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Old Yesterday, 04:50 PM   #461
Mr Mo
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Re: Warty's Sandman FR - Fables & Reflections

I don't remember this particular one-off very well, so i don't have a lot to offer. Without your commentary, i wouldn't have remembered it anywhere near as well as i do now.

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Originally Posted by Warthawg1 View Post
Another story, handed down from generation to generation.
NG definitely has a healthy respect for oral tradition. It's not something he harps upon often, but it's something i like about him.

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Is Morpheus keeping an eye on this adventure through Matthew?
I think i remember wondering the same thing myself. I also thought maybe Matthew himself had some interest in the story. I don't think that Morpheus literally sees through other being's eyes, like a wizard/familiar kind of thing, but it wouldn't have surprised me if he was using agents like Matthew who would then report back to him.

Another thing that i found interesting about Matthew and Morpheus was that it vaguely echoed Odin with his two great ravens, Huginn and Muninn (sp?). Iirc, the names of Odin's ravens are the ancient Norse words for thought and memory. It seemed a bit diminished by seeing Odin in Season of Mists, but not entirely discounted. I've never found a way to tie it all together, perhaps there isn't one, but it's interesting, and it ties directly into...

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Originally Posted by Warthawg1 View Post
Trees that walked the night. Another reference to our Ents from another story. I like how there are common themes that run through independently sourced stories.
One of my favorite things about Sandman is how its overarching mythology incorporates so many other "real-world" mythologies. The Norse stories were some of my favorites as a child, and i've always found Norse mythology more interesting than Greco-Roman or even Egyptian mythology. I've found precious few authors who pay significant homage to the Norse and are also enjoyable to read; NG is definitely tops in that small field imo.

Of course, the reference to trees that walk the night might be a nod to Tolkien, but it might just as well be a nod to some deeper source material. Tolkien didn't create his own tales out of whole cloth, as so many people like to believe. Nearly every creature in Middle-Earth was borrowed from older tales, and i was once told by an English professor that the Lord of the Rings trilogy itself is loosely based upon Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle. Which brings us back around to old Norse tales.

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Librarian... he isn't named but that is Lucien so the book must belong to Morpheus. Is it important what book it is? How it came to be there?
I don't recall the answers to your questions, but i'm sure that both Morpheus and Lucien want that library to be complete. Librarians are notoriously fussy about that sort of thing.

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I'm pretty damn sure GRRM stole things from Gaiman.
[...]
You shouldn't trust the story teller though... damn liars, every one of them.
Well, Gaiman stole from all over the place to put this story together, so it only seems fair that others have the right to take some of his material to enrich their own. All authors and story-tellers are not only liars, they're also all thieves.

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So he finds the princess... and her name is Natasha.. is that a nod to another comic character?
That's a nice idea. I had thought at the time that it might have been a reference to Anastasia.

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Great ending... "Grandfather?"
Isn't it cool when fairy tales turn into horror stories? Supposedly it went the other way centuries ago, when the fairy tale collectors like the Grimm brothers changed all the old stories to give them happy endings. I think it might even be referenced somewhere in Sandman that stories like Little Red Riding Hood had originally had unhappy endings.

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The teller eventually became the story. I suppose that is one thing I draw from this. There is more... the importance of the story isn't always known to us right away, but all of the stories are significant in some way.
That's a great thing to take away from this story. Sometimes things that seem insignificant at one time can loom large at another time.

____

Great summary overall, still loving the hell out of this thread, and thanks again for doing it.
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Old Yesterday, 07:55 PM   #462
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Re: Warty's Sandman FR - Fables & Reflections

August

The months of this story. Thermidor, now August although by the setting I am imagining this is Augustus Caeser more-so than a time of the year. Interesting side note. Unless I am mistaken, dwarves were often story tellers in Rome, either through acting or narration.

It appears this one is as well as I see upon turning the page.

Taking the street as beggars will provide a unique perspective. Is that the motivation here?

One thing I often notice is the difference between illustrators, and here the background is light and vague. It conveys a sense of loneliness for Augustus.. Sometimes the lack of colour is as dramatic as its inclusion.

Actors are not liked by Caius... Liars.. all of them, not unlike writers.. just different ways of telling stories. Funny how he hates those pretending to be that which they are not... as he pretends to be someone he isn't.

True words about humanities propensity to follow those we call leaders... blindly. People who know no more than those they lead, but have the boldness to step forward and take the role.

A future chosen by Augustus. A dream brought to him by the shaper, and another moment in history explained by Mr. Gaiman.

There he was allowed to plot the fall of the Roman empire.. the future he chose after the abuse he suffered at the hands of Julius Caeser. He broke down an empire because of the way he was broke down by the God he worshipped. What Julius wanted so badly for Rome, Augustus destroyed. I also liked in the stark coldness of the backgrounds how his memories were all shown in degrees of black and darkness, as they should have been.. as he remembered.

The raven being Aristeas of Marmora is of some note... especially with the ascribed relationship with the Library of Alexandria.. the loss of the stories contained within being one of histories greatest tragedies as so many answers to ancient mysteries were there. I think of Lucien and Dream's library.
I like the comparison here of thinking about Aristeas, the library of Alexandria and the answers that were lost at the same time Gaiman is providing answers for great events in more recent time.

It's all just clever as $@!+, isn't it?

One thing though... this was a story as told to us by an actor.. a story teller.. liars all of them, so do we trust him as a reliable narrator?


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Old Today, 12:22 AM   #463
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Warty's Sandman FR - Fables & Reflections

Soft Places

Marco... keeping with history is this a travelogue of Marco Polo?

The shifting sand changes the landscape constantly as landscapes in our dreams can easily shift. The sounds of the desert call out like the Sirens of the sea.. calling mariners to their doom. The desert can use illusion much like a story. The artwork here shows the illusion of the desert with it's shifting lines.

I think the line here between dream and reality is blurred. The inclusion of Marco Polo by Gaiman is an interesting decision. Some of Polo's tales, or tales about Polo border a line between reality and at the time things that seemed almost fantasy to a reader. There is also no definitive version of Polo's travels as most of the accounts are cobbled together stories from different sources.

Rustichello.. so time is blurred here as well as the future meets the past with future cellmates... Rustichello, a source of our info on Marco Polo. Another nod to narration of the stories we now accept... are the words attributed to him from Polo, or from Rustichello?

Hoom? Our next character.. Fiddler's Green?
Seems appropriate with the sailor motif of the afore mentioned Sirens. Again though this might just be my own dreaming of things Gaiman never intended. That's okay though.. that is what makes a story great. We all see it slightly different.

"Are you a dream as well?"
"Yes. Yes, I am Dream"

So trying to get the timing... Fiddler's Green has left the Dreaming, and Morpheus is thirsty and the feeling of being trapped is fresh on his mind... again, time must be fuzzy in these soft places as Marco is what, 13th century and FG/Morpheus are post imprisonment?

This makes me think back to the existence of things outside of time.. I think earlier I described the greater being as existing in a place where everything exists as a singular moment of the present... outside of time. It is how we can coexist with free will and a known predestination.

Dream seems taken aback that Marco offers him some of his water. Then he offers Marco the way back... as the grains of sand falls he sees the patterns. What from afar looks random, but from the soft place he can see that there are patterns..

Thus it is the desert is crossed


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