Stories (Blog 7, 6/15)

Neil Gaiman’s series of graphic novels, collectively known as The Sandman, is a story about telling stories. It’s changed the way I look at stories and view how they can be told. And Neverwhere. Unbelievable. There is no finer pure storyteller living today than him. Don’t read fantasy, some might say. Don’t know who Neil Gaiman is, others might say. Put down the “classics” and get with it.

Hemingway’s greatest story is six words long: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” 

Also we were talking about Red Riding Hood; here’s a funny and interesting twist on the saga (also about stories): This is a MUST watch:

Pictures tell stories also, I guess. I came across this a few months back, and I just love it (Zelda and Link, for the unfamiliar):

It’s gotten to the point in my college career and English pursuits that I’m starting to see deep, resonating meaning in ordinary phrases that are probably meaningless. Just to be clear: this is not a good thing. But I suppose since most of academia resides in a bubble anyway, I might as well roll with it until that blessed day when I recall where I left that giant pin. So, anyway, DQ and Sancho are in the mountain range; DQ composes the letter for his beloved Dulcinea del Toboso, and speaks the words to Sancho:

“By my dear father’s bones!” cried Sancho. “That’s the very finest thing I ever did hear! Damn it all, how well you say everything you want to say, and how well it all suits the signature ‘The Knight of the Sorry Face’! To be sure you’re the devil, there isn’t anything you don’t know!”

“Everything is needed,” replied Don Quixote, “in the profession that I follow.” (217)

Good little English major that I am, I see all sorts of underlying ideas in this exchange. “Everything is needed in the profession that I follow.” He is a Knight, so in his mind DQ must be well-versed in all, but perhaps Cervantes is also referencing writers and artists? In the same way that DQ quotes from books, real and fictional, before every battle, demonstrating his knowledge of this character and that, perhaps the writer is also pointing to himself and saying that in his noble profession he must know everything. Sounds applicable to a writer, no? What’s the saying? All great writers are writing about the process of writing in some way or another in their texts? Maybe he could use a copy of Jahn’s Narratology so that he could properly label what he already knows? DQ Part Three: DQ is visited by Manfred Jahn who tells DQ that he is not a real person, or even a round character, but a hyponarrative. Sweet.

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