If you haven't already secured a copy of Neil Gaiman's new non-fiction collection, The View from the Cheap Seats, please do so at this time. It's Neil Gaiman. It's non-fiction. It's full of musings, stories, and insights on everything from The Bride of Frankenstein to Tori Amos to SimCity. And if that's not enough to get you reading, here are some great Neil Gaiman quotes from The View from the Cheap Seats.
If you've read Neil Gaiman before, you probably love him for his strange and otherworldly creations. You might think immediately of his perky goth-girl personification of Death from Sandman, or his epic of modern mythology, American Gods. You probably haven't read too much of his nonfiction. You might even feel a little wary about peeking into Neil Gaiman's brain without the protection of fictional characters. But let me reassure you that The View from the Cheap Seats is just as strange and inspiring as any of Gaiman's fiction. It's stuffed with personal essays on love and loss, tributes to other great authors, and behind-the-scenes goodies on the process of writing.
And if you've never read Neil Gaiman before... well, I'll let him speak for himself. Check out these quotes, and see if they don't inspire you to rush out at snag a copy of The View from the Cheap Seats right away:
1. Once upon a time, back when animals spoke and rivers sang and every quest was worth going on, back when dragons still roared and maidens were beautiful and an honest young man with a good heart and a great deal of luck could always wind up with a princess and half the kingdom—back then fairy tales were for adults.
2. Sometimes you return to a book and find that it’s better than you remembered, better than you had hoped: all the things that you had loved were still there, but that it’s even more packed with things that you appreciate. It’s deeper, cleaner, wiser.
3. Go where your obsessions take you. Write the things you must. Draw the things you must.
4. We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story.
5. I believe that it is difficult to kill an idea because ideas are invisible and contagious, and they move fast.
6. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.
7. Myths are compost. They begin as religions, the most deeply held of beliefs, or as the stories that accrete to religions as they grow… And then, as the religions fall into disuse, or the stories cease to be seen as the literal truth, they become myths. And the myths compost down to dirt, and become a fertile ground for other stories and tales which blossom like wildflowers.
8. I decide this is what Twitter is for: keeping you company when you’re all alone on the mezzanine.
9. Read the books: sometimes you can catch sight of us in there. We look like gods and fools and bards and queens, singing worlds into existence, conjuring something from nothing, juggling words into all the patterns of night.
10. Our word tragedy comes from the Greek tragos-oide: “the song of the goat.” Anybody who has ever heard a goat attempt to sing will know why.
11. Writers and artists are like sharks: when we stop moving we die. (I got that piece of information from reading Jaws at a young age. I have no idea whether it’s true that sharks die when they stop, or go into reverse, but I now believe it utterly, just as I know that double-bass music signals a shark attack.)
12. Go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.
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