Judith's interview

Kyla Tornheim kyla at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Fri Dec 10 09:29:26 EST 2004


On Wed, 8 Dec 2004, Judith Ridge wrote:

> http://www.misrule.com.au/dwj92_1.html

I've been reading through it (it's good and long), and there was one bit
about Hexwood that was so nifty I had to talk about it. (quoted after
spoiler space, in case those, like, three of you who haven't read Hexwood
don't want to be spoiled even a teeny bit)

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On page 4 (http://www.misrule.com.au/dwj92_4.html), DWJ says, talking
about the process of writing: "My very latest book was sitting there, and
it's been sitting there for five years as a sort of indigestible
gelatinous ball, it's collected no end of stuff to the point where I was
really bewildered by it, and I needed the thing that would bring them all
together, the thread that went through the whole narrative, and it so
happened that I was in America, in Minneapolis, and we had one of those
rather curious conversations, you know, the British side versus the
American side, and then there was suddenly a point where we all agreed,
and we looked at one another in bewilderment, and then, again, this friend
that writes horror stories, and for this reason I've dedicated the book to
him, suddenly said, "Oh yes, this is what it is." What we were actually
talking about was the primordial forest, and one of the queer things which
we'd all been talking about was how when you get to England, and you go
into just the tiniest piece of left-over woodland where-ever, with main
roads on either side, the last little nub of Sherwood Forest, somehow you
get lost, even if it's only about half the width of this across, and Neil
said "Yes, because it's being the primordial forest when you get into it."
and this was just what I needed, it was the one uniting fact."

Things I thought were particularly interesting:
1) describing Neil Gaiman as someone who "writes horror stories," as
opposed to just about any other kind of story. I would never have read
anything by him if he'd been described as a horror author.

2) now I know *why* Hexwood in particular was dedicated to him.

3) I feel that that encapsulation of a truth you've always known but never
put into words is one of Neil Gaiman's strengths. I really should have
been taking notes when I read _American Gods_, because this feeling
happened at least two or three times while I was reading the book, but I
don't think I ever want to read it again, as it was a bit too horror-y for
me.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
No great artist ever sees things as they really are.
If he did he would cease to be an artist.
       --Oscar Wilde
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