15 October 2007

The purpose of a fairy tale

Found a link on BookSlut to an article in The Guardian by Neil Gaiman on writing fairy tales:

The book came out, first in illustrated and then in unillustrated form. There seemed to be a general consensus that it was the most inconsequential of my novels. Fantasy fans, for example, wanted it to be an epic, which it took enormous pleasure in not being. Shortly after it was published, I wound up defending it to a journalist who had loved my previous novel, Neverwhere, particularly its social allegories. He had turned Stardust upside down and shaken it, looking for social allegories, and found absolutely nothing of any good purpose.

"What's it for?" he had asked, which is not a question you expect to be asked when you write fiction for a living.

"It's a fairytale," I told him. "It's like an ice cream. It's to make you feel happy when you finish it."

I haven't read Stardust, but any book, described by it's author as 'like ice cream' is deliciously tempting. The entire article here.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Stardust was a lovely book!