“Dream’s End,” Henry Kuttner, 1947 — (with C. L. Moore) Dr. Robert Bruno, Chief of Staff in an asylum, attempts to reach Gregson, a patient in a state of deep psychosis. Bruno, a man who must be “certain” before undertaking any experiment, is convinced that the procedure will cure Gregson. However, once the connection to Gregson’s mind is made, Bruno finds himself in a recursive nightmare, where nothing may be “known” with certainty again.
Comments: Read in Perchance to Dream and Detour to Otherness. A story that has been re-told in the genre many times; I’m not certain if this is the first occurrence of the trope. Kuttner was studying to be a psychologist at the time of his death and many of his stories (often written with Moore) deal with themes of madness, psychoanalysis, and reality-bending perceptual defects. These range from the amusing “A Wild Surmise” (1953) to the dark and richly symbolic “Rite of Passage” (1956) or “Home is the Hunter” (1953).
Author: Wikipedia: “Henry Kuttner (April 7, 1915 – February 4, 1958) was an American author of science fiction, fantasy and horror.”