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From: "Tony Ellis" <LittleSense@necronomicon.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Daemonising Pullman
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 12:57:02 +0100

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
> 1. This is a brilliant novel.
<snip>
> ...But there's no _reason_ for calling them daemons; it's just an
> in-yer-face
> choice to irritate easily-irritated Christians.

I'm glad you're enjoying the book I know as Northern Lights, Dan'l, but I
can't agree with you that this is the only reason Pullman chose the word
"daemon". The Marriage of Heaven and Hell probably irritated a few
easily-irritated Christians in its time too, but what it was supposed to do
was make people think.

I would hope that a child reading Pullman's book might be very interested to
learn that a word used by Christianity to mean an incarnation of evil
originally meant something as harmless as "spirit",  and might wonder what
other little misappropriations and mistakes may have taken place over the
years.

> On a larger scale: does anyone, _can_ anyone, believe that in a world this
> different -- where every human has an externalized animus/anima, where
bears
> are sentient, etc. -- the history of the world would be _similar_ enough
> that
> someone called John Calvin would become something called Pope of something
> called the Catholic Church?

The Crushed Butterfly theory of time has been tediously fashionable in SF
writing for a long time now, but it -is- just a theory. Another one is that
the stream of history would simply flow around any change, and carry on much
as before. If that theory leads to more books like Pullman's, or Wolfe's
There Are Doors, where the changes are small and thought-provoking rather
than huge and predictable, then I for one am happy to give "logic" a miss
for a while. :-)


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



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