It seems to me that there are two kinds of true horror. There is the absolute relentlessness of the real that is felt through the built-up realms of rationality. However, there is another type of true horror, the one that escape from this rationality and belong to the domain of dream. No need here to dissociate dreams and nightmares as this terminology is only specified retrospectively when the dream is over and that rationality is reactivated.
Dream and its generator, the unconscious were both the raw material and the object of the Surrealist work. In 1929 the young Luis Bunuel with Salvador Dali created a beautiful 15 min film, Un Chien Andalou, that was exploring this notion of dream as the irrational sequence of irrational -and therefore terrifying- events created by the unconscious of one person. This uniqueness of the person who dreams is actually interested to observe here as this film has two authors. As Gilles Deleuze points out in his lecture at the FEMIS in May 1987 (cf previous article), if you fall into the dream of another person, you are screwed-up. Here, Deleuze speaks more about the dream as an enunciated desire, than the dream as an experience in which the unconscious has all power. However, we can argue that both of these definitions of the dreams are in fact creating a unique one that celebrates the victory of the unconscious over the real. Deleuze therefore advices against the imposition of the surreal on the real as the dream needs to use the whole power of the real in order to implement itself in it.
Dreams are true horror as it does not incorporate any exit. They are the ultimate labyrinth that I believe is being described in Kafka’s work as I wrote in my hypothesis that The Trial has not been well reconstituted by Max Brod and is actually a post-mortem dream. In this hypothesis, I argued that death’s time is out of the real and therefore is “lived” as an infinite dream in which only the unconscious remains. Dream, in this regard, is a moment of death and Un Chien Andalou, a vision of death.
Watch the movie after the break: