It seems likely that someon somewhere has recognized that I’d enjoy Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, but I always avoided them, understanding the deistic reference of the title to cast them as marketing artifacts along the lines of Left Behind.

This week’s amusing New Yorker profile of the author makes it clear I’ve misminded the meme. Should I ever read another book, I’ll keep these in mind.

2 thoughts on “Immaterial

  1. I just finished the dark materials books. I heard the stuff about them being an agnostic reply to Tolkien and Lewis and I was curious. I liked them, but I’ll have to say I think that his take on Lewis’ Narnia books is bullshit. I’ve been a CS Lewis fan since I was 10, and was even exposed to some of his Christian apologetics as a preteen. I feel like I outgrew Tolkien, but Lewis continues to be a huge influence on me. Insofar as I’m an Xtian, blame it on Lewis, William Blake and Karl Marx. Hope that you are OK today was dismal dark and violently stormy. I’m happy to be staying home with books and a warm computer. H. New Year

  2. I agree with you on the Lewis thing, although I found the guy’s vituperation amusing.

    I recently (within the past few years) reread both Tolkien and Lewis and found that my appreciation, and to an extent my frustration, with Tolkien had appreciably deepened; his appropriation and reconstruction of folk sources to construct the mannered story he presents struck me as exactly of a piece with the medeivalizing English Arts and Crafts movement whihc I take to have inspired him – and to a great extant, which formed my and many other ‘progressive’ middle-class tastes, conflating and confusing the beautiful with the morally right.

    I found Lewis’ Narnia books much less resonant than they once were. Only certain of the images really still affected me emotionally, and these mostly the dark-toned scenes of isolation that also underpin the Perelandra books. The other images he employed taht stuck with me are also borrowings from fairytales – the one footed people, the Gulliverian scenes of “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” – which, by the way, I also think is the most successful medievalizing piece of the seven.

    Ever read whatsiname, the English socialist fanatsy writer, China Mieville?

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