wayfarers all

children's literature, childhood and culture (and anything else that strikes my fancy).

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Location: pittsburgh, U.S. Outlying Islands

carbon-based life form: thinking, reading and gardening. New College alum; current grad student writing a dissertation. I specialize in children's literature, media, and culture, and queer/gender studies, with a strong interest in 19th century British literature and culture. I like history, a lot.

Monday, October 04, 2004

His Dark Materials

I'm re-reading the trilogy for - i don't know - the sixth time? more? and once again i'm jusy blown away by the skill with which Philip Pullman writes. The books are just breathtaking. In The Amber Spyglass, I'm particularly noticing what I guess is called pacing - the urgency of the text, the sense of great important things happening. I can think of only one other text with a similar feel, and that's Lloyd Alexander's last book in the Prydain series - The High King. I'm wondering if part of the reason for that sense of movement and urgency is the way the narrative is broken up - we keep shifting, following each character. For example, The Amber Spyglass starts by following Lyra and Mrs. Coulter, then shifts to Will, then to Iorek Byrnison, then to Ama, and on and on. You can almost SEE the way in which all these threads will weave together, until everyone is in the same place at the same time - you can sense the motion of the characters toward each other, toward the ultimate climax (climaxes) of the novel.

We will not mention the conlusion of this book. It is too distressing.

I'm with Mary and the mulefa at the moment, and for the life of me, I cannot visualize how they uses wheels - how exactly the wheels attach to the legs. wish there was an illustration.....


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