The responses to my observations about anxiety dreams got me thinking about Willard Van Orman Quine, Erik Erikson, and Calypso. What, you might ask, could the connection possibly be? It is like this:
Erikson, somewhere [I think in Childhood and Society], observes that people have styles in dreaming. Some people always dream in Technicolor, others dream in Black and White. Some folks have cluttered dreams, filled with all manner of dream elements, as psychoanalysts call them; others have very spare dreams, with only a few elements. This does seem to be a matter of style -- those who dream in Technicolor, for example, will do so whether the feeling tone of the dream is anxiety, erotic desire, anger, or simple curiosity.
Inasmuch as I graduated from Harvard in 1953 after taking one undergraduate and two graduate logic courses with Quine, I naturally was reminded by Erikson's observation of a line in Quine's elegant little collection, From a Logical Point of View, which was published that year. In the lead essay, "On What There Is," Quine describes himself at one point as having a "taste for desert landscapes" -- a fact, he suggests, that inclines him to spare ontologies.
Quine, all of us students knew, had rather eclectic cultural tastes, and so it was obvious where he had found the title for his book. The source was a Calypso song made popular by the young Harry Belafonte whose refrain is "So from a logical point of view/Always marry a woman uglier than you." I recall thinking that this was a really nifty choice of a title.