Friday, 28 December 2012

Horn And Ivory

In Sandman: Brief Lives (New York, 1994), Neil Gaiman summarises this story:

three gods tried to control the Dreaming. Morpheus made -

his helmet from the skull and spine of the oldest;

a gate for false dreams from the tusks of the next (ivory);

a gate for true dreams from the horns of the youngest (horn).

But:

"...the truth of it all has not ever been told on this world." (Chapter 9, p. 11)

So will it be told? Late next year, Gaiman will present a prequel to Volume I so maybe after that we can be told more, even older, stories about Dream of the Endless?

In the Sandman story, "August", the Emperor Augustus knows of the Gates of Horn and Ivory so either these gates are a myth that Gaiman appropriately incorporates into this story or he skillfully makes them seem to be such. In either case, he handles mythical and literary materials in ways that affect his readers usually without them understanding how it is being done.

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