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A Novel by Robert N. Lawson

January 20th, 2010

The bridge of dreams–the phrase reverberates–

Suggesting flights of spirit, or of mind,
Transcending all that’s physical, that waits,
Along with poor mortality, behind.
To pass beyond the sense of time and place,
To find pure Being in infinity,
To contemplate the Godhead, see the face
Of all that’s faceless, all we cannot see,
Become as one with nothing, and with all,
Embracing past and future in a breath.
And if the world you left behind should call,
Respond with cosmic laughter, saying, “Death,
You have no power over me, it seems,
For I’ve escaped. I’ve crossed the bridge of dreams.”

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Background music (c) Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Robert Lawson’s Bridge of Dreams is a companion volume to his earlier book of sonnets. Each of the novel’s chapters opens with an original sonnet and a title referring to a well-known work of  literature, classical to modern. Covering a wide range of emotional, geographic and chronological territory, the novel traces the early and mid-life history of Jack, the ever-observant narrator, as his life is impacted by the powerful women who enter it.

The novel in its entirety is a celebration of culture and the richness of the interaction between the individual spirit and the artifacts of culture. Each chapter finds its themes framed, identified, altered and sometimes ironically commented upon by the plays and stories integrated into the plot. For instance, Betty – a student of Jack’s – first come to his attention, and ours, in the play Pygmalion, when it seems for a short while that Jack may be able to direct and shape Betty’s life to his liking.

The novel presents a mural of American life in the rich middle years of the American century, from 1955 to 1975. It is an accurate and evocative re-viewing of the several jarring eras that were compacted into that time frame.


Doug Goheen: Readers well-versed in American, European, and Japanese literature will appreciate the numerous allusions throughout.


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