Fintan O’Toole: Brexit is like having to listen to someone else’s dreams

The epic story of liberation has become mesmerisingly tedious

Jacob Rees-Mogg: “Brexit”, he told the Tory party conference in 2017,  “is Magna Carta . . it’s Waterloo, it’s Agincourt, it’s Crécy. We win all these things”. Photograph: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Jacob Rees-Mogg: “Brexit”, he told the Tory party conference in 2017, “is Magna Carta . . it’s Waterloo, it’s Agincourt, it’s Crécy. We win all these things”. Photograph: Peter Summers/Getty Images

One of the reasons psychoanalysts deserve their fees is that they have to listen to other people’s dreams.

“Tell a dream, lose a reader,” Henry James (allegedly) advised young writers. Vivid dreams are absolutely fascinating to the people who have had them. But once you extract these phantasms from the inside of your head and try to put them into words, they very quickly fade into tedium, like delicate ancient frescoes exposed to light. Or like Brexit.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.