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Re: [mythsoc] Pullman about Lewis

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  • Ted Sherman
    Pullman has made many public comments about Lewis, almost all of of which are not nice. If I remember correctly, some of the attached reviews contain negative
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 30, 2000
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      Pullman has made many public comments about Lewis, almost all of of which are not
      nice.

      If I remember correctly, some of the attached reviews contain negative comments
      by Pullman about Lewis. If not, I'll dig out the interviews and post the URLs.

      Ted

      alexeik@... wrote:

      > In a message dated 10/30/0 3:34:54 AM, Ted Sherman wrote:
      >
      > <<She has said repeatedly that she has 7 books
      > because Lewis had 7 in the Chronicles, and, unlike Pullman, she has spoken
      > rather glowingly of Lewis's influence.>>
      >
      > I haven't read any comments by Pullman on Lewis, but if they were wholly
      > negative this is ironic, since having just finished _The Amber Spyglass_ I
      > found Lewis' influence (in terms of style and imagery, not ideology) on
      > Pullman glaringly obvious. Hasn't anyone else noticed how much Mary Malone's
      > visit to the world of the _mulefa_ is reminiscent of Ransom's stay on
      > Malacandra in _Out of the Silent Planet_? The thrilling way in which the
      > villainous characters are imagined is also very Lewis (cf. _That Hideous
      > Strength_).
      > Although there were many wonderful moments in _The Amber Spyglass_, I found
      > the conclusion muddled and very disappointing. Lyra never had to take a moral
      > stand in relation to her parents at all. The all-important concept of Dust
      > was, in the end, incompletely articulated, and the fate of the dead was
      > presented in a very confused way. And the idea of a Republic of Heaven is in
      > some ways even more dated than that of the Kingdom of Heaven.
      > Alexei
      >
      >
      > 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@...
    • Ted Sherman
      Oops--forgot to put the URLs in. Here they are: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,20824,00.html
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 30, 2000
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        Oops--forgot to put the URLs in. Here they are:

        http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,20824,00.html
        http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2000/10/18/pullman/index.html
        http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,20758,00.html
        http://www.weeklystandard.com/magazine/mag_6_6_00/jacobs_bkart_6_6_00.asp
        http://www.msnbc.com/news/479510.asp?cp1=1#BODY
        http://www.booksunlimited.co.uk/departments/childrenandteens/story/0,6000,386073,00.html

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31236-2000Oct28.html
        http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=4N0B8E7GYC&mscssid=7F80W5XJA3258GGBSVK257V1MH0S7SGB&isbn=0679879269&displayonly=authorInterview

        http://www.randomhouse.com/features/pullman/index.html

        Interview with Pullman
        http://www.booksunlimited.co.uk/departments/childrenandteens/story/0,6000,386073,00.html

        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/94590/102-3549268-2279340


        Ted



        Ted Sherman wrote:

        > Pullman has made many public comments about Lewis, almost all of of which are not
        > nice.
        >
        > If I remember correctly, some of the attached reviews contain negative comments
        > by Pullman about Lewis. If not, I'll dig out the interviews and post the URLs.
        >
        > Ted
        >
        > alexeik@... wrote:
        >
        > > In a message dated 10/30/0 3:34:54 AM, Ted Sherman wrote:
        > >
        > > <<She has said repeatedly that she has 7 books
        > > because Lewis had 7 in the Chronicles, and, unlike Pullman, she has spoken
        > > rather glowingly of Lewis's influence.>>
        > >
        > > I haven't read any comments by Pullman on Lewis, but if they were wholly
        > > negative this is ironic, since having just finished _The Amber Spyglass_ I
        > > found Lewis' influence (in terms of style and imagery, not ideology) on
        > > Pullman glaringly obvious. Hasn't anyone else noticed how much Mary Malone's
        > > visit to the world of the _mulefa_ is reminiscent of Ransom's stay on
        > > Malacandra in _Out of the Silent Planet_? The thrilling way in which the
        > > villainous characters are imagined is also very Lewis (cf. _That Hideous
        > > Strength_).
        > > Although there were many wonderful moments in _The Amber Spyglass_, I found
        > > the conclusion muddled and very disappointing. Lyra never had to take a moral
        > > stand in relation to her parents at all. The all-important concept of Dust
        > > was, in the end, incompletely articulated, and the fate of the dead was
        > > presented in a very confused way. And the idea of a Republic of Heaven is in
        > > some ways even more dated than that of the Kingdom of Heaven.
        > > Alexei
        > >
        > >
        > > 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@...
        >
        >
        > 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@...
      • Ted Sherman
        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 ... -- Dr.
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 30, 2000
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          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

          Stolzi@... wrote:

          > In a message dated 10/30/00 2:41:50 PM Central Standard Time,
          > tedsherman@... writes:
          >
          > > Oops--forgot to put the URLs in. Here they are:
          >
          > If ever I saw a list of URLs I didn't want to pursue...
          >
          > 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
          >
          >
          > 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@...
        • Stolzi@aol.com
          In a message dated 10/30/00 2:41:50 PM Central Standard Time, ... If ever I saw a list of URLs I didn t want to pursue... But it brings up this thought: Why
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 30, 2000
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            In a message dated 10/30/00 2:41:50 PM Central Standard Time,
            tedsherman@... writes:

            > Oops--forgot to put the URLs in. Here they are:

            If ever I saw a list of URLs I didn't want to pursue...

            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
          • Stolzi@aol.com
            Well, I visited two or three of the URLs Ted gave. Came away fiercely irritated, I fear. What =is= this cr*p about the Christian Heaven being a sell, because
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 31, 2000
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              Well, I visited two or three of the URLs Ted gave. Came away fiercely
              irritated, I fear. What =is= this cr*p about the Christian Heaven being a
              sell, because "here and now is all there is, and it's all beautiful and
              wonderful and ecstatic" (approx quote)

              The man should be sentenced to nurse a terminal cancer patient, or live in a
              third-world slum for years, to cure him of producing that sort of nonsense.

              I am trying to re-read vols 1 and 2 and have a reserve at the library on vol
              3, since this trilogy is our BUTTERBUR'S WOODSHED topic for January. But it
              is going to be tough sledding. In fact I just got through the part of vol 1
              in which Mrs Coulter's kidnapping of little children is described - it's
              horrifying - this is not a book to put in any =child's= hands in any event.
              Not that most young children's reading skills are up to it.

              Mary S
            • Christine Howlett
              I agree with you that the Pullman trilogy is definitely NOT written for children. Yes, I found myself re-reading sections that seemed complex, and there is
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 31, 2000
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                I agree with you that the Pullman trilogy is definitely NOT written for
                children. Yes, I found myself re-reading sections that seemed complex, and
                there is quite a bit of horrifying action for a child who is even a little
                imaginative. I was quite amazed that they are being marketed and sold as
                kids' books - but the children's section sure is where you find them.
                Fantasy/sci-fi would be MUCH more appropriate!

                I did find the first book quite interesting, the second book left rather a
                bitter taste. It was not altogether suprising that he is anti-religious
                (rather than un-religious, if you will). I really doubt that I will pick up
                the third volume.
                Christine


                -----Original Message-----
                From: Stolzi@... <Stolzi@...>
                To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
                Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 11:23 AM
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Pullman about Lewis


                >Well, I visited two or three of the URLs Ted gave. Came away fiercely
                >irritated, I fear. What =is= this cr*p about the Christian Heaven being a
                >sell, because "here and now is all there is, and it's all beautiful and
                >wonderful and ecstatic" (approx quote)
                >
                >The man should be sentenced to nurse a terminal cancer patient, or live in
                a
                >third-world slum for years, to cure him of producing that sort of nonsense.
                >
                >I am trying to re-read vols 1 and 2 and have a reserve at the library on
                vol
                >3, since this trilogy is our BUTTERBUR'S WOODSHED topic for January. But
                it
                >is going to be tough sledding. In fact I just got through the part of vol
                1
                >in which Mrs Coulter's kidnapping of little children is described - it's
                >horrifying - this is not a book to put in any =child's= hands in any event.
                >Not that most young children's reading skills are up to it.
                >
                >Mary S
                >
                >
                >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                >
                >
              • alexeik@aol.com
                In a message dated 10/31/0 9:25:34 PM, Christine wrote:
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 31, 2000
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                  In a message dated 10/31/0 9:25:34 PM, Christine wrote:

                  <<I did find the first book quite interesting, the second book left rather a
                  bitter taste. It was not altogether suprising that he is anti-religious
                  (rather than un-religious, if you will).>>

                  I don't think he's anti-religious (at least, I don't think he'd describe
                  himself that way) so much as anti-Christian or anti-theist. What bothered me
                  most about it is that his views don't seem to be thought through very well;
                  they're full of inconsistencies that become more and more jarring as the book
                  progresses. Ursula Le Guin's world-view is probably non-Christian to the same
                  degree (and essentially non-theistic), yet it's never bothered me because
                  it's both consistent and very rich, and it has a balance to it that sees no
                  need to attack what it's not. Pullman annoys me in the same way that preachy
                  fundamentalist-Christian fantasies a la Frank Peretti irritate me, except
                  that luckily he writes a thousand times better, and *does* have much more
                  depth.

                  << I really doubt that I will pick up
                  the third volume.>>

                  You should: it has some really wonderful things in it, although, as I said, I
                  found the conclusion disappointing.
                  Alexei
                • Sophie Masson
                  I know that Philip thought quite a lot of Peter Goldthwaite s book, The Natural History of Make-Believe, which is actually written by a man with a Christian
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 1, 2000
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                    I know that Philip thought quite a lot of Peter Goldthwaite's book, The
                    Natural History of Make-Believe, which is actually written by a man with a
                    Christian point of view, but which is rather scathing about both Tolkien and
                    Lewis(but complimentary say about Greene or Collodi). I've bought the book
                    and read it; it's interesting and wellwritten though I'm not convinced by
                    Goldthwaite's arguments. Basically he doesn't like the idea of sub-creation,
                    as Tolkien put it.
                    Sophie
                    Author site:
                    http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: <alexeik@...>
                    To: <mythsoc@egroups.com>
                    Sent: Wednesday, 1 November 2000 10:47
                    Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Pullman about Lewis


                    >
                    > In a message dated 10/31/0 9:25:34 PM, Christine wrote:
                    >
                    > <<I did find the first book quite interesting, the second book left rather
                    a
                    > bitter taste. It was not altogether suprising that he is anti-religious
                    > (rather than un-religious, if you will).>>
                    >
                    > I don't think he's anti-religious (at least, I don't think he'd describe
                    > himself that way) so much as anti-Christian or anti-theist. What bothered
                    me
                    > most about it is that his views don't seem to be thought through very
                    well;
                    > they're full of inconsistencies that become more and more jarring as the
                    book
                    > progresses. Ursula Le Guin's world-view is probably non-Christian to the
                    same
                    > degree (and essentially non-theistic), yet it's never bothered me because
                    > it's both consistent and very rich, and it has a balance to it that sees
                    no
                    > need to attack what it's not. Pullman annoys me in the same way that
                    preachy
                    > fundamentalist-Christian fantasies a la Frank Peretti irritate me, except
                    > that luckily he writes a thousand times better, and *does* have much more
                    > depth.
                    >
                    > << I really doubt that I will pick up
                    > the third volume.>>
                    >
                    > You should: it has some really wonderful things in it, although, as I
                    said, I
                    > found the conclusion disappointing.
                    > Alexei
                    >
                    >
                    > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    >
                  • David S. Bratman
                    ... John Goldthwaite. It s a stunning book - stunningly bad, in my opinion. His denunciation of Narnia outdoes anything I ve seen elsewhere from even the most
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 1, 2000
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                      On Wed, 1 Nov 2000, Sophie Masson wrote:

                      > I know that Philip thought quite a lot of Peter Goldthwaite's book, The
                      > Natural History of Make-Believe, which is actually written by a man with a
                      > Christian point of view, but which is rather scathing about both Tolkien and
                      > Lewis(but complimentary say about Greene or Collodi). I've bought the book
                      > and read it; it's interesting and wellwritten though I'm not convinced by
                      > Goldthwaite's arguments. Basically he doesn't like the idea of sub-creation,
                      > as Tolkien put it.

                      John Goldthwaite. It's a stunning book - stunningly bad, in my opinion.
                      His denunciation of Narnia outdoes anything I've seen elsewhere from even
                      the most fanatical anti-Narnian, including Pullman. His argument against
                      Tolkien's theory of sub-creation is to charge that Tolkien was a bad
                      Christian by advancing it, since to subcreate is (Goldthwaite says) to
                      imply that there is something insufficient about God's primary creation,
                      and thereby to insult God and accuse Him of imperfection.

                      Goldthwaite also spends pages upon pages on a bizarre theory of Lewis
                      Carroll's writerly motivations that I can't even try to summarize.

                      David Bratman
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