Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Régnier-Bohler, "Imagining the Self," 390; “The state between sleep and wakefulness - called dorveille- accurately reflected medieval concern with the uncertainty of conciousness, the ambiguity of “to be or not to be” Not it is the “state between sleep and wakefulness” not the interval that is being described and this this has nothing to do with Ekirch’s conception of segmented sleep I don’t know why Ekirch has to give such a complex reference for the poem by Edmund Spenser, could he not just have said ‘Spenser in his poem Epithalamion’ here Now ceasse ye damsels your delights forepast; Enough is it, that all the day was youres: Now day is doen, and night is nighing fast: Now bring the Bryde into the brydall boures. Now night is come, now soone her disaray, And in her bed her lay; Lay her in lillies and in violets, And silken courteins over her display, And odourd sheetes, and Arras coverlets. Behold how goodly my faire love does ly In proud humility; Like unto Maia, when as Jove her tooke, In Tempe, lying on the flowry gras, Twixt sleepe and wake, after she weary was, With bathing in the Acidalian brooke. Now it is night, ye damsels may be gon, And leave my love alone, And leave likewise your former lay to sing: The woods no more shal answere, nor your echo ring. Now welcome night, thou night so long expected, That long daies labour doest at last defray, And all my cares, which cruell love collected, Hast sumd in one, and cancelled for aye: Spread thy broad wing over my love and me, That no man may us see, And in thy sable mantle us enwrap, From feare of perrill and foule horror free. Let no false treason seeke us to entrap, Nor any dread disquiet once annoy The safety of our joy: But let the night be calme and quietsome, Without tempestuous storms or sad afray: Lyke as when Jove with fayre Alcmena lay, When he begot the great Tirynthian groome: Or lyke as when he with thy selfe did lie, And begot Majesty. And let the mayds and yongmen cease to sing: Ne let the woods them answer, nor theyr eccho ring. This poem talks of her “In Tempe, lying on the flowry gras, Twixt sleepe and wake” I am not sure that this is a description of a nocturnal activity, and certainly describes the state of being “Twixt sleepe and wake” not the interval Richard Brome, The Northern Lasse (London, 1632) here  Pa. Hold, hold. Pray hold a little Sir. I cry you mercy. I might be mistaken. I see thou art a good Fellow. I have half a dozen for thee faith. S'foot what big words and terrible action he has ! Is this the Bawds language ? Pray pardon me Sir, I have been overwatch'd of late, and knew neither place, person, nor what I said at the instant. Be. Indeed ? Pa. I Sir, 'tis an infirmity I am much troubled withall; a kind of a -----between sleep and waking---- - I know not what to call it. I would give Twenty Nobles to be cured on't. I pray take it not ill Sir, I use any man so, when the fits on me, till they throughly wake me. Be. What, as I did now ? By the ears ? Are you come to your self enough yet ? or shall I help you further, Sir? This passage actually describes the condition “between sleep and waking” as “an infirmity” which would suggest taht it is not a normal state of affairs, especially as he would pay “Twenty Nobles to be cured on't.” The passage also does not seem to be referring to this occurring during sleep rather it being something happening when they are awake Sir William Davenant, The Platonick Lovers (London, 1636); here As other mortals do. Thea. I prithee let's dispute it bashfully. Yet I would learn, is custom grown so bold ? First marry Phylomont, and straight to bed ! Phyl. To bed, that's as you said to sleep ; and then 'Tween sleep and waking, Sir, to touch, as 'twere By chance, not purpose, and so fall into— You guess the rest. Thea. Enough ! I'll hear no more. July 31, 1704, Wodrow, Analecta, 1: 53 Ekirch gives  the wrong date for the quote here  August 22. — This day Robert Dunlop, one of my parishioners, came to me, and tells me, [that] yesternight, when in his bed in a loft, after he had read and prayed as usual, and being betwixt sleeping and waking, and sensible he was in bed, he thought ther was a considerable company of people in the loft; This event occurs as Dunlop is entering sleep and not after ‘first sleep’, it seem to be a description of a hypnagogic event Statement of John Wragg, Old Bailey Sessions Papers, February 23, 1732; here On the 17th of Jan. last, between 2 and 4 in the Morning, I was waked by the barking of my little Black Bitch. I got up and look'd out o'Window. I saw the Glimmering of a Light, but being between sleeping and waking, I thought it might come from my Neighbour the Currier, and that his stirring might disturb the Bitch, and so I went to Bed again.  Note that he was woken by his dog between 2 and 4am, There is no mention of ‘first sleep’. This is an example that challenges Ekirch’s assertions that “Typically, descriptions recounted how an aroused individual had "had," "taken," or "gotten" his or her "first sleep." and that  “the vast weight of surviving evidence indicates that awakening naturally was routine, not the consequence of disturbed or fitful slumber”. Noël Taillepied, Treatise of Ghosts, 97–98. In all ages throughout history has it been recorded that disembodied Spirits have appeared, as well by day as by night, but more often about midnight when a man wakes from his first sleep, and the senses are alert, having taken some rest. Note that despite Ekirch claiming that waking after ‘first sleep was characterised by “confused thoughts” this passage states the exact opposite that “senses are alert”. Also note  that this passage says nothing of contentment contrary to what Ekirch claims.  This passage from the introduction (p. xvii) is also the opposite of what Ekirch states On the other hand there are others who immediately their ears catch the echo of some unaccustomed noise (particularly at night, when it is darkling and hard to see) at once jump to the conclusion that a ghost walks, wherefor they are unable to sleep through horror and amaze, and they grievously torment and stress themselves, panicky and sick at heart owing to their empty dread Dorveille is in fact used to denote a dreamlike semi-conscious state, such as while falling asleep or waking up, between periods of sleep, or from exhaustion; generally with reference to an altered mental state where there is no distinction between the fantastic and the familiar. Most often used in reference to medieval poetry and literature. It has NOTHING to do with the Ekirch’s idea that “For every active intellect following first sleep, there were two others initially neither asleep nor awake. The French called this ambiguous interval of semi-consciousness "dorveille"”  For examples of recent explanations of the phenomena see:- 2009, James J. Paxson, The Poetics of Personification, p. 94 dorveille is a peculiar psychic, physical, and spiritual condition traditionally suffered by the narrator or human protagonist of the allegorical poem. Dorveille can involve the bodily exhaustion that overcomes the narrator at the outset of his text. The classic example is Dante, who, at the opening of Inferno 1, describes himself as pien di sonno – "full of sleep" (line 11). Dorveille can also involve the hypnotic lull and dizziness that overcomes the weary horseman who, as he narrates his poem, suffers from a wandering sense of attention and alertness (French rever). 2008, Emily Francomano Wisdom and Her Lovers in Medieval and Early Modern Hispanic Literature, p. 71 The poetic voice describes how, sleepless with lovesickness, he goes to the chapel, seeking respite. As he meditates there upon the cause of his "passion", he [...] enters into a state of dorveille and has a vision populated with women 2010, Christine de Pizan, David Hult, Debate of the Romance of the Rose, p. 106 the narrator is in a dreamlike state midway between sleep and wakefulness, [...] "dorveille", a state that accentuates the inability to tell whether the events being recounted really happened or not. 2011, Robert Moss, Active Dreaming: Journeying Beyond Self-Limitation to a Life of Wild Freedom, pp. 21, 47 Among indigenous and early peoples, the liminal state of dorveille (sleep-wake) is a time when you might stir and share dreams with whoever is available. [...] Sometimes a whole poem or song is delivered within a dream or in that fluid in-between zone of sleep-wake, dorveille. 2000, Anne Marie D'Arcy, Wisdom and the Grail, p. 90 [Lancelot] has witnessed the miraculous cure of his fellow knight, but he understands nothing of what he has seen in his somnolent dorveille BACK
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