Saturday, 7 December 2013

A Gentle Introduction

In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes (New York, 1995):

in the last panel of p. 213, a young woman approaches the seated Morpheus;
on pp. 214-216, they converse although at this stage she could be a friendly stranger until the last panel of p. 216 when she says, "Sitting here, moping. It isn't like you..." so she does already know him;
on pp. 217-281, he tells her the story so far in a way that shows the reader that she knows of his supernatural nature;
on p. 219, she calls him an "...anthropomorphic personification..." and refers to other planes (of existence);
in the first panel of p. 220, she says that he is " bad as, Desire!";
in the second last panel of p. 220, she identifies Morpheus as her brother.

Pause: we already know that Morpheus is Dream, that he is one of a family of at least seven "Endless", that the others include Destiny, Death, Desire and Despair and that Destiny is a hooded man with a book chained to his wrist. We now know that this cute Gothette is of the Endless, is neither Destiny nor Desire and is cheerful so is unlikely to be either Death or Despair. We probably expect Death to be a hooded man with a scythe. However, so far, at least two of the Endless remain unnamed.

On p. 221, Morpheus agrees to accompany his sister as she works and they disappear;
on p. 222, they pass unseen by the waking and living but people shiver and mutter, "Like someone just walked over my grave...;"
at the end of p. 223, she asks a dying old Jewish man if he knows who she is and after saying, "You? You're...No!...Not yet! Please!", he acknowledges, "Yeah, I know who you are."

And at last we do too.

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