‘Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams’ by Sylvia Plath

‘Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams’ is a delirious short story, about the nine to five job of “a dream connoisseur. Not a dream-stopper, a dream-explainer… but an unsordid collector of dreams,” a rogue secretary, who devotes her spare-time “to none other than Johnny Panic himself.”  Set in a psychiatric clinic, this darkly comic, oneiric and well-pitched tale, delves into the secretary’s dream records, her capture by the Clinic director and concludes with a terrible finale, featuring Johnny Panic himself, “the air crackling with his blue-tongued lightning-haloed angels.”

Written 1958; first published posthumously in Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, Faber and Faber, 1977

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