rainbow fish and delirium (OTish)

meparks at mtholyoke.edu meparks at mtholyoke.edu
Tue Jul 29 15:53:20 EDT 2003

A few weeks ago, I realized that my local public library (marvelous place, 
that) was in the process of getting Neil Gaiman's _The Sandman_.  I've just 
completed the process of reading most of it.

Now, my first exposure to Gaiman's writing was the poem he wrote about 
Hexwood.  Since then I've read various things. . . I loved _Good Omens_, but 
other than that I haven't been able to get into his work.  There's just 
something there--like a layer of finish over it--that keeps me from feeling it, 
somehow.  I liked _Neverwhere_, but I didn't care about it at all, really.

I cared about the Sandman.  It was a mind-altering read. . . I identified with 
Delirium waaaaay too much. . ..

But I'm so fascinated by the idea of mythic truth.  It's something that seems 
utterly familiar to me, though I'm having trouble thinking of concrete 
examples; I was thinking about gods who require worship for life, and that 
reminded me of Terry Pratchett and DWJ, and though I could place the Pratchett 
as an element of _Small Gods_ (and other things), I couldn't think of an actual 
place in DWJ that quite fit. . . but it still seemed like a concept I was 
familiar with in her work.

Like there's this underlying similarity of belief--it reminds me a bit of Jane 
Yolen, though I'm not sure what of hers (certainly not everything), and a bit 
of a (feminist)(theologian) writer named Carol Christ. . . this confluence of 
myth and truth, and reality over the top of them like a veneer.

So I was just wondering if anyone had some more concrete examples of this--
which I'm not sure I've explained at all, but that's probably for the best--or 
if someone has other words to suggest to describe it before I come up with 
enough right ones and close it off in my mind.


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