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Re: [lewiscarroll] Coraline Revisited

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  • JEREMY BROWNING
    I missed previous comments on this, but from the little bit that I do know I m surprised at the anger in this email. I m not familiar with Neil Gaiman other
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 1, 2009
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      I missed previous comments on this, but from the little bit that I do know I'm surprised at the anger in this email. I'm not familiar with Neil Gaiman other than through his association with Amanda Palmer, but he seems to be a decent bloke with a fair bit of talent and enough original ideas to not need to rip off someone else's work. Also, it seems to me that people tend to admit (or even claim) inspiration from celebrated genius.
       
      There are a limited number of possible stories in the world, and the idea of 'girl goes through portal of some kind to discover alternative universe' isn't so hugely brilliant and original that only Carroll could have thought of it - or only Carroll can use it. And from what I've read, the similarities between Coraline and TTLG are coincidental and not massive. I could be wrong.
       
      I don't think that *anyone* living in CLD's time would have enjoyed Coraline, but I don't see any reason why CLD wouldn't have thoroughly enjoyed it if he'd been living in our time.
       
      Cheers,

      Jerry


      --- On Sat, 31/1/09, lillienchew <lillienchew@...> wrote:
      From: lillienchew <lillienchew@...>
      Subject: [lewiscarroll] Coraline Revisited
      To: lewiscarroll@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Saturday, 31 January, 2009, 7:14 PM

      Hello everyone. I know this was brought up briefly in a previous
      thread, but I can't help myself from commenting again. I wanted to
      make sure I gave Gaiman a fair shake, so I watched an HBO behind-the-
      scenes-type special about Coraline. Unfortunately, it only made me
      much more critical!

      To me, the retentions (or borrowings) from TTLG are ridiculously
      apparent. It is like an overwrought, poorly-done imitation of
      Carroll's classic. He has taken the principles and twisted them in
      an attempt to make them more shocking. I do not go along with the
      school of thought that the similarities are so evident that Gaiman
      does not feel the need to address them; rather, it seems to me
      through his (in)action and incredibly inflated impression of himself
      and his own genius that he believes no one has guessed
      his "inspiration" for his little book. It is unprofessional and
      unethical for him to claim the creation of this concept with no
      recognition given to Carroll and his REAL genius.

      He also indicated that in his original manuscript (written partially,
      by the way, in violet ink!), he had included stage directions of
      sorts; it was not, then, written as literature, but rather as a
      screenplay, with the film already in mind!

      I will not see this film; I'm sure it would make me too angry all the
      way through! Perhaps I'm being oversensitive; I don't know. I am
      reminded of the way some pop singers with little or no talent will
      cover a good song from the 60s or so, and then let all their
      unknowledgable fans believe that it is their original work. At least
      then there's ASCAP to protect them, but there's no one to protect the
      rights of Carroll, who would NOT have enjoyed Coraline!

      -Lucy

    • jenny2write
      there s no one to protect the ... I read Coraline when it first came out and felt it had nothing to say, yet was flashy and trashy and gripping. No harm in
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 1, 2009
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        there's no one to protect the
        > rights of Carroll, who would NOT have enjoyed Coraline!
        >
        > -Lucy


        I read "Coraline" when it first came out and felt it had nothing to
        say, yet was flashy and trashy and gripping. No harm in that but I
        can't understand why Gaiman's considered a sort of genius. Just a
        look at his website suggests that he is full of himself, though
        perhaps that's part of his whole publicity thing.

        In years gone by I used to interview a lot of well known people. I
        concluded that celebs in all fields are different from the rest of us
        (and I don't think I ever met anyone at the top who didn't deserve to
        be there) so I don't have a kind of inverted snobbery about them.

        But there were some well known people who were only averagely
        talented but were good self publicists - or else just rather lucky
        (particularly certain bands, singers or soap stars). THEY were the
        ones who acted like they thought they were flaming marvellous (the
        really top ones never did). So is Gaiman really as toe-curlingly
        full of himself as his site suggests? Anyone ever met him? Jenny
      • jenny2write
        Ruth Berman isn t a member of the group but she reads it and asked me to post her comment, so here it is: -- Regarding the comment that there are stage
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 3, 2009
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          Ruth Berman isn't a member of the group but she reads it and asked me
          to post her comment, so here it is:

          -- Regarding the
          comment that there are "stage directions of sorts" on the manuscript
          of
          Gaiman's "Coraline," and that it was therefore written with a movie
          in
          mind: It doesn't seem as if there'd be anything necessarily wrong
          with
          having a screenplay version in mind while working on a story, I'd
          think.
          But the "stage directions" in this case probably don't indicate
          anything
          one way or the other about plans for a screenplay. "Coraline" is a
          picture book, and stage directions on the ms. are probably there for
          the
          benefit of the illustrator.

          "Coraline" the story doesn't seem to me all that close to
          "Looking-Glass" -- influenced by, but not all that closely by.

          Ruth Berman
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