John C. Wright on Neil Gaiman on Libraries

Gaiman strikes me as somebody with his head screwed on straight. John C. Wright does too. Put them together and you have, like, a double stuff Oreo of tasty goodness.

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  • ivan_the_mad

    Gaiman and GKC might have had a thrilling conversation on the democracy of the dead or fairy tales 🙂

    Another reflection on the value of libraries: (follow the link to Scalzi’s essay!)

  • Black Johann

    This. A thousand times this.

  • Dave P.

    You should invite Mr. Gaiman to a Chesterton Conference sometime – perhaps ask Mr. Ahlquist if he could participate as a speaker or panelist.

    • chezami

      I would love that. John and the Chesterton Society are made for each other.

      • B.E. Ward

        Dave suggested inviting Gaiman. Good idea! He’s a Chesterton fan!

        • chezami

          Oops! You’re right! I misread him. I think that would be even more fantastic! I think I’ll suggest them both to Dale.

          • B.E. Ward

            I wonder if Dale’s already been down that road. The way I know Gaiman is a fan is from Kresta interviewing Dale last week.. Dale dropped his name in the course of the interview.

  • I, too love Neil Gaiman. One of his most endearing and frustrating attributes is how he’s amassed an enormous body of knowledge yet seems to remain agnostic about Truth.

    “I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.”

    This monologue was delivered by one of Mr. Gaiman’s fictional characters, but it echoes many of the author’s own statements.

    In some ways, Gaiman strikes me as a Bizarro version of Mike Flynn. Gaiman mines history and esoterica for story ideas but keeps their implications at arm’s length. Flynn has at least an equal grasp of history, but he submits to the truths suggested by the facts.

    That said, when Gaiman’s right (which is often), he’s right.

    • chezami

      Be aware that the guy was raised by Scientologists and so bears an awful lot of wounds. What impresses me about him is his resoluteness in soldiering on toward the Light anyway.

      • Interesting. I’d read that Gaiman hails from a secular Jewish family. I didn’t know his folks embraced Scientology. More props to them for sending their son to an Anglican school. Even if their intent was only to give him the best education possible (itself a laudable goal), Gaiman often cites his exposure to Christian theology as a major influence (see Season of Mists).
        Besides, no one can love Chesterton as much as Neil does and be totally closed to truth.

  • Marthe Lépine

    Interesting… Just this morning I was talking about childhood memories with a group of friends, and recalled that my early schooling was at home. Homeschooling was unusual in the 40’s, but my mother actually had the diploma to prove she was qualified. And… apart from the 3 R’s, she relied on the public libraries. She used to say that she did not want to teach her prejudices, so she relied on good authors. She would more or less guide my brother and I towards the required subjects for the grade we were taking, and let us do our own learning. In addition, our home was full of books, and of course now mine is.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Gaiman is not a Christian, but he is certainly not anti-Christian. In fact, I know people who are of the new agey neo-pagan stripe who used to be very anti-Christian, but because of things Gaiman has said or written, they’re no longer so close minded about the Gospel.
    As for libraries: This should surprise no one. Turn on talk radio or TV. Without fail, every conservative commentator I’ve heard talk about libraries over the past 20 years equates libraries with socialism and damns them accordingly. And the so-called “progressives” simply want to funnel millions into new computers. You know what your patrons are using your computers for at the library? Playing games, twittering, and porn. That’s it.