Neil Gaiman tells why our society needs fiction and imagination to thrive - New York News

Neil Gaiman tells why our society needs fiction and imagination to thrive

Updated:

By: Amanda Taylor, Deseret News

"Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in," author Neil Gaiman said in a recent speech, recorded by The Guardian. "Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different."

The writer, who has authored short fiction, comic books, novels, graphic novels and films, spoke to the Reading Agency in London about the future of libraries and reading.

"Fiction has two uses," Gaiman said. "Firstly, it's a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it's hard, because someone's in trouble and you have to know how it's all going to end … that's a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you're on the road to reading everything. And reading is key."

Gaiman's book "Neverwhere" was recently banned in New Mexico. One parent told local news, "I cannot read this to you and put it on the news. It's too inappropriate. It's that bad." The mother went on to say that she didn't have time to see what her daughter was reading, and relied on the school district to do it for her.

In his speech, Gaiman said children should be allowed to explore the world of fiction as the pleased, without anyone looking over their shoulder.

"It's snobbery and it's foolishness," Gaiman said. "There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different."

He warned that parents may cause their children to give up on reading entirely if they discourage kids from reading what they enjoy. There is a ladder of literacy that each person must climb. As for libraries, and books themselves, he said that these things should never be thought of as antiquated.

"I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me," Gaiman said, "more than 20 years before the Kindle turned up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is."

Before his speech, he said that closing libraries was akin to stopping vaccinations. He encouraged people in the U.K. to cling more dearly to their libraries.

"In Florida there were attempts to close several libraries, and people kicked up a fuss and embarrassed them into stopping," Gaiman told The Bookseller.


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:31:08 GMT
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.

  • Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:28:00 GMT
    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato.

    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato. Police Commissioner William Bratton has said the detective's protective vest may have saved his life.


  • 5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:07 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:07:01 GMT
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about subways in New York City.
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about subways in New York City.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices