His Dark Materials

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17 January, 2010 by rhesus12

Just finished the His Dark Materials trilogy, which was brilliant. Normally I’d avoid talking bears, etc, but there’s much more to it than that. It’s been called the atheist’s Narnia. Was particularly interesting as a non-thestic sprituality, which (excuse me for this) was in it’s way like Plato’s or Einstein’s or Blake’s. Especially Blake’s, which Pullman acknowledged was a source fundamental to the story and to his own beliefs.

Satan, though not as commonly understood, is pretty much the hero in both the Marriage of Heaven and Hell and His Dark Materials.  In fact, the name “His Dark Materials” comes from Paradise Lost, a book that had a huge effect on Blake, and one which he illustrated (and whose text he “corrected”). Have to recommend Peter Ackroyd’s Blake biography.

Have a nagging feeling that, if you take it as thesis and not merely a story (which many have), it’s built on a suspect premise. The catholic church hasn’t been as Pullman characterises it for 200 years (excluding Ireland). Most Christians I know wouldn’t recognise themselves or their beliefs as portrayed  in Northern Lights and the other two books. I get the point though & recommend it.


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