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Introduction of The Books of Magic (by Roger Zelazny)


The books of magic

摘自 The Books of Magic 合訂本
原文: Roger Zelazny 
譯文: Leo


 I once stopped in an odd little establishment in Ensenada, down in Baja, where a hindu gentleman was selling tiny gold-plated orchids. He explained that they were real flowers, and that a process existed for plating them with that shiny metal without ruining their forms. Unable to resist, I said, "Sort of liking gilding the lily, huh?" But his knowledge of the language had not progressed to the point of catching bad deadpan humor, and he responded, "No! No! Is not lily! Is orchid!"

Neil Gaiman does not really need an introduction. It would sort of be like-never mind.

He writes the award-winning SANDMAN series and is co-author with Terry Pratchett of the novel Good Omens which I have recommended to many and do yet again.

I first met Neil at an autographing session in Dallas. Most recently, I spent a pleasant evening with him and Steven Brust at the World Fantasy Convention in Phoenix, where we spoke of many things and I was reminded of something an older writer had told me long ago-namely, that editors only think they're buying stories, that what they really buying is the way a story is told. Look at Nick bantock's fansinating Griffin & Sabine, where the medium is 95% of the enchantment.

在Baja不遠的 Ensenada 有一次我在一小型臨時市集裡逛, 在那裡 一位印度先生在售賣鍍金的小蘭花. 他解說這些小蘭花是鍍金的真花, 和有方法將蘭花鍍金而不損他們的花形. 我忍不住問 "這好像畫蛇添足吧/將百合花鍍金吧? (英文中的 Gilding the lily 鍍百合花=畫蛇添足) "  但是他的英文水平還不足以了解這幽默的妙處, 他附應了一句, " 不是! 不是百合花! 是蘭花!" . 

事實上Neil Gaiman的作品不需要引言, 這好像有沒有也不大關係吧。 

他編寫獲獎無數的 Sandman 系列, 他和 Terry Pratchett合作小說 Good Omen, 這些作品我已經推薦給很多人, 現在再一次推薦 .

我第一次認識 Neil 是在達拉斯州的簽名會裡. 不久前, 我在菲妮克絲在世界幻想規定花費了與他和 史蒂文 的 Brust 的令人愉快晚上, 在我們談了論許多東西(事情)和我那裡某事(某物)提醒了更老的作者很久以前- 即告訴了我, 編輯(者)僅僅想, 他們(是)買故事, 他們確實買是路(方法)講故事。 看刻痕 bantock's 的 fansinating 格里芬和 色賓族人 , 在那裡媒介(方法)是聖歌的 95% 。

Neil Gaiman is such a medium specialist. While his tales are gripping, moving, there is in particular the way of his stories to consider. I'm always fascinated by his point attack and by the angles from which he views his people, settings, situations, actions. it's his approach that I study as much as the ideas he employs. And in the case of The Books of Magic I am again fascinated. The time he has chosen for his subject the tale of initation, the story of the magician's journey from innocence along the road to power.

The four volumes of The Books of Magic, herein gathered, are a wonderful romp which i have read both backwards and forwards. In that they worked well for me in either direction, as well as in several odd shufflings of the deck, I feel free to talk about them in a variety of ways-none of which can really "give away the plot." because it's no that sort of story. While there is a storyline from which events depend, it is also a thematic tale, and I can talk about it at this level, choosing examples from wherever I would, without doing harm to anyone's reading pleasure.

Open Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces to the Table of Contents and skipping over the Prologue wherein he will speak of the monomyth in general terms, we come to Part I, "the adventure of the Hero," which is divided into four chapters: "Departure," "Initation, " "Return," and "The Keys." In that Campbell is examining the archetypes of all mythology here, and looking to describe a rhythm common to heroic fiction, I thought to hold it up next to The Books of Magic to see how Neil's story compares with the hero's journey in world mythology at large.

Looking at the first volume as representing "The Departure," we se that it is indeed characterized by the five features Campbell discussed. The "Call to Adventure" comes simply enough in the midst of Timothy's mundane activity, skateboaring. The "Refusal of Call" follows immediately, as Timothy flees the Stranger, Dr. Occult, and Mr. E - whereupon Constantine stops him, offering the classical "Supernatural Aid" by turning his yo-yo into a owl/familiar. "The Crossing of the First Threshold" then takes him on a journey back through time to beginnings. Then comes "The Belly of the Whale," the return to the center of things - the self-sacrificialexperience, the learning of the price - which begins in the theater.

Looking on Book II as a continuation of "The Belly of the Whale," let us hold Book III up against the "initiation" chapter. Campbell's breakdown here is "The Road of Trials," "The Meeting with the Goddess, " Woman as the Temptress," "Atonement with the Father," "Apotheosis," and "The Ultimate Boon."

All of these are encountered in Fairyland, with Titaniaas the goddess and the temptress, the father as the sleeping king under the mountain, and the apotheosis of sorts occuring on the receipt of the boon.

I won't even try to match things up for the final Book of Magic. I will simply point out for homework that Campbell's next chapter, "The Return," contains the following sections "Refusal of the Return," "The Magic Flight," "Rescue from Without," "The Crossing of the Return Threshold," and "Freedom to Live."

This is one way to look at it. Sure, all of those things are there. It does not matter one whit, though, wheter Neil cleverly synthesized the piece out of Campbell or whether crafted a tale drawing upon similar sources so that such a thoroughgoing analysis must necessarily apply. Either way, the result is a work worthy of respect.

One might remark on the sense of humor exhibited in Book III, where the hero and his companions are hanging around Baba Yaga's house, or the tangential nature of the future according to Book IV, or the blackness at the beginning of the universe. or at its end, view everything between as a cosmic day, and reduce all of the action to a solar myth; or, as I did earlier, one might play the sequence backwards, beginning with the playing-card archetypes and winding up regarding the Fall as an Ascension; or -

From a mundane standpoint, one might merely observe that Neil has arranged appearances here by every major occult figure in DC's history, to the possible end of introducing a new series character. And I do wonder whether Timothy will be back.

It is more that a clever story, however. It is rich and it is resonant. Like all good writing it causes the mind to wander of down byways by arousing speculations and leaving them to simmer. Why is Dr. Occult's female side so strong? What wonders will emerge from the mundane egg? What lock will Timothy's key one day fit? I like this allusiveness, this senses of depth. It entertains and engages me to see so much contained between these covers.

And Neil is fortunate here in having such interesting and talented colleagues as John Bolton, Scott Hampton, Charles Vess, and Paul Johnson rendering his visions into vivid images. And while people seldom comment on lettering because its job is generally to be unobtrusive, they also, for the same reason - habit - may not always note ts subtle shifts in such places as the Museum of Ghosts sequences or Zatara's poem or the dialogue at Baba Yaga's or its alternation in various of the future sections - or simply not wonder why certain words get the bold-face treatment. Todd Klein's sure hand is a definite part of the magic here.

Neil Gaiman is a writer I have resolved to watch, and so far the effort has never failed to return more than the price of admission to his worlds. Yes, I have enjoyed this story in many ways. It has been a journey worth taking. To say more would be to dip it in molten metal. Sweet dreams.



Neil Gaiman 是這樣的中型專家。 當他的故事(是)抓住時, 運動(感動), 尤其是有他的故事的路(方法)要考慮。 由他的點攻擊和由角(角度)總是迷戀我, 它(角(角度))他看(考慮)他的人, 情況(情勢), 安裝(裝置)行動。 它(這)是我學習(研究)像他使用的思想那樣許多的他的方法。 和在魔法的書情況下我再次(被)迷戀。 時間他對於他的問題(科目)選擇了 initation 的故事, 魔法師的沿著道路的清白到權力(動力)旅行的故事。

魔法書的四個體積, 在這裡聚集了, 是向後和向前閱讀的極好 嘻耍喧鬧 我 。 因為他們在任一個方向, 以及在甲板( 橋面) 的幾個奇特 shufflings 為我工作得好, 我感到自由(有空)以許多路(方法)談論他們- 沒有能夠確實" 暴露這個 陰謀. " 。 因為它(這)沒(不)那種故事。 當有事件依靠的 故事情節 時, 它(這)也是題目故事, 並且我能夠以這個水準(層次)的, 無論何地的選擇例子, 沒有對任何人的做損害談論它(這)我閱讀愉快。

對目錄開 Campbell's 的有一千個面(臉)的 連帽大氅 英雄和在哪裡他將一般地談論單神話, 我們來到我部分這裡, " 英雄的冒險, " 把哪個分成四章節: " 啟行, " " Initation , " " 返回, " 和" Keys. " 。 因為 Campbell (是)在這裡檢查所有 神話 的原型, 並且看以描述對英雄小說來說共有(通常)的節奏, 我打算(認為)保持它(這)緊挨著魔法的書(以)看出(看到) Neil's 的故事在大的在世界 神話 中與英雄的旅行如何比較。

當表示時" 啟行, " 我們考慮第一個體積它(這)的確特點為五個特性(特點) Campbell 的 硒 討論(論述)了。 對" 冒險" 的招喚足夠在 梯牧草's 的 世俗的 活動, skateboaring 完全來。 立即, 如當 梯牧草 從陌生人逃走, 神秘之事博士, 並且先生 E - 在那上面 Constantine 停止他, 透過把他的 等一下 - 等一下 變成貓頭鷹/ 熟悉的提供古典的" 超自然幫(援)助" 。 " 第一個門限的穿過(交叉)" 然後透過時間對開始在旅行回上拿他。 然後, 來到" 鯨魚的肚子, " 返回東西(事情)的中心- 自 sacrificialexpe , 得知在劇場中開始價格- 。

作" 鯨魚的肚子, " 繼續的旁觀書II讓我們與" 開始" 章節相對阻塞書III 。 Campbell's 的崩潰在這裡" 考驗的道路, " " 與女神的會議, " 作 妖婦 的女人, " " 有父親的彌補, " " 神聖之理想, " 和最終(主要)" 恩惠. " 。

在仙境中都遇到了其中所有, 用 Titaniaas 作山下睡覺國王的女神和 妖婦 , 父親, 和當收到 恩惠 時發生(出現)的種類的神聖之理想。

我為魔法的最後書將不甚至盡力與東西(事情)相匹配。 我為家庭作業將僅僅指出那 Campbell's 的下一章節, " 返回, " 含有(容納)下面的部分" 返回的拒絕, " " 魔法航機, " " 從外面援救, " " 返回門限的穿過(交叉), " 和" 到 活. 的自由" 。

這是看它(這)的一條路(方法)。肯定, 所有那些東西(事情)在那裡。 它(這), 雖然, 但是 wheter Neil 不聰明合成這個條(塊)離開 Campbell 物質(事情)一個 一點點 或者是否工藝利用類似來源的故事, 因此這樣的 徹底的 分析必須必然應用。 總之, 結果是值得尊重的工作。

一個(人)根據在這個宇宙的開始書, 或者黑度可以(可能)評論在書III , 在這個英雄和他的同伴(是)閒待著 蘭姆糕

Yaga's 的房子那裡, 或者將來中的切線自然界(性質)方面表現出(陳列)的幽默感靜脈內的。 或者在它的末端, 在中間看作一切一宇宙天, 和把所有行動減少到日光的神話; 或者, 如當我更早, 人們可以(可能)向後玩這個序列, 作為上升關於下落(崩潰)從玩卡片的原型和線圈開始; 或者- 從 世俗的 立場, 人們可以(可能)僅僅注意到 Neil 在直流的歷史中根據每個主要祕密圖表(數字)在這裡安排(置)了出現(外表), 到介紹(導入)新的可能末端。和我確實想知道是否 梯牧草 將回來。

它(這)那更多聰明故事, 然而。 它(這)富並且這是引起共鳴的。 喜歡所有好寫下它(這)使這個心(頭腦)透過喚起思索和離開他們(到) 煨 byways 漫遊。 博士神秘之事的女性側面(方面)為什麼那麼強壯(強烈)? 對什麼感到奇怪將從 世俗的 雞蛋出現? 關鍵一天 梯牧草's 的將適合(裝配)什麼鎖? 我喜歡這個 allusiveness 性, 深(度)的這意義。 看(見)得那麼多, 這招待和從事我在這些蓋子之間含有(容納)。

和 Neil 在作為 Bolton 約翰, Scott Hampton , 查理斯 , 和到生動圖像裡給予他的視力的 保羅

詹森 Vess 有如此吸引人的和有才能的同事時在這裡是幸運的。 和當(儘管)人們很少評論信(字母)因為它的工作通常(是)要是謹慎的, 也他們, 因為相同不總是原因習慣- 可以(可能)在幽靈的博物館把部分- 或者根本不排序的地方注意 分時 精細微妙轉變或者 Zatara's 的詩歌或者將來中各種的中 蘭姆糕

Yaga's 或者它的交替的對話想知道某些詞為什麼得到大膽面(臉)處理。不及格 陶德 Klein's 的肯定手在這裡是魔法的一個明確(限定)部分。

Neil Gaiman 是我決心看的作者, 並且那麼遠努力沒能過返回沒沒(到)他的世界得比進入的價格多。 是 , 我透過許多方法享受(欣賞)這個故事。 它(這)是旅行值得拿。 說得更多(是)要把它(這)放入熔化金屬。甜夢(想)。