5 Famous Books Inspired By Dreams

Everybody dreams, but most of the time our dreams are nothing more than the subconscious mind processing thoughts and feelings from our waking hours. Yet, every so often a creative individual has a vivid dream which inspires them to put pen to paper and create a great work of literature. Below are five examples of famous novels that were inspired by their author’s sleeping mind.


In June of 2003, suburban Arizona mother Stephenie Meyer woke up from an intense dream in which two young lovers were lying together in a meadow, discussing why their love could never work. On her website, Meyers says, “One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A) they were falling in love with each other while B) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately.”

This dream turned out to be the very basis of what would become one of the most popular series in Young Adult fiction of all time. To date, Meyer’s novel has sold 17 million copies worldwide, spent over 91 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and has spawned four subsequent novels and four big budget Hollywood movies.

2 Misery

Stephen King is one of the most prolific and popular writers of our time, so it may surprise you to learn that he came up with plot concepts and graphic images for a few of his novels while sound asleep. In the case of Misery, King describes falling asleep on an airplane and having a dream about a fan kidnapping her favorite author and holding him hostage. When he awoke, King was so anxious to capture the story of his dream that he sat at the airport and frantically wrote the first 40-50 pages of the novel. Misery became a best-seller that inspired a successful movie and earned Kathy Bates, who played deranged fan Annie Wilkes, a Best Actress Academy Award and Golden Globe.

King has been quoted as saying, “I’ve always used dreams the way you’d use mirrors to look at something you couldn’t see head-on, the way that you use a mirror to look at your hair in the back.” He credits his dreams with giving him the concepts for several of his novels and for helping him to solve troublesome moments in the writing of his novel IT as well. (Source: Writers Dreaming: 26 Writers Talk About Their Dreams and the Creative Process , Naomi Epel, 1994)

3 Frankenstein

In 1816, Mary Shelley was just eighteen years old when she spent the summer with her lover (and future husband) Percy Shelley, at Lord Byron’s estate in Switzerland. One night, as they sat around the fire, the conversation turned to the subject of reanimating human bodies using electrical currents. Shelley went to bed that night with images of corpses coming back to life swirling through her head; as she slept, she clearly saw Frankenstein’s monster and imagined the circumstances under which he had been created.

Shelley woke up and began to write a short story about her dream. Later that year her husband, also a writer, encouraged her to expand her story into a full-length novel. She complied, and the great literary masterpiece Frankenstein was published when Shelley was just nineteen. Incidentally, Lord Byron was also inspired by their fireside chat; his resulting work, Vampyre, is considered to be the predecessor of all romantic vampire-human love stories.

4 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Scotsman Robert Louis Stevenson was already a successful writer when he had a dream about a doctor with split personality disorder and woke up gripped by a creative frenzy. Stevenson quickly documented the scenes from his dream and then went on to write a first draft of his novel in less than three days. As was his custom, he allowed his wife to review the draft and, using her suggestions, edited and rewrote sections of the work (allegedly fueled by copious amounts of cocaine). He finished the entire manuscript in an astounding ten days, from the moment he woke up from his dream.

The story of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has withstood the test of time, garnering dozens of stage and screen adaptations to this day.

5 Jonathan Livingston Seagull

In 1959, writer Richard Bach, an avid aviator, heard what he called a “disembodied voice” whisper the title of this novella into his ear. He immediately wrote the first few chapters of the work before running out of inspiration. He shelved the half-finished manuscript and it wasn’t until eight years later, after he had a dream about the now-famous titular seagull, that he was able to complete what is one of the most profound and philosophically-moving novellas ever written.

Bach’s fable was a surprise best-seller, eventually surpassing the hardcover sales record, set by Gone With The Wind. Though both his book and the manner in which it was conceived seem to have a strong connection to psychic phenomenon, Bach believes that good writing is more dependent on hard work than on anything metaphysical. He is quoted as saying, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”

So there you have it – dream big! You never know from whence you’ll get your next flash of inspiration.

New Homes for the Birds

Artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson creates a birdhouse based on Mussolini's Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in King's Wood, in England

Fabulous Images of Dubai Under the Fog

Fog at sunrise in Dubai – photographer Harry Lambert… If you’re down there, on the streets, probably is not so cool, but from this perspective looks amazing! Stunning photos!

Top 10 Greatest Art Crimes

When most people think of art crime, the first few images that come to mind are Pierce Brosnan’s suave smirk in The Thomas Crown Affair, or perhaps the comedic hijinks of Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million. Certainly, in this light, art crime appears seductive and amusing. As a lover of art heist films, I don’t blame anyone for this idealized generalization. But what are the real offences that haunt art world insiders? What are the bad deeds that induce headaches among art professionals and patrons alike?

Below are listed ten forms of art crime, in no particular order (unless you count saving the most scandalous for last). Many of the categories overlap – for example, art forgery is a type of fraud – but each details a certain genre of criminal phenomena, some much more serious and widespread than others. The art market is a massive moneymaking industry, but also one of the least standardized and policed. And now, the darker side of art…

10. Appropriation

Though visual artists have taken inspiration from their creative predecessors since time immemorial, sometimes re-imagining cultural imagery proves too close for comfort for the original author. Some argue that quoting another’s work borders on plagiarism, and violates copyright law; others contend that such references are merely free-speech commentary in the form of parody or homage. Appropriation allegations have plagued pop artists to postmodernists alike, with pesky court cases on the rise due to contemporary art’s preoccupation with depicting pop culture icons, with incorporating mass-produced commodities, and with challenging the concepts of originality and authenticity.
Many a well-known artist – from Andy Warhol to Shepard Fairey to Jeff Koons – has faced such lawsuits, with varying degrees of success. Not all battles are fought in the courts, however. Self-proclaimed “richest artist alive today”, Damien Hirst has been hounded for years by accusations of appropriating ideas, and not all cases have gone to trial. Though some critics have tried to slaughter him in the court of public opinion, Hirst has countered: “Lucky for me, when I went to art school we were a generation where we didn’t have any shame about stealing other people’s ideas. You call it a tribute.” Duly noted.

9 Vandalism

As a fan of (good) graffiti, I won’t be knocking that subset of art here; instead, I’m using the term vandalism to refer to any malicious damage done to works of art in a museum or gallery setting. While rare, vandalism has caused harm to some of art’s most iconic artworks: da Vinci’s famed Mona Lisa has been attacked at least four times, besieged by acid, by rock, by red paint and – I kid you not – by teacup. Rembrandt’s The Night Watch has been slashed with a knife on two occasions (the details of the first being sketchy), and doused with acid on a third; the painting was restored after each incident. Sometimes acts of vandalism have bizarrely sanctimonious motives, such as when Tony Shafrazi spray-painted the message “Kill Lies All” onto Picasso’s Guernica, supposedly as part political protest, part art historical upgrade. Similarly, Alexander Brener argued that his painting of a green dollar sign on Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematisme served as a “dialogue” with the deceased artist.

Perhaps the weirdest case of art sabotage involves so-called “serial art vandal” Hans-Joachim Bohlmann (1937-2009). For a whopping 29 years, Bohlmann intentionally defaced over 50 paintings at public exhibitions. With sulfuric acid as his weapon of choice, and images of faces his target, Bohlmann completely destroyed a Paul Klee artwork, and maimed others by Rembrandt, Rubens and Dürer. The total damage of his criminal career has been estimated to be around 270 million Deutsche Marks, or approximately $180.3 million (in 2010 US dollars). Diagnosed as suffering from a personality disorder, Bohlmann’s various treatments included electric shock, antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, tranquilizers, a lobotomy and, ironically, art therapy. He eventually died of cancer.

8 Improper Care

While not technically a crime, per se, misguided or neglectful object care will cause art restorers, conservators, curators, appraisers and aficionados to bristle in revulsion. Over-cleaning a painting, refinishing an antique desk, exposing an object to too much humidity or an improper temperature: these mistakes can have dire consequences for the appearance and value of an artwork. The issue is muddled, however, by contradictory expert opinions on proper object care, as well as on the state of art conservation today. One camp argues that modern technological and research advances allow us to be more truthful to the artist’s original intentions and style, and that restorers are more careful in their techniques than their predecessors. Opponents retort that works of art are inappropriately handled and treated on a daily basis; as art professor and restorer Mauro Pelliccioli stated back in the 1960s, “Today more art is destroyed than is rescued by restoration. There has been no epoch so dangerous, so catastrophic for painting, as that through which we are passing.”
Bungled conservation practices can, themselves, draw a hefty museum crowd, as seen in the London National Gallery’s 2010 exhibition “Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries.” One of the show’s highlights, Woman at a Window (ca. 1510-30), was revealed, during a 1978 restoration, to have been originally a far…ahem…bustier portrait than assumed. The theory is that nineteenth-century restorers made a few “tasteful” alterations to make the lady more modest and fitting to the decorum of the times; luckily the later specialists were able to easily remove the added layer of paint.

7 Trafficking

The trafficking of art objects refers to the movement and exchange of works. As theft and looting are covered below, here I’ll focus on the transportation and selling of goods after the art has been plundered or stolen. In the Western “market” countries, buyers purchase stolen art – wittingly or unwittingly – from source countries, a practice that until recent decades was almost entirely unregulated. Some statements concerning such trafficking are downright terrifying: art journalist Godfrey Barker has previously claimed that “the illegal trade is 3,000 to 4,000 years old, if not actually older,” and guessed that approximately 98% of antiquities are stolen. While the accuracy of this estimate is unknown, it certainly paints a bleak picture of the world market for cultural artifacts.
Perhaps more frightening are the esteemed reputations of some of the purported culprits; the network of guilty parties can include everyone from museum staff and senior-level curators, to dealers and big-name collectors. Even members of mega auction houses have been accused, including employees of Sotheby’s and Paris’ Hôtel Drouot, where allegations of a trafficking ring led to twelve arrests in December, 2009. Accused art traffickers have consisted of various antiquity dealers, a former president of the National Association of Dealers in Ancient, Oriental and Primitive Art and a Getty Museum curator.

6 Forgery

Ever since art carried demand, people have been passing off works as the production of others. Though one might assume that modern technology and analysis tools would have rendered forgery attempts moot, this is far from the case; oftentimes, such dating and authentication methods are unavailable to potential buyers or dealers, or, conversely, various experts are able to sum up enough evidence to argue both sides, convincingly. In 1996, art historian Thomas Hoving estimated that forged art comprised up to 40% of the art market.

Dalí, Picasso, Matisse and Klee are favored prey, due to the intense popularity of their artworks, and their prolific output. Interestingly, not all forgers strive to wholly mimic a style without fault; they intentionally incorporate anachronisms, hidden messages or flaws that may protect them against future claims of forgery.
Some exposed forgers have been able to profit from their infamy and skill. Several years after being caught, art faker extraordinaire, Thomas Keating – who had claimed to have produced over 2,000 counterfeit paintings in the styles of more than 100 different artists – served as a presenter on British television programs detailing the techniques of old masters. Forgers have been known to earn enough notoriety that their fakes become high-priced collectibles on their own merit. In an amusing twist, art by renowned Vermeer forger Han van Meegeren became so celebrated after his death that his own son produced fakes in his father’s name. These were literally forgeries of forgeries.
Are you intrigued by art forgeries and interested in further investigation? Simply visit the Museum of Art Fakes in Vienna, Austria, an institution that provides proof positive of the mass appeal of faked masterpieces.

5 Fraud

In an industry with (very) poor regulation, and with deals that are often struck on the flimsy basis of personal trust and a sturdy handshake, it is astonishingly easy to get away with slimy scams for years, if not decades. Former New York City gallerist Larry Salander was recently sentenced to a 6 to 18 year prison term for defrauding clients, artists and investors. Believed to total somewhere around $120 million in cost, his tactics included selling unauthorized works, neglecting to inform consigners when a sale had taken place, providing false information to secure loans and retaining payments instead of transmitting them.

Other fraud schemes in the news have included the case of a former Brooklyn Museum payroll manager who embezzled $620,000 by writing phony paychecks and wiring the money directly into his bank account, and that of a head of facilities at Winterthur Museum who spent $128,000 on a company credit card to finance personal purchases of flat screen televisions, computers, a digital camera and ATVs.
Investment fraud has made its way into the auction scene as well, with the personal valuables of Ponzi scheme con man Bernie Madoff, and the art collections of shamed financiers Halsey Minor and Marc Dreier, divvied up by auctioneers or planned for upcoming auctions. With auction houses aggressively competing to showcase these scammers’ ill-gotten spoils, it begs the question of the ethics surrounding the buying of goods that perhaps were purchased with the capital of fraud victims.

4 Theft

At last we come to art heist, the most glamorized form of art crime! It’s also one that is very much prevalent in today’s news articles and blogs, with recent thefts occurring at the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo (with Van Gogh’s Poppy Flowers being the art-napping victim), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Modigliani and Léger taken), and posh private residences such as supermodel Kate Moss’ North London home (three works of art were nabbed, including a Banksy portrait). Art theft from museums, galleries or private collections is not exactly as difficult as Hollywood films make it appear; in fact, such burglaries are often decidedly un-sexy, as crooks easily bypass flawed or nonexistent security systems, or simply schedule the attack during the less-secure, more chaotic periods of time between changing exhibits. Sadly, thieves often do considerable damage to a work of art during the theft, often cutting a painting from a frame or rolling a canvas with delicate paint chips.

It’s an uncomfortable reality that not too much has changed since the worst art heist of the 20th century: the theft, in 1990, of thirteen artworks (including paintings by Degas, Rembrandt, Manet and, the most valuable missing painting today, a $200 million Vermeer) from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The thieves, dressed as police officers, simply knocked on the door of the museum and were able to dupe the few security guards on duty long enough to gain entry.
A remarkable fact regarding the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa is that Pablo Picasso himself was briefly questioned in connection with the missing painting. Scholar Silvia Loreti even alleges, in her essay “The Affair of the Statuettes Re-Examined”, that Picasso likely orchestrated the theft of Iberian statue heads from the Louvre, which were used as inspiration for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).

3 Mass Destruction

Here, I am referring to the large-scale devastation of cultural centers and artifacts for political, religious and/or wartime purposes; looting, which I would argue involves preserving the art to profit from its value, is discussed below. Whether a willful act of an opposing party or the accidental collateral damage of a wayward smart bomb, the demolition of historical monuments, archaeological sites and art institutions is an egregious act that can be felt internationally, not solely in the country owning the affected land. Iconoclasm has a strong presence in the religious histories of the Byzantines, Muslims and Protestant reformers, and was also used for political or revolutionary purposes in ancient Egypt, ancient Rome and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. These are only a handful of innumerable cases.
Unfortunately, mass destruction of art continues to be a very big problem. Art obliterated in the 9/11 attacks included a Louise Nevelson sculpture, a Joan Miró tapestry, a Roy Lichtenstein painting and over 300 works by Auguste Rodin. During the war in Iraq, the American military razed sections of the historical site of Babylon to make room for parking lots, and an insurgent bomb damaged the top floor of the minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra (once the world’s largest mosque).

2 Looting

You can find images memorializing post-war pillaging throughout history, with the conquerors shown carrying the spoils of Persia, Jerusalem, or whatever ransacked realm, on their backs in victory marches. These acts aren’t isolated in the past, however; officials are constantly announcing new repatriation negotiations for artwork looted in the pandemonium of World War II, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Noah Charney’s Art & Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World (2009), the author states that up to 75% of all art crime is in the form of looting and the antiquities trade, which prove profitable in part because, unlike more famous stolen artworks, they can be sold on the open market at their full value. War booty may not always be trafficked to collectors, however, but instead kept as personal souvenirs, as in the case of an Allied veteran who swiped – and later returned – a valuable book he found in Hitler’s Bavarian Alps home.
On a more uplifting note, there are moments in history in which the sense of fear and horror propagated by wartime motivated some of the most inspiring acts of courage. During WWII, individuals known as the “Monuments Men” rallied their efforts to hide and protect the cultural artifacts of Europe from Nazi plundering, and safeguarded the objects in repositories housed in salt mines, castles, villas and even a jail cell. In some cases, administrative staff had very short windows of opportunity in which to catalogue, pack and transport entire museum collections to secret locations. To hear more about the incredible pains civilians and officials took to shelter art, I highly recommend the documentary, The Rape of Europa (2007).

1 Homicide

If you’ve read items 10-2 on this list, it’s quite clear that art has the mysterious power to elicit a wide range of criminal behavior. As art is created, traded, collected and admired by human beings – inherently passionate and fallible creatures – this fact is not terribly surprising. What is a bit startling, however, is the realization that some of art history’s masterminds have been victims, or villains, in some rather horrific personal crimes. Pointing this out is not meant to be particularly insightful about the nature of artists, but rather a simple case of revealing lesser-known tidbits to satisfy any sadistic curiosity about our creative icons.

Many have heard that Caravaggio, who harbored a particularly cantankerous personality, killed a man in a fight and remained a fugitive until his death. Many more may personally recall the attempted murder of Andy Warhol by Valeria Solanas (above), who shot him in his Factory studio, in 1968. Other readers may have forgotten that in the 1980s, minimalist great Carl Andre was tried for the second-degree murder of his wife, Ana Mendieta, who fell 34 floors to her death. While Andre was eventually acquitted, many were suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the fall (was it suicide? an accident? was she pushed?). The most contentious accusation against an artist, and one largely dismissed by art world insiders, involved crime writer Patricia Cornwell’s 2003 publication arguing that English Impressionist Walter Sickert had been a famous serial killer. Which serial killer was he, you ask? None other than Jack the Ripper.

Feminine Beauty

Winnie the Pooh characters are on Drugs

7 signs that Winnie the Pooh characters are on Drugs. Very Funny

It`s Nap Time

yea, we all, sometimes, take a fast nap. We dont do it in train, and we don`t do it this funny

Overload Transport

Powered by Blogger.