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Archive for December 8th, 2014

The star Yvaine, by Charles Vess, in "Stardust", by Neil Gaiman (published 1999). Image via Greenman Press.

The star Yvaine, by Charles Vess, in “Stardust”, by Neil Gaiman (published 1999). Image via Greenman Press.

If yesterday was about moonlight, today must be about starlight; it’s only logical (Captain). But this is not a star such as those that exist in our world. This is Yvaine, the immortal, human-shaped (as long as she stays on the fantastical side of the Wall) principal female protagonist of Neil Gaiman‘s Victorian-style fairytale, Stardust, a wonderful book with beautiful illustrations by Charles Vess. It’s one of my favourite books, and Yvaine is a wonderful character, strong, courageous, determined, vulnerable, complicated, and with one of the funniest entrances into a book that I’ve ever come across, given our usual perception of the kind of person a star would be.

I feel it my duty to also mention that there is a film of Stardust (2007), in which Claire Danes is a wonderful Yvaine; she and Ben Barnes, who plays the hero Tristan, are both excellent, and have wonderful chemistry. Unfortunately, the film itself has rewritten, or perhaps “reimagined” is more accurate, certain characters, who for one reason or another succeed in dispelling the magical atmosphere of the story, and the ending is disappointing.

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