In Dreams: A Unified Interpretation of Twin Peaks & Other Selected Works of David Lynch, by H Perry Horton (Books 2019, 7)
This is an incredible piece of work, about an incredible body of work.
I don’t recall how I heard about it. I think I saw a tweet, or something, thought it looked interesting, and instantly bought it because it was only a few quid on Kindle. It’s a huge book which tries — successfully, in my mind — to explain how the bulk of David Lynch’s creative works can be considered part of a single story, which Horton refers to as The Dream.
Now obviously Twin Peaks, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and Twin Peaks: The Return are all part of the same story. As are the various spinoff books: Jennifer Lynch’s The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, and Scott Frost’s The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes, from back around the time of the original broadcast; and Mark Frost’s more recent The Secret History of Twin Peaks and Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, which I’ve written about here.
But Horton argues that the whole story gets kicked off in Eraserhead, and that Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr and Inland Empire are side stories related to the main branch. The overall story being about an eternal being, The Dreamer, who dreams reality into existence, and also creates another being, known as Jowday, or Judy, who becomes his adversary. BOB, the possessing spirit of the original Twin Peaks, is a creation of this entity, and the Black and White Lodges are the vanguards in the battle between the two beings.
Sure, on one level it’s just good vs evil, heaven & hell — “just,” I say, as if that wasn’t enough. But the sheer scope of it is astonishing. The eighteen hours of The Return has been hailed as an incredible masterpiece of visual storytelling. But when you include all that I’ve listed above, and three of Lynch’s paintings to boot — it must be one of the greatest — in terms of size, at least — creative works by a single visionary. True, it’s far from being by a single creator, but the vision behind it is solely or primarily Lynch’s, or that of Lynch and Mark Frost.
And even if the connections to the other films are just in Horton’s head (and, to be fair, those of others whose work he acknowledges): the obviously-connected stuff is still amazing, and the current work, Horton’s book that I’m writing about, is something a of a creative triumph itself.
One that is slightly marred by its self-published nature and obvious lack of an editor — there are a lot of typos — but a hugely impressive one nonetheless.
Though obviously it’s only for the very serious Twin Peaks fan.