His Dark Materials Trilogy

This forum caters to our literary tastes.

Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:22 pm

Well all the talk in the Golden Compass thread doesn't compel me to see the film, but it's put the books on the ol' radar...

So how are these books as a fantasy story? Are they most similar to:

Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Dune, Dragon Lance, something Neil Gaiman wrote, H@rry Potter, or Other?
User avatar
Pacino86845
EGYPTIAN LOVER
 
Posts: 14064
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:20 am

Postby Lord Voldemoo on Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:27 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:Well all the talk in the Golden Compass thread doesn't compel me to see the film, but it's put the books on the ol' radar...

So how are these books as a fantasy story? Are they most similar to:

Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Dune, Dragon Lance, something Neil Gaiman wrote, H@rry Potter, or Other?


Me too, Pacino. I have talked to a few people about the books and they sound much deeper and more "adult" than I'd originally given them credit for.

I'll be interested in the answer to your question as well...
Image
User avatar
Lord Voldemoo
He Who Shall Not Be Milked
 
Posts: 17626
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:18 pm
Location: Pasture next to the Red Barn

Postby TonyWilson on Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:28 pm

I am more than happy that Pullman is vehemently anti religion. It's good to have a little balance and in terms of children's literature it's even more important. As I mentioned in the movie thread it's a modernist fable and it works perfectly. Metaphorically, killing God is a wholly good thing because it ushers in rationality and discovery. People bitch about the Mulefla portions of book 3 but that's vital to Pullman's grand vision. Without acknowledging evolution Pullman would be undermining a fundamental pillar of his theory.
Elitism is positing that your taste is equivalent to quality, you hate "Hamlet" does it make it "bad"? If you think so, you're one elite motherfucker.
User avatar
TonyWilson
No Less Liquid Than His Shadow
 
Posts: 9154
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:45 am
Location: A Drained Swimming Pool

Postby Maui on Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:32 pm

TonyWilson wrote: People bitch about the Mulefla portions of book 3 but that's vital to Pullman's grand vision.


They do??? I actually enjoy that part of the book with Dr. Malone and the seed pods.
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:34 pm

Maui wrote:
TonyWilson wrote: People bitch about the Mulefla portions of book 3 but that's vital to Pullman's grand vision.


They do??? I actually enjoy that part of the book with Dr. Malone and the seed pods.

co-sign.
User avatar
stereosforgeeks
Re-Wound
 
Posts: 7857
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:46 pm
Location: DCish

Postby TonyWilson on Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:37 pm

stereosforgeeks wrote:
Maui wrote:
TonyWilson wrote: People bitch about the Mulefla portions of book 3 but that's vital to Pullman's grand vision.


They do??? I actually enjoy that part of the book with Dr. Malone and the seed pods.

co-sign.



:D

Me too, it's excellent but I've heard quite a few moans about how it kills the pace. But I find it an odd criticism.
Elitism is positing that your taste is equivalent to quality, you hate "Hamlet" does it make it "bad"? If you think so, you're one elite motherfucker.
User avatar
TonyWilson
No Less Liquid Than His Shadow
 
Posts: 9154
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:45 am
Location: A Drained Swimming Pool

Postby Wolfpack on Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:39 pm

This relgious furor over the movie will go a long way in the publicity department.
"Alright Shaggy - you and Scooby head over that way. The girls and I will go this way."
User avatar
Wolfpack
AIRWOLF
 
Posts: 2531
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:48 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby Maui on Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:42 pm

TonyWilson wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:
Maui wrote:
TonyWilson wrote: People bitch about the Mulefla portions of book 3 but that's vital to Pullman's grand vision.


They do??? I actually enjoy that part of the book with Dr. Malone and the seed pods.

co-sign.



:D

Me too, it's excellent but I've heard quite a few moans about how it kills the pace. But I find it an odd criticism.


I'm still trying to visualize what they look like. Triangular buffalos.
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby DaleTremont on Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:07 pm

Maui wrote:
TonyWilson wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:
Maui wrote:
TonyWilson wrote: People bitch about the Mulefla portions of book 3 but that's vital to Pullman's grand vision.


They do??? I actually enjoy that part of the book with Dr. Malone and the seed pods.

co-sign.



:D

Me too, it's excellent but I've heard quite a few moans about how it kills the pace. But I find it an odd criticism.


I'm still trying to visualize what they look like. Triangular buffalos.


Image

Hope that helps :wink:
Image
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby Maui on Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:10 pm

DaleTremont wrote:
Maui wrote:
TonyWilson wrote:
stereosforgeeks wrote:
Maui wrote:
TonyWilson wrote: People bitch about the Mulefla portions of book 3 but that's vital to Pullman's grand vision.


They do??? I actually enjoy that part of the book with Dr. Malone and the seed pods.

co-sign.



:D

Me too, it's excellent but I've heard quite a few moans about how it kills the pace. But I find it an odd criticism.


I'm still trying to visualize what they look like. Triangular buffalos.


Image

Hope that helps :wink:


Good job Dale. I see you included the wheels - very important!!
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby Lady Sheridan on Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:44 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:Well all the talk in the Golden Compass thread doesn't compel me to see the film, but it's put the books on the ol' radar...

So how are these books as a fantasy story? Are they most similar to:

Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Dune, Dragon Lance, something Neil Gaiman wrote, H@rry Potter, or Other?


It doesn't look like anyone's answered...

I would have to say they fall somewhere in between Narnia and LOTR. It's agenda, if you will, prevents it from soaring to Tolkien heights. But the world Pullman created is much more intricate and whole than Narnia, and almost approaches Tolkien. I think it's the most original fantasy world I have read in a long time.
User avatar
Lady Sheridan
RED
 
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Croft Manor

Postby Lady Sheridan on Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:56 pm

What I find perplexing about Pullman's "agenda" is the fact that he "confirms" the Bible at the same time he's screaming there's no God.

On one hand, you encounter the afterlife (directly influenced by Greek myth and the Hebrew belief of Sheol) and there, you meet Christian martyrs who are angry that they died for nothing. I think this chapter is the most damning and vicious than actually "killing God." If there's one area that I see as an assault on every religious belief, it's Pullman's dismissal of any kind of afterlife. And yet he still doesn't bring himself to do it entirely--when Lee dies, he "scatters" to the four winds where "the particles of his beloved Hester were waiting for him." I think there's a hint that the soul does go on and continue to feel, even if only on some faint level.

You have angels--and not rewritten or even incorporating Eastern beliefs, but a blatant use of Christian imagery. So while religion itself is wrong, the trappings of it are right?

And we have a soul, which can live on somehow (see spoiler)...which goes against every atheist I know, who believes our bodies are simply biological.

And "The Amber Spyglass" is one big retelling of the Fortunate Fall.

The fact that you CAN read it as anti-Church and anti-authority, rather than anti-religion, speaks volumes. I think, if pressed, Pullman doesn't actually know what he believes. Anyone who borrowed Milton as slavishly as he did doesn't entirely discount God. I'm just not sure he realizes it.
User avatar
Lady Sheridan
RED
 
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Croft Manor

Postby Maui on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:06 pm

lyra belacqua wrote:The Da Vinci Code was simplistic and sensationalistic=big hit in US. I barely look at best seller lists anymore b/c the mass of American readers read crap.


Indeedy! Lyra, where are you?
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby Lord Voldemoo on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:09 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:What I find perplexing about Pullman's "agenda" is the fact that he "confirms" the Bible at the same time he's screaming there's no God.

On one hand, you encounter the afterlife (directly influenced by Greek myth and the Hebrew belief of Sheol) and there, you meet Christian martyrs who are angry that they died for nothing. I think this chapter is the most damning and vicious than actually "killing God." If there's one area that I see as an assault on every religious belief, it's Pullman's dismissal of any kind of afterlife. And yet he still doesn't bring himself to do it entirely--when Lee dies, he "scatters" to the four winds where "the particles of his beloved Hester were waiting for him." I think there's a hint that the soul does go on and continue to feel, even if only on some faint level.

You have angels--and not rewritten or even incorporating Eastern beliefs, but a blatant use of Christian imagery. So while religion itself is wrong, the trappings of it are right?

And we have a soul, which can live on somehow (see spoiler)...which goes against every atheist I know, who believes our bodies are simply biological.

And "The Amber Spyglass" is one big retelling of the Fortunate Fall.

The fact that you CAN read it as anti-Church and anti-authority, rather than anti-religion, speaks volumes. I think, if pressed, Pullman doesn't actually know what he believes. Anyone who borrowed Milton as slavishly as he did doesn't entirely discount God. I'm just not sure he realizes it.


now i'm more intrigued than ever by it.

I'll definitely pick it up...
Image
User avatar
Lord Voldemoo
He Who Shall Not Be Milked
 
Posts: 17626
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:18 pm
Location: Pasture next to the Red Barn

Postby TonyWilson on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:14 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:What I find perplexing about Pullman's "agenda" is the fact that he "confirms" the Bible at the same time he's screaming there's no God.

On one hand, you encounter the afterlife (directly influenced by Greek myth and the Hebrew belief of Sheol) and there, you meet Christian martyrs who are angry that they died for nothing. I think this chapter is the most damning and vicious than actually "killing God." If there's one area that I see as an assault on every religious belief, it's Pullman's dismissal of any kind of afterlife. And yet he still doesn't bring himself to do it entirely--when Lee dies, he "scatters" to the four winds where "the particles of his beloved Hester were waiting for him." I think there's a hint that the soul does go on and continue to feel, even if only on some faint level.

You have angels--and not rewritten or even incorporating Eastern beliefs, but a blatant use of Christian imagery. So while religion itself is wrong, the trappings of it are right?

And we have a soul, which can live on somehow (see spoiler)...which goes against every atheist I know, who believes our bodies are simply biological.

And "The Amber Spyglass" is one big retelling of the Fortunate Fall.

The fact that you CAN read it as anti-Church and anti-authority, rather than anti-religion, speaks volumes. I think, if pressed, Pullman doesn't actually know what he believes. Anyone who borrowed Milton as slavishly as he did doesn't entirely discount God. I'm just not sure he realizes it.


I have to disagree with your assesment that there is a semblance of soul left or that there is an afterlife. I will try to dig my copy of the Amber Spyglass out but there's a passage about how Heaven was never really a place that existed physically but was brought forth by human belief. Something like that anyway. And I think the idea of Lee scattering to the four winds Pullman's way of talking about the idea that in the end we return to the stardust everything is made from. It's a scientific idea not a religious one.
Elitism is positing that your taste is equivalent to quality, you hate "Hamlet" does it make it "bad"? If you think so, you're one elite motherfucker.
User avatar
TonyWilson
No Less Liquid Than His Shadow
 
Posts: 9154
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:45 am
Location: A Drained Swimming Pool

Postby DaleTremont on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:20 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:What I find perplexing about Pullman's "agenda" is the fact that he "confirms" the Bible at the same time he's screaming there's no God.

On one hand, you encounter the afterlife (directly influenced by Greek myth and the Hebrew belief of Sheol) and there, you meet Christian martyrs who are angry that they died for nothing. I think this chapter is the most damning and vicious than actually "killing God." If there's one area that I see as an assault on every religious belief, it's Pullman's dismissal of any kind of afterlife. And yet he still doesn't bring himself to do it entirely--when Lee dies, he "scatters" to the four winds where "the particles of his beloved Hester were waiting for him." I think there's a hint that the soul does go on and continue to feel, even if only on some faint level.

You have angels--and not rewritten or even incorporating Eastern beliefs, but a blatant use of Christian imagery. So while religion itself is wrong, the trappings of it are right?


Well, it is a piece of narrative fiction. Narrative fantasy actually. Just because Pullman includes angels in his books, that doesn't mean he "believes" in angels. I'm not really getting why everyone assumes Pullman wrote HDM as some sort of treatise on his religious beliefs encoded in the symbology of the books....isn't it possible he himself was wrestling with these questions as he was writing it?
Image
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby Peven on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:22 pm

DaleTremont wrote:
Lady Sheridan wrote:What I find perplexing about Pullman's "agenda" is the fact that he "confirms" the Bible at the same time he's screaming there's no God.

On one hand, you encounter the afterlife (directly influenced by Greek myth and the Hebrew belief of Sheol) and there, you meet Christian martyrs who are angry that they died for nothing. I think this chapter is the most damning and vicious than actually "killing God." If there's one area that I see as an assault on every religious belief, it's Pullman's dismissal of any kind of afterlife. And yet he still doesn't bring himself to do it entirely--when Lee dies, he "scatters" to the four winds where "the particles of his beloved Hester were waiting for him." I think there's a hint that the soul does go on and continue to feel, even if only on some faint level.

You have angels--and not rewritten or even incorporating Eastern beliefs, but a blatant use of Christian imagery. So while religion itself is wrong, the trappings of it are right?


Well, it is a piece of narrative fiction. Narrative fantasy actually. Just because Pullman includes angels in his books, that doesn't mean he "believes" in angels. I'm not really getting why everyone assumes Pullman wrote HDM as some sort of treatise on his religious beliefs encoded in the symbology of the books....isn't it possible he himself was wrestling with these questions as he was writing it?


i thought he himself has said he intended the books as a work of anti-religion, an outright attack. doesn't sound like he was wrestling with much
Image

perversely contrarian since 2005
User avatar
Peven
Is This Real Life?
 
Posts: 14062
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:45 am
Location: Group W bench

Postby Lady Sheridan on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:27 pm

TonyWilson wrote:
I have to disagree with your assesment that there is a semblance of soul left or that there is an afterlife. I will try to dig my copy of the Amber Spyglass out but there's a passage about how Heaven was never really a place that existed physically but was brought forth by human belief. Something like that anyway. And I think the idea of Lee scattering to the four winds Pullman's way of talking about the idea that in the end we return to the stardust everything is made from. It's a scientific idea not a religious one.


I'd buy that he was embracing carbon, if he didn't anthropomorphize it. If he was trying to be coldly scientific, he failed. I think that's what makes me skeptical of Pullman--for every "nasty" tear-down of Western religion, he softens and romanticizes his solution. Not only does belief in a soul fly against atheism, but the fact that we could send those souls to an afterlife?

I need to reread Amber Spyglass too, because I can't remember why the afterlife was so wretchedly awful. If humans have conjured it up, why wasn't it pleasant?

I seem to remember the whole "scattering" thing as something everyone still felt would preserve them. Most of them were desperate to get out and not feel, but I remember a few characters expressing hope that they would continue to feel and enjoy being part of the stars, as it were...and to me, if there's hope, there's the possibility that happened. But I'd have to reread it, because I remember it seeming rather bleakly scientific, and then suddenly blossoming into something more romantically spiritual.

Like I said--I think if you actually pressed him, he would waffle on what he believes and what he's written in His Dark Materials.
User avatar
Lady Sheridan
RED
 
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Croft Manor

Postby DaleTremont on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:30 pm

Peven wrote:
DaleTremont wrote:
L ady Sheridan wrote:What I find perplexing about Pullman's "agenda" is the fact that he "confirms" the Bible at the same time he's screaming there's no God.

On one hand, you encounter the afterlife (directly influenced by Greek myth and the Hebrew belief of Sheol) and there, you meet Christian martyrs who are angry that they died for nothing. I think this chapter is the most damning and vicious than actually "killing God." If there's one area that I see as an assault on every religious belief, it's Pullman's dismissal of any kind of afterlife. And yet he still doesn't bring himself to do it entirely--when Lee dies, he "scatters" to the four winds where "the particles of his beloved Hester were waiting for him." I think there's a hint that the soul does go on and continue to feel, even if only on some faint level.

You have angels--and not rewritten or even incorporating Eastern beliefs, but a blatant use of Christian imagery. So while religion itself is wrong, the trappings of it are right?


Well, it is a piece of narrative fiction. Narrative fantasy actually. Just because Pullman includes angels in his books, that doesn't mean he "believes" in angels. I'm not really getting why everyone assumes Pullman wrote HDM as some sort of treatise on his religious beliefs encoded in the symbology of the books....isn't it possible he himself was wrestling with these questions as he was writing it?


i thought he himself has said he intended the books as a work of anti-religion, an outright attack. doesn't sound like he was wrestling with much


Well find me that quote verbatim and then we can talk. But regardless of the conclusion he comes to at the end, I say the fact of how he got there is the meat of the series. That he took the time to question instead of just accept- intellect being the antithesis of indoctrination. And if that's what he is speaking out against- the Church as an organization that closes people's minds instead of opening them- well, frankly, I applaud him. I just wish people could decide for themselves in the end instead of refusing point blank to look at it because someone else has told them it would go against their beliefs. I'm sorry, but that seems utterly stupid.
Image
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby Lady Sheridan on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:33 pm

DaleTremont wrote:
Well, it is a piece of narrative fiction. Narrative fantasy actually. Just because Pullman includes angels in his books, that doesn't mean he "believes" in angels. I'm not really getting why everyone assumes Pullman wrote HDM as some sort of treatise on his religious beliefs encoded in the symbology of the books....isn't it possible he himself was wrestling with these questions as he was writing it?


Well, I was going on the assumption that he had said as much. It's been awhile since I read an interview with him, so maybe he never has.

I've always embraced them as fiction and not a treatise of an atheist--and I certainly feel you can read and interpret a book any way you want to. I think what's so interesting about HDM is that there is so much wiggle room. Narnia doesn't have that. Milton doesn't have it. It's very black and white, and in (apparently) attempting to do the same thing, Pullman's books are nothing but gray. At least to me. And that's what makes them a fantastic read...

But if he is out there bashing any reader who can find anything but "I hate God, God is dead!" well, damn!
Last edited by Lady Sheridan on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Lady Sheridan
RED
 
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Croft Manor

Postby Maui on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:34 pm

A side note - I grabbed this from Pullman's website. Basically a Q/A:
His Dark Materials seems to be against organised religion. Do you believe in God?

I don't know whether there's a God or not. Nobody does, no matter what they say. I think it's perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don't know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away.

Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it's because he's ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they're responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I'd want nothing to do with them.

You once said that His Dark Materials is not a fantasy, but stark realism. What did you mean by that?

That comment got me into trouble with the fantasy people. What I mean by it was roughly this: that the story I was trying to write was about real people, not beings that don't exist like elves or hobbits. Lyra and Will and the other characters are meant to be human beings like us, and the story is about a universal human experience, namely growing up. The 'fantasy' parts of the story were there as a picture of aspects of human nature, not as something alien and strange. For example, readers have told me that the dæmons, which at first seem so utterly fantastic, soon become so familiar and essential a part of each character that they, the readers, feel as if they've got a dæmon themselves. And my point is that they have, that we all have. It's an aspect of our personality that we often overlook, but it's there. that's what I mean by realism: I was using the fantastical elements to say something that I thought was true about us and about our lives.
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby Lord Voldemoo on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:35 pm

actually I may blow off the books and just keep reading this thread....most interesting read I've found in a week.
Image
User avatar
Lord Voldemoo
He Who Shall Not Be Milked
 
Posts: 17626
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:18 pm
Location: Pasture next to the Red Barn

Postby Maui on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:35 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:
Well, I was going on the assumption that he had said as much. It's been awhile since I read an interview with him, so maybe he never has.


See my post above girls! :)
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:38 pm

Maui wrote:
Lady Sheridan wrote:
Well, I was going on the assumption that he had said as much. It's been awhile since I read an interview with him, so maybe he never has.


See my post above girls! :)


HEY NOW!
User avatar
stereosforgeeks
Re-Wound
 
Posts: 7857
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:46 pm
Location: DCish

Postby TonyWilson on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:39 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:
TonyWilson wrote:
I have to disagree with your assesment that there is a semblance of soul left or that there is an afterlife. I will try to dig my copy of the Amber Spyglass out but there's a passage about how Heaven was never really a place that existed physically but was brought forth by human belief. Something like that anyway. And I think the idea of Lee scattering to the four winds Pullman's way of talking about the idea that in the end we return to the stardust everything is made from. It's a scientific idea not a religious one.


I'd buy that he was embracing carbon, if he didn't anthropomorphize it. If he was trying to be coldly scientific, he failed. I think that's what makes me skeptical of Pullman--for every "nasty" tear-down of Western religion, he softens and romanticizes his solution. Not only does belief in a soul fly against atheism, but the fact that we could send those souls to an afterlife?

I need to reread Amber Spyglass too, because I can't remember why the afterlife was so wretchedly awful. If humans have conjured it up, why wasn't it pleasant?

I seem to remember the whole "scattering" thing as something everyone still felt would preserve them. Most of them were desperate to get out and not feel, but I remember a few characters expressing hope that they would continue to feel and enjoy being part of the stars, as it were...and to me, if there's hope, there's the possibility that happened. But I'd have to reread it, because I remember it seeming rather bleakly scientific, and then suddenly blossoming into something more romantically spiritual.

Like I said--I think if you actually pressed him, he would waffle on what he believes and what he's written in His Dark Materials.


For me, Pullman wasn't being coldly scientific, I think he presented a positive humanist idea of reality. The stardust idea is something I find to be wholly scientific and wholly comforting. I guess he does present some sort of collective consciousness but that idea is too vaguely presented, in my opinion, to argue that Pullman pulled punches. But I agree that he's got a rather woolly grasp of science.


EDIT: The important thing is also that as Lyra and Will grow up the fantastical elements melt away. He makes it clear that in the end the physical world is the one that matters.
Last edited by TonyWilson on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Elitism is positing that your taste is equivalent to quality, you hate "Hamlet" does it make it "bad"? If you think so, you're one elite motherfucker.
User avatar
TonyWilson
No Less Liquid Than His Shadow
 
Posts: 9154
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:45 am
Location: A Drained Swimming Pool

Pullman vs Religion

Postby TylarD on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:40 pm

The Dark Materials takes much of its themes from 'Paradise Lost' by Milton, in which Milton set out to 'Glorify God' by describing the creation of the devil thru a revolt of Angels, the creation of Hell and then God's apparant preference for humans. As Milton wrote however he found himself sympathising with the devils' cause. Pullman uses exactly this in his universe; in many ways Dark Materials is an allegory of paradise lost.

There is no point comparing this film on a literary level to Tolkein and CS Lewis as Pullman is completely against their beleifs, for example Tolkein links the devil with technology, whereas Pullman creates a peaceful set of creatures which have natural technology (wheels - Book 2). It would be more apt to compare these books / film to The Matrix as a 'created world'. As both use religion but as an alien ideal to that which we generally know.

Personlly I found the books to be interesting but coldly written and without the warmth and appeal you find with, for example, Tolkein's characters. As such it is no surprise that the film also has a cold and almost distant feel - it's like you're watching from afar rather than in there fighting with characters you love. It will be interesting to see how far they push the religious imagery as the sequels are made, as without it I don't know if much of anything is left.
TylarD
TylarD
GLIB
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:29 pm
Location: Birminghan, UK

Re: Pullman vs Religion

Postby Lady Sheridan on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:53 pm

TylarD wrote:The Dark Materials takes much of its themes from 'Paradise Lost' by Milton, in which Milton set out to 'Glorify God' by describing the creation of the devil thru a revolt of Angels, the creation of Hell and then God's apparant preference for humans. As Milton wrote however he found himself sympathising with the devils' cause. Pullman uses exactly this in his universe; in many ways Dark Materials is an allegory of paradise lost.


It's a popular belief that Milton is sympathetic for the Devil. It was William Blake who originated the theory, not surprisingly. I think Milton did consciously make him the appealing character to "tempt" readers, but he constantly shows him as cowardly, proud, deceitful, etc. I've lost my school notes now, but there's a lot of determined reading one has to do to really see it.

Satan is supposed to be Catholicism, the Pope, and the restored King Charles II--all the things Milton was currently despising as a devotee of Cromwell. But I've always suspected that as he wrote all the anguished "our rebellion failed," he was unconsciously adding in his own anguish at the loss of the Commonwealth.

That was what Milton meant, anyway...but nevertheless, every reader still sympathizes with the cast-out angels. ;)
User avatar
Lady Sheridan
RED
 
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Croft Manor

Postby DaleTremont on Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:02 pm

Maui wrote:The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
by Mary and John Gribbin (with an introduction by Philip Pullman)

'The award-winning science writers reveal how the trilogy is rooted in astonishing scientific truth. Drawing on string theory and spacetime, quantum physics and chaos theory, they answer fascinating questions such as: ''Could parallel worlds, like Will and Lyra's, really exist?''. ''How does Will's subtle knife cut through anything?''. ''Could there be a bomb like the one made with Lyra's hair?''. And, of course: ''What are the Dark Materials?''.'

Image


I believe there's a theory out there that every time something happens with two possible outcomes that are mutually exclusive, the worlds splits in half, one world with possibility A and the other with possibility B, meaning the universe is constantly splitting itself and there are near-limitless parallel worlds.

Updated with more scientific-y explanation!

Super Smart Guy wrote:The two major interpretations of quantum theory's implications for the nature of reality are the Copenhagen interpretation and the many-worlds theory. Niels Bohr proposed the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory, which asserts that a particle is whatever it is measured to be (for example, a wave or a particle), but that it cannot be assumed to have specific properties, or even to exist, until it is measured. In short, Bohr was saying that objective reality does not exist. This translates to a principle called superposition that claims that while we do not know what the state of any object is, it is actually in all possible states simultaneously, as long as we don't look to check.

To illustrate this theory, we can use the famous and somewhat cruel analogy of Schrodinger's cat. First, we have a living cat and place it in a thick lead box. At this stage, there is no question that the cat is alive. We then throw in a vial of cyanide and seal the box. We do not know if the cat is alive or if it has broken the cyanide capsule and died. Since we do not know, the cat is both dead and alive, according to quantum law - in a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and see what condition the cat is that the superposition is lost, and the cat must be either alive or dead.

The second interpretation of quantum theory is the many-worlds (or multiverse theory. It holds that as soon as a potential exists for any object to be in any state, the universe of that object transmutes into a series of parallel universes equal to the number of possible states in which that the object can exist, with each universe containing a unique single possible state of that object. Furthermore, there is a mechanism for interaction between these universes that somehow permits all states to be accessible in some way and for all possible states to be affected in some manner. Stephen Hawking and the late Richard Feynman are among the scientists who have expressed a preference for the many-worlds theory.
Image
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby TylarD on Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:14 pm

I do not doubt Milton's motives may have been as you say, I was just trying to say that Pullman uses a lot of the parts (especially names) he likes and then twists them to his own purpose, for example Azriel displays all of the traits you list. :)

************************************************** ***********

PS Did you know that the person who came up with the 'multiverse' idea was the father of the singer out of the band Eels?
TylarD
TylarD
GLIB
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:29 pm
Location: Birminghan, UK

Postby Maui on Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:17 pm

Not So Crazy Guy Wrote wrote:
A parallell universe is a region of space and time containing matter, galaxies, stars, planets and living beings. In other words, a parallel universe is similar and possibly even a duplicate of our own universe. Not only in a parallel universe must there be other human beings, but these may be human beings who are exact duplicates of ourselves and who are connected to ourselves through mechanisms only explainable using quantum physics concepts.



:shock:
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:24 pm

Maui wrote:
Not So Crazy Guy Wrote wrote:
A parallell universe is a region of space and time containing matter, galaxies, stars, planets and living beings. In other words, a parallel universe is similar and possibly even a duplicate of our own universe. Not only in a parallel universe must there be other human beings, but these may be human beings who are exact duplicates of ourselves and who are connected to ourselves through mechanisms only explainable using quantum physics concepts.



:shock:


Your just scared of there being another Maui.
User avatar
stereosforgeeks
Re-Wound
 
Posts: 7857
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:46 pm
Location: DCish

Postby Maui on Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:28 pm

stereosforgeeks wrote:
Your just scared of there being another Maui.


Yup, that's it.



I think we would all be incredibly naive people if we considered this the one and only universe.
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby Dee E. Goppstober on Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:59 pm

Lord Voldemoo wrote:actually I may blow off the books and just keep reading this thread....most interesting read I've found in a week.



Hell yeah! I especially liked the connection to Milton being made. I never really read Paradise Lost, but might do now. I'm curious about the similarities.


When I read the books - as I remember it - I thought Pullman had a very spritual view on the world himself. Not coldly scientific (after all, Mary Malone, the scientist - gives up her cold reasoning to be drawn into a world of wonder). I thought his attack was mainly on the dogma of the Church - as Dale said (very eloquently, so just scroll up) , and not on religion in itself. I have the feeling he's being pushed into black and white categories by those who judge him, whereas his account is subtle really.

It is of course possible to argue, that questioning dogma will do no one any good -that all it does is bring chaos, disorder and despair. That's really the only possible course of reasoning that any one opposed to this book (and, probably many many other books before this) can take, IMO.

It's funny though- I never expected these books to generate such discussion. I also have trouble seeing Pullman's universe as some kind of coherent religious treaty. Like LS said, he's not being very consistent at all. And judging by Maui's quote above- I think he might be slightly pretentious to think that there's so much 'reality' in his story.

Do you reckon this might turn into a new belief system? Maybe the Bible started of as a fantasy trilogy too?
Image
User avatar
Dee E. Goppstober
BOMB IN RIBCAGE
 
Posts: 570
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:36 pm

Postby Lady Sheridan on Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:59 pm

I was on Snopes looking up something else and of course, they have an enormous thing up for Pullman due to all the frantic Christian e-mail chains.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

I have to say, I never gave any consideration to Pullman when I read the books. I didn't know anything about him. He really does sound a bit mixed up.

But the most intriguing thing I read about this was...a sequel?! What happened to it? Did he abandon it, or will the buzz of the movie see it through?
User avatar
Lady Sheridan
RED
 
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Croft Manor

Postby Dee E. Goppstober on Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:16 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:I was on Snopes looking up something else and of course, they have an enormous thing up for Pullman due to all the frantic Christian e-mail chains.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

I have to say, I never gave any consideration to Pullman when I read the books. I didn't know anything about him. He really does sound a bit mixed up.

But the most intriguing thing I read about this was...a sequel?! What happened to it? Did he abandon it, or will the buzz of the movie see it through?


I didn't know anything about the guy either (he's just some English old geezer;-)) - but after reading all these things about him - I thought: 'oh no, is this guy Pullman going to turn into some kind of fanatic anti-Crusader, with all the media attention -and stylize himself as some kind of preacher of atheism, whereas that should be the exact thing he's opposed to?

But then I looked up his website - and didn't find any of that militancy at all! The quote below actually makes him sound like quite an nice guy:

[quote]As a passionate believer in the democracy of reading, I don't think it's the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means. The meaning of a story emerges in the meeting between the words on the page and the thoughts in the reader's mind. So when people ask me what I meant by this story, or what was the message I was trying to convey in that one, I have to explain that I'm not going to explain. Anyway, I'm not in the message business; I'm in the “Once upon a timeâ€
Image
User avatar
Dee E. Goppstober
BOMB IN RIBCAGE
 
Posts: 570
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:36 pm

Postby DaleTremont on Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:33 pm

Dee E. Goppstober wrote:
Lord Voldemoo wrote:actually I may blow off the books and just keep reading this thread....most interesting read I've found in a week.



Hell yeah! I especially liked the connection to Milton being made. I never really read Paradise Lost, but might do now. I'm curious about the similarities.


When I read the books - as I remember it - I thought Pullman had a very spritual view on the world himself. Not coldly scientific (after all, Mary Malone, the scientist - gives up her cold reasoning to be drawn into a world of wonder). I thought his attack was mainly on the dogma of the Church - as Dale said (very eloquently, so just scroll up) , and not on religion in itself. I have the feeling he's being pushed into black and white categories by those who judge him, whereas his account is subtle really.

It is of course possible to argue, that questioning dogma will do no one any good -that all it does is bring chaos, disorder and despair. That's really the only possible course of reasoning that any one opposed to this book (and, probably many many other books before this) can take, IMO.

It's funny though- I never expected these books to generate such discussion. I also have trouble seeing Pullman's universe as some kind of coherent religious treaty. Like LS said, he's not being very consistent at all. And judging by Maui's quote above- I think he might be slightly pretentious to think that there's so much 'reality' in his story.

Do you reckon this might turn into a new belief system? Maybe the Bible started of as a fantasy trilogy too?


Scientology! Created by a man who wrote science fiction for a living.

Fantasology! The new religion by Philip Pullman, writer of the fantasy series His Dark Materials! Buy your piety now!
Image
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:09 am

Dee E. Goppstober wrote:I especially liked the connection to Milton being made. I never really read Paradise Lost, but might do now.


The Dino, he posted uppa the opening-scene treatment for a the modern-day adaptation of a the Milton's work, eh?
User avatar
DinoDeLaurentiis
SHE'S A THE SARAH SILVERMAN
 
Posts: 11284
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:15 pm
Location: Private Villa inna Santorini

Postby Maui on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:15 pm

Well, I finished the trilogy last night. Truly a remarkable fascinating read - it was difficult to put down really. I felt like crying as I read the last page.

I was saddened and hopeful at the end of Spyglass. Sad because Will and Lyra could not be together the way they wanted to be. Sad because I had completed all 3 books - nowhere else to go with their story. I felt as though I was in a magical journey for a few weeks now. I guess I can always read it again. :)
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby DaleTremont on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:47 pm

Maui wrote:Well, I finished the trilogy last night. Truly a remarkable fascinating read - it was difficult to put down really. I felt like crying as I read the last page.

I was saddened and hopeful at the end of Spyglass. Sad because Will and Lyra could not be together the way they wanted to be. Sad because I had completed all 3 books - nowhere else to go with their story. I felt as though I was in a magical journey for a few weeks now. I guess I can always read it again. :)


But it's never as good as the first time :(

I honestly was depressed for a week after I finished reading HP and the Deathly Hallows. I felt like part of my childhood had been snuffed out for good (then I sat up in bed at night praying I would reveal some sort of magical abilities and a giant would fly in through my window and ferry me off to a school for witches and wizards.)

















.....no seriously, I'm only half joking :oops:
Image
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby Maui on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:53 pm

DaleTremont wrote:
Maui wrote:Well, I finished the trilogy last night. Truly a remarkable fascinating read - it was difficult to put down really. I felt like crying as I read the last page.

I was saddened and hopeful at the end of Spyglass. Sad because Will and Lyra could not be together the way they wanted to be. Sad because I had completed all 3 books - nowhere else to go with their story. I felt as though I was in a magical journey for a few weeks now. I guess I can always read it again. :)


But it's never as good as the first time :(

I honestly was depressed for a week after I finished reading HP and the Deathly Hallows. I felt like part of my childhood had been snuffed out for good (then I sat up in bed at night praying I would reveal some sort of magical abilities and a giant would fly in through my window and ferry me off to a school for witches and wizards.)

















.....no seriously, I'm only half joking :oops:


No you're not woman!!!!! Now onto Sharp Objects - will that depress me too? ;)
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:56 pm

Maui wrote:
DaleTremont wrote:
Ma ui wrote:Well, I finished the trilogy last night. Truly a remarkable fascinating read - it was difficult to put down really. I felt like crying as I read the last page.

I was saddened and hopeful at the end of Spyglass. Sad because Will and Lyra could not be together the way they wanted to be. Sad because I had completed all 3 books - nowhere else to go with their story. I felt as though I was in a magical journey for a few weeks now. I guess I can always read it again. :)


But it's never as good as the first time :(

I honestly was depressed for a week after I finished reading HP and the Deathly Hallows. I felt like part of my childhood had been snuffed out for good (then I sat up in bed at night praying I would reveal some sort of magical abilities and a giant would fly in through my window and ferry me off to a school for witches and wizards.)

















.....no seriously, I'm only half joking :oops:


No you're not woman!!!!! Now onto Sharp Objects - will that depress me too? ;)


I take it you're talking about my brain? Yes. Yes it will depress you.

You know what they say...!!!!!! The most intelligent thing you can do - is try not to be smarter than me.
User avatar
Cpt Kirks 2pay
The Dark Tower
 
Posts: 16420
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:49 am

Postby DaleTremont on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:58 pm

Maui wrote:
DaleTremont wrote:
Ma ui wrote:Well, I finished the trilogy last night. Truly a remarkable fascinating read - it was difficult to put down really. I felt like crying as I read the last page.

I was saddened and hopeful at the end of Spyglass. Sad because Will and Lyra could not be together the way they wanted to be. Sad because I had completed all 3 books - nowhere else to go with their story. I felt as though I was in a magical journey for a few weeks now. I guess I can always read it again. :)


But it's never as good as the first time :(

I honestly was depressed for a week after I finished reading HP and the Deathly Hallows. I felt like part of my childhood had been snuffed out for good (then I sat up in bed at night praying I would reveal some sort of magical abilities and a giant would fly in through my window and ferry me off to a school for witches and wizards.)

















.....no seriously, I'm only half joking :oops:


No you're not woman!!!!! Now onto Sharp Objects - will that depress me too? ;)


Most certainly :D

No actually it'll probably just wig you out and make you avoid pre-teen girls like the plague. But since you're smart you probably do that anyway :wink:
Image
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby Maui on Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:01 pm

DaleTremont wrote:
Maui wrote:
Da leTremont wrote:
Ma ui wrote:Well, I finished the trilogy last night. Truly a remarkable fascinating read - it was difficult to put down really. I felt like crying as I read the last page.

I was saddened and hopeful at the end of Spyglass. Sad because Will and Lyra could not be together the way they wanted to be. Sad because I had completed all 3 books - nowhere else to go with their story. I felt as though I was in a magical journey for a few weeks now. I guess I can always read it again. :)


But it's never as good as the first time :(

I honestly was depressed for a week after I finished reading HP and the Deathly Hallows. I felt like part of my childhood had been snuffed out for good (then I sat up in bed at night praying I would reveal some sort of magical abilities and a giant would fly in through my window and ferry me off to a school for witches and wizards.)

















.....no seriously, I'm only half joking :oops:


No you're not woman!!!!! Now onto Sharp Objects - will that depress me too? ;)


Most certainly :D

No actually it'll probably just wig you out and make you avoid pre-teen girls like the plague. But since you're smart you probably do that anyway :wink:


Quick read then, eh?
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby Maui on Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:20 pm

Cpt Kirks 2pay wrote:
I take it you're talking about my brain? Yes. Yes it will depress you.

You know what they say...!!!!!! The most intelligent thing you can do - is try not to be smarter than me.


Kirk, go mingle with your family - the 2PAYS!!!
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby darkjedijaina on Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:52 pm

I read the first book in the trilogy over the last couple of days. I was going to pick up the next at the book store this morning, but they didn't have it. I'll try again later.

One thing I really enjoyed was the conversation between Serafina and Lee about destiny. That's always been a great point of controversy among religions - predistiny and all that.

I rather enjoyed this quote:

"We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not or die of despair."

I thought about it a little bit, and it's true. If we think it's our destiny in life to be alone or whatever, then we die of despair. If we think it's our destiny to find a cure for cancer and try really hard at it, but don't ever get there, we die of despair.

Also, I liked this sentiment:

We must do what is in our nature to do and not in our destiny.
User avatar
darkjedijaina
BAD ASH
 
Posts: 7196
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:41 am
Location: Houston, TX

Postby stereosforgeeks on Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:14 pm

darkjedijaina wrote:"We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not or die of despair."

Also, I liked this sentiment:

We must do what is in our nature to do and not in our destiny.


I liked those sentiments as well.
User avatar
stereosforgeeks
Re-Wound
 
Posts: 7857
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:46 pm
Location: DCish

Postby Crimson King on Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:38 am

Damn, I haven't read these books in years. I remember loving them, though, and trying to get my friend to read them. I think he finally picked up The Golden Compass. I think I'm gonna have to go back and re-read them. I don't remember too much.
Image
English, motherfucker! Do you speak it?!?
User avatar
Crimson King
MONKEY BUTLER
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:40 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby lyra belacqua on Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:59 pm

Guys and gals-
This thread was an awesome one to come back to! I can't believe I missed it all. It makes me want to go back and read the books right now (I'm skipped my usual summer reading so I could let the first book be hazy for me by the time the movie came out).

My 2 cents: I'm glad if you loved the books and especially if they encourage you to seek out more Pullman. But take the books for what they are and not what you think the author intended. Granted, I usually hate it when people utterly dismiss any interpretation but their own (because only theirs is the *right* one), but I do treat HDM like others treat the Bible. What's most important is what you get out of it-the version you subscribe to, the moral that stays with you longest, the character that you take to heart.

If you got thru HDM and are still interested, you definitely should try to read Paradise Lost. I've only ever read it the once, but it's constantly on my list of books (ok, poems) to reread.

And Sharp Objects was almost perfect! It was creepy and just awesome. I suppose I should go and find that thread. :D
Image
User avatar
lyra belacqua
GEEK GODDESS
 
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:27 pm

Postby Maui on Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:14 pm

lyra belacqua wrote:
And Sharp Objects was almost perfect! It was creepy and just awesome. I suppose I should go and find that thread. :D


Yes!!! Please do! :)
User avatar
Maui
WoWie
 
Posts: 7593
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 10:19 pm

Postby magicmonkey on Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:08 am

Here's an extract from the new book "Once upon a time in the North". A too awesome title.

READ IT HERE
magicmonkey
I AM fucking Zen
 
Posts: 6031
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:26 am
Location: Shanghizzo

PreviousNext

Return to AICN Books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest