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Artistic-Philosophical Reinterpretation of the Principles of Surrealism in the Works of Neil Gaiman

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2015. Vol. 4. No. 1. Pp. 9-15.
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Naumchik O. S.
Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod
23 Gagarin Ave., 603950 Nizhny Novgorod, Russia


In the present article, the work of contemporary English writer and screenwriter Neil Gaiman is studied from the point of view of artistic and philosophical reinterpretation of the principles of surrealism. His novels “Neverwhere”, “Coraline” and the script for the film “Mirror mask”are analysed, in which the interpenetration of the real and unreal world can be traced and the planes of reality and dreams are woven into one inseparable whole. It is emphasized that for the creative style of Neil Gaiman game with space and time is typical: climbing the stairs out of the sewer, you can find yourself on a roof (“Neverwhere”), away from home, you can go back to his door (“Coraline”), looking through a window in the world of dream, you can see yourself sleeping (“Mirror mask”). Therefore, the writer often uses the theme of dream, program for the philosophy of surrealism: the characters have dreams that are either echoes of the past or images of predicted future, reflection of dreams or the dream itself turns into a full-fledged reality that is being created by sleeping character. However, it can be noted that the approach of the writer to value of phantasmagoric worlds is changing. If in the novel “Neverwhere” (1996) the world of London below is conceptualized as an alternative to the real world, in the novel “Coraline” (2002), and especially in the movie “Mirror mask” filmed in 2005, staying in a different world helps heroes to understand the real world better and to seek that fills it with meaning.


  • • surrealism
  • • absurd
  • • dream
  • • game
  • • urban fantasy
  • • Neil Gaiman


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