11-22 lecture Gaiman

11-22 lecture Gaiman - Neil Gaiman: the only author were...

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Neil Gaiman: the only author we’re dealing with (other than Hanif Kureishi) who’s still alive --contemporary “star” who moved from cult figure to mainstream --able to navigate between different media; writes lyrics, poems, screenplays, audio plays, children’s books, blogs --I identify with him a little because he was a journalist & rock & roll writer through the 1980s (bio of Duran Duran) --as you probably know, “began”—began his current rise—as a writer of comics and graphic novels -- The Sandman --Book of Dreams --then collaborated on a novel with the fantasy writer Terry Pratchett --& then turned to fiction. Probably best known: American Gods , Anansi Boys ; and of course Coraline , one of his children’s books, which has since become a graphic novel, a film, a musical, and a video game. Neverwhere a lovely illustration of his ability to move between & adapt genres: first written as a 3-hour miniseries for BBC television, and simultaneously (1996) as his first solo novel --later itself adapted as a graphic novel by Mike Carey, and most recently as a stage play Now, I really wanted us to finish up with Neverwhere because it seems to me to be working with so many of the themes about the city that we’ve dealt with throughout the course
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--as with Bowen and Greene, and earlier in a different way with Doyle, we see the city as an uncanny place, full of mystery --as with Woolf, and with Stevenson, we have different kinds of Londons that coexist, unseen or not seen clearly --as with those writers, and Dickens, and in MBL , we have important questions about otherness --as with almost all the writers we’ve read, going back to the beginning, we have the theme of authenticity : where is the real life found? Where can one live it? Where is the source of real meaning? (Notice, that as I mentioned when we talked about Greene, after World War II the country in large part disappears as a fertile element in the British consciousness; the country is a source of tourist revenue, Disneyfied and tricked up, as we saw in those postcards from the 1930s; if British novelists write about the country these days, it’s most often in the form of historical novels that don’t even pretend to connect to the present day—and if they function as escapist nostalgia, it’s largely for American readers, who want to feel, as with tourism, that they are visiting the “real” Britain.) --so the country isn’t present in this story at all, except as a kind of ghost, or as a metaphor: in today’s reading it shows up once, when Door and the Marquis de Carabas are “auditioning” bodyguards at the Floating Market by having them fight each other:
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This note was uploaded on 06/14/2011 for the course ENGL 283 taught by Professor Geiskes during the Fall '08 term at South Carolina.

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11-22 lecture Gaiman - Neil Gaiman: the only author were...

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