And a Little Child Shall Lead Them
Making sense of Colton Burpo's heavenly vision.
Thomas De Quincey’s “The English Mail-Coach,” an essay that begins as a jaunty paean to the English postal sys- tem and ends in drug-fueled nightmare, appeared, in 1849, in Blackwood’s Magazine. That is to say, a reader picking up the general-interest journal would have plunged into what appeared to be a winking disquisition on mail-coaches only to come, many pages later, to a subheading titled “Dream-Fugue: Founded on the Preceding Theme of Sudden Death,” at which point he would be firmly planted in an opium addict’s waking fever. The mail-coaches of his youth warranted lengthy description, wrote De Quincey, because they “had so large a share in developing the anarchies” of his dreams. Some familiarity with his lived world, in other words, will be necessary for the reader to understand the dream logic
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