I don’t think it’s absurd to identify dreams as one of my great sources of inspiration. The underlying idea of Slant of Light had its origin in a dream (I won’t say “came to me in a dream,” because that sound a little too woo-woo.) I’ve had entire short stories show up as dreams.
At the same time, I’ve always been dubious of people who try to use dreams systematically in their creative work. It’s always seemed to me that dreams are way too messy for that–they are our neurons firing off in semi-random ways, and while the images and associations they create are often striking, they are also often only personal in their significance. I think of the work Yeats created during his “automatic writing” phase….the interest value of those poems comes from Yeats’ poetic skill, not from his being in touch with some deeper level of consciousness that was otherwise inaccessible to him.
I’d be interested to hear what others think of the subject–whether they use dreams, and if so, how.