Neil Gaiman quotes

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Neil Gaiman

Birthdate: 10. November 1960
Other names: Neil Richard Gaiman

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, nonfiction, audio theatre, and films. His works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book . In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards. Wikipedia

Works

Signal to Noise
Signal to Noise
Neil Gaiman
Anansi Boys
Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman
Neverwhere
Neverwhere
Neil Gaiman
American Gods
Neil Gaiman
The Sandman
Neil Gaiman
Stardust
Neil Gaiman

„Writers may be solitary but they also tend to flock together: they like being solitary together.“

—  Neil Gaiman

Context: Writers may be solitary but they also tend to flock together: they like being solitary together. I knew a lot of writers in London and many of them were award-winning writers and many of them were award-winning, respectable writers. And the trouble with being an award-winning, respectable writer is that you probably are not making a living.
If you write one well-reviewed, well-respected, not bad selling, but not a bestseller list book every three years, which you sell for a whopping 30,000 pounds, that's still going to average out to 10,000 pounds a year and you will make more managing a McDonald's. With overtime you'd probably make more working in a McDonald's. So there were incredibly well-respected, award-winning senior writers who, to make ends meet, were writing film novelizations and TV novelizations under pen names that they were desperately embarrassed about and didn't want anybody to know about.

January magazine interview (2002)

„Hell is something you carry around with you. Not somewhere you go.“

—  Neil Gaiman

Source: Season of Mists (Údobí mlh) ze série Sandman

„Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable.“

—  Neil Gaiman

The character "Rose Walker" in The Sandman #65
Context: Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' or 'how very perceptive' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.

„Fiction is the lie that tells the truth, after all.“

—  Neil Gaiman

Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming (2013)
Context: We writers – and especially writers for children, but all writers – have an obligation to our readers: it's the obligation to write true things, especially important when we are creating tales of people who do not exist in places that never were – to understand that truth is not in what happens but what it tells us about who we are. Fiction is the lie that tells the truth, after all.

„I really don’t know what "I love you" means.
I think it means don’t leave me here alone…“

—  Neil Gaiman

Dark Sonnet

I don’t think that I’ve been in love as such,
although I liked a few folk pretty well.
Love must be vaster than my smiles or touch,
for brave men died and empires rose and fell.
For love, girls follow boys to foreign lands,
and men have followed women into hell.
In plays and poems someone understands,
there’s something makes us more than blood and bone.
And more than biological demands
for me love’s like the wind unseen, unknown.
I see the trees are bending where it’s been.
I know that it leaves wreckage where it’s blown.
I really don’t know what "I love you" means.
I think it means don’t leave me here alone...
Source: báseň Dark Sonnet z knihy Dark Adventures in the Dream Trade

„He said nothing: seldom do those who are silent make mistakes.“

—  Neil Gaiman

Source: Norse Mythology (2017), Chapter 4, “Mimir’s Head and Odin’s Eye” (p. 45)

„Nothing dates harder and faster and more strangely than the future.“

—  Neil Gaiman

"Of Time, and Gully Foyle", Foreword to a 1999 edition of The Stars My Destination (1956)
Context: You can tell when a Hollywood historical film was made by looking at the eye makeup of their leading ladies, and you can tell the date of an old science fiction novel by every word on the page. Nothing dates harder and faster and more strangely than the future.

„The world doesn't have to be like this. Things can be different.“

—  Neil Gaiman

Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming (2013)
Context: You're also finding out something as you read vitally important for making your way in the world. And it's this: The world doesn't have to be like this. Things can be different.

„Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.“

—  Neil Gaiman

Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming (2013)
Context: Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.

„Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.“

—  Neil Gaiman, book American Gods

Source: American Gods (2001), Ch. 3
Context: Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.

„I watched my life as if it were happening to someone else.“

—  Neil Gaiman

William Shakespeare, portrayed as looking back over his career as he finishes writing The Tempest as one of two plays commissioned by Morpheus (aka Dream, aka The Sandman). "The Tempest," issue #75 of The Sandman (1996), collected in The Wake.
Context: Whatever happened to me in my life, happened to me as a writer of plays. I'd fall in love, or fall in lust. And at the height of my passion, I would think, "So this is how it feels," and I would tie it up in pretty words. I watched my life as if it were happening to someone else. My son died. And I was hurt, but I watched my hurt, and even relished it, a little, for now I could write a real death, a true loss. My heart was broken by my dark lady, and I wept, in my room, alone; but while I wept, somewhere inside I smiled. For I knew I could take my broken heart and place it on the stage of The Globe, and make the pit cry tears of their own.

„And, after all, it is always easier to be afraid of something you cannot see.“

—  Neil Gaiman, book Coraline

Coraline (2002)
Context: Coraline shivered. She preferred her other mother to have a location: if she were nowhere, then she could be anywhere. And, after all, it is always easier to be afraid of something you cannot see.

„Everybody has a secret world inside of them.“

—  Neil Gaiman, The Sandman

The Sandman
Context: Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.

„Even the gods cannot change destiny.“

—  Neil Gaiman

Source: Norse Mythology (2017), Chapter 14, “The Death of Balder” (p. 234)

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