Re: [lewiscarroll] Coraline Revisited
- 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,
--- On Sat, 31/1/09, lillienchew <lillienchew@...> wrote:
From: lillienchew <lillienchew@...>
Subject: [lewiscarroll] Coraline Revisited
Date: Saturday, 31 January, 2009, 7:14 PMHello 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!
- there's no one to protect the
> rights of Carroll, who would NOT have enjoyed Coraline!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
- 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
Gaiman's "Coraline," and that it was therefore written with a movie
mind: It doesn't seem as if there'd be anything necessarily wrong
having a screenplay version in mind while working on a story, I'd
But the "stage directions" in this case probably don't indicate
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
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.