Love in the Time of Cholera in India-or-Limerence and Lovesickness

Phantasmagoria of Love -or- The Agony of it All

The International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) receives dreams from around the globe, one man from India has been a regular contributor over a number of years. Perhaps a future dream interpretation will feature a series of his dreams. Suffice it to say he sees himself as a "devout" man. I thank him for his ongoing support. The dream below speaks of "cholera" which can also be viewed from a poetic and rhetorical perspective of lovesickness.

"Love in the Time of Cholera" is a novel written by Gabriel García Márquez about the power of romantic love in the phantasmagoria of forms both light, and "true love" side, and the dark, and depraved "paraphilic" side. "Love in the Time of Cholera" lays bare the emotional pains and psychological trauma of love, which can manifest itself physically in form of a vomiting attack. Love is seen as an psychosomatic illness and disease of "lovesickness". Many dreams sent to the IIDR speak about the perennial psychological problem."

The psychosomatic involuntary symptoms of thoughts, feelings and sensations surrounding love was discussed by Dorothy Tennov in "Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love" using the concept of "limerance". As well, Joy Davidson's "The Agony of it All: The Drive for Excitement and Drama in Woman's Lives" provides a somewhat different perspective to the same psychodramatic problem. Davidson sees melodrama as the appeal to emotions which from a mass media perspective is the psychological basis for popular culture soap operas

Many of the dream interpretations posted at the IIDR website discuss the dramatic variety of dreams of limerance of loving both in its light, and its dark aspects from around the globe. In part, "1001 Nights in the Global Village" represents a continuation of Rousseau's enterprise of "romanticism" making the social problems and the problem of loving found in the world of dream vision "transparent" for you the reader. 

Here is the dream out of his diary, which was dreamt in the 70's; 

Nirmay 65, India "Bachelor" 

"Early morning dream: I am severely undergoing vomiting and loose motion. Some people take me to hospital. I am surprised why do they take me to hospital! It seems I have been attacked by Cholera. The Doctor comes and gives injection. Thereafter I am released from the hospital. Here the dream is off. In reality also I had loose motion and feared about Cholera. But afterwards the condition became normal."

Mr Hagen's Reply: Eros and the Medical Humanities -or- Love is Like Oxygen 

"Love is Like Oxygen" (watch music video) is a song that found expression in a dream that I had in 1978. The lyrics make it clear as to the consequences of psychosomatic privation of the basic need of love; "not enough and you going to die". There are many other songs that talk about the destiny of love, and love's labours lost. The synoptic interpretation "The Magical Musical Mystery Tour" is a tribute to some of the songs and the perennial lyrics about Eros and Psyche, loving and its psychological vicissitudes. 

If love is a poetic disease, then from a metaphoric perspective the organ most effected, is the heart. The "broken heart" becomes poetic lyrical shorthand for emotional pain and suffering caused by divorce, break-up, romantic rejection, and death. Many of the dream interpretations posted at the IIDR speak of the problems of a broken heart, obsessive love, and "The Grotesque Body" (read dream interpretation). From a popular film culture perspective the book "Love in the Time of Cholera" is used as a plot device of Jungian "synchronicity", in the film "Serendipity". There are many durable Hollywood dream factory films of romantic dramatization. The American Film Institute rates the top three films of love and passion, as; 

  1. Casablanca,
  2. Gone With the Wind,
  3. West Side Story.   


Many of the AFI film about love and passion find expression in dream interpretations found at the IIDR website. 

Further Reading:

  • Peter Brooks, "The Melodramatic Imagination"
  • Susan Forward, "Obsessive Love"
All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.