Fellini’s Libro dei sogni

Fellini, Federico, 1920-1993. Libro dei sogni a cura di Tullio Kezich e Vittorio Boarini; con una testimonianza di Vincenzo Mollica. Milano: Rizzoli, 2007.
Art History/Classics New Books f PN1998.3.F45 A3 2007 Library Use Only

Libro dei sogni by Federico Fellini comprises the exact facsimile reproduction of two of his sketchbooks. In them, Fellini, encouraged by the Jungian analyst Ernst Bernhard, took to annotating and illustrating his dreams. The first book comprises approximately 245 pages and covers the period from November 30, 1960 to August 2, 1968. The second, of 154 pages, covers the period from February 1973 until the end of 1982 – twenty-two years, added to which are various separate pages and some notes dated 1990.

The two tomes bound in one therefore embrace three decades. The gap of four and a half years between the two books (with the exception of one or two loose leaves) is a mystery. Some believe that Fellini abandoned the annotation of his dreams in those years while others are convinced of the existence of another sketchbook which was possibly unthinkingly lent to an American scholar or simply lost during a move. In addition to the almost 400 pages which form the two sketchbooks there are a number of facsimiles of miscellaneous sketches offered as gifts for publication in various journals. The miscellany of surreal and mysterious ideas, irrealizable fantasies and precognitions gives us a privileged insight into Fellini’s contemplation of his interior world.

The handsome folio also includes a transcription of the manuscript description interspersed with the sketch or sketches of each dream, arranged by page numbers and including a small reproduction of the relative dream, and the transcription of the text of the published dreams. The volume opens with introductory texts by the editors and a testimony by Vincenzo Mollica on Fellini’s opinion of these dreams, which he considered as strip cartoons waiting for development which formed, in his own words, “all my art, all my cinema." The work concludes with an index of names of Fellini’s films and of the personages mentioned in his dreams.