Duality in Brief Lives

I finally finished a new volume of the Sandman. I only got as far as volume six when I was reading them in high school, and I have been slowly acquiring the trade paperbacks one volume at a time (sometimes two). This Christmas, I treated myself to volumes seven and eight.

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I finished Brief Lives last week on a train ride home from work. I thoroughly enjoyed Dream’s journey with Delirium; I had always found her interesting, but we never really got a chance to know her before this volume. We also finally learn more about Destruction, gone away on his own these past 300 years.

The concept of duality is mentioned in this volume, though it’s something I had always kind of known about the Endless. Isn’t it true of all things? Death is intrinsically connected to life, chaos to order, fate to choice. The best deities and mythological figures are like coins, opposites on either side. The two halves define one another and cannot exist on their own, like good and evil.

The volume ended with a dramatic event that had me eager to read the next, but volume eight seems to be similar to volume six in that it doesn’t advance Dream’s story. I enjoy these little vignettes, of course, but I have to restrain myself and not rush through Worlds’ End on my way to the next volume. I want to enjoy the tales instead of obsessing over what comes next for Lord Morpheus.

So far, so good. I’ll write more on Worlds’ End once I’ve finished it.

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