material was vague and murky as dreams are, and it seemed so unusual yet necessary to put words to them. It presented a huge personal risk; even though as a psychologist, I know that dreams speak in bent and crooked terms, I also know that they are unique to our own process. The themes seem universal, while the manner in which the content came to me, my own. It was threatening to examine them, let alone publicize them. And the relationship vignettes and poetical renderings were no less important; I felt that the book needed to come together as a combination of daytime and nighttime process. As for the interest in my dreams, they have always been an active and present part of my life. I have always felt like I had a separate, albeit integrated, life that came about at night while I was sleeping – and also just before sleep, when my waking mind would become disoriented and my thoughts disjointed, just before succumbing to sleep. I often dream many times in one night, and can usually remember several or at least one. It depends on the content and my state of readiness, I suppose, to learn from them.

6. Your characters often move through situations where they use, manipulate, or exploit each other in both subtle and obvious ways. Is recurrent theme an aspect of human nature that you are interested in?
    If one compares the dreams to my own conceptual analyses in the book expressed as poetical, and certainly to the relationship vignettes, one can see that the dreams were an extension of my own concerns about myself as a person, as well as others. The motivation and manipulation surrounding relating, that often came out as intrusive, hostile, or worse, tempting, is what plagues us as humans. The desire to hide from our own intentions, to pretend for the sake of social/political relating, and to maneuver around discomfiting situations are present in all of us. We just don’t often look deeply enough into ourselves to find and then acknowledge. It is the most common trouble we are caused, it is inescapable even if we aim to avoid it all, and it is certainly in us all. Yes, it interests me greatly, both as a psychologist and as a thinker.

7. Many of your readers might assume that you write in mysterious or surreal environments? What kind of environments do you work in? (private study, public space, etc.)
    I wrote a bit of the material outside of my home if I felt overcome with thoughts and felt the need to capture it in the moment (based on opportunity of course), but most of it was written in the privacy and seclusion of my home. It’s the same with my art pieces, most of which are encapsulated in boxes. The home is a box of sorts, that contains, can provide a haven, that defines and confines, yet the making of the expressions for public viewing extends it outside of that home. (The metaphor of a box is not lost on me as a female either!)

Copyright © 2008 Jacqueline Roig
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