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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Credit where credit's due.

As is our custom after watching particularly awful films, Chuck and I looked over the DVD special features of Beowulf. We often watch these behind the scenes features in an attempt to see someone we know in the VFX scene as they disingenuously chat up the benefits of computer animation, or we're grasping at straws, hoping to make some use out of the hours lost. The hours were irretrievably lost because there is, of course, no measure of satisfaction after a film as awful as Beowulf.
But then came a little gem among the tech drivel and twirp boasting. Neil Gaimen (who I'm pretty certain hasn't actually done anything good, or at least good enough to deserve his enormous cult following,) went right ahead and took credit for a truly lovely quotation by G.K. Chesterton. The original quote goes as follows: "Fairy tales are more than true. Not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten."
How lovely is that? How eloquent and thoughtful and encompassing a concept. What a fantastic tribute to the fairy tale as a genre.
But then back to the DVD features where Neil's bobbing and talking head spoke this same quote, but as if it was of his own design. He followed G.K.'s words with his own, adding "and that is a huge true thing."
What a word-smith.

Let's just hope the editors, on a deadline, just happened to cut out the part where he gave credit to G.K. Chesterton and his marvelous quotation. I hope it's not too unlikely.

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