Wednesday, 10 September 2008

how come? (3) - Pullman

One of my weekly lunchtime haunts is Waterstone’s bookshop in Chelmsford High Street. I like to look at the books laid out on the tables to see what is new and what people are reading at the moment. (O.K. I admit it is also to see what’s on offer). Yesterday I was fascinated to see a table laid out with books chosen by Philip Pullman author of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Waterstone’s had invited Pullman to select books that had influenced his writing as part of their The Writer’s Table series. You can see the list of books Pullman chose here.

It is an interesting selection. However, as I looked at the books laid out on the table I found myself asking ‘How come he hasn’t chosen Milton, Blake, C.S. Lewis and most notably The Bible?’ All of these have clearly influenced his writing and he draws heavily on them as sources, including Lewis' writing which he so despises, and Pullman even references them as influences in interviews like the one with Amazon here.

There is a previous post on His Dark Materials on my old blogsite here.


Tim Goodbody said...

would have been a more impressive list if he'd included Exercises in Style in the original French, which makes a lot more sense than the translation. Zazie dans le metro is funnier anyway!

Some of those books are seriously "pseuds corner"

Revd John P Richardson said...

It couldn't possibly be because he didn't want people who'd read his books to go off and read Lewis, Milton or Scripture, could it? After all, that way that might get a chance to make their own minds up. ;-)