Title: The Sandman: Endless Nights.
Author: Neil Gaiman.
Artist: Glenn Fabry, Milo Manara, Miguelanxo Prado, Frank Quitely, P. Craig Russell, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Barron Storey.
Genre: Literature, graphic novel, fantasy, mythology.
Publication Date: 2003.
Summary: The book is divided into 7 stories, each addressing one of the Endless. Death - Death and Venice offers two views: the lives of a group on an island off the coast of Venice protected by magic from Death, versus the memories and thoughts of a young American special forces soldier who has never forgotten his childhood encounter with her. Desire - What I've Tasted of Desire depicts a woman in pre-Roman Britain who bargains with Desire to win the hand of her love and then loses him to war, but with the gift of Desire, is able to save her home from the men who had killed her husband. In Dream - The Heart of a Star, near the beginning of the habitability of the universe, Dream and his new paramour Killalla of the Glow travel to a meeting of astronomical phenomena, attended by delegates of the stars, galaxies, and dimensions which comprise the cosmos, and at an encounter with her world's own sun Killalla and the star fall in love at the behest of Desire, while Dream watches. Despair - Fifteen Portraits of Despair is a collection of fifteen very short vignettes that illustrates different aspects of Despair, either the character herself, the emotion in abstract, or people in a state of despair. Delirium - Going Inside is about several mentally unbalanced people who are brought together on a quest to save Delirium from herself. Destruction - On the Peninsula about some archaeologists who uncover and explore a peninsula from many years in the future, and is narrated by a female archaeologist who has constant dreams and waking dreams of the world in many post-apocalyptic forms, indicating that she belongs to Destruction's realm, and she becomes deeply attracted to him while uncovering artifacts on the peninsula. Destiny - Endless Nights is simply a wander through Destiny's garden of forking paths.
My rating: 8.5/10
♥ A flock of white doves flies above us, through the mist, like the souls of the dead, and then they, too, leave the island. We do not speak, on the way back. I try to make sense of what I have felt, or dreamed, but the sense eludes me... When I get back to the city everything seems thin and unreal. I stare at the tourists, and I wonder what goes on behind the eyes, inside their heads, inside their worlds.
I shall see her again. I know that in my heart. One last time. Until then, I shall continue to send people to her.
~~Death - Death and Venice
♥ "He talks about stories. My brother. Let me tell you the plot of every one of his damned stories. Somebody wanted something. That's the story. Mostly they get it, too. Most people want things like a candle-flame, flickering, shifting. You, on the other hand, want like a forest fire. I should warn you, getting what you want and being happy are two quite different things."
♥ "And I knew there was nothing left that I wanted. I'd had all I wanted. And it was gone. And I knew there was nothing I could want as I had wanted him. Time went by, and the years, and the months, and the days. ... I was alive, that one night, holding those men in my hand. If you have nothing left to want, then you just wait until there's nothing left to wait for, don't you?"
~~Desire - What I've Tasted of Desire.
♥ "And what happened to her? To Killalla of the Glow?"
"She died, as they all die, they do not live long. But she made Sto-Oa happy, for a moment, and on her death he translated her into his center, to burn inside the heart of the star and comfort him through the long night."
~~Dream - The Heart of a Star.
♥ Her eyes are grey. Her hair is straggly and wet. Her fingers are stubby. The nails are chewed and broken. Her teeth are crooked, jagged things. There is a vacancy in her gaze, a feeling of absence when you are near her that is impossible to put into words. Her sigil is the hooked ring. One day her hook will catch your heart. Describing her, we articulate what she is and why she is: when hope is past, she is there. She is in a thousand thousand waiting rooms and empty streets, in grey concrete buildings and anonymous hotels. She is on the other side of every mirror. When the eyes that look back at you know you too well, and no longer care for what they see, they are her eyes.
♥ A) If you can't be happy where you are, you can't be happy anywhere. Discuss, with examples from your own life.
B) Hell is Other People. Do you agree? Demonstrate how this might or might not apply in the case of:
i) The Armenian Massacre of 1915
ii) Either the life of Algernon Charles Swinburne or the death of Walt Disney
iii) the darkness before creation
(Answer two of three.)
C) Construct an analogy using the saline nature of either tears or the sea and the salt that makes a dish palatable and adds piquance and savour.
(Examinees are encouraged to refer to either the third daughter of Llyr or Lot's wife, but not both.)
D) If I was God I would abolish..........
Complete in 250 words or less. Physical practicalities and human nature are to be respected. The Law of Conservation of Happiness may not be violated.
(Counts for 50% of your final score.)
~~Despair - Fifteen Portraits of Despair.
♥ I have heard the languages of the apocalypse, and now I shall embrace the silence.
~~Delirium - Going Inside.