Monday, 16 October 2017

Meaning and Joy


“...our human nature demands meaning and joy
...accept that this meaning and joy will involve
a passionate love of the physical world.”
- Philip Pullman, from his lecture “The Republic of Heaven”
in his forthcoming essay collection, Dæmon Voices

Yesterday’s Sunday New York Times Magazine (October 15, 2017) brought a marvellous article, “The Magician of Oxford” by Sophie Elmhirst (free when I checked the link) about Philip Pullman, the luminous author of His Dark Materials, an epic fantasy trilogy for young people of all ages.

I have been an over-the-top fan of Pullman and his trilogy since its publication - The Golden Compass in 1995; The Subtle Knife in 1997; and The Amber Spy Glass in 2000. His creation of a parallel fantasy universe that starts in Oxford University and ends up in the company of armoured polar bears in the high Artic is wondrous indeed. One of my great joys in teaching Middle School English for many years was introducing Pullman’s books – and its stellar heroine, Lyra Silvertongue - to annual waves of eager young readers. I can hardly wait to introduce the trilogy to my grandchildren and grandnephew.

And now comes the news that Pullman is about to publish a prequel (my descriptor, not his) that starts off when Lyra is six months old and “being hunted by henchmen of the Magesterium” to quote Elmhirst. And it will be another trilogy!

Title of the trilogy: The Book of Dust
Name of the first volume:  La Belle Sauvage
Publication date: October 19, 2017!

Woohoo! Guess what I’ll be buying!

And while I wait impatiently for the arrival of La Belle Sauvage, I am posting photos that humbly attempt to honour Pullman’s philosophy above:

“...our human nature demands meaning and joy...[that involves] a passionate love of the physical world.”

Pullman is an atheist, but his writings have always beckoned me to a spiritual dimension that parallels and enriches his plot lines.

I hope that you will enjoy these images and that you will join me in celebrating Philip Pullman.

Toronto City Hall

Silver Lake, near Perth

Spring Brook Road, Hastings County

Ripley's Aquarium, Toronto

Bill's Meringue, Pre-Low Carb Days

Lindi's Papers

Lake Consecon 

Queen's University, Kingston

Portsmouth Harbour, Kingston

1 comment:

  1. Dear friend, what a gift you have for seeing and sharing wisdom. I do not know this Philip Pullman's work. Thank you for always teaching me something.