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                         The Annotated Sandman
    
               Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by Greg Morrow
      
                      Issue 47: Brief Lives Seven
              Neil Gaiman, Jill Thompson, and Vince Locke

Notes:  See #41.

Cover:  Maps on the cover:  The map to the right seems to be a map of
China.  It is several centuries old, since the typography uses the `long s'
form of the letter.  The map behind the _Sandman_ logo is unidentified.
The object that Dream is holding is the M.C. Escher woodcut "Four-Faced
Planetoid" from 1954.

1: Cooking Considered as One of the Fine Arts

Page 1 panel 2:  Note the ecologically-correct webbed shopping bag.
	Panel 4:  As theorized in #48 page 16, the Endless embody both their
name and their opposite.  Hence, Destruction includes creation, which
explains his sculpture, painting, and cooking.
Eleni Petrakou  tends to disagree:
I think the one with sculpture is a joke, since the work seems
awful; it's rather like him trying to react to his own
identity.    

Page 2 panel 6: Is this meant to represent Ishtar?

Page 3 panel 6:  Barnabas is a *real* dog.  Admittedly, he's a real
*talking* dog, but he's not a human in a dog's body the way Matthew is a
human in a raven's body (the superficial characterization of #40 aside,
Matthew still *acts* human).  Incidentally, chocolate is not particularly 
healthy for dogs; they have trouble digesting it and they, like the rest 
of the Carnivora, overreact to stimulants.

2: "My Envelope Isn't Any Good Anymore"

Page 5 panel 2:  Note the curlicues used for Del's eyes.  The envelope is
addressed to "Santa Claus/The North Pole".

	Santa Claus is actually a corruption of Saint Nicholas, a Christian 
bishop who lived in Myra (now in Turkey) from 280 to 340; the name itself 
"Santa Claus", is a child's slurred mispronunciation of Saint Nicholas . 
Nicholas is the patron saint of brides, children, Greece, Russia, and 
travellers. His feast day is December 6.

	It was commonly believed that Saint Nicholas was imported to America 
by the Dutch of New Amsterdam (New York). Clement Moore believed this when he 
wrote his poem "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" (which starts with the immortal 
line "Twas the Night Before Christmas", which is often erroneously thought to 
be the poem's title. Also, the world "Santa Claus" is not used at any time in 
the poem; he is referred to as "Saint Nicolas" or "Saint Nick" throughout). 

From Moore the idea of the Dutch having observed Saint Nicholas Day in New 
Amsterdam spread. 

	Moore got this idea from Washington Irving............ who wrote it 
in his History of New York From the Beggining of the World to the End of the 
Dutch Dynasty in the early 1800's.

	As a joke.

	Santa Claus was popular with Dutch Roman Catholics. However, in 
America, New York (New Amsterdam) was settled by Dutch Protestants, who were 
against the veneration of saints. Irving's account of the Dutch honoring 
Saint Nicholas in America was intended as a part of a historical parody. 
Unfortunately Clement Moore took it as a literal history. (Irving was noted 
for his historical parodies; unfortuneately, these farces are too often taken 
as literal history. Such a misunderstanding of one of Moore's books about 
Colombus lead to the misconception that Ferdinand and Isabella believed that 
the Earth was flat......when in actuality the fact of the Earth's rounder 
shape had been established since ancient Greek times.) 

	As Richard Shenkman pointed out in Legends, Lies, and Cherished Myths 
of World History, Saint Nicholas actually did not arrive in America until the 
War for Independance. As noted, Washington Irving wrote his book about twenty 
or thirty years later, Moore wrote his poem in turn, and finally cartoonist 
Thomas Nast polished off the contemporary view of Santa Claus to 90% of what 
it is today.

	Other useful references:
* Saint Nicholas by Charles Jones
* The Dictionary of Misconceptions and More Misconceptions by Tom Burnam
* Process and Pattern in Culture
* The Santa Claus Book

Santa Claus teamed up with Superman at least once during the run of DC Comics 
Presents (#67). This was not the first appearance of Santa Claus (or
Saint Nicholas, ofr that matter) in comic books by any means, or even
the first appearance of Santa Claus in DC Comics, but the only one
that I could think of off hand. It was reprinted in Christmas with the
Super-Heroes. Santa Claus has probably made many other appearances in
comic books. Most notoriously The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas
Special#1, in which Lobo killed Santa Claus! (Referred to in flashback
in Lobo#0.) 

        It was Thomas Nast, a cartoonist, who came up with the idea that
Santa Claus lived at the North Pole.

Incidentally, a later writer had it that Santa Claus was the son of Odin and
the brother of Thor.

All this was added by John Mc Donagh  or 

3: Where All Mazes Meet

Page 6 panel 3-7:  This sequence is reminiscent of _The Chronicles of
Amber_, by Roger Zelazny.  In that book, the members of the royal family of 
the eternal city Amber are able to walk among the shadowy reflections of
Amber, adding and subtracting bits of reality until they get to a
reflection which matches their desired destination.  Gaiman's description
of Dream and Delirium's walk is very similar to Zelazny's description
of shadow-manipulation.
	Note that the maze gradually changes from man-made to naturally
grown.

4: The Other Side of the Coin
Note that throughout this sequence, Dream stays on the path, Destiny stays
off the path, and Delirium charts her own course.

Page 8 panel 3:  The statue of Destruction is facing in the opposite direction
as the statues of the rest of the family.  There is no obvious path leading
to it.

Page 10 panel 6:  Del may be imitating the posture of her statue.

Page 11 panel 2-5:  Note the white core to Del's balloons.  In panel 4,
Del's eyes should be the same color.  (Del is repeating what she said in
#21.)

Page 12 panel 2:  Del's eyes should be the same color again.

5: Life as a Glass of Bitter Wine

Page 13 panel 2:  Delirium considers Destiny's "little flappy things"
equivalent to Dream's ravens or Despair's rats (#41).

Page 14 panel 1:  This event (as yet undetailed) occurs just before #1 and
is referred to in the "What Has Gone Before" introduction to _The Doll's
House_.
	Panel 2:  See Dream's description in #21, and the _Death: The High
Cost of Living_ miniseries.  According to Jill Thompson, the ox drover 
is no one particularly important, but was also mentioned in issue #2,
page 17, panel 4.
	Panel 3:  It seems probable that this is a depection of a future 
event; the color of Dream's clothing and hair is significant.

6: Cherries Are Counted, and a Bargain Is Made

Page 15 panel 2:  Dream's cloakpin is supposed to be colored silver.  It is
not Dream's ruby, which was destroyed in #7.
	Panel 3:  Orpheus as "not very old": All lives are brief, from the
perspective of the Endless.
	Panel 5:  Note that Del has given the flower wings.

Page 19 panel 3:  Delirium is using an old counting rhyme which is supposed
to reveal your occupation when you grow up.  (Modern readers may be
familiar with its use as a title for a couple of works: _Tinker, Tailor,
Soldier, Spy_ by John LeCarre and _Rich Man, Poor Man_ and _Beggarman,
Thief_, novels and television miniseries by Irwin Shaw.)  Del omits "thief" 
in her rhyme; the continuation in panel 5 is her own invention.

Page 20 panel 5:  See #41 for the source of the epitaph.

Page 21 panel 3:  This island, Destruction's refuge, was seen in #41.

7: An Unlikely Growth

Page 24 panel 1:  Troth:  An archaic term for faithfulness or a promise,
especially a promise to marry; extended by similarity to equal "truth".
	Panel 4:  Dolmades:  a Greek dish, grape leaves stuffed with ground
meat.  /-es/ is a Greek plural ending.

Release history:              
Version 1.0 released 31 May 93
Version 2.0 released and archived 29 Aug 93

Contributors include:
	Enrique Conty (conty@cbnewsl.cb.att.com) pointed out the connection
between Destruction and creation and confirmed the existence of Del's
little song.
	Carl Fink (carlf@panix.com) passed along Neil Gaiman's report of
yet another coloring error, this time in Dream's cloakpin.
	Lance Smith (lsmith@cs.umn.edu) extracted salient points from Jill
Thompson's interview in _Musings_ #1, noted Del's envelope's address, the
posture of statues, and the wings of flowers.
	Jeff Bulf (jbulf@balsa.Berkeley.EDU), Jeff White 
(pweent@cats.ucsc.edu), and Steve Ward-Smith 
(pcxsws@unicorn.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk) ID'ed "dolmades".
	Andrew Solovay (solovay@netcom.com) and Francis Uy
(fuy@nyx.cs.du.edu) disagree with my assessment of Matthew's humanity.
Francis also contributed an observation on how the Endless follow paths.
	Ian Taylor (ian@airs.com) notes the concluding word of Del's rhyme.
	"Bright-eyed" Bill Sherman  identified the
Escher woodcut and noted Destruction's statue.
	Jim Lai  noted the degeneration of the
maze and Destruction's statue.
	Byron Go (bgo@ucsee.Berkeley.EDU) IDed

© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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This file was last modified 27. Jan 2007 by root