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The Annotated Sandman Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by David Goldfarb Issue 57: "The Kindly Ones: 1" Neil Gaiman, Marc Hempel "The Kindly Ones": Translation of Greek "Eumenides". Terrifying hags who pursue those who slay their own kin; really named "Furies", called "kindly" as a euphemism. As with many Greek myths, exact details vary: Aeschylus had a whole chorus of them; other sources number them at exactly three and name them Tisiphone, Alecto, and Megaera. Gaiman follows this version; we see exactly three Furies in Hades in the "Song of Orpheus" -- unsurprising, given the recurring Triple Goddess character. In "Three Septembers and a January" Desire vows to bring the Kindly Ones down on Dream's head (31:21:5), and it's implied in "The Doll's House" that if Dream had killed his great-niece Rose Walker this would have happened. Now Dream has killed his son Orpheus... Cover: The tape is medieval German; someone identified it as from the _Nibelungenlied_, the saga that Wagner drew on for his "Ring" cycle. A note on layout: this arc is dedicated to an aspect of the Triple Goddess; the page layouts are almost entirely based on a six- or nine-panel grid. Six and nine are, of course, multiples of three. Page 1: Here we see the Triple Goddess, as we have before, in the aspect of the witches from the old "Witching Hour" series, which is also the aspect of the Fates from Greek myth. panel 1: The maiden, Clotho, spins the yarn from which lives are woven. panel 3: The mother, Lachesis, knits it. Page 3 panel 6: Specifically in 21:2:4. In this, the last long _Sandman_ arc, there are many echoes of the past: old characters return, and things seen before recur. Loose ends are tied up (or snipped off!) as the story draws to a close. panel 7: The crone, Atropos, cuts the thread of life. There's been speculation about just whose thread was cut: some say Daniel Hall; some say Dream. Perhaps the thread is a metaphor for the story itself: we, the readers, want it to continue indefinitely, but it has to be ended sometime. Page 5 panel 4: An echo: this man looks very similar to Andros, the priest of Orpheus, from "Brief Lives". He even has red flowers such as sprouted where Orpheus' blood touched the ground. It seems rather unlikely that it is actually him, though. Panel 5: the old man with the flowers is singing a poem written by J.R.R. Tolkien which appears in LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring in the chapter where Frodo and the other 3 hobbits arrive to Bree and the inn of the Prancing Pony. This may suggest that the old man is actually Tolkien himself. Submitted by: Oded Even-Or (oded_even_or1 at hotmail dot com) Page 9: This sequence, where Matthew visits each of the characters in the Dreaming in turn, is oddly reminiscent of the story in the "Vertigo Jam". Page 12 panel 1: John Webster (1580?-1625?) is best known for the plays "The Duchess of Malfi" and "The White Devil". panel 2: The quote is from T. S. Eliot's _Whispers of Immortality_: "Webster was much possessed by death / And saw the skull beneath the skin; / And breastless creatures under ground / Leaned backward with a lipless grin." page 13 panel 4: An echo: the Corinthian played a large role in "The Doll's House". In 14:35:4 Dream said he would remake him. page 15 panel 6: Aristeas of Marmora -- referenced in Issue 30 (see annotations for Issue 30) Page 17 panel 1: "Lux": Latin for "light"; cf. "Lucifer", "Light-Bearer". panel 3: Alan Moore's short story "A Hypothetical Lizard" begins, "Half her face was porcelain." Of course, in that story it was the right half, not the left. Page 18 panel 1: To my knowledge, we've not seen Eric before. panel 3: Michael Eisner is head of Disney Studios. Michael Ovitz is a high-powered agent. (I think...) panel 4: The song is "These Foolish Things", by Jack Strachey and Eric Maschwitz, English lyrics by Harry Link. A notable line not quoted: "Oh, how the ghost of you clings." Page 19 panel 7: Before the changes made to DC Universe continuity by the "Crisis on Infinite Earths", Lyta was a character on Earth-2, the daughter of that Earth's Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. Currently there exists only one Earth, and only one Wonder Woman. Roy Thomas created a new but similar character for the series "The Young All-Stars": the "Golden Age Fury", who received power from the Furies. Current continuity is as given in the next few panels. panel 8: Fury did not wear this costume in "The Young All-Stars". Note that Lyta's maiden name remains "Trevor" even though she is no longer related to Steve Trevor. Page 20 panel 1: The group was "Infinity, Inc.", and had its own series. panel 2: Well, hey. Superheroes lead strange lives. Page 21 panel 2: The return of Lucifer, last seen in issue 28 on an Australian beach. The mute waitress is very probably the demon Mazikeen from issue 23, the half-mask hiding the rotted, skinless horror that is the left half of her face. panel 3: Lucifer is a being of highly refined taste. panel 6: The song is called "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat". It's from the musical "Guys and Dolls"; music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. Two notable lines not quoted: "And the Devil will drag you under/By the sharp lapel on your checkered coat". Page 23 panel 3: It's winter...rain in L.A. is all but unknown at any other season. Release History: Version 1.0 relased 8 June 94. Credits: Greg "elmo" Morrow (firstname.lastname@example.org) created the Sandman Annotations. He also, in a letter that I accidentally deleted, referenced Michael Ovitz and corrected some information on Lyta Hall. Demery (email@example.com) referenced Hector Hall's favorite song.
© by Ralf Hildebrandt
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This file was last modified 27. Jan 2007 by root