Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This is why I write

I read a passage in Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book last night, and even though the book is chock full of passages to be savored, this one stopped me and made me re-read it many times.

The ghouls are talking here, trying to convince Bod to become one of them, telling him just why being a ghoul is the best thing ever:

"Can you imagine...how it feels to be more important than kings and queens, than presidents or prime ministers or heroes, to be sure of it, in the same way that people are more important Brussels sprouts?"

Truth: simply and humorously expressed. That's why I want to write.

Here is another passage, from E. B. White's Charlotte's Web:


You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.

That touches me every time I read it.

Words. So powerful.

4 comments:

tanita davis said...

I fell into liking The Graveyard Book without expecting to...and of course, the beauty and symmetry of the plotting in Charlotte's Web are just lovely.

*sigh*

I believe you'll get to where you'd like to be, someday. You're very determined.

Yat-Yee said...

Thanks so much, Tanita. I needed that.

I didn't know how I would feel about Graveyard Book: anytime something comes with a lot of hype, I immediately have my guard up. And in the case of Mr. Gaiman, I was freaked out by Coraline when I first read it.

I have to report I like it so far, I like it a lot.

Thanks again, for that encouragement. I need to be that tiny yip-yip dog that gets its teeth onto something and refuses to let go.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I resisted The Graveyard Book for a long time. After reading it, I can see why people like it. Neal Gaiman is definitely a talented writer. But the parts with Jack are pretty chilling. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't think it was appropriate for MG.

Yat-Yee said...

I haven't finished the book yet. I try to keep ahead of my daughter's reading (she's 8 and while she can read higher level books, she is still young for some of the darker, more complex subject matters) but am not always able to do so. This is one I wanted to be sure I read first because when I first read Coraline, I couldn't imagine a child handling some of the scary bits.