inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #0 of 61: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Mon 5 Feb 07 11:20
    
It's my great pleasure to once again welcome our next guests to Inkwell.vue.

Neil Gaiman makes things up and writes them down. He has won Hugo,
Nebula, Bram Stoker, World Fantasy, Mythopoeic and Locus awards, along
with others that he can't think of right now offhand. He has a website
over at <http://www.neilgaiman.com> . He's been wandering onto The WELL
and answering questions when a new book comes out for about eight years
and rather enjoys it. He has children and cats, but less than he used
to have as both children and cats move away...

Elise Matthesen, known as lioness on The WELL, takes great delight in
arranging and connecting beads, metal, words and music. For her day job,
she builds one-of-a-kind named necklaces and other adornments that some
people call "narrative jewelry."  She used to be a journalist; these days
she asks nosy questions for her own enjoyment.

So glad to have you here, Neil and Elise! I look forward to this
conversation.
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #1 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Mon 5 Feb 07 17:19
    
Hi, Neil! How are things today in the makin' stuff up business?

The cover of Fragile Things says "short fictions and wonders." Good phrase,
that; handy, and it expands to fit almost any form. Also, it won't scare off
people who might be nervous about finding the occasional poem and suchlike
amongst the stories, while for those of us who seek out the fierce and funny
and mysterious stuff you do with poems, it's just simple accuracy. However,
is this going to lead to the need for additional shelving if the category of
wonders catches on?

The first time we hung out here, not quite seven years ago, you had just
written Stardust and then Sandman: The Dream Hunters, and you were working
on American Gods and on Coraline, and planning to plant giant pumpkins.
Does your house still want to be Gormenghast when it grows up?
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #2 of 61: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 6 Feb 07 20:02
    
Hullo Elise...

the house keeps growing. I've stopped it growing outward,though, and
right now it's growing inward -- I'm turning an old bedroom into an
upstairs library, just replaced the upstairs 120 year old windows for
ones that will keep out the cold (it's minus 7 outside, because it just
warmed up a bit).

I never really succeeded in growing the giantest of giant pumpkins;
you need a singlemindedness and to be there the whole summer, and I
never did both. But I grew some small giant pumpkins that were bigger
than biggest normal pumpkins.

It doesn't seem that long ago, seven years...

I was pretty satisfied with Fragile Things. I think it should
proabably have been shorter, but I'm not 100% certain what I would have
left out, as every story is someone's best bit of the book.
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #3 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Tue 6 Feb 07 20:08
    
When I was looking at all the goodies in the book and trying to figure
out where to start with questions, it suddenly occurred to me that
there was a useful tool upstairs in the Velvet Room among the stack of
Tarot decks, so I went up and grabbed the Vertigo Tarot and pulled a
card. (Have you done an interview by Tarot before? Rachel Pollack will
be quite tickled, I expect.) Here's the card the questions that bits of
Rachel's text about the card brought to mind:


King of Swords - "We do not see any focal points or center for the
lines, as if the world of the King is bigger than we can visualize."

Is the inner world of a story too big to get onto the page? (You
compare the tension between the thing in your imagination and the thing
that comes out on the page to cooking, in the introduction to Fragile
Things, so maybe it's what ingredients are on hand and whether
something else in your imagination already ate the eggs.)

"The lines, however, imply that any laws here are the laws of the
mind, of abstract geometric thought, maybe the inner laws of creation."

"Inner laws of creation" makes me think of your set of instructions
for what to do when you find yourself in a fairy tale. Where did you
write that one? Any of those instructions particularly pertinent
lately?


"One eye is half closed, distorting his vision."

Dude, you know which one of your characters that brings to mind. It
was a treat to read the novella at the end of Fragile Things and find
out a little of what's been happening since American Gods. Has Shadow
heard anything from Wednesday lately?


"A powerful personality and intellect, someone in a position of
authority."

Are you getting cited as an authority? (And if so, do you get to pick
what you're an authority on, or is it thrust upon you? And do they cite
you accurately?)

"Someone who has fought many battles in life."

Have you? Fought many battles in life, I mean. You've fought one or
two about art and business, yah? What does fighting do to the work and
to you?
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #4 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Tue 6 Feb 07 20:23
    
(If anybody hasn't seen the Vertigo Tarot yet, there are some images
and a review here: 
<http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/vertigo/index.shtml>.  Neil wrote the
introduction for the book that goes with it.)
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #5 of 61: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 6 Feb 07 21:08
    
"Is the inner world of a story too big to get onto the page?" 

All stories are too big to get onto the page, if they're good stories.
Just like the world is too big to get onto the page. But you can
sketch and scratch it, and show bits that imply the whole. You can let
the reader put it together in her mind.


"Inner laws of creation" makes me think of your set of instructions
for what to do when you find yourself in a fairy tale. Where did you
write that one? Any of those instructions particularly pertinent
lately?

I don't remember where I wrote it (in the basement? on the road?). I
remember the feeling I had in my head before I wrote it, a sort of
bubbling conviction that there was something there and that the tone of
voice, flat and simple, would carry me through. Trust your story.

"...Dude, you know which one of your characters that brings to mind.
Itwas a treat to read the novella at the end of Fragile Things and
findout a little of what's been happening since American Gods. Has
Shadow heard anything from Wednesday lately?"

Poor Shadow. He needs a much more workmanlike author than me. I want
to write a clutch of novellas about him in the UK, and then I want to
take him back to America, some years on, to learn things and to get
into deeper trouble. And look at me, not writing them.



"Are you getting cited as an authority? (And if so, do you get to pick
what you're an authority on, or is it thrust upon you? And do they
cite you accurately?)"

Yes. No. Sometimes.

"Someone who has fought many battles in life."

"Have you? Fought many battles in life, I mean. You've fought one or
two about art and business, yah? What does fighting do to the work and
to you?"

I don't like it much. It takes energy and time away from the important
stuff like work and family. (My guess was that the McFarlane legal
case probably left me one book behind. And I won the case, but would
rather have had the book.)
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #6 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Tue 6 Feb 07 21:19
    
Sort of like a bizarre changeling story, where they come and take away
a book and leave you this legal case win in its place....
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #7 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Tue 6 Feb 07 22:37
    
Next card: The Hierophant -- Morpheus, from "The Sandman"  
Rachel says, "Morpheus, also called the Sandman, Dream, and the Lord
of Dreams, is the very image of a High Priest.  Like a High Priest,
Morpheus does not so much act in his comic as preside over it. Often,
he will not even appear for several issues, and yet his presence
pervades the story. [...]  In many Tarot decks, the Hierophant
represents orthodox spirituality.  By contrast, Morpheus has seen all
religions come and go. He knows them as special dreams, and so can lead
us beyond specific teachings to the strangeness and beauty of sacred
experience. [...]  Divinatory meanings: [...] Gaining wisdom or
knowledge from dreams."

You got the title of the collection from a dream. Though sort of
roundabout, what with some musicians holding onto the whole long phrase
and giving it back to you later, wasn't it? How did they get it from
you, anyhow?

As for Morpheus himself, it sounds like Absolute Sandman is going
well.  There was a note last November from Dreamhaven Books on their
Official Neil Gaiman Online Store news page at
<http://www.neilgaiman.net/news-home.php> that said, "Neil stopped in
today and signed lots of books. Including a quarter-ton of Absolute
Sandman Vol. 1. We kid you not." Yikes!

(I can see why a person would prefer readings to signings on tour, but
it's nice there's still a way to get signed books when one really
wants them.)

Regarding religions, hmm. Oh, yes.  I've got to tell you that my
absolute favorite story in the whole book is "In the End."  (And the
note you put in the Introduction about the Yeti just makes it better.)
What was Strange Kaddish?

And "the strangeness and beauty of sacred experience" means I should
ask you to describe a meal you had with Poppy Z. Brite.
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #8 of 61: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 7 Feb 07 06:45
    
It was a band called ONE RING ZERO, who decided to make an album with
words by authors (called "As Smart As We Are" taken from a Jonathan
Latham song about cockroaches). My favourite song was Daniel Handler's
"Radio". I sent them my words, which were dreamed (actually from two
different dreams, with a few lines at the end written while awake to
sort of tie them together).

Elizabeth at DreamHaven says I'm well on my way to half a ton now. But
that has a lot to do with how extremely heavy the Absolute Sandman is.

I'm pleased you like "In the End" -- Strange Kaddish was a short
anthology by Clifford Meth. I forget whether it was meant to be Jewish
authors or Jewish themes. Either way, the Book of Genesis seemed like a
good place to start (or finish).

You know, my favourite meal with Poppy is one we haven't had yet --
not the amazing Melbourne meal, or the amazing New Orleans meals --
because she has told me we are next going to meet in Chicago and eat
strangely scientific food next -- molecular SF food made with liquid
nitrogen and test tubes and things. It may not be sacred, but it is
guaranteed to be strange.
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #9 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Wed 7 Feb 07 10:46
    
Strength - Black Orchid  (Leo)
"Black Orchid is an outgrowth of the plant world, a defender of the
Green and its secrets.  She uses the power of perfume, a very gentle
kind of strength indeed, to soothe humans, and to command them to serve
her.  [...] Strength in this modern Tarot does not promise any
ultimate solutions or happy endings...."

Back in 1988 you did Black Orchid with Dave McKean and Todd Klein. Was
that the first time you worked with each of them? What has working
with them given you?

Why Black Orchid?

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's new collection of perfume oils based on
your work is a fundraiser for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Isn't
Elizabeth brilliant? I'm trying to decide between Mr. Nancy, Mr.
Jacquel, and Mr. Ibis, at the moment. Your remark that there are
Stardust ones in the works means that decisions are soon to get even
more difficult. Maybe I could just ask Maddy to pick for me, pretty
please with lemon-scented sticky bats on top.  

[Memo to self: find out if a link to the tale of the lemon-scented
sticky bat in our inkwell interview seven years ago will work here, or
if a person needs to join The WELL to read all the inkwell interviews
past.]

Anyhow, will there be more? Is there a Shadow scent in the works? Are
you and yours testing out a treasure hoard of BPAL goodies? Most of
all: will there be a Fabulous Lorraine BPAL offering? 

[OK, that was complete BPAL fangirl squee. Ahem. Right. Composure.]

You said something a while back about happy endings in various sorts
of stories (Sandman, Stardust, and Sandman: The Dream Hunters, I think
it was) and what different stories -- or different forms, maybe -- will
and will not permit or require. In your stories for children, and in
their adaptations to theatrical and movie forms, what things can and
can't you do with endings? 
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #10 of 61: Keeper of Rat Gravy (notshakespeare) Wed 7 Feb 07 10:48
    
[All of inkwell is viewable from outside, so a fully qualified URL
will work.]
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #11 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Wed 7 Feb 07 19:46
    
Oh, good.  The lemon-scented sticky bat story is here:
<inkwell.vue.73.174>
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #12 of 61: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 7 Feb 07 22:04
    
No, I did Violent Cases with Dave McKean first. But Black Orchid was
my first encounter with Todd Klein, a working relationship I've loved.
And which continues. (As does my working relationship with Dave.
Hurrah.)

Why Black Orchid? Because she was the only DC comics character I could
name, no matter how obscure, that didn't have someone already working
a revamp.

Beth at BPAL is wonderful. She's done a number of Stardust scents,
which were Maddy's favourites. We need Terry Pratchett's permission on
the Good Omens scents she wants to do, and I need to check the various
merchandising positions on the other ones. But we're only limited by
her imagination, which seems pretty limitless. As for Lorrraine --
dunno. These days she and Malena do their own products...

I keep trying, and I can't think of anything I wouldn't do in the
ending of a book for a child that I also wouldn't do in a book for an
adult. It all seems to come down to respect. 
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #13 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Thu 8 Feb 07 09:31
    
Nine of Wands  "Nine is the last single digit.  Therefore,
numerologists often describe Nine as the completion of a process. 
Howeer, as we saw with the Four, Fire energy does not go well with
ideas such as completion, finality, structure.  Fire prefers freedom
and the idea of a new beginning.  In this clever use of the nine Wands,
we see eight of them forming a kindof simplified bos, or cage.  The
ninth reaches beyond this confinement to draw a trail of light across
the sky. [...]  Divinatory meanings:  Firm action, release, purity of
purpose.  A single action or piece of knowledge which changes a
situation dramatically, especially in the direction of liberation."

When you completed Fragile Things, what did you do next? Are there
things you usually do to mark the completion of a book or another
project?

How about beginnings? How do you start things? 

Do you in fact prefer "freedom and the idea of a new beginning?

"A trail of light across the sky" makes me think of Stardust.  What's
currently going on with Stardust?

Work-wise, which things that you've let go of have led to liberation?
Has releasing something led to something new, something you couldn't
have imagined until you were out of the old structure?

"A single action or piece of knowledge which changes a situation
dramatically" is part of a writer's stock-in-trade, to be revealed to
the reader at the right moment. You've read many things aloud on tour,
and sometimes you've said you didn't know certain pieces were going to
work when read aloud. What happens that tells you something did work?

There are cages in one of the stories in Fragile Things, and
imprisonment has been part of the history of a number of your
characters. 
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #14 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Thu 8 Feb 07 11:47
    
[Sorry about being such a typo festival there; I pasted in the
un-cleaned-up version of the questions. Gotta watch that.]
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #15 of 61: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Fri 9 Feb 07 18:37
    
When you completed Fragile Things, what did you do next? Are there
things you usually do to mark the completion of a book or another
project?


With novels, I normally celebrate in some way because I know when
they're done. With other things -- comics, short story collections,
illustrated children's books, movies, theatre and so forth -- I'm never
sure when they're done, and almost never celebrate. You're assembling
and deciding and making choices up tot he point of publication, and
then you're up to your neck in promotion.


How about beginnings? How do you start things? 

I put it off for too long, I circle round them, then I edge over and
strike up a conversation, rather nervously.

Do you in fact prefer "freedom and the idea of a new beginning?

"A trail of light across the sky" makes me think of Stardust.  What's
currently going on with Stardust?

It's been turned into a movie. It's not my baby any longer. It's as if
my baby grew up and started hanging around with some people I don't
know, and now I'm just waiting to see if it will make a success of its
adventures or not. I keep my fingers crossed.

Work-wise, which things that you've let go of have led to liberation?
Has releasing something led to something new, something you couldn't
have imagined until you were out of the old structure?


The biggest one was ten years ago, when I stopped writing monthly
comics. It's enormously liberating not to be always on deadline. (It
has a downside: Dave Sim was telling me that he, who wrote and drew his
twenty odd pages a month every month, has, in three years, almost
finished twenty two pages.)

"A single action or piece of knowledge which changes a situation
dramatically" is part of a writer's stock-in-trade, to be revealed to
the reader at the right moment. You've read many things aloud on tour,
and sometimes you've said you didn't know certain pieces were going to
work when read aloud. What happens that tells you something did work?


The audience reaction. That's what takes you from "That was
interesting" to "Wow. That was amazing! They liked that one."

But the experience of reading something is very different to having it
read to you. the poem "The Day The Saucers Came" gets a very different
response when I read it aloud. People discover that it's funny, and
that it's meant to be funny.


There are cages in one of the stories in Fragile Things, and
imprisonment has been part of the history of a number of your
characters. 

There are! It has!

It's metaphorical and it's literal, too. 
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #16 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Fri 9 Feb 07 19:07
    
*grin*
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #17 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Fri 9 Feb 07 19:42
    
...and speaking of beginnings, two cards fell out here, and the first
one was the Fool. (The second one was the Five of Cups.)

The Fool - John Constantine - "Think of the Major Arcana as a comic
book story. [....]  This is the story of the Major Arcana, and the Fool
is its hero.  [...] Divinatory meanings: Wildness, taking risks.  Some
kind of leap of faith. [...]"

Have you fooled around much with Tarot cards? What do you think of the
Fool? (For that matter, how do you feel about heroes?) Which of your
characters make good Fools, stepping off that cliff, with or without
their faithful dog right behind?

What's the biggest leap of faith you've taken?  

Five of Cups - "The theme of loss becomes much more specific here. 
[...]  We see writing at the top right of the card.  In contrast to the
Three, the writing is clear, if ornate.  It may symbolize the ability
of consciousness -- or art -- to understand, and therefore accept,
painful loss."

What did you find out about loss from the books that you loved when
you were little? 

And when you wrote "The Problem of Susan," you were coming back from a
bout of meningitis. You said, "It was some months before I could think
clearly enough to write, and this was the first piece of fiction I
attempted.  It was like learning to walk all over again." That's a
pretty fierce story to write as a first thing back, and loss is one of
the many things it dances with. How do you feel about the Narnia books
since writing that? Any interesting conversations come of it? 
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #18 of 61: Life Is Easy When Considered From Another Point Of View (dam) Sat 10 Feb 07 05:41
    
Neil, first time I've been around while you are here and I just want to
thank you for all the weirdness you have brought into my life over the
years!
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #19 of 61: streaming irreverent commentary (pauli) Sat 10 Feb 07 12:01
    
I'll echo dam's thoughts and tell you how much I enjoy your writing.  I'm
hoping that QPB gets my copy of Fragile Things here in time to take with me
on a trip next week.  I'm also enjoying the discussion here.
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #20 of 61: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Sat 10 Feb 07 20:55
    
ave you fooled around much with Tarot cards? What do you think of the
Fool? (For that matter, how do you feel about heroes?) Which of your
characters make good Fools, stepping off that cliff, with or without
their faithful dog right behind?

No, never really fooled around with Tarot cards. Always been impressed
with my friends who do. And as for fools, you pays your money and you
takes your choice. Most stories start with someone stepping off the
cliff, and end with the world... (I did a reading of the unabridged
NEVERWHERE recently, and Richard Mayhew is, of course...)


What's the biggest leap of faith you've taken?  

I think it was when I started as a writer, convinced I could support
myself with my pen, with little evidence other than faith.


What did you find out about loss from the books that you loved when
you were little? 

Only a little. The best thing about losing things and people in books
was that when you started reading the books from the beginning, they
always came back.



And when you wrote "The Problem of Susan," you were coming back from a
bout of meningitis. You said, "It was some months before I could think
clearly enough to write, and this was the first piece of fiction I
attempted.  It was like learning to walk all over again." That's a
pretty fierce story to write as a first thing back, and loss is one of
the many things it dances with. How do you feel about the Narnia books
since writing that? Any interesting conversations come of it? 


I read it at the Mythopoeic Convention, figuring that if it and I
survived that, it was probably a real story. Very few interesting
conversations -- I've seen a few interesting academic papers on it,
though. It falls a long way short of the story I had in my head when I
started to write it, but I like that it irritates, and gets under
people's skin.

Dam and Pauli -- thanks so much.
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #21 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Sat 10 Feb 07 23:19
    
Two of Wands - "[...] The flame burns brightly against the rough
background. The hand from above points its Wand down to a dark pool, so
that the flame changes to rings of golden light. Balance is more
important than symmetry, more alive, more real. [...]  We see that same
balance between the Magician and the High Priestess -- will and the
unconscious, fire and water. [...]"

I've heard or read tales from you and various friends of walking
through places in London late at night, talking and talking. Tell me
about one of those times. (Extra points if it involves Lenny Henry
and/or a fruit machine.)

Why does talk late at night burn so brightly in the mind? (Not really
an interview question, that; I've just always been bemused by this.)

In whatever you're working on now, what balancing act is being
required of you?

When you are working with someone (Dave McKean, or any of the other
folks), do you balance each other? Do you divvy up fire and water, or
does each of you do everything? 
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #22 of 61: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Mon 12 Feb 07 08:44
    
Elise, this is far and away the strangest and most magically random
interview I have ever done. 

Let's see ... I can't do late night Lenny Henry, because mostly late
at night Lenny's either on tour or at home. But I could do you someone
that almost rhymes, and put fruit machines in there, and a dead friend.

The party was I think for either PJ O Rourke or Tama Janowitz, and I
think it was PJ O'Rourke -- every Pan publishing party of that vintage
took place in the same room upstairs in the Groucho Club, anyway -- and
when the party ended I wandered downstairs with the publicists and Roz
Kaveney and a lady named Maria who was then the books editor of Time
Out. We carried on talking and drinking, and when the Groucho closed we
moved, shedding a few people as we did so, to another club, and then
to another, and finally it was just me and Maria wandering the streets
of Soho, still talking, and Maria (who in five years would lose her
job, and twenty years later, her life, both mostly from booze)
desperate for that last final drink.

We were in the unpromising area at the top of Wardour Street, and I
blinked, and realised that I was standing next to a door I recognised.
My friend Dave Dickson had taken me there, years before. A downstairs
bar, semi-secret. Lemmy from Motorhead had been down there, playing the
fruit machines.

I knocked on the door. A suspicious face looked out. "Can we have a
drink?" I asked. "I don't know what you're talking about," said the
man, impassively. "Er..." I thought about mentioning Dave Dickson, but
didn't think it would work. "We're friends of Lemmy's," I said. 

"You should of said," he told me. "He's downstairs waiting for you."

And we went downstairs. Lemmy was still on the fruit machines, as he
had been two years before. I sidled over to him. "Er, just used your
name to get in," I said. "Good on yer," said Lemmy. And Maria got her
drink.

I never found it again -- never looked for it -- although I am certain
that if I was ever drunk enough and in Soho late at night, it would be
there waiting. And Lemmy, wherever he really was int he world or out
of it, would be down there playing the fruit machines.

And late night talk does burn brightly in the mind. Neverwhere came
out of a late night talk with the late Richard Evans, in Glasgow at
Eastercon in 1986, where I started rambling on about "Magic City"
books, like Winter's Tale or Free, Live Free, in which the city was as
much a character as any person in the book, and saying that someone
should do it for London. (Richard said "Why don't you" and I fumfed and
told him he should find a real writer and commission one, or
something.)

Dave McKean and I are fire and water, yes. We don't even think the
same. But most good collaborations, the ones that make you want to do
it again, are -- you enjoy each others work and you couldn't do it
yourself. (Good Omens might have been an exception to that, as Terry or
I could have written the whole thing. It wouldn't have been the same
book, but both of us could have done it.)
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #23 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Mon 12 Feb 07 08:55
    
"Elise, this is far and away the strangest and most magically random
interview I have ever done."

*curtsies*
*cracks up giggling*
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #24 of 61: R.U. Sirius (rusirius) Mon 12 Feb 07 09:44
    


Hi Neil.  Thanks for coming on my show back when to talk about this
very book, and since I still pay my WELL bill I feel entitled to hyping
the interview...  here:
http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2006/10/04/neil-gaiman-has-lost-his-clothes/

and here: http://www.rusiriusradio.com/2006/10/03/show-68-neil-gaiman/


But aside from that, I recently came across a posting somewhere that
said that your name was on a list of famous people who are part of the
Church of Scientology.  I'm having enough cognitive disonnance in this
area trying to fit Beck into that picture...  Should I say, "Say it
ain't so?" or is it none of my business or what?

thanx
RU
  
inkwell.vue.292 : Neil Gaiman, "Fragile Things"
permalink #25 of 61: Elise Matthesen (lioness) Mon 12 Feb 07 10:38
    
Ace of Swords - "The suit of Swords belongs to the element of Air,
which is related to thinking. Therefore the Sword symbolizes a clear
mind, originality, analysis. [...] So the Sword in Tarot also
represents conflict and pain.  At the same time, the association with
battle gives it the quality of courage. The Sword here reaches up from
a dark night to stormy clouds.  Fire below the clouds gives them a
reddish tinge.  All these images establish the suit as something harsh
and painful, themes we will see later in such cards as the Three, the
Five, and the Nine.  But we also get a sense here of courage, and the
willingness to confront reality.  The Sword is shown clearly, not
blurred like the cup.  This signifies the difference between thinking
and feeling. [...] Divinatory meanings -- Courage, strong emotion,
thinking things through very clearly, facing conflict or pain
honestly."

You said earlier in the interview, "I keep trying, and I can't think
of anything I wouldn't do in the ending of a book for a child that I
also wouldn't do in a book for an adult. It all seems to come down to
respect."  Is respect partly about facing conflict or pain honestly?
What would disrespect look like? 

Some of Emma Bull's characters said something related to this. An
artist is talking to his engineer during a recording session about the
take they have just done:
-----------------------------------
"Did you like it?" Chrysander said.
"Yes," said the engineer.
"Why?"
"You're a cruel bastard," muttered Vere.  But Chrysander continued to
watch her.  "Because it sounds like a really ugly story told in a
really beautiful way."
"Ah," said Chrysander.  It didn't sound like what was in his head. 
But the idea seemed to have come across.
-----------------------------------

Has it been that way for you sometimes?

And what of the differences between thinking and feeling, and the uses
of each in the work you do?
  

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