Thursday, November 1, 2018

His Darker Mental State

To start, some reassuring news about BBC's upcoming  adaptation of His Dark Materials, straight from the mouth of Philip Pullman himself: "I’ve seen the scripts at every stage. I’ve made copious notes and comments and these have all been followed up. My function is to nudge it back on course if I think it’s going in the wrong direction. I think they will get it right, because they’ve got more time than the film-makers had."

"I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone,"
says Philip Pullman. "I’m just trying to stop
myself going mad."
However, while the BBC-related news may be reassuring, the article from which it comes is overall anything but. Sadly, it looks as though Pullman is giving in to a rampant cynicism that was absent in His Dark Materials yet is seriously affecting The Book of Dust. Recall now that he even confirmed such and directly it could have called "His Darker Materials" and that, as an author, "I’ve got older and perhaps more cynical, closer to despair...It is a darker book, I don’t deny that, but that’s the story that came to me and wanted to be told.”
Honestly, I thought that La Belle Sauvage made little contextual sense seeing as the political/general situation was nowhere near that bad in The Golden Compass. If it was then Lyra would have been kidnapped or killed years ago while running wild around Oxford. Indeed, the impression was not that the world was falling apart, nor was Lord Asriel a wanted man to the same degree. Recall that he was able to walk into and out of Oxford in The Golden Compass without the same life-threatening hassle as in La Belle Sauvage.

Why am I saying this now as opposed to before? Because this articles reveals to me more fully that, tragically, the great Philip Pullman is descending into a very dark, cynical, place and I, for one, has always viewed cynicism as merely a more sophisticated form of surrender; for cynics still fight for what they believe in – but they no longer truly believe. 

Yet a cynic is something the Lyra Silvertongue I and so many others know and love could never be...unless Pullman, as he seems to indicate, means to drag her down with him: "Pullman is famously an atheist, although he explores myth, legend and magic in all his writing and will do so particularly in the next book [of Dust], which sees Lyra losing her sense of magic as an adult and will be called The Secret Commonwealth."
Alas for the great Philip Pullman!

1 comment:

  1. I'll reserve my judgment once I read it. For my part Pullman is still the best of our time!