Terri Windling Quotes

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Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There's that old adage about how there's only seven plots in the world and Shakespeare's done them all before. -Terri Windling


Terri Windling Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=theres-that-old-adage-about-how-theres-only-seven-plots-in-world-shakespeares-done-them-all-before

Terri Windling Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=theres-that-old-adage-about-how-theres-only-seven-plots-in-world-shakespeares-done-them-all-before, accessed .

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Some years ago I had a conversation with a man who thought that writing and editing fantasy books was a rather frivolous job for a grown woman like me. He wasn't trying to be contentious, but he himself was a probation officer, working with troubled kids from the Indian reservation where he'd been raised. Day in, day out, he dealt in a concrete way with very concrete problems, well aware that his words and deeds could change young lives for good or ill. I argued that certain stories are also capable of changing lives, addressing some of the same problems and issues he confronted in his daily work: problems of poverty, violence, and alienation, issues of culture, race, gender, and class... 'Stories aren't real, ' he told me shortly. 'They don't feed a kid left home in an empty house. Or keep an abusive relative at bay. Or prevent an unloved child from finding 'family' in the nearest gang.' Sometimes they do, I tried to argue. The right stories, read at the right time, can be as important as shelter or food. They can help us to escape calamity, and heal us in its aftermath. He frowned, dismissing this foolishness, but his wife was more conciliatory. 'Write down the names of some books, ' she said. 'Maybe we'll read them.' I wrote some titles on a scrap of paper, and the top three were by Charles de lint - for these are precisely the kind of tales that Charles tells better than anyone. The vital, necessary stories. The ones that can change and heal young lives. Stories that use the power of myth to speak truth to the human heart. Charles de Lint creates a magical world that's not off in a distant Neverland but here and now and accessible, formed by the 'magic' of friendship, art, community, and social activism. Although most of his books have not been published specifically for adolescents and young adults, nonetheless young readers find them and embrace them with particular passion. I've long lost count of the number of times I've heard people from troubled backgrounds say that books by Charles saved them in their youth, and kept them going. Recently I saw that parole officer again, and I asked after his work. 'Gets harder every year, ' he said. 'Or maybe I'm just getting old.' He stopped me as I turned to go. 'That writer? That Charles de Lint? My wife got me to read them books... Sometimes I pass them to the kids.' 'Do they like them?' I asked him curiously. 'If I can get them to read, they do. I tell them: Stories are important.' And then he looked at me and smiled.

Terri Windling
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I lived in New York City back in the 1980s, which is when the Bordertown series was created. New York was a different place then - dirtier, edgier, more dangerous, but also in some ways more exciting. The downtown music scene was exploding - punk and folk music were everywhere - and it wasn't as expensive to live there then, so a lot of young artists, musicians, writers, etc. etc. were all living and doing crazy things in scruffy neighborhoods like the East Village. I was a Fantasy Editor for a publishing company back then - but in those days, "fantasy" to most people meant "imaginary world" books, like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. A number of the younger writers in the field, however, wanted to create a branch of fantasy that was rooted in contemporary, urban North America, rather than medieval or pastoral Europe. I'd already been working with some of these folks (Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, etc.), who were writing novels that would become the foundations for the current Urban Fantasy field. At the time, these kinds of stories were considered so strange and different, it was actually hard to get them into print. When I was asked by a publishing company to create a shared-world anthology for Young Adult readers, I wanted to create an Urban Fantasy setting that was something like a magical version of New York... but I didn't want it to actually be New York. I want it to be any city and every city - a place that anyone from anywhere could go to or relate to. The idea of placing it on the border of Elfland came from the fact that I'd just re-read a fantasy classic called The King of Elfland's Daughter by the Irish writer Lord Dunsany. I love stories that take place on the borderlands between two different worlds... and so I borrowed this concept, but adapted it to a modern, punky, urban setting. I drew upon elements of the various cities I knew best - New York, Boston, London, Dublin, maybe even a little of Mexico City, where I'd been for a little while as a teen - and scrambled them up and turned them into Bordertown. There actually IS a Mad River in southern Ohio (where I went to college) and I always thought that was a great name, so I imported it to Bordertown. As for the water being red, that came from the river of blood in the Scottish folk ballad "Thomas the Rhymer, " which Thomas must cross to get into Elfland. [speaking about the Borderland series she "founded" and how she came up with the setting. Link to source; QandA with Holly, Ellen and Terri!]

Terri Windling
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Silence is another element we find in classic fairy tales - girls muted by magic or sworn to silence in order to break enchantment. In "The Wild Swans, " a princess is imprisoned by her stepmother, rolled in filth, then banished from home (as her older brothers had been before her). She goes in search of her missing brothers, discovers that they've been turned into swans, whereupon the young girl vows to find a way to break the spell. A mysterious woman comes to her in a dream and tells her what to do: 'Pick the nettles that grow in graveyards, crush and spin them into thread, then weave them into coats and throw them over your brothers' backs.' The nettles burn and blister, yet she never falters: picking, spinning, weaving, working with wounded, crippled hands, determined to save her brothers. All this time she's silent. 'You must not speak, ' the dream woman has warned, 'for a single world will be like a knife plunged into your brothers' hearts.' You must not speak. That's what my stepfather said: don't speak, don't cry, don't tell. That's what my mother said as well, as we sat in hospital waiting rooms - and I obeyed, as did my brothers. We sat as still and silent as stone while my mother spun false tales to explain each break and bruise and burn. Our family moved just often enough that her stories were fresh and plausible; each new doctor believed her, and chided us children to be more careful. I never contradicted those tales. I wouldn't have dared, or wanted to. They'd send me into foster care. They'd send my young brothers away. And so we sat, and the unspoken truth was as sharp as the point of a knife.

Terri Windling
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