Neil Gaiman on Discovering the Author in Narnia (and a note on beards)

I love this little clip by Neil Gaiman about “the book that made me an author.” While Gaiman is one of the most important fantasy authors of our age and a great reader in his own right, there is a perception that he resists C.S. Lewis. This might be because they have a different worldview, or have different audiences (except perhaps in The Graveyard Book or Coraline), or because of his infamous short story, “The Problem Of Susan.”

And yet, I think we can see the true appreciation in this lovely moment:

“It was the first time I ever realized that somebody was really writing this stuff. He would do things like parenthetical asides, put these things in brackets. And I could go, ‘there’s somebody here. There’s an author. He’s doing this!’”

There is also an important note about beards. I hope you enjoy this piece!

And here, Neil Gaiman goes a little deeper:

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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7 Responses to Neil Gaiman on Discovering the Author in Narnia (and a note on beards)

  1. Steve says:

    Concerning “the problem of Susan” see The problem of Susan — growing up?


  2. dtrichards says:

    Interesting thing that the asides spoke to Neil. The asides were part of Lewis’s writing style, and was quite a common feature of children’s literature of the day. I personally prefer the happy, delightful tone of Tolkien’s The Hobbit over his more serious style in his other books.

    Liked by 1 person

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