Monday, February 22, 2010

Someone needs to take responsibility for this

Over on, we finally learn who to blame for Neil Gaiman. What I really love about the entry is the comments section, where people have begun listing who bears literary fault for their writing. So, in the spirit of things...

I'm mostly your fault, William Shakespeare. You taught me that playing with language was fun, and that there was a world of amazing words out there. You threw ghosts and witches, fairies and wizards into your plays as if they belonged there, and so they did. You got me sent to detention for the first time (it is not, as a matter of fact, a good idea to have Birnam Wood march on Dunsinane at recess if the convent is standing in for Dunsinane) and taught me that literature could be dangerous.

I'm also your fault, Madeleine L'Engle, for teaching me that literature could wrestle with the numinous, and Susan Cooper, for beginning my obsession with depictions of King Arthur in literature. Ms. Cooper, it is also your fault that I attempted Welsh.

Parts of me are your fault, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. Your fairy tale anthologies pulled me out of the wilderness that I wandered into during the brief period when I decided I was too old to read stories about imaginary things, and so read nothing but Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club books. Best of all, the anthologies had lists of recommended reading, and so I found Charles de Lint and Pamela Dean and Emma Bull and Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman and so many other favorites.

I am entirely your fault, Robin McKinley, as you wrote Deerskin, which saved my life.

And yes, Neil Gaiman, I am your fault, too. You challenged me to write better, and bought a story when I did.

All remaining errors are the sole responsibility of the author.

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