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From: "Alice Turner" <akt@attglobal.net>
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v030.n119
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 15:56:53 

Said the Bear:

> At 18:51 2001-05-24, alga wrote:
> >"An Almost Christian Fantasy," the review by Daniel Maloney in the
> >Catholic journal First Things of Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy
> >up. Intelligent analysis, I think, not just religious but literary.
> >http://print.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0105/reviews/moloney.html
> Thanks for that, alga! I finished the series just last night,
> and I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who didn't consider
> it entirely satisfactory. The plot of the third book is somewhat
> loose, but with so much wonderful writing and emotional power I
> could overlook that, provided there was a proper resolution.
> I couldn't understand why the Dust stopped flowing away just
> because of Will and Lyra's love; it feels right emotionally, but
> at least a hint of a rationale would have been nice. Her prophesied
> destiny as some sort of Eve comes to absolutely nothing that I could
> see. As for them being parted, well! That was just horrible. It really
> upset me. Why did he have to do that?

Oh, boy. I have thought of this so many different ways, since I am
trying to figure out a way of writing about this series that sticks to a
point, and of course Dust sort of has to be the point. Pullman is
currently writing a short "reference book" to be called -The Book of
Dust-, but I see no particular reason to wait for him. Virtually
everyone--no, strike that, every grown-up person--feels the failure of
the third book. We're trying to make it work, and I am specifically
struggling with how to explain Dust (and the Specters) in terms of
Manichaean Light and Dark and a logical world-view (pretty damned hard
to do when there are infinite worlds).

But let me tell you something really fascinating. Kids *love* the third
book. Crowley told me it was the favorite of his daughter Hazel (just
14). And today I found the "fan fiction" site of His Dark Materials.
This is something for you grown men to take a gander at, all of us who
think we're so smart, in fact. Of 60 entries on these pages, fully 55
explore, in Borski-esque variants, the fate of Will and Lyra, some in
poetry. I have to assume that most of them are written by girls about
Hazel's age. Not a single poem about Iorak Birninsen! (Though elsewhere
Serafina Pekkala has something of a fan club--include me in; I'll be a
charter member of the Mrs. Coulter club, too.)


Bear, the Eve thing is very difficult to figure in a truthful, honorable
way. I waver, but mostly I feel that it was a mistake on Pullman's part,
both in a moral and in a religious sense. The kids seem to adore it in a
tearjerker way. Is that because my daemon has settled and theirs have


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