At Night

by Kavan, Anna

A personal secret: I, like many, have long succumbed to seemingly endless bouts of insomnia. It’s not clinical, and I love sleep very much, but I often have a difficult time performing when called on to do so. Bedtime stories don’t help much, because once I find one I’m particularly fond of, I will read all night. Another personal secret: I, Miette, am a bit compulsive with the reading. This could well be clinical, but I’ve never been fond of DSM labels, as we all know.

That said, tales of psychological woe and emotional duress I could read ceaselessly, even rapaciously, with medicative effect. Anna Kavan’s one of the best there is in that regard: an insomniac, a junkie, as depressed as they come, and a master of self-actualisation through language to boot. So I couldn’t sleep again last night and woke up cranky, then read At Night, and no longer felt the hours spent tossing about last night were wasted. I mean, I don’t have it that bad.

“At Night” can be found here, in Asylum Piece, Kavan’s collection of short recollections on her time spent in various asylums.

Hopefully bedtime stories are more effective for you than they are for me. That’s the point, right? Sweet dreams.

Article written by miette

Miette has been podcasting the best of world literature's short fiction since March 2005, when she was just a pup.

2 Responses

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  1. Scoot
    Scoot March 13, 2005 at 3:17 pm |

    Thank you so much for this website and your beautiful readings–I was putting up my own similar wesbite at just about the same time you were introducing this one, it seems. However, I like your voice a lot better than mine! (I’m trying to enlist friends to do some readings for me.) It’s nice to be read to for a while, rather than just read to others (which I love to do, too).

    Thank you, too, for introducing me to Anna Kavan–someone I’ll have to read on the page now!

  2. miette
    miette March 13, 2005 at 11:30 pm |

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

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