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Re: Pullman as a writer

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  • Jason Fisher
    Sara, I m not trying to be argumentative, believe me, but ... ... You really feel his writing is bad enough (and consistently so) to render this judgment so
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 14, 2007
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      Sara,

      I'm not trying to be argumentative, believe me, but ...

      > I'm not replying to anyone in particular, but I can't let
      > this thread go by without noting that Pullman is a
      > lousy writer.

      You really feel his writing is bad enough (and consistently so) to render this judgment so flatly? If so, I have to cordially disagree. I *will* agree -- without reservation -- that the two examples you cited are pretty bad. But of course, all writers are capable of occasional weak, boring, or purple passages. You could find examples in Lewis and Tolkien, too. Not to mention, there's a whole spectrum of tastes -- and distastes -- of readers. Most of Pullman's writing (to me) is much better than average. Moreover, I think he moves between different styles of dialog quite well -- from the elevated style of Lord Asriel and the Jordan Scholars, to the precious diction of Mrs. Coulter, to the urchin-slang of Lyra and the gyptian children, to the drawl of Lee Scoresby, and so on. His narrative and expository passages are much better than those of most popular writers, I think, and of course, as you say, his imagination makes quite an impression. And the
      Whitbread Awards* seem to agree (not to say that awards committees are infallible).

      > Another example: having so much to explain as the
      > story nears the end, he is reduced to writing, "It turned
      > out that ...". Well and good, but then on the very next
      > page he can't think of anything different to say, so we
      > read another, "It turned out that ..."

      An editor should have spotted this. We're all capable of such lapses. But I agree it's rather lame in a published book.

      Jason


      * Now called the Costa Awards -- which is amusing, since by pure coincidence the Costas are a gyptian family in HDM.
    • Sara Ciborski
      You are right. His writing is not consistently bad, just uneven. But enough so that I for one cannot engage imaginatively in his universe. Sara
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 14, 2007
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        You are right. His writing is not consistently bad, just uneven. But
        enough so that I for one cannot engage imaginatively in his universe.
        Sara

        Jason Fisher wrote:
        > Sara,
        >
        > I'm not trying to be argumentative, believe me, but ...
        >
        >
        >> I'm not replying to anyone in particular, but I can't let
        >> this thread go by without noting that Pullman is a
        >> lousy writer.
        >>
        >
        > You really feel his writing is bad enough (and consistently so) to render this judgment so flatly? If so, I have to cordially disagree. I *will* agree -- without reservation -- that the two examples you cited are pretty bad. But of course, all writers are capable of occasional weak, boring, or purple passages. You could find examples in Lewis and Tolkien, too. Not to mention, there's a whole spectrum of tastes -- and distastes -- of readers. Most of Pullman's writing (to me) is much better than average. Moreover, I think he moves between different styles of dialog quite well -- from the elevated style of Lord Asriel and the Jordan Scholars, to the precious diction of Mrs. Coulter, to the urchin-slang of Lyra and the gyptian children, to the drawl of Lee Scoresby, and so on. His narrative and expository passages are much better than those of most popular writers, I think, and of course, as you say, his imagination makes quite an impression. And the
        > Whitbread Awards* seem to agree (not to say that awards committees are infallible).
        >
        >
        >> Another example: having so much to explain as the
        >> story nears the end, he is reduced to writing, "It turned
        >> out that ...". Well and good, but then on the very next
        >> page he can't think of anything different to say, so we
        >> read another, "It turned out that ..."
        >>
        >
        > An editor should have spotted this. We're all capable of such lapses. But I agree it's rather lame in a published book.
        >
        > Jason
        >
        >
        > * Now called the Costa Awards -- which is amusing, since by pure coincidence the Costas are a gyptian family in HDM.
        >
        >
        > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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