Saturday, 29 December 2012
"I am anti-life, the beast of judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds... ...of everything." (Neil Gaiman, Preludes And Nocturnes, New York, 1995, p. 125)
- but I think that "entropy" summarises this.
This theme is returned to at the end of the series. Destruction, addressing the new aspect of Dream, says:
"Entropy and optimism: the twin forces that make the universe go around." (Gaiman, The Wake, New York, 1997, p. 79)
- and Matthew the Raven, addressing the Wake, says:
" I mean, despair may be the thing that comes after hope, but there's still hope. Right? When there's no hope you might as well be dead." (The Wake, p. 80)
I said in "Hope" that I thought Gaiman had done something similar with the word "hope" in his Miracleman. He did. In the opening story, "A Prayer And Hope...", a man climbs Olympus to pray to the Miracleman. While climbing, he repeats the word "hope" - so he hopes that his prayer will be answered? In comic books, all letters are capitalised so we do not know whether he says "hope" or "Hope." On the summit of Olympus, he asks the Miracleman to save his daughter, Hope, who has been in a coma since suffering brain damage during MM's battle with his Adversary and is about to have her life support unplugged. MM refuses without explanation, the moral, drawn by another character, being that values change with perspective.
At the Carnival, the man, mentioning but not naming his now dead daughter, asks one of the permanently high "spacemen" what happens when we die. The spaceman, oracular as ever, replies:
"We are far more fair sweet sun, from the shores of my love, and it peeled out and I might touch that. Everyone's all envoys from the future too. Old friends." (Gaiman, Miracleman, No 22, Forestville, Calif. 1991, p. 14)
When asked to explain, he adds:
"Hope. What you dreamed. If they asked. You still groove with grief..." (ibid.)
- so he gives us "Hope" and a reference to dream.