The Dream Collector | Fascinating Art Historical Fiction from R.w.Meek

The Dream Collector:
Sabrine & Vincent van Gogh
by R.w. Meek

Sabrine, hospitalized for five years at the infamous Salpêtrière Asylum for Women, gains her release due to intervention of her sister Julie Forette and a young Sigmund Freud. The reunited sisters are introduced to the dazzling art milieu of 1886 Paris, and soon become close friends to the leading Impressionists. Sabrine attracts a cult following as a poetess, the enigmatic “Haiku Princess.” Seemingly cured by Freud of her Grand Hysteria, Sabrine soon enters into a tumultuous relationship with Vincent van Gogh.
Julie and Sigmund Freud, alarmed by the eerie parallels between the emotionally volatile couple and their self-destructive impulses, begin an urgent search to discover the root causes for Sabrine and Vincent’s growing psychoses. Julie, ‘The Dream Collector’ seeks their most unforgettable dream for Freud’s interpretation and revelations occur.
The Dream Collector is an exploration of the psychological consequences of betrayal, abandonment–and the redemptive power of art.
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Enjoy an Excerpt:
“Gifts for Christmas
NO PROMISED correspondence from Vincent, until two weeks into the new year a letter arrived from the asylum.

January 12, 1890
Dear Mademoiselle Forette,
Duty requires me to inform you that Monsieur van Gogh had another mental disturbance. Happening on Christmas morning, while painting. I was assigned to accompany him, and to be truthful, feeling glum as I wished to be with my mother and sisters on such a holy day. He set up his canvas on a ridge at our nearby ravine. Him painting the cliffs, caves and river below for near an hour until he turned to me with a worrisome look.
“I do not know where I am,” he said.
Forgetting his whereabouts greatly upset him. He dropped the paintbrush, his palette slipped from his hand, and he grew agitated as to what he should do? I grabbed him, I believe in the nick of time, as he stepped closer to the edge, surely ready to fall headlong into the ravine. It would have been a treacherous tumble, I can tell you, and certain death.
Maybe the Saint of Strength came to my aid on such a holy morning, for Monsieur van Gogh fought and struggled but I held firm, not letting him get an inch closer to the edge. Thank all the saints I know, as Monsieur Vincent finally gave up his battle with me, his wish to jump, he going weak in the knees, so I  could bring him, half-drag him back to Saint Paul’s.
Monsieur Trabuc, a charitable man, did all he could to help me get the patient put in his room. But Mademoiselle, as soon as we relax our grip, he runs, we follow, he scrambling like a Marseilles crab fleeing the pot and bolts into his painting room, pushing everything heavy he can find to block the door. Me and Monsieur Trabuc heave together at the door until there’s just enough space to squeeze my way inside.
There’s our Monsieur, a sight! Paint smeared all over his mug, as guilty looking as if we caught him eating a rhubarb pie. And will you believe, Mademoiselle, he’s got a bunch of paint tubes he’s starting to squeeze into his mouth. I’m thinking fast, that stuff is sure poison, but I can’t be hurting his painting hand so I boxer punch him one hard across the chin. He’s out for the count. I set to getting the mess from out of his mouth with my own hand, then Monsieur Trabuc and me take him down to the tubs, plopping him in the water. Ice cold it is, but those who know better say it takes the fire out of their heads.
He calmed down, but for the next five days he did a lot of talking to himself, or to somebody, maybe the Good Lord. Dr. Peyron calls it “de-men-sha.”
Yours in faith,
Jean Francois Poulet
P.S.  He does sob, on occasion, something terrible. Whether sense and peace of mind will return to Monsieur Vincent, I do not know and cannot say, but I pray to my mother’s special saints that he will recover.

R.w. Meek has a Master’s degree in Art History from the American University in Washington, D.C., his areas of expertise are Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, with a particular interest in Vincent van Gogh.
His first novel The Dream Collector “Sabrine & Sigmund Freud” was voted runner-up by the Historical Fiction Company for best novel of 2022.
Born in Baltimore, he currently resides with his wife Pamela in Santa Clarita, California. He’s passionate about art, cinema, literature and jazz. His two dogs, Reve and Banjo, were awarded angelic status in heaven.
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