What does the quote "Is but a dream within a dream" mean?

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I need to know information about the Quote "Is but a dream within a dream". The history behind it and what it means.

-- Anonymous, March 07, 2002


MANY thinkers reliigions, writers discuss something like this. For Poe in "A TAle of the Ragged Mountains"(about a dream visionary) Poe uses a quote from Sarah Austin's "Fragments from German Prose Writers"(NY 1841) "Novalis errs not in saying we are near waking when we dream that we dream". The theme of illusory certainty, that just when we thought we knew it was a dream we are still trapped in a dream and decived. Or Shelley "Sensitive Plant" "Where nothing is but all things seem, And we the shadows of the dream." In reworking his 1829 poem Poe had also reviewd margaret Fuller "Summer on the Lakes" who uses the same phrase "a dream within a dream." So, avoiding the contemporary Transcendentalist Hindu philosophy, Poe is trying to grasp the impermanence, the desired illusion that it be real and lasting and that the past not fade nor Future be folly for not a single moment stays(Goethe "Faust") but slips away like a dream.

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2002

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