his dark materials play
emmaco at tpg.com.au
Thu Nov 6 17:36:37 EST 2003
Just thought I'd post this link to an article about the upcoming stage play of Pullman's "His dark
materials" books. It's from the Guardian online at
This is one of those times I wished I lived in England! It sounds like the adaption will be
There were a couple of strange bits about the category of "crossover" (adult and child) fiction.
Eg: "Adam Phillips, the critic and pychoanalyst, suggests that childhood does resemble for some
adults a 'foreign country' which they revisit through children's books, hoping to find they still
speak the language. He is fascinated by the reasons adults elect to read children's books. He
thinks we idealise authors who achieve what we don't have ourselves, an 'immaculate
communication' with children. These authors, he adds, may have their own version of this
fantasy and hope, through their writing, to become a 'spellbinding parent who can entrance the
child'. Such authors have become 'cultural icons', he adds. (No wonder Madonna is trying to get
on the bandwagon.) "
I certainly don't believe children writers have a better understanding of and relationship with
children than I do!
And: "Michael Morpurgo, children's laureate, does not care for the 'crossover' tag (although he
may find his new book Private Peaceful qualifying). He believes that fantasy writing such as
Pullman's is becoming ever more popular. The reasons are obvious, he says: 'The world is
complex and we don't want to be in it all the time.' The 'real' world is too relentlessly temporal
for escapist adult readers, too great a respecter of age and of a chronological journey through
a life. "
And I certainly don't read fantasy because it's less complex than other genres and better to
escape into. I think this remark is especially strange when talking about Pullman's trilogy, which
I found intricate and challenging.
There were lots of other interesting things said in this article, but I'm supposed to be working,
so I'd better leave it at this!
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