Posts Tagged ‘His Dark Materials’

‘Daemon Voices’ by Philip Pullman

August 27th, 2018

WHO: Philip Pullman

On Stories and Storytelling

WHEN: Published by Knopf September 21, 2018

WHERE: The author lives in Oxford, England.

WHY: “With the quiet confidence of a master craftsman, Pullman shares the tricks of his trade.
“Democratic in his philosophy, materialist in his beliefs, and with a droll humor that occasionally approaches whimsy, Pullman employs a confiding, ruminative tone, a sharply analytical eye, and a vocabulary free of pedantry or cant to insist on the central value of a sense of wonder. This book is a toolbox stacked with generous, sensible advice for writers and thinkers who agree with Pullman that stories ‘are not luxuries; they’re essential to our wellbeing.'” –PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“A collection of pieces infused with abundant wisdom,
provocative notions, and illuminating insights.

“Reflections both practical and philosophical on the craft and purview of tale telling, from the creator of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Rather than dish out amusing quotes from fan letters or standard-issue author talk, Pullman offers meaty but always lucidly argued ruminations on the nature of story. He explores folktales and why they endure and matter, parallels and differences between literary and visual arts, and, a central theme in His Dark Materials, the profound conflicts between the reductive, authoritarian Christian ‘Kingdom’ and the freer, more ideologically spacious ‘Republic of Heaven.’ Amid animated tributes to Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, Milton, Blake, the ‘vast original energy’ of Dickens, and others, Pullman draws from the language of subatomic physics to discourse on the ‘Fundamental Particles of Narrative,’ each carrying a ‘metaphorical charge,’ and how, for writers, each event in a new story creates a ‘phase space’ within which all subsequent ones lurk. This is all saved from earnest or recondite lit-crit not only by the author’s evident intelligence and respect for his readers, but also a gift for dandy one-liners: ‘If you want to write something perfect, go for a haiku’; ‘No man is a hero to his novelist’; ‘What you think “Little Red Riding Hood” is about when you’re six is not what you think it’s about when you’re forty’; ‘I strongly approve of original sin.’
“Published or presented between 1997 and 2014 and arranged in loose thematic order, these articles, talks, and introductory essays consistently demonstrate that Pullman…is as fine a thinker as he is a storyteller.” –KIRKUS, a starred review

Photo of jacket

Media Resources:
About the book and author | Read an excerpt | Download the jacket | Download the author photo

Knopf. With 8 pages of color and 47 b&w illustrations. 455 pages. $30
ISBN 978-0-525-52117-4

To interview the author, contact:
Abigail Endler | 212-572-2015 |