Henri Bergson was an early 20th century French philosopher of the modernist period. There has been a recent return interest in his philosophical work. Bergson won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1927 for having written The Creative Evolution. Bergson begins this short essay on dreams as follows "Before the dawn of history mankind was engaged in the study of dreaming. The wise man among the ancients was preeminently the interpreter of dreams. The ability to interpret successfully or plausibly was the quickest road to royal favor, as Joseph and Daniel found it to be; failure to give satisfaction in this respect led to banishment from court or death. When a scholar laboriously translates a cuneiform tablet dug up from a Babylonian mound where it has lain buried for five thousand years or more, the chances are that it will turn out either an astrological treatise or a dream book."