Saturday, October 29, 2016

book read

Neil Gaiman, The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (William Morrow)

Essays and talks on the importance of libraries, the meaning of fantasy, on prose writers and comics and movies. Includes his Mythcon Guest of Honor speech, which is about his childhood discoveries of Lewis, Tolkien, and Chesterton, and what their individual characteristics as writers meant to him as an aspiring writer.

Here are the two shorter of my three favorite anecdotes from this book.
Shortly after [Stardust] was published, I wound up defending it to a journalist who had loved my previous novel, Neverwhere, particularly its social allegories. He had turned Stardust upside down and shaken it, looking for social allegories, and found absolutely nothing of any good purpose.
"What's it for?" he had asked, which is not a question you expect to be asked when you write fiction for a living.
"It's a fairy tale," I told him. "It's like an ice cream. It's to make you feel happy when you finish it." (p. 428)

I was six years old and my father mentioned that, in America, there was a Batman TV series. I asked what this was, and was told it was a series about a man who fought crime while dressed as a bat. My only experience of bats at this point was cricket bats, and I wondered how someone could convincingly dress as one of those. (p. 263)
The third is on p. 60-62. Read this book. It's good.

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