I’ve been working in a bookshop for almost two weeks now. I do not like the moments or hours when I feel like a moderately intelligent zombie moving people towards books and books towards people, but I do like the often strange, weird, funny and sometimes surprisingly touching conversation you have with strangers who are looking for a particular book.
I also have more patience for reading since my life has considerably slowed down (still not sure what to think of this). I finished Philip Pullman’s wonderful rendition of “Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm” today. It’s a bit odd to read translations of tales that I could easily read in the original but Pullman really brings out the beautiful storytelling that makes the tales so damn good. The same mechanics are used in almost every form of storytelling, movies, TV, advertisement…I found a lot of understanding how fairy tales work as well as heaps of inspiration for writing and for Dancing Tales.
The best tales might be those that borrow from older traditions and those that carve out particular and unique new traditions. Also, it must be hell to write a convincing new version of classics like Briar Rose…
…speaking of which, I also finished Neil Gaiman’s “The Sleeper and the Spindle”. I don’t want to spoil too much and just say that if you go into the story after having seen Chris Riddell’s image of a sort-of Snow White kissing a sort of Briar Rose and think you know what you’re in for, you’re in for a surprise. It’s a bit like “Stardust” and a bit like “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, just a lot shorter and it is a convincing new version of Briar Rose and quite a bit more (with gorgeous and delicate artwork).