Michel Jouvet

Science and Dreams Publication date : March 21, 2013

Michel Jouvet is internationally recognised in the neurosciences as the discoverer of ‘paradoxical sleep’, a state that is closely related to dreaming.
He is the author of such highly successful works as Le Château des songes and Le Sommeil et le Rêve (Odile Jacob).

‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on,’ says Prospero in The Tempest. Michel Jouvet, who has dedicated fifty years of his life in elucidating the secrets of sleep and dreams, would seem to have taken Shakespeare’s words literally. In this book, the celebrated neurobiologist looks back on his life with the insight that enabled him to classify sleep states and to identify ‘paradoxical sleep’ as a physiological key to dreaming.
The author gives us a lucid, sometimes caustic, view of his scientific career, beginning with his childhood love of science, the hardships of wartime and his student years, which revealed him as a true scientist. The book covers the frequent journeys of this inveterate traveller before intertwining reality and the imagination in an amazing literary tour de force.
Michel Jouvet’s scientific career is no less amazing: the late awakening of his medical vocation; early work generously supported by the U.S. Army; a visit to the Salk Institute, a Mecca for the neurosciences; his struggles to defend new ideas.

• The publication of Michel Jouvet’s memoirs is a significant scientific and publishing event.
• An incitement to read or reread his earlier successes, Le Château des songes and Le Sommeil et le Rêve (with sales exceeding 80,000 copies).