Quote of the Day

Neil Gaiman is on a plane all his own. Nobody in his field is better than this. No one has as much range, depth, and command of narrative. Gaiman is a master, and his vast, roomy stories, filled with every possible shade of feeling, are unlike anyone else's. If this isn't literature, nothing is.

- PETER STRAUB, on Neil Gaiman's in The Sandman: Brief Lives (Canada, USA, Europe).

6 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

Gaiman really doesn't need anymore publicity. He's a good writer, but I think he's overhyped.

Nathan said...

I don't think stylstically Gaiman is "great literature". Being in that category requires innovation and talent that he either doesn't display or doesn't care to. His novels are great, but they are written with bestselling fiction prose, and as such, do not really qualify as "great literature".

Mark said...

Straub's quote uses "literature" and not "great literature". If we use the simple definition of literature as the art of written works, then Gaiman's work qualifies as literature. Denying greatness because his prose is "bestselling fiction prose" is an odd point. Look at Charles Dickens, who wrote his novels as serial posts to magazines, which is how many authors of his day got published. I'd guess that was bestselling fiction prose back in the day.

Art is in the eye of the beholder. I love Hemingway's sparseness and gag on Joyce. Both of the those authors are long gone, but their work still lingers in our hearts and minds. Will Gaiman's work still be a part of our lives in a 100 years?

Adam Whitehead said...

Straub wasn't talking about Gaiman's novels because, at the time the Brief Lives collection came out, Gaiman was still many years from releasing his first novel. He's talking about his writing in the comic field, and in reference to SANDMAN in particular.

Agreed that Gaiman's work in novels, although enjoyable and accomplished, does not stand massively out from the pack. His work in comics and graphic novels, however, does.

Tonya said...

Well, I agree with the quote. Gaiman's work got me interested again in fantasy when I was feeling discouraged that everything seemed to be a rehash of tired old storylines with shiny new covers. His stuff is fresh and funny.

Nathan said...

Mark, good points! I love Hemingway and Joyce. But neither wrote in standard pop fiction prose. Did Dickens? I'm not sure I know enough about the era to know that. Food for thought.

Never seen his comics, perhaps I spoke too soon. He's definitely a good storyteller, and in that regard, standards out from the pack.