Skip to main content

Neil Gaiman in Wellington

Saturday evening was spent at Neil Gaimans's talk.  It was his part in the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

We went with our friends Jen, Dom & Jordan. 

The compere (she seemed nice) introduced him as the Amadaus Mozart of postmodernist literature.  Aside from the fact that I usually detest the term "postmodern" when assumed to mean anything (can you define it satisfactorily?), I thought it was quite a clever description.

The talk itself was excellent - he read 3 short poems. I can't remember the order, but they were:
1) A story called "My Last Landlady" about a murderous landlady in an unnamed English seaside town.  Sounds like Brighton.
2) A story about the bones of Saint Odhrán buried under the church on the Island of Iona which is just of the west coast of Scotland.  Downpatrick, the town I went to school in, gets a breif mention :)
3) A beautiful poem (which he described as his credo) about reading Goldilocks to his daughter.

The whole audience was entranced, and I particularly loved the story of the Island of Iona.  I'd read quite a lot of stuff about this when I was a teenager, and it reminded me of that.

After his readings, there was a short interview by the compare.  She asked some questions, he answered intelligently.  I can't really remember much more of it. Then some questions from the floor.

Finally he read a short passage from American Gods - one of my favourite books.  After that, mayhem as everyone pushed to get to the signing table.  Of course, we all piled out to get in line.  We waited for nearly 3 hours, but managed to get some nice signatures which made it worth it :)

I had him sign a copy of Good Omens which is one of my favourite books from when I was 17.  Jacqui got two - Coraline and her Spanish translation of Stardust.

Here's some photographic evidence.




Excellent evening all in all.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Christopher Hitchen's new commandments

As you probably may have gathered from reading my other posts, you'll know that I have little respect for religion. I'm proud to call myself an Atheist, and think that's it's probably the only philosophy worthy of respect in a sea of morally bankrupt religions.

Christopher Hitchens seems to live in the same moral sea as I, and in keeping with this he's written a nice little article for Vanity Fair about the 10 "Commandments" - the moral framework set forth by the judeo-christian god.

He goes through all the biblical commandments one by one and deals with them as one would given today's ethical environment.  I'm always horrified by people who treat the biblical commandments as if they're in some way a moral high point. They're really not, and I admit to being further horrified by the glaring omissions (genocide, rape, child abuse and care for the environment.  Wouldn't an omnipotent god have known about these too?)

So check out his lis…

Interesting Times...

Well, Jacqui's off to Mexico for a few weeks, or a month, or maybe longer. 

Thursday night Jacqui spent packing and I spent sorting out her laptop.  Updated all the software and switched off automatic updates - Jacqui will be using the tethering function on her iPhone for internet and at $10 per megabyte, it could be very expensive!  We ended up going to bed sometime around 4.

A few hours later, on Friday morning, we got up early and faffed about for exactly 7 minutes too long, and then battled our way through Friday Morning Traffic, moving at the exact same speed as Golden Syrup, before arriving at the airport exactly 7 minutes late.

Damn.

"Sorry sir, check-in is now closed." the lady told us.
"Closed?"
"Yes, but don't worry; you can get on the next flight for a $90 charge."
"Excellent!  When's that then?"
"In 6 hours"

The lady was very nice though : not her fault we arrived late.  She suggested that we might like to try s…