New York Times Bestselling Author

Greetings from Cloud-Cuckooland

Courtesy of my new favorite quotation, from Dorothy Sayers’ Gaudy Night:

“[H]owever realistic the background, the novelist’s only native country is Cloud-Cuckooland, where they do but jest, poison in jest: no offense in the world.”

Indeed!

The comment is made in the context of apologizing for having arranged various bits of the historical record to suit the author’s fancy, but Sayers conveys a much deeper truth: no matter how precise an author may attempt to be, we are, in the end, purveyors of fiction. We deal in airy nothings made concrete by the application of a pen. Our works are, in essence, epistles from Cloud-Cuckooland.

Sayers borrows from Hamlet there with the whole “poison in jest” bit, but what it made me think of was A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream with its description of poets as those who “give to airy nothing/ a local habitation and a name.”

I’m quite happy to claim Cloud-Cuckooland as my local habitation.

3 Comments

  1. Lois on June 4, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Oh heck, I’m not a writer, but I’m always in Cloud-Cuckooland! 😉

    Lois

  2. Beth Vaughn on June 4, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Amen to that Lois! I am right there with you! =)~

  3. Camille la Flamme on June 5, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Poison in jest seems to be my life lately. -_-;

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