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my sentiments exactly

my sentiments exactly

An interview with one of my favorite authors, Phillip Pullman.

"I know full well that the total amount of the things I know is a tiny little pinprick of light compared with the vast unlimited darkness that surrounds it which is all the things I don't know. I don't know more than a tiny fragment of what it's possible to know about this world. As for what goes on outside it in the rest of the universe, it's a vast darkness full of things that I don't know. Now, somewhere in the things that I don't know, there may be a God.

But if we come down like coming close up with a camera getting closer and closer to this little pinprick of light, so that it begins to expand and gets bigger and bigger until we find ourselves inside it... I can see no evidence in that circle of things I do know, in history, or in science or anywhere else, no evidence of the existence of God.

So I'm caught between the words 'atheistic' and 'agnostic'. I've got no evidence whatever for believing in a God. But I know that all the things I do know are very small compared with the things that I don't know. So maybe there is a God out there. All I know is that if there is, he hasn't shown himself on earth. "


If you haven't already, read the His Dark Materials Trilogy:

The Golden Compass
The Subtle Knife
The Amber Spyglass


Oh dear. I made it through The Subtle Knife before quitting in disgust.

Weird. I just picked up The Golden Compass today and started reading it. Don't know why....just was passing through the store and there it was, and it rang a bell in my head, so I thought I'd snag it.

What do you think of the ending of TAS, Michele? While I personally can't make up my mind about it, it undoubtedly is very powerful and moving, and everyone I meet who's read the book either loves the ending and thinks it is completely appropriate or hated it. I know I wept over the ending and was hung up about it for days!

goes off to hide and read no further since she wants no endings spoilt for her

I think TAS was the hardest to read out of the three books. The first two, I breezed right through, but TAS took me a while to finish. The pay off was fantastic, however. I thought the ending was completely appropriate and very moving. In fact, I ended up reading TAS again.

I'm remembering how I finished TAS on a railway platform, and sat there weeping uncontrollably, totally incapable of getting on a train. People, understandably, were giving me strange looks and a wide berth. Then one woman saw the book still in my hand, smiled knowingly and came and gave me a hug. Nice moment.

I had a hard time getting through TAS too, but I thought it was a nice finish to the trilogy. Funny thing - I'm a Christian who happens to love Pullman's books. I actually think it's pretty amusing when the religious right starts bashing mainstream literature, since aside from several books on the New York Times bestseller list, Christian fiction hasn't yet emerged from the subculture that keeps it from the mainstream market.

I think the problem with a lot of people who view art from a religious standpoint--it has to coincide with their beliefs or it's ANTI-whatever.

I don't necessarily view The Chronicles of Narnia (which Pullman has some vitriolic words for) as Christian literature, although I know it has its roots very deeply embedded in it. I read it when I was a member of a Christian religion, and I read it after I became an agnostic (as well as many of C.S.Lewis's more overtly Christian works) and knowing where the man was coming from did not spoil my enjoyment of the work.

Regarding the Pullman books--I just finished the first one yesterday (I speed read) and I'll probably get the next one shortly. I can see religious terms thrown around, but as any good world builder knows, your world has to have a system of beliefs to describe how the characters view things. Because some of the characters seem to view a Church in a negative light does not necessarily render a book ANTI-whatever. Now, I have not read the full series, so I don't know if he really is anti-whatever, but...so what if he is. The world is a pretty huge place. Nobody has to read his books. But if the emotional payoff at the end of the books is as great as you say it is, I can't wait to get there.

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