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                          The Annotated Sandman

               Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by Greg Morrow

		    Issue 8:  "The Sound of Her Wings"
           Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III

        Referred to by Gaiman as the epilogue to _More than Rubies_
            Eighth story reprinted in _Preludes and Nocturnes_
               First story reprinted in _The Doll's House_

Note:  _The Doll's House_ and _Sandman_ #8 both contain an introduction
written by Neil Gaiman explaining the story thus far.  The introduction
does not appear in _Preludes and Nocturnes_.  _Sandman_ #8 also contains
words of praise for _Sandman_ (and Neil Gaiman) from many writers and
artists, both of comic books and mainstream fiction.         
	The introduction is illustrated by original art by Mike Dringenberg
in #8.  The illustrations in _The Doll's House_ are different and more
general.  The notes below about the illustrations refer to the ones in #8.

Intro, page 1, upper right:  The Tarot traditionally has 22 Major Arcana,
numbered 0 to 21.  The Sandman card is done in the style of one of the Major
Arcana, but its number 34 suggests that a larger set of Major Arcana exists
than is familiar to our world.  This ties in with a remark in _The Doll's
House_.
	Lower right:  The talisman has many features in common with traditional
protective circles.  The five pointed star inscribed in a circle is typically a
pentacle or pentagram.  The lettering around the rim is also traditional; this
lettering looks to be runic in nature, which strikes me as somewhat odd.  Note
that all three tools of Dream have representations on the talisman.
	Paragraph 4:  The figure is Destiny.
	Paragraph 10:  Neil Gaiman says that the name of Roderick Burgess's
house, Fawney Rig, is significant, being "named by Lady Johanna after the
manner in which she acquired it."  Fawney Rig is a con in which a gilded
brass ring is sold for less than it is supposedly worth (if it were gold),
but much more than what it is actually worth.  The ring would be dropped
and picked up before the mark, so it was also referred to as 
fawney-bouncing.  Lady Johanna's con was presumably done on a larger, more
complex scale.  Lady Johanna Constantine is an ancestor of John
Constantine, whom we met in _Sandman_ #3.  We will meet Lady Johanna in
later issues.
	The [Grim] Reaper is a traditional appelation for Death, in this form
usually represented as a skeletal figure in a dark robe, wielding a scythe.
	Paragraph 13:  We will assume that the reader recognizes and recalls
events from earlier issues.
	Paragraph 14:  This, however, is new information.  My interpretation is
that Dream was engaged in some form of conflict with forces unknown when
Burgess cast his spell.  The weakened Dream was unable to resist the call. 
Another hint at this prequel is given in _Sandman_ #47.  Note that
Dream is carrying all his tools at the time of his capture.  Neil has said
that he is interested in writing a miniseries about these events after
the main series is concluded.

Intro, page 2, paragraph 4:  The information that the Order was embroiled in a
scandal when Sykes and Cripps was also mentioned in Sandman                              
#1,page 14, panel 3 which brings the newspaper com Roderick Burgess and                             
Ethel Cripps and describes scandal, which envolves the suicide of the                               
museum administrator, which we see in Sandman#1.

Page 1 panel 1:  This scene occurs in Washington Square Park, in Greenwich
Village, New York City.  Many specific details in the artwork confirm this.
	Several people, including this writer, thought that the arch was
intended to be L'Arc de Triomphe, in la Place Charles de Gaulle, Paris, France. 
In fact, that arch is sufficiently larger than the pictured arch that the
Washington Square arch could fit underneath it.
	The Washington Square arch is at the north end of the park, near a
T-intersection of Waverly Place and the end of Fifth Avenue, as pictured.  The
issue was probably drawn from life or from photographs since the details match
so precisely.
	Dream is sitting in a fountain, which is dry in summer only during a
drought, which are not uncommon.  The dark circular structures on the bottom
are caps on the fountainheads.  Many people use the fountain in exactly the way
Dream is.  Considering the lack of crowds, this scene is set on a weekday,
or early in the morning.
	Note the birds.  The linkage of Dream with birds is a common motif.

Thus writes "Kai'Ckul" :

Firstly, I would like to say how terribly strange it was for me to be
literally sitting in Washington Square Park, reading "The Sound Of Her
Wings" for the first time. I realized it immediately, and it was one
of those "weird shit" moments that Rose Walker always babbles on
about. 
My point, though, is that I found this story immediately interesting,
Death in Washington Square Park, since i really dislike that place,
since:  

a) it is dirty 
b) it is either very, very, crowded or very, very empty
c) drug dealers lurk around every corner, and so the cops are always
hassling everyone there 
d) the fountain *never* works (even in the summer) and (most
importantly) 
e) to quote friend of mine: 'every time I go to Washington Square,
someone dies.' 
'no, really. it's either an O.D. or a heart attack or something, but every
damn time I've been there (which is farily often, and accurate)
there's been a corpse there waiting for me.'

Anyway, the point is, Washington Square Park, which I tend to
frequent, is a place where many Goths hang out, many of whom look much
like Morpheus and Death or thier human counterparts, Robert Smith and
Souixie Souix. It doesn't matter whether or not Morpheus or Death have
wings, real or metaphorical, since they would if we were to suppose
them to and wouldn't if we didn't. I'm rambling on, but inittially
meant to say that Many people who look very much like the two hang
there, death is always about, and no one seems to notice.

Page 3 panel 6:  The young woman is Death, Dream's older sister.  Note that
Death has subsequently been portrayed with a mark around one of her eyes.
Mike Dringenberg credits "Cinnamon" as the visual inspiration for Death in
_The Doll's House_.
	As we learn later, Death attends all deaths.  She is seen attending
many deaths in the course of the rest of the series.  It is perhaps worth
noting that she was not seen at Roderick Burgess's death, nor at the deaths
in the diner in _Sandman_ #6; Neil, presumably, had not decided exactly how
he wanted to use her.  Note, also, that the conversation does not take
place in a "gallery", a method of formal communication between the Endless
demonstrated later in _The Doll's House_.

Page 4 panel 6:  "Mary Poppins" was a Disney film of the 60s which mixed live
action and animation in an unprecedented manner.  Death's description of the
movie is accurate.

Page 5 panel 2:  "Utterly a banker":  "Banker" (or "Merchant Banker") is 
standard London rhyming slang for "wanker", an unpleasant person (from
"wanking off", or masturbation).
	Panel 7:  Dick van Dyke's line translates to Standard English as
"Oh, it's a jolly holiday with you, Mary Poppins!"

Page 6 panel 2:  Here we clearly see for the first time Death's necklace, which
is an ankh, an Egyptian cross that symbolizes life.  Note that the chain
of the ankh is occasionally missing, as in page 8 panel 3, page 10 panel 2,
and others.

Page 7 panel 2:  As I said earlier, Dream is quick to take revenge, but doubts
its value afterward.
	Panel 3:  The recovery of his tools occupies most of Dream's attention
in the first major storyline, _More than Rubies_, issues #1-7, reprinted in the
trade paperback _Preludes and Nocturnes_.

Page 9 panel 4:  Dream is an "anthropomorphic personification"; I like that.  It
means that he is a concept who appears in a form appropriate to those who are
conceiving of the concept; i.e. he appears human to humans, as the god of
dreams to Martians.

Page 10 panel 1:  Desire is another of Dream's siblings.  We are developing a
mythology here, so pay attention :-)

Page 11 panel 3:  Franklin's been wandering around in the background for a
while, but he gets named here.  This is his first known appearance; he does not
appear later, for reasons that will become apparent.

Page 12:  Dream accompanies Death on her rounds across Manhattan. It
turns out they stroll past a mirrored cover of Led Zeppelin's album
"Physical Graffiti", which was derived from the facade of some buildings
on 96 and 98 St. Mark's Place (found by David Groppe)

Page 12 panel 5:  Dream is at least two hundred years old.  We know from his
interaction with J'onn J'onzz in #5 that he is at least as old as Martian
civilization, which is implied, I believe, to have ended thousands of years ago.

Page 13 panel 1:  Romany is the name of the Gypsies for themselves and for
their language.

	Panel 5:  Yid:  Yiddish is the traditional lingua franca of the 
Ashkenazic Jews, those who have ancestors that lived in Germany, Europe and 
Slavic countries. Yiddish is the closest language to early German but is 
written in Hebraic characters.

The Yiddish people were generally called Ashkenazim or Ashkenazic Jews to 
distinguish them from the Sephardim or Sephardic Jews, Mediterranean Jews of 
Spanish origin, expelled from Spain due to religious persecution in 1492.

	"Yid" means "Jew" in Yiddish. It is a strong racial epithet,
particularly when used in Europe by a Gentile - although this depends on
whether it is spoken with a LONG i (neutral) or a SHORT i (strong racial
epithet).  The American	equivalent is probably "kike".  Here, used by a Jew,
"Yid" may be seen as self-deprecating humor.

Page 14 panel 1-2:  This prayer is a traditional Jewish prayer, the
"Sh'ma", said in Hebrew.  It is essentially the basic element of faith for
Judaism. The translation is "Hear, O Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is
One."  It's a declaration of monotheism, the idea by which Judaism
differentiated itself from its neighboring religions.  The statement still
serves to describe the basic disagreement between Judaism and Christianity's
doctrine of the Trinity; "the Lord is One" means not just "as opposed to many"
but "as opposed to three-in-one".  It is said in every worship service and in
numerous other contexts, including, according to tradition, just before death.
	Panel 4:  Note the painting of the skull, an unusual decoration.
	Panel 7:  Harry finds out about the afterlife, but we don't.  We 
have learned before that there is a Hell, for example; other DC books,
particularly _Swamp Thing_, have shown other aspects of the afterlife.
_Season of Mists_, in _Sandman_ #21-28, is directly concerned with Hell.

Page 15 panel 1:  Death is often portrayed in Christian tradition as
being an angel, often specifically the archangel Uriel.  Angels are
traditionally portrayed as being winged.  (A modern example of a winged Death
is in the movie _The Adventures of Baron Munchausen_.)
	The portrayal of a winged Death may predate Christianity.

Page 15 panel 5:  "En el jardin de los senderos bifurcados, Destino
vacila ( ? Por primera vez ? ) al volver la pagina". Added by Lluis Josep

The "The garden of forking paths" is a fix-up of histories from Jorge
Luis Borges, probably the best fantasy writer in spanish ever.

Page 16 panel 7:  The comedian is discussing the Batman story _A Death in
the Family_, in which the readers could call a special phone number to vote
whether Robin lived or died.  By a narrow margin, Robin (the second
character to use that name), was voted out.
	Panel 8:  Note the puns on the fate of the comedian.
 
Page 17 panel 2:  "Dying on stage" typically means telling jokes that do not
succeed.  This is a punning reference to that.
	Panel 6:  "The Sunless Lands" would appear to be an appelation for the
afterlives.  It may be from Greek mythology, the most pleasant section of
Hades, where the virtuous dwelt after death.  It may also refer to the
Sumerian/Babylonian afterlife, which was dusty, dark, and sterile, according to
Enkidu's vision in the "Epic of Gilgamesh".
	Note the interesting characterization of Dream as more terrible 
than Death. Quite true, considering that Dream can make a person's life a
living nightmare (c.f. Alex Burgess in #1, pp 38-40); whereas Death merely 
takes people's lives.)
        "No one here gets out alive" is from a Doors song, "Five to One", from
the album _Waiting for the Sun_ (1968).  It was also the title of Doors lead
singer Jim Morrison's biography, by Jerry Hopkins and Daniel Sugarman, Warner
Books, 1980.  Note that it may not be original with Morrison, as he was known
to widely use literary sources in his writing.
        panel 7:  

Page 18 panel 5:  "Booful" is Eastender slang for "beautiful".  (Eastenders
are from the East End of London.)  Aside from this, which may be a dialectical 
slip on Gaiman's part, the entire issue takes place in New York City.

Page 19 panel 1:  Death is a "gift".
	Panel 4:  Note the graffito:  "Dreams make no promises".  In
conjunction with the dead man, this may be seen as a contrast between the
siblings' realms.

Page 19 panel 4; page 20 panel 1-2:  The song to Death is a verse taken
from a papyrus, c. 2000 BC, which contains a work called "Dialogue of a
Misanthrope with His Soul".  The most accessible reference for this is Joseph
Campbell's _Oriental Mythology_.  Campbell cites 19th century German works for
his information.
	Note that now we know Dream to be "many thousands of years" old; we
should by now have the idea that he is immortal and has always existed.

Page 21 panel 1:  Note that the arch is clearly marked "Erected by the People
of the City of New York".

Page 24 panel 3:  The wings that Dream is hearing are the pigeons'.  Note that
Dream's Greek manifestation is traditionally portrayed as having wings, but
that we have no reason to think that this version of Dream does so, as one
correspondent suggested.

Release History:
Version 3.1 Archived 25 April 93

Contributors include:
	Peter Trei (ptrei@mitre.org) gave a long description of Washington 
Square Park.  Tom White (twhite@mozart.amd.com), "Nikki"
(ngustas@hamp.hampshirt.edu), and Connie Hirsch (fuzzy@athena.mit.edu) also
helped in correcting my misidentification of that scene and the locale of the
story.  Jhemon Lee (jlee@nlm.nih.gov) spotted the inscription on the arch.
	jasona@sco.COM added some stuff about Greek mythology.
	Michael S. Schiffer (mss2@quads.uchicago.edu) was extremely helpful in
explicating the Jewish cultural elements.  Connie Hirsch and William Sherman
(sherman@oak.math.ucla.edu) also pointed out the negative connotation of "Yid".
Jacob Levy  differed, saying that "Yid" was not
negative in context.
	William Sherman also pointed out the identification of Death with the
angel Uriel.
	Tom White, Rob Bakie , Viktor Haag 
 and Connie Hirsch identified the Doors quote. 
Connie also recalled the Sunless Lands.  Zeeshan Hasan 
(zeeshan@occs.cs.oberlin.edu) related the Sunless Lands to Gilgamesh.
	Viktor also confirmed the London origin of "booful".
	Jim W Lai (jwtlai@watcgl.waterloo.edu) found the song to Death.
	Many people corrected a major typo in the archive.  Ravi Thiagarajan
 corrected a minor typo as well.
	Sverker Wiberg   pointed out the
difference in the illustrations accompanying the introduction.
	Ron Dippold  pointed out the amazing
disappearing-reappearing ankh chain, Harry's unusual painting, some puns
and a graffito.  He indicates, without reference, that the winged death 
predates Christianity.
	Ian O'Brien (izo30@juts.ccc.amdahl.com) pointed out some rhyming
slang, noted that Dream and Death didn't use their galleries, and saw the
linkage between Dream and birds.
	Lance Smith (lsmith@atto.cs.umn.edu) explained the Fawney Rig con.
	Nils Helge Kielland Brobakk  pointed out the
connection with #47, corrected some typos, asked for a transcription, and
pointed out Harry's picture and puns on the comedian.
        Timothy Tan aka TiTan <*> -M2001- <*> 083285@bud.cc.swin.edu.au

© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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This file was last modified 27. Dec 2016 by root