steepholm (steepholm) wrote,


Reading Neil Gaiman's Coraline. It's quite a tour de force, and what I think I like best about it (because it's what I'm interested in at the moment) is NG's attitude to the tradition he's writing in. He's not trying to break the mould, but neither is he slavishly derivative - nor does he try to cover his arse with too many clever-clever tip-offs about the books he's been reading. (Having said which, I'm reading it in conjunction with Lucy Lane Clifford's "The New Mother" and Freud's "The Uncanny", which is very enlightening.) 

Only one point made me a little queasy. A couple of times Coraline realises (courtesy of the narrator) that "Evil can't create: it can only pervert, twist, rearrange, decorate with lacy ribbons, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar." Okay, the ribbons and vinegar are mine, but I did feel I had read this idea repeatedly, recently and often, to the point of its being just a wee bit of a cliche. In fact, isn't there something like this in The Lord of the Rings, possibly with reference to Sauron's creation of the Orcs from debased elven stock? Or perhaps it's standard Christian doctrine - I'm not sure...
Tags: books
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