Record Details

Catalog Search

The oracle of night : the history and science of dreams / Sidarta Ribeiro ; translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn.

Ribeiro, Sidarta, (author.). Hahn, Daniel, (translator.). Ribeiro, Sidarta. Translation of: Oráculo da noite. (Added Author).


"What is a dream? Why do we dream? How do our bodies and minds use dreams? These questions are the starting point for this unprecedented, astonishing study of the role and significance of dreams, from the beginning of human history. It is an investigation on the grand scale, encompassing literature, anthropology, religion, and science, one that articulates the essential place dreams occupy in human culture, and how they functioned as the catalyst that compelled us to transform our earthly habitat into a human world. From the earliest cave paintings--where the author finds a key to humankind's first dreams and how they contributed to our capacity to perceive past and future, and to conceive the existence of "souls" and "spirits"--to cutting-edge scientific research, Ribeiro arrives at startling and revolutionary conclusions about the role of dreams in human existence and evolution. He explores the advances that contemporary neuroscience, biochemistry and psychology have made into the connections between sleep, dreams, and learning. He explains what dreams have taught us about the neural basis of memory and the transformation of memory in recall. And he makes clear that the earliest insight into dreams as oracular has been confirmed by contemporary research. Accessible, authoritative, and fascinating from first to last, The Oracle of Night gives us a wholly new way to understand this most basic of human experiences"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781524746902
  • ISBN: 1524746908
  • Physical Description: x, 466 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First American edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2021]

Content descriptions

General Note:
Originally published in Brazil as O oráculo da noite : A história e a ciência do sonho by Companhia das Letras, São Paulo, in 2019.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Why do we dream? -- The ancestral dream -- From living gods to psychoanalysis -- Unique dreams and typical dreams -- First images -- The evolution of dreaming -- The biochemistry of dreams -- Madness is a dream one dreams alone -- Sleeping and remembering -- The reverberation of memories -- Genes and memes -- Sleeping to create -- REM sleep isn't dreaming -- Desires, emotions, and nightmares -- The probabilistic oracle -- Missing the dead, and the inner world of culture -- Does dreaming have a future? -- Dreaming and destiny -- Epilogue.
Subject: Dreams.
Dreams > Physiological aspects.
Dreams > History.
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Neuroscience.
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Neuroscience & Cognitive Neuropsychology.
PSYCHOLOGY / Neuropsychology.
Dreams > Physiological aspects.
Genre: Instructional and educational works.
Instructional and educational works.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library 612.821 RIB (Text) 000163721 Nonfiction Available -

Additional Resources