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2687Re: [mythsoc] Pullman and the Anxiety of Influence, etc.

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  • ted sherman
    Nov 1, 2000
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      It's quite clear from the interviews that what Pullman objects to is Lewis's
      using fiction to promote a Christian philosophy. He states that rather
      emphatically. What he doesn't state, however, is that he is guilty of exactly
      the same offense in His Dark Materials, albeit he uses fiction to promote
      anti-theism (and anti-Christianity in particular).

      He makes no mention, if I remember correctly, of specific problems he has the
      Chronicles (other than the centaur having two stomachs and needing two
      breatkfasts, one human, one horse, but both eaten with a human mouth) other than
      their, in his view, appalling message. He even states that he writes His Dark
      Materials to oppose the Chronicles. Seems to me to be a rather weak foundation
      for writing a lengthy trilogy. At least the Chronicles all began with an image
      and idea--only later did the theology creep into the work.

      Ted

      Sophie Masson wrote:

      > I think Philip(whom I know, though by correspondence rather than in the
      > flesh, yet)is very much against the portrayal of girls in the Narnia series,
      > particularly Susan and various other bit players, like 'the girl with fat
      > legs' in The Silver Chair etc..His view is that also Lewis is saying that
      > experience equals corruption; that innocence only is good; and that this
      > world is not a good one, but one to flee from, particularly in death. Also,
      > I think he is dismayed by various things such as equating garlic-eating
      > people with badness. I mustsay myself that as a child(and an adult), though
      > I loved the others in the series, I disliked The Last Battle thoroughly--I
      > couldn't have told you why as a child but now I think it was because it
      > reminded me of hellfire preachers I had known. It seems to me the least
      > childlike and mythical of the series, and I think Philip particularly hates
      > that one too.
      > Sophie
      >
      > Author site:
      > http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: David Lenander <d-lena@...>
      > To: <mythsoc@egroups.com>
      > Sent: Wednesday, 1 November 2000 3:21
      > Subject: [mythsoc] Pullman and the Anxiety of Influence, etc.
      >
      > > >
      > >
      > > I certainly had that impression from one or two articles that I read in
      > which Pullman attacks the Lewis books. I've never read "The Anxiety of
      > Influence" but from
      > > references I gather that's the phenomenon involved here. On Mythcon
      > panels Paul Edwin Zimmer used to like to mention the early days when Michael
      > Moorcock was a
      > > major Tolkien fan, before he grew up to repudiate things Tolkien and write
      > his own works in reaction. Somewhere Gene Wolfe was quoted as saying that
      > Tolkien is
      > > such a giant for subsequent fantasyists that they must either write in his
      > shadow or in reaction to Tolkien. I'd really love to find the original Gene
      > Wolfe
      > > quotation. It seems overstatement from a writer who is probably most
      > influenced by another giant, J.L. Borges, and certainly shows more influence
      > from Dickens and
      > > Kipling than Tolkien. So I'd like to see exactly what he said. (Or to
      > know that he was misquoted).
      > >
      > > By the way, I read Caroline Stevermer's new book, _When the King Comes
      > Home_ and greatly enjoyed it.
      > >
      > > >
      > > > Message: 7
      > > > Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 21:28:03 EST
      > > > From: Stolzi@...
      > > > Subject: Re: Pullman about Lewis
      > > > [. . . .]
      > > >
      > > > But it brings up this thought: Why does Pullman talk about Lewis so
      > much?
      > > > I mean, are the interviewers persistent on this, is he just responding
      > to
      > > > them - or =is= he wrestling with some kind of grudge/complex/whatever
      > that he
      > > > can't seem to give up?
      > > >
      > > > Mary S
      > > >
      > > > ________________________________________________________________________
      > > > ________________________________________________________________________
      > > >
      > > > Message: 8
      > > > Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 19:41:49 -0600
      > > > From: Ted Sherman <tedsherman@...>
      > > > Subject: Re: Pullman about Lewis
      > > >
      > > > Mary,
      > > >
      > > > He's got an axe to grind. Read the interviews. And read those that were
      > published
      > > > in Lion and the Unicorn last year and in Horn Book.
      > > >
      > > > Ted
      > >
      > > David Lenander
      > >
      > >
      > > e-mail: d-lena@... web-page: http://umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      > >
      >
      >
      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

      --
      Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor
      Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams and
      Mythopoeic Literature
      Box X041, Department of English
      Middle Tennessee State University
      Murfreesboro, TN 37132
      615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
      tsherman@...
      tedsherman@...
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