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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Phillip Pullman
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 10:33:17 

On Wed, 18 Apr 2001, William Ansley wrote:

> unlike themselves. And Pullman evidently regards the success of the first 
> two volumes in the series to be a license to turns parts of the third book 
> into a virulent anti-Catholic screed (thinly disguised but unmistakable). I 
> consider myself agnostic, but this aspect of the book made me 
> uncomfortable. A certain anti-church bias is evident in the first two books 
> as well, but nothing like what comes out in the third.

Interestingly, First Things, a conservative, mostly Roman Catholic journal
has a mostly positive review of Pullman's series this month (May issue) by
Daniel Moloney.  He's not so concerned about the anti-church stuff as what
he considers the artistic/philosophical failure to create a convincing
alternative metaphyics.  He argues that the parts that work the best
artistically owe the most to the Christian story/worldview.  Not having
read the books yet, I can't say whether the article makes a good case or
not, but it and this discussion have convinced me to give them a try.  
The article will be available on their website (www.firstthings.com) in a
few weeks.


Here's a quote that may be a spoiler (so beware!):

"As is, I can fairly characterize His Dark Materials in this fashion:
imagine if at the beginning of the world, Satan's rebellion had been
successful, that he had reigned for two thousand years, and that a messiah
was necessary to conquer lust and the spirit of domination with innocence,
humility, and generous love at great personal cost.  Such a story is not
subversive of Christianity."

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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