his dark materials play

Emma Comerford 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 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1076838,00.html

This is one of those times I wished I lived in England! It sounds like the adaption will be 
interesting.

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!

Emma



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