Slumber with a key
Slumber with a key
Charles Broskoski

"The whole preamble is merely to prepare you to realize that your afternoon slumber must last less than the quarter of a second and that perhaps even this exceeds the limit, and that you must resolve the problem of 'sleeping without sleeping' which is the essence of the dialectics of dream, since it is a repose in which walks the equilibrium on the taut and invisible wire which separates sleeping from waking. And this kind of slumber, which is conscious of the fact that it does not even achieve the state of slumber, is called slumber with a key. And I shall give you now one of the most naive and simple ways of practicing it.

In order to make use of the slumber with a key you must seat yourself in a bony armchair with your head titled back and resting on the stretched leather back. Your two hands must hang beyond the arms of the chair, to which your own must be soldered in a supineness of complete relaxation. Your wrists must be held out in space and must have been previously lubricated with oil of aspic. This is intended to facilitate the benumbing of your hands at the moment when slumber approaches, inducing the tingling that is produced when one of your members goes to sleep -- a tingling which is in reality a counterpitch, the physical ants, antidotes of the psychic ones of your redoubtable impatience to paint.

In this posture you must hold a heavy key which you will keep suspended, delicately pressed between the extremities of the tumb and forefinger of your left hand. Under they key you will previously have placed a plate on the floor.

Having made these preparations you will have merely to let yourself be progressively invaded by a serene afternoon sleep, like the spiritual drop of anisette of your soul rising in the cube of sugar in your body. The moment the key drops from your fingers, you may be sure that the noise of its fall on the plate will awaken you, and you may be equally sure that this fugitive moment when you had barely lost consicousness and during which you cannot be assured of having really slept is totally sufficient, inasmuch as not a second more is needed for your whole physical and psychic being to be revived by just the necessary amount of repose. For it is exactly, and neither more nor less, what you needed before undertaking your virtuous afternoon labors. "

-Salvador Dali, 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship