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Re: Pullman (was Re: Lucy, Galadriel, and Temptation)

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  • Jason Fisher
    Lynn, I guess we re getting out onto some thin ice (though I find the discussion very interesting), so I m going to try to tread carefully ... ... In a sense,
    Message 1 of 38 , Dec 13, 2007
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      Lynn,

      I guess we're getting out onto some thin ice (though I find the discussion very interesting), so I'm going to try to tread carefully ...

      > Jason, it almost sounds like you're saying everyone
      > of us has our own distinct, unique world... or have I
      > completely misunderstood you?

      In a sense, that's just what I mean. Putting it another way: when you read a novel, even a realistic one ostensibly about "our world", the world it depicts (you might even say *creates*) is unique to every reader. So, I'm not saying we each have our own unique *physical* world (which would be to espouse something like George Berkeley's Subjective Idealism), but we do each own a unique *internal representation* of the world we share. And a world depicted in a work of fiction is yet another layer. I could go on, but I don't want to bore ...

      > I have read Pullman interviewed where that's *exactly*
      > what he says, he wants to 'evangelize' atheism.

      Really? Is it possible you could track this down and send it to the list? I'm not challenging you -- I just have not seen statements like this myself. And I would be a little surprised at them. From what I've read, Pullman seems to be very careful *not* to "evangelize". For example:

      "But the things those three [noted "evangelical" atheists Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett] write are different from a novel like HDM, and HDM is different from polemic and argument like 'The God Delusion'. I am a storyteller. I revel in the ambiguities and shadows and suggestions of metaphor."

      And: "Does atheism benefit from the Christian heritage? Of course it can benefit from the best of it. I would hate to live in a world where all the Christian art, philosophy, literature, music, and architecture, not to mention the best of the ethical teaching, had been obliterated and forgotten. My own background, as I've said many times, is Christian to the core. Christianity has made me what I am, for better or worse. I just don't believe in God."

      > Just as I expect Jewish parents to be cautious about
      > CSL & Narnia, I expect parents of faith to be cautious
      > about Pullman's work.

      Yes, there's nothing wrong with that. :) Parents should certainly be involved in their childrens' intellectual lives. Such books can precipitate wonderful, mutually enriching conversations between parents and children.

      > Happily we are all free to appreciate (or not) any and every
      > book in any way we choose. We can like one for exactly the
      > same thing we dislike in another; that's okay.

      Yes we are! Each in our own unique ways!

      Best,
      Jason
    • Marc Drayer
      I m afraid I misspelled the second URL. Here is the right one: http://credenda.org/issues/18-2liturgia.php ... tend ... of ... or ... Peter ... two ... assume
      Message 38 of 38 , Dec 16, 2007
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        I'm afraid I misspelled the second URL. Here is the right one:

        http://credenda.org/issues/18-2liturgia.php


        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Marc Drayer" <mdrayer2001@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I agree. It's a fault of modern Christian publishing, that they
        tend
        > to be so shallow and preachy, and usually languish on the shelves
        of
        > Christian bookstores. Are there no Lewises, Tolkiens, C. Williams
        or
        > Dostoyevskys left in the world? Or are Donald T. Williams and
        Peter
        > Leithard right when they say evangelicals can't write, as these
        two
        > aritcles tell us?
        >
        > Williams:
        >
        > http://doulomen.tripod.com/topics/DTWtopics_cantwrite.htm
        >
        > Leithard:
        >
        > http://credenda.org/issues/18-21iturgia.php
        >
        > Under the Mercy,
        > Marc Drayer
        >
        >
        > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Diane Joy Baker" <dbaker021@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > I read Jenkins and LeHaye. Bleah. Cardboard characters all
        > through. Vecchh!
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: Lynn Maudlin
        > > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 6:23 PM
        > > Subject: [mythsoc] Pullman (was Re: Lucy, Galadriel, and
        > Temptation)
        > >
        > >
        > > Like Carl, I was put off by the pot-boileresque prose of the
        > LaHaye-
        > > Jenkins books (I actually read the first one - bleah - I
        assume
        > they
        > > didn't appreciably improve). And I'm also put off by folks who
        > > rewrite history but present it as true... you know, how JFK
        was
        > > assassinated by a high-powered hunting crossbow? I just hate
        all
        > > this stuff about bullets and rifles...
        > >
        > > -- Lynn --
        > >
        > > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter"
        <Aelfwine@>
        > > wrote:
        > > >
        > > > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@>
        > wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > Carl,
        > > > >
        > > > > > Isn't a book that is overtly _antagonistic_ to a
        worldview
        > > > > > that is held (and held dear) by a very large number of
        > > > > > people, naturally more likely to be off-putting, even
        > simply
        > > > > > in _tone_, than one that is _apologetic_ for that
        worldview
        > > > > > (and further not itself overtly antagonistic towards
        those
        > > > > > who believe otherwise) -- whether one shares that
        worldview
        > > > > > or not?
        > > > >
        > > > > Yes, I would say so, as a general rule. Although with the
        > caveat
        > > that an apologetic work
        > > > > may be perceived by some as unwelcome proselytism.
        > > >
        > > > Yes, but even so, "unwelcome proselytism" is not the same
        > thing as
        > > polemic. And whatever
        > > > Pullman says, I've been given enough reason to believe that
        > his
        > > series _is_ polemical,
        > > > particularly the third book, even by those who enjoyed the
        > series
        > > (except for the third
        > > > book, not coincidentally) and were not themselves religious.
        > > >
        > > > > Or to take a more extreme example, there is Tim LaHaye's
        > Left
        > > Behind series. I know
        > > > > these books offend many non-Christians in much the same
        way
        > > Pullman offends
        > > > > Christians (though I have not read them).
        > > >
        > > > I don't doubt it. Personally, I was "offended" by the
        > amazingly
        > > bad prose in the sample of
        > > > the first chapter of the first book that is all I've read of
        > the
        > > series.
        > > >
        > > > > And the flip side again, I know that Dan Brown's The Da
        > Vinci
        > > Code (which I hear, but do
        > > > > know first-hand, is a dreadful novel), again, offends many
        > > Christians.
        > > >
        > > > What "offended" me about this book, in addition to Brown's
        > very
        > > very bad writing, was the
        > > > bald-faced lies about actual history he told, after going
        out
        > of
        > > his way to assure his
        > > > readers that his "facts" are all true. It's one thing to
        write
        > > fictions. It's quite another to urge
        > > > your readers to believe that they are not!
        > > >
        > > > > > Further on this topic: I find it odd to see an apparent
        > > attitude
        > > > > > that a work of fiction set in another world must be
        > regarded
        > > > > > as not having anything to say about our world.
        Particularly
        > > > > > on this list!
        > > > >
        > > > > Did I say that? To whom are you responding, Carl?
        > > >
        > > > No, this was not addressed to you (that's what I tried to
        > convey,
        > > poorly, by prefixing
        > > > "further on this topic"). It was in reaction to John's
        comment
        > > earlier in the thread that:
        > > >
        > > > > I suspect others have the reverse problem with Pullman;
        they
        > > read his fantasy as if he
        > > > > were writing a realistic novel about our world, and react
        > > accordingly.
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
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