Magazine article Book

Are You There, God? It's Me, Philip Pullman. (ITM in the margins).(Critical Essay)

Magazine article Book

Are You There, God? It's Me, Philip Pullman. (ITM in the margins).(Critical Essay)

Article excerpt

ON THE WALL BEHIND THE DESK IN HIS cluttered study, Philip Pullman has tacked up an article by political commentator Peter Hitchens, clipped from the conservative English newspaper The Mail on Sunday. The piece is about him, and its headline is glaring: "This is the most dangerous author in Britain," it reads.

Pullman doesn't mind the reputation a bit. "It's a great compliment to me, isn't it?" he says, speaking from his home in Oxford. "It's a good thing to put on the back cover of the next paperback, I suppose."

Hitchens' claim may sound a bit hyperbolic--especially considering that it refers to a writer of children's literature--but there are readers out there, particularly religious ones, who would agree. The books that have earned Pullman the distinction are three titles in a series he calls His Dark Materials, and they tell the story of a girl and boy who conspire to do away with the Kingdom of Heaven. (The trilogy's awkward name is taken from the epic Pullman is attempting to retell, John Milton's Paradise Lost.) And although The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass have many elements of classic fantasy fiction--talking animals, magical devices and orphaned children--they also feature gay angels and a god who rages in helpless senility, his dictatorship crumbling around him. According to a review in The Catholic Herald, a British weekly, the His Dark Materials trilogy is "worthy of the bonfire."

But it's not just the content of Pullman's books that makes the religious right nervous--it's also their popularity: Worldwide, more than 4 million copies have been sold to both adults and children. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.