"white sleep"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Nov 5 04:38:36 UTC 2005

I've arranged Bill's cites with three more I've dug up.  One definition would be, "a light or 'waking' sleep, experienced as either pleasant or troubled, and characterized by semicoherent thought and a semiconscious awareness of sensory stimuli."

Jesse, take note !

1907 William Dean Howells _Shapes that Haunt the Dusk_ (N.Y.: Harper)  35 :  Our theory began far away from that, in what he used to call "white sleep."

1915 D. H. Lawrence _The Rainbow_ (rpt. N.Y.: Modern Library, 2002) 180 : He did not sleep, save for the white sleep when a thin veil is drawn over the mind. It was not sleep. He was awake, and he was not awake. ... For three or four nights he lay alone through the white sleep....

1995  Dale Pendell _Pharmako/Poeia_ (San Francisco: Mercury House) 123 : White sleep. A waking sleep. The pleasures of sleep with enough consciousness to enjoy them."

1997 Jack Erdmann & Larry Kearney _Whiskey's Children_ (rpt. N.Y.: Kensington, 1998) 134 :
A white sleep is when you seem to be asleep but your head is noisy, and crowded.

1999 Rose Tremain _Music and Silence_  (rpt. N.Y.: Washington Square Press, 2001) 417: She has drifted into a white sleep.

2004 Lauren Grodstein _Reproduction is the Flaw of Love_  (N.Y.: Dial, 2004) 98 : And as he drifted in and out of cloudy white sleep, Miller could hear swans honking in the bay.


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