Friday, 8 May 2009

The world of ideas

A quick plug for the final part of Pádraig Ó Méalóid's in-depth interview with Alan Moore over on the Forbidden Planet blog.

Everything Alan Moore says is worth hearing, and he is without a doubt the ne plus ultra genius of comics. This particular bit caught my eye because it expresses everything I'd like to have said about our reason for doing Mirabilis in the first place - although Alan Moore, of course, says it far better than Leo or I ever could:
PÓM: Do you believe in fairies?

AM: Do I believe in fairies? Well, I believe in absolutely every creature that the human imagination has ever thrown up, in an ontological sense, in that the idea of fairies exists, and I believe that fairies are the idea of fairies, just as I believe that gods are the idea of gods, that these things exist in a world of ideas in which they are completely real, and you only have to look at the Victorian fairy painters, and how many of them ended up mad, you only have to look at Richard Dadd’s Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke to see that little figure of the old man with Richard Dadd’s face sitting there, looking really anxious, staring out of the picture at you, sitting there on his log, and I look at that, and I don’t think, “Oh, that’s Richard Dadd painting himself into his own, you know, miniature masterpiece,” I think, “That is Richard Dadd trapped in a painting. The fairies got him.” He was away with the fairies.

The same went for Richard Doyle, Arthur Conan Doyle’s dad, and some of his paintings look like, the later ones, that are not jubilant at all, they look like they’re taking place in the dayroom of a madhouse, and you’ve got a figure staring at the table, trying not to look, as these little imps and fairies caper through the air. I mean, I’ve experienced fairies during some of my magical experiences, or things that seemed to be fairies. They were quite traditional cute Victorian ones, rather than spiky post-modern Neil Gaiman ones. That’s just my mind, I guess, but yes, in the terms that I’ve just described, yes, I believe in everything.

PÓM: Of course, Conan Doyle himself was a big believer, wasn’t he?

AM: I mean, whether I believe in the same literal way that Conan Doyle wanted to believe, I believe these things are real; I do not believe they are real outside the world of ideas and the mind, but then they have no need to be real beyond that realm, because in that realm they’re completely real, and they can affect us profoundly, as with any of the other denizens of the imaginary terrain, the angels and demons and monsters.

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