The Sandman: I wanted to love it entirely and I did warm to it quite a bit. Then somehow I got caught up in the idea that Morpheus is a cypher for Neil Gaiman specifically (in an aging backwards way) but also for authors generally. I laid out my argument: Morpheus creates worlds and characters and destroys them – so do authors. Morpheus abandons his work (circumstances force him to) and so do writers. Morpheus returns to his work and finds it not as good as he thought, and oh so do writers. He thinks he can improve upon past work and yeah, so do writers.
I carefully considered how main characters as symbolic authors isn’t a new idea, but a preoccupation of some writers to the point of a trope. Steven Moffat comes to mind as a writer inhabiting his characters to tell stories about writing stories. And I was all ready to defend this idea in hundreds of words about The Sandman for episodes 1-10 when I saw episode 11. GRRRGHHHH. Firstly, I was mystified and then harrowed by the cat story and I don’t want to dwell on it. And then, and then, of course The Sandman leapt straight into a story about an actual writer, which quite frankly ruins my efforts at esoteric symbolic sub-textual analysis by becoming annoyingly very loud and blatant text. Then it turns out this narrative of course is the age old story where a man takes the work of a woman he calls his muse and she suffers for it, the source of creation and inspiration itself with none of the glory. This idea is as old as the Greek muses themselves. Even Socrates claimed his greatest teachers were women Diotima and Aspasia, who some claim were one and the same but who really knows because it’s not like their records are preserved as well as the records of the men they taught. Hey ho.
So, I’ve written this instead.
If I could find it, I’d link to a fascinating story about Carolyn Cassady, artist, and founder of the Beat Generation, a group mainly remembered as a bunch of men and these days, by one poem and one book. The article and Cassady had interesting notions about the role and function of the muse in creation and I’d develop these ideas further but even as Cassady’s story notes, no one remembers the muse even when an artist’s entire work is dedicated to her. Even academics studying Cassady confused her with the partner of one of the other members. I mean. Come on.
In conclusion, I should remark about how dreams have the power to rewrite reality (pun deliberate) but if you don’t want to go there, I’ll apologise. Because, if we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended, that you have but slumbered here, while these visions did appear, and this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream. Gentles, do not reprehend: if you pardon, we will mend. Or not. Most likely not. Til next time.
Steady as she goes, the 2022 writing update:
- Rejections: 146
- Pending: 24
- Acceptances by publisher: 23
- Acceptances by work: 33
- Published: 31