Philology in the Bedchamber

Last night in a dream I solved one of those problems that, as that old tease Thomas Browne said, “although puzzling… are not beyond all conjecture,” namely “what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women.”*

The answer that came to me was obvious: Sheila.

Why? In French, Achilles is “Achille.” A little transposition, and voilĂ !

It made perfect sense under dream-logic. Next up, “what song the Syrens sang.”


* Sir Thomas Browne, Hydrotaphia, Urn-Burial, or a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk.

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